Our local Congressman, Brian Higgins, serves as the most powerful Democrat on the House Homeland Security Subcommittee that oversees the National Security Agency and the nation’s intelligence apparatus.
He simultaneously serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and receives regular national security briefings. He is responsible — perhaps as much as anyone else — for overseeing the Obama Administration’s national security and foreign policy.
He is at the crux of Congressional power and influence.
The ten year incumbent Congressman finds himself in a heated general election battle, with Republican Kathy Weppner, in an election cycle that is expected to deliver huge GOP gains in the Congress.
Now with national security dominating the public discourse, some political observers who were skeptical of Weppner’s viability (given the Democrat enrollment advantage) have now reconsidered the landscape.
They note Congressman Higgins’ shocking and dangerous failures — chief among them, the emergence of ISIS/ISIL.
“It’s hard to know where this [ISIS/ISIL] is going because nobody saw it coming and if we saw it coming we could have potentially acted earlier to hold its’ progress.”
-Brian Higgins, House Homeland Security hearing on Tuesday, September 17, 2014.
“Brian Higgins’ oversight of the Obama Administration has been horrid. They knew Syria was being influtrated with foriegn terrorist fighters for years,” says a Weppner volunteer. “On Brian Higgins’ watch, the most ferocious anti-American terrorist state that we have ever seen has emerged.”
Weppner has published extensively on the issue, and has been outspoken on foreign policy for years, as a WBEN News Radio host.
On her website, she offers a timeline of events that undermines Higgins’ credibility and calls into question jaw dropping concerns about his judgement.
In December of 2011, the Obama Administration completed its withdrawl of “all combat troops” from Iraq, and declared the war over.
Six months later, in July of 2012, Al Quada in Iraq (AQI) emerged to cause deep civil unrest and sectarian violence, in aim of instigating a civil war. Despite the most intesne causalties since 2007, the Iraqi government did not fall.
In November of 2012, running up to his reelection, President Obama repeatedly declares Al Quada “decimated” and “on the run,” in an apparent attempt to decieve the public.
“Thanks to sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.”
President Barak Obama
On April 9th, only five months after the President declares Al Quada decimated, ISIL’s Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announced that the terrorist group was fighting to establish an Islamic Calaphate in Iraq and Syria.
On September 1st, 2013, Higgins makes the claim that the fighting in Syria is “an internal conflict” despite reciving Congressional testimory to the contrary on at least three occasions in the previous year.
“The situation is Syria is that of a national civil war, an ethnic and sectarian conflict that America cannot solve and should not try to. This is not a fight for freedom and democracy. This is a fight for control between a brutal and murderous dictator and an opposition epresented by al-Qaida affiliates and Islamic extremists. The lesson in Syria, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, is that the people of those countries have to solve their own internal conflicts.”
Brian Higgins, The Buffalo News 9.1.2013
October 30th — less than two months later — the State Department issues a report calling ISIS/ISIL “a transnational threat,” as President Malaki beggs the United States for help.
The Congressman’s very poor performance on National Security issues has political observers perplexed.
“Higgins is a ten year incumbent, has a little bit of seniority in the Congress, and has pervasive name recognition,” says one political operative who has been a longtime fixture in local politics. “But that support, from the very beginning, was shallow and rooted in his party affiliation, not stemming from any charismatic or intellectual skill set as one would expect of substantive leadership.”
He goes on to explain that these are the Reagan Democrat suburbs that elected Jack Kemp and voted overwhelmingly for Carl Paladino.
“These voters like strong personalities and they like decisive personalities,” he says. “Higgins has never been known as decisive and is unsure of his own view of the world. Voters can sense that; they are looking for leadership and notice they are following a guy who doesn’t know where they are going or how to get us there.”
“When you give him responsibilities over National Security, you can see how we live in a much more dangerous world, and why America seems to have retreated from it’s forward posture in the world,” he says. “Keeping America safe is usually a pretty good reason to oust an incumbent, and it’s what puts this district in play.”
As of today, no public polling has been conducted in the 26th Congressional district.
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