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Eric Massa
Congressional Challenger
Speaks Out On
Stardust Radio


I first came to Corning, New York in the early nineties, but the journey that brought me here began when my grandparents emigrated from southern and central Italy during the Great Depression. My grandfather died at a very young age, and before the phrase, -single mother- was even invented, my grandmother, now 100 years old and still very much in charge of family reunions, raised the family on her own. My mother's family saw two sons enlist and serve in both the pacific and European Theaters coming home to a new and hopeful America. My father joined the Navy as a World War II era non-commissioned officer and spent more than 30 years on active duty as a Navy pilot. He married his sweetheart, my mother, a nurse, who raised the family all over the world. We returned from overseas duty so I could graduate from High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was then privileged to attend, and honored to graduate from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis Maryland.


I was commissioned as a Naval Officer and spent a total of 24 years on active duty serving in every operational area that the Navy sailed in. Along this un-chartered journey, I fell in love with and married my wife, Beverly. We raised a family moving all over the world, much like my experiences growing up. One deployment saw us for many months off the coast of Beirut in direct support of our Marines ashore. During another cruise to the Middle East we were on station during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and throughout the opening of Desert Storm. My capstone military assignment was Special Assistant to General Wes Clark, both in Panama and then when he became Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces. I served with Wes in Washington DC, Panama, and in the European Theater of Operations. (See Eric's military records.)

My career was cut short when I was diagnosed with terminal Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The good news is the Doctors got the prognosis wrong and with Faith, family and friends I was able to find the strength to overcome the odds, and I beat cancer. I stand before you today healthier than I was six years ago. I spent the last part of my military career working as a cancer outreach advocate. I traveled across the country, talking with other cancer patients who were in the same position I had been. It was meeting these people, and talking with them and their families that made me realize, for the first time, how important Healthcare for all Americans really is.

When my Naval career officially ended I retired and returned to Corning New York. I went to work in the Photonics division of Corning Inc. and eventually the automotive environmental division. I joined Corning the day the stock reached its highest point and I rode it all the way down until the company was forced to lay off almost half of its work force. When the tech bubble burst I, and many thousands of other tech workers got wet. My wife and I made the decision to stay in Corning. I was offered a position as a Professional Staff Member to the House Armed Services Committee for the United States Congress, in Washington, DC. I found a way to commute to Washington, and keep my family in our home in Corning, New York.

As a Professional Staff Member I expressed grave concerns to the Republican Party and wrote several dissenting documents about the plans to invade Iraq. When I saw what was happening to our returning Veterans, I again documented my concerns to the Republicans. When my former Commanding Officer and friend, Wes Clark joined the Presidential race, I refused to allow partisan politics to come between myself and my loyalty for my old Boss. I left my position on the House Armed Services Committee over the plans and strategies dealing with the Iraq war and its aftermath and have not looked back since. While I was not on the House Floor when the vote to invade Iraq took place, I voted with my feet by joining the Wesley Clark for President Campaign in New Hampshire.

After the campaign, I returned home and watched the outcome of the 2004 elections. I grew even more concerned about the future as I saw a small group of right-wing partisan politicians, highjack the party I had left the year before. Vote after vote in both the House and the Senate results in legislation that continues an unending assault on the very backbone of our nation - the hard working families of America that form our Middle Class.

It is my responsibility to pass on to my children a nation as solid and as improved as the country I inherited from my parents. When I look at my kids, Justin and Alexandra, I see the burden of the mistakes being made today weighing on their futures. The security of our economic future is not clear and becomes more in question every day. Jobs are being shipped overseas, access to health care is more difficult and more expensive. The deficit fueled by tax cuts and unrelenting government spending has created a true toddler tax of over $27,000 dollars for every new child born in this nation. We are failing to secure the future for our children.

This is what brings me here today, and I want to turn that around.

I am working to earn your vote and lead the fight to protect those who built this region, this state, and this country; the working families and middle class. I look forward to meeting each of you, and talking about your concerns, and most importantly, hearing your thoughts and ideas about how I can help you recapture the true future of our region.
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