Massa to speak to press
(Update 12:17 p.m., Massa has already given the press conference and Rush Limbaugh is playing excerpts of it now. Massa is going after the Democratic leadership.)
Last week Eric Massa, a freshman Democratic congressman from New York State’s Finger Lakes region and a 24 year Navy veteran, told reporters that he had decided not to run for re-election because of a recurrence of cancer. Then on Friday he announced that he was resigning his seat effective today, because of a complaint that he had sad something to a male staffer that had made him feel uncomfortable. Massa’s resignation statement was exceedingly strange, since he both declared his guilt, repeatedly, and suggested that he had done nothing more than use salty language in his congressional office. Representatives now resign from Congress for using salty language to their male assistants?
Given that Massa is one of only two liberal Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November for the reason that the bill did not go far enough (the other was Dennis Kucinich), the thought naturally occurred that perhaps that Massa had been forced out by the House leadership, thus reducing by one the number of votes they would need to pass the bill.
I’ve just been told that Massa has announced he will hold a press conference today explaining his resignation. Evidently the news was in the broadcast media, not yet on the Web, because it’s not turning up in a search. I don’t know when the press conference will take place or whether it will be broadcast live.
Also Massa’s thoughtful and principled (from a liberal point of view) statement in November explaining why he was voting no on the bill, which I read over the weekend, is very interesting and I’ve been planning to discuss it.