So my Republican congressman says he'll vote for Clinton, an inside view

Let me tell you a quick story about my congressman, Richard Hanna (R – NY22). When he first ran for Congress in 2008 in what was formerly New York’s 24th District I didn’t fall into his territory. His former district was based around Utica, New York and I’m well to the south of there. My mother, though already in declining health with a failing memory, was pretty excited about it however and lived in the 24th. She knew Richard from back in the day when he was a successful businessman. He lost that race against Mike Arcuri, but came back two years later to win the seat. When redistricting put hm in the newly formed 22nd, his new turf encompassed my home town, an area closer to the Pennsylvania border where he had far fewer contacts. Between family history and my own political work in both GOP congressional campaigns and political writing, I wound up in contact with Richard and his staff on multiple occasions. As he was gearing up for his reelection I went for a lunch meeting with him at his local office and we had a long, enjoyable chat.

At that time I remained impressed with Hanna, even though he took a number of “moderate” stances. These are the things that are sometimes necessary to hold onto a seat in New York, even in the more conservative upstate region. During our meeting he asked me if there was anything I needed from him now that I was one of his constituents. I told him that as long as he didn’t sell us out on gun rights we were probably going to be just fine, and he was good to his word on that score.

As it turns out, I probably should have asked him one other question. Hey, you don’t plan on ever voting for Hillary Clinton, do you? Turns out I would have been disappointed in the answer if I had. (Politico)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) will cast his ballot for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton this November, becoming the first Republican member of Congress to cross party lines and vote directly against Donald Trump.

“For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country,” Hanna wrote in an op-ed for published Tuesday.

Hanna, a three-term lawmaker who had previously said he could never back Trump, acknowledged long-standing issues with Clinton but noted her commitment on common issues.

Before you go thinking this is some act of bravery or unvarnished principle, you should be aware that Richard already announced that he would be retiring after this term and we just finished a bruising GOP primary to determine his successor. (It’s Claudia Tenney, by the way.) Hanna has nothing to lose from this action and risks nothing more than a few clucking tongues pointed in his direction as he heads off into retirement. Observing his announcement from the cheap seats, this is an ignominious end to an otherwise admirable career. It’s nothing short of a betrayal.

I understand that Richard dislikes Donald Trump and disagrees with many of the things the GOP nominee has said. That’s fine. And if he opted to not vote for him that’s entirely his prerogative. (Besides.. this is New York, so our votes don’t matter in the electoral college anyway.) But he could have done so quietly without feeling the need to shove a knife in the back of the party’s candidate and give the liberal media yet another headline to run up the flagpole in Hillary Clinton’s favor for weeks on end.

For that matter, Hanna was here in New York back in 2000 and 2006 when we both watched Clinton carpetbag her way into one of our Senate seats. Believe me… Richard Hanna was no fan of Hillary Clinton’s, so his decision to assist her in clawing her way back into the White House seems far less principled and more of an act of spite. This announcement is beyond disappointing and my entire view of Congressman Hanna has been changed permanently. You didn’t have to vote for Trump if you didn’t want to, Richard, but tossing your lot in with Hillary is something else entirely. You should remember the cautionary tales regarding where you make your bed and what types of pests you may wake up with.

RIchard Hanna