The endorsement was announced at the opening of the Florida Democratic Party Field Office in Winter Park and featured remarks from Senior Votes Count! co-founder, Jon Bauman, who is best known as “Bowzer” from the hit TV series and musical group, “Sha Na Na.”
“Just because I love music from the 50’s and 60’s, doesn’t mean I want to return to that time because that was a time before medicare.” said Bauman “We fight to elect leaders that will protect and advance the quality of life for older Americans and we’ve found one of those leaders in Stephanie Murphy.”
Murphy is challenging longtime incumbent John Mica in what has become one of the most competitive races in the state. The DCCC has thrown their full support behind Murphy with fundraising and logistical support, along with a prime time speaking slot at the Democratic nation convention. The 7th Congressional District consists of all of Seminole County and parts of Orange County.
After his remarks and a few short songs, Bauman, who also voiced support for Hillary Clinton, lead attendees into the new office to sign up for phone banking shifts.
Murphy was grateful for the support saying “It is because of your generation, that I have had the opportunities that I’ve been given.”
Senior Votes Count! to Endorse Stephanie Murphy
TV Star Jon “Bowzer” Bauman to Join Murphy to Attend Opening of Florida Democratic Party Field Office in Winter Park
ORLANDO – On Friday, September 30, 2016, at 5:30 PM, Senior Votes Count! – the first seniors organization created with a specific electoral purpose – will endorse businesswoman and former national security specialist Stephanie Murphy, the Democrat running for Congress in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District. She will be joined by Senior Votes Count! co-founder, Jon Bauman, who is best known as “Bowzer” from the hit TV series and musical group, “Sha Na Na.” Both Murphy and Bauman will then attend the Florida Democratic Party Field Office Grand Opening in Winter Park.
Senior Votes Count! Endorses Katie McGinty As Only Candidate In PA Seniors Can Trust to Protect Social Security and Medicare
Today, Senior Votes Count! announced its endorsement of Katie McGinty in her race against Joe Sestak and John Fetterman for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in Pennsylvania. Senior Votes Count! co-founder Jon “Bowzer” Bauman highlighted that McGinty is the only candidate in the race who Pennsylvania seniors can trust to protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security.
“We are proud to stand with Katie McGinty. In the U.S. Senate, Katie will stand with Pennsylvania seniors to keep Medicare and Social Security strong,” said Bauman.
SVC believes McGinty is the clear choice for Pennsylvania seniors in this race. McGinty’s opponent, Joe Sestak, continues to tout his support of a budget proposal that would increase health care costs for seniors on Medicare and gut Social Security benefits.
“Let me be clear: the budget proposal Joe Sestak supports would be an absolute disaster for Pennsylvania seniors who depend on Medicare and Social Security. Instead of defending the earned benefits seniors have worked their entire lives for, Sestak is advocating for gutting these vital programs. That’s indefensible. By touting this shortsighted budget plan, Joe Sestak has turned his back on and abandoned Pennsylvania seniors,” added Bauman.
SVC ANNOUNCES 1ST ENDORSEMENT OF 2016 CYCLE!
Senior Votes Count endorses Katie McGinty in her race against Joe Sestak and John Fetterman for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in Pennsylvania. Sestak continues to tout the Bowles-Simpson report of 2010 as “the template upon which you can address both the needed raise in revenues and the proper reform of entitlements” (PA Press Club 29:50, 1/25/16).
SVC rejects both the conclusions of Bowles-Simpson and the use of the term “entitlements” when referring to Social Security and Medicare. Katie McGinty supports protecting and expanding Social Security and protecting Medicare, not cutting these earned benefits programs in any way for Americans who have paid into them for their entire lives.
Senior Votes Count endorsed candidates and participated in endorsement events in 35 races in 2014—22 U.S. House of Representatives, 7 U.S. Senate and 6 Gubernatorial. We expect to participate in a similar number of contests in 2016.
OUR MISSION: TO ELECT LEADERS WHO WILL PROTECT AND ADVANCE THE RIGHTS OF OLDER AMERICANS
Senior Votes Count! is the first Seniors organization created with a specifically electoral purpose. Seniors vote. They show up in the “on” years and the “off” years. And they tend to make up a large share of the electorate in “swing” states and “swing” districts—where elections are the hardest fought and where the balance of power is most frequently decided.
In both 2010 and 2012, issues related to Social Security and Medicare were the subject of constant electoral messaging and advertising, especially in critical close races that determined the makeup of the U.S. Congress. Continuing efforts to “voucherize” Medicare and privatize Social Security were deceptively portrayed as attempts to “save” those treasured and popular programs. Social Security was falsely said to “increase the national debt,” and legitimate efforts to end wasteful insurance company subsidies that were supposed to have been phased out years before were painted as “cuts to Medicare.”
The disconnect between deceptive campaign messaging to seniors and reality has been stark. Since the 2012 campaign, have we heard anything from seniors who have experienced any of those “Medicare cuts?” The answer is an emphatic “No!” because these “cuts” as portrayed simply didn’t exist. But the deceptive messaging still took its toll, and well-intentioned candidates were all too often ill prepared to counteract wild claims designed to arouse fear in the vulnerable senior population with clear, direct messages of their own.
Changing that paradigm is what Senior Votes Count! is all about.
Read on for some of our press in 2014.
Democrats are also turning to a not so-secret weapon this year: Jon “Bowzer” Bauman and Senior Votes Count.
The battle for the senior vote Oct 26, 2014 9:44am by Jeff Singer
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman stumps for Florida Democrat Gwen Graham
Bauman has been a staple in Democratic special election campaigns since 2011. This year he and Senior Votes Count have been advocating for Democratic candidates across the country, and Bauman has stumped for 35 different campaigns so far. The group is not specifically a Democratic organization. In a September phone interview, Bauman told me that the group does send its questionnaire out to candidates from both parties, and would be open to backing a Republican who was better on senior issues than the Democratic opponent, though he emphasized, “Senior Votes Count has yet to be able to find one. So don’t hold your breath.” He added that SVC does not send questionnaires to incumbents who have a proven track record on senior issues one way or the other, since “actions speak way louder than words.”
Bauman says no Republican who has received the questionnaire has bothered to return it, so when it comes to candidates who are working to stop Social Security from being privatized and prevent Medicare from being turned into a voucher system, there is only one real party for Senior Votes Count to choose from this year. Bowzer also emphasized that local issues that matter to seniors, including homestead tax credits and property taxes, and can be quite significant, particularly in gubernatorial races. Since seniors are more likely to be homeowners, these issues very much matter to them, even when they don’t receive as much attention in campaign ads as Social Security and Medicare.
Bauman has been campaigning hard on behalf of Democrats among seniors. He’s arguing that despite Republican attempts to demonize Obamacare, it won’t work this time. Now that the program is actually taking effect, seniors can evaluate how it works for them, and that by and large it has been working better than they expected. While last year’s rollout was problematic, things have since stabilized. The massive cuts to Medicare the GOP has been warning about never occurred, and voters are realizing that. The Republicans have responded by continuing to rant about Obamacare and falsely accusing Democrats of trying to help undocumented immigrants get on Social Security.
Senior Votes Count’s events have been drawing good numbers, and have been generating headlines for Democratic candidates. “Bowzer” knows his celebrity status among older voters is a major help, although he emphasizes these events are about substance even if he throws a bit of music in. It’s a good bet that seniors will still back the GOP in the next election, but if groups like Senior Votes Count can move the needle even a few points, it can make all the difference in plenty of tight races.
There are certainly plenty of tight races to choose from. Democrats are continuing to work to expand the electorate and appeal to left-leaning younger voters who didn’t show up in 2010. However, it’s clear that senior voters remain a coveted demographic. If Team Blue wants to hold the Senate, it can’t afford to concede older voters. Both parties are aiming much of their messaging at seniors: The 2014 election may come down to whether Democrats can successfully argue that the Republicans aren’t looking out for seniors, or if the Republicans’ anti-Obamacare campaign works again.
Senior Votes Count! Endorses Joe Garcia for Congress www.youtube.com
BY THEO DOUGLAS The Bakersfield Californian [email protected]
Tuesday, Oct 07 2014 06:31 PM
RENTERIA, DHINDSA BRING BOWZER
Don’t sing “Good Night Sweetheart” yet.
Sha Na Na member Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, a not unfamiliar presence in Democratic campaigns and late ’70s TV variety shows, has an encore left in him.
Bauman warmed up the Cal State Bakersfield crowd Tuesday for Vice President Joe Biden — and he’ll be at Wilson Park in Ward 7 Friday night at 6 to continue stumping for local Democrats.
On Friday, Bauman will lend his support — and baritone, and quite possibly, signature pose — to candidates including 21st Congressional District challenger Amanda Renteria and Dhindsa.
“We actually decided a while ago that we were going to do an event together and it just turned into this event,” said Dhindsa, who spoke Tuesday as well, immediately after Bauman, who’s lent his support to other Dems in recent years.
Sha Na Na played Woodstock right before Jimi Hendrix — who played Bakersfield in ’68 — but Dhindsa confessed he’s not entirely conversant with the group’s latter-day take on ’50s street-corner doo-wop stylings.
“It’s a little bit before my time, to be honest,” said Dhindsa, who does “like listening to classic rock and songs that I guess would be a little bit older for my generation.”
Vice President Joe Biden stumps in Bakersfield for congressional candidate Amanda Renteria
The Fresno Bee October 7, 2014
Organizers even got Jon Bauman — Bowzer from the 1950s retro band Sha Na Na that gained fame in the ‘70s and who is now an official senior citizen and co-founder of Senior Votes Count! — to speak. His message, besides saying his organization was endorsing Renteria, was to tell those present to participate in the process.
Scott Peters Wednesday October 8th, 2014
Pete Aguilar for Congress, October 6 2014
Bowzer, from the 70’s music group, Sha Na Na, endorses democrats
Thursday, October 2 2014, 07:20 PM EDT
STATE WIDE (WGME) — For those of us old enough to remember, the guy “Bowzer” from the 70’s music group “Sha na na,” is singing a different tune. He’s endorsing two democrats on the ballot next month.
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman is endorsing Emily Cain in her bid for congress and Representative Mike Michaud who is running for governor.
Bauman is co-founder of Senior Votes Counts, a group he says is dedicated to electing leaders who protect and advance the rights of older people.
“I am associated with the music of the 50’s and early 60’s. And I love the music of the 50’s and early 60’s. But that does not mean I want to go back to the 50’s and the early 60’s, a time before Medicare when 35% of American seniors lived in poverty.” Bauman said.
Bauman has been advocating for senior issues at political campaigns across America for the last ten years.
Michaud, Cain Receive Endorsement of Senior Votes Count! in Lewiston Tomorrow
Augusta – Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, the co-founder of Senior Votes Counts!, will endorse Democratic candidates Rep. Mike Michaud and Emily Cain at a special event in Lewiston tomorrow, Oct. 2 at the Franco-American Heritage Center. More than 100 people are expected to rally for Michaud’s bid for governor and Cain’s bid for congress in CD2 and their vision for protecting the rights and livelihoods of Maine seniors.
Senior Votes Count! is a group dedicated to electing leaders who will protect and advance the rights of older Americans. Bauman is best known as “Bowzer” from the hit TV series and musical group,” Sha Na Na.” For the past decade, he’s been advocating for seniors across the country and has been a surrogate on senior issues for dozens of winning political campaigns. For a complete bio, click here.
Michaud and Cain were recently earned the endorsement from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), an organization dedicated to protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits for all communities and generations.
Senior Votes Count! Endorsement for Michaud & Cain: Wednesday, Oct. 2:
WHO: Rep. Mike Michaud, Emily Cain, Jon Bauman and more than 100 supporters.
WHAT: Senior Votes Count! Campaign Rally
WHERE: Lewiston Franco-American Heritage Center
46 Cedar St, Lewiston, Maine
WHEN: 11 a.m – 12 p.m.
Bauman will attend other senior events in Lewiston and Topsham with Democratic supporters. Please contact Rachel Irwin, [email protected] for a complete schedule.
Rachel Irwin Communications Director Maine Democratic Party
Yowza! Its Bowzer! (On Social Security)
By New York Times writer Jada F. Smith
Jon Bauman put some bass in his voice, added a greaser twang and sang: “Bum bum bum bum ding-a-dong ding, I love Social Security!”
Not the usual approach for political advocacy, certainly, but Mr. Bauman is better known as Bowzer, the T-shirt-wearing front man for the rock ‘n’ roll group Sha Na Na.
Mr. Bauman, 67, was on a conference call arranged by organizations denouncing a proposed measure in Arkansas that opponents say would cut benefits for older Americans.
In the 45 years since Sha Na Na performed at Woodstock and later crooned in leather jackets on their self-titled TV show, Mr. Bauman has been employing Bowzer to back Democrats in congressional races, help promote legislation and beat back challenges to Social Security. He almost always sings.
“He’s very popular, especially among folks 50 and older who grew up watching his show,” said Eric Bauman, his nephew and vice chairman of the California Democratic Party.
Bowzer’s appeal to a coveted demographic in American politics has not gone unnoticed. In the past month, he has stumped for candidates for Congress and for governor in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He also worked on the passage of “truth in music” legislation to protect artists from impostors and predatory management, and he helped found Senior Votes Count!, a group that aims to advance the rights of older Americans.
“You all associate me with the music of the ’50s and ’60s,” he said on the call. “But that does not mean I actually want to go back or think it’s a good idea to go back to the ’50s and ’60s, a time before Medicare, when 35 percent of seniors in America lived below the poverty line.”
Evidently Mr. Bauman is determined to make sure that social programs, like rock ‘n’ roll, are here to stay.
Democrats Kickoff Early Voting
Candidate for Iowa Lieutenant Governor, Monica Vernon, joined other democrats at the Flying Weenie in Cedar Rapids on Thursday to kick off early voting. Vernon says she and her part want to draw attention to not just early voting, but getting Iowans out to vote in general. She says democrats have always done well in early voting and that it offers Iowans a chance to plan ahead in case they can’t make it to the polls on November 4th. “We want people to have a plan,” Vernon said. “When are you going to vote? I think if they start planning, they may realize, ‘oh, goodness, we’re going to be out of town that week of the actual polls and voting in November, or, who knows if you’re going to get sick or whatever? So it is such a wonderful thing we have a right to do here in this country.” Democrats held similar rallies across Iowa on Thursday, including ones in Iowa City, Dubuque, and Des Moines. Early voting began Thursday and will run through November 3rd, or the day before Election Day.
Sha Na Na’s Bowzer aids voter drive in Waterloo
Murphy, a Dubuque state lawmaker, held a campaign stop in Waterloo on Thursday where he received the endorsement of Sha Na Na band member Jon “Bowzer” Bauman and touted the importance of getting out the vote for Democrats this fall. Absentee voting began Thursday.
“We did not do a very good job of getting out the vote in 2010, and it wasn’t a good year,” Murphy said.
He contrasted that with the importance of getting Democrats to turn out this year to protect the federal programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
“The bottom line is I have talked about preserving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in its present forms. My opponent has actually talked and put in writing putting Social Security on Wall Street and going to private forms of retirement benefits,” Murphy said.
Bauman used his speech, addressing Democrats at their local headquarters, to talk about the distinction between Murphy and his Republican opponent Rod Blum on the issues Bauman and Murphy refuse to call entitlements.
Bauman, who is among the founders of an organization called Senior Votes Count, said Murphy hit the right notes to protect and preserve the programs they call “earned benefits.” Bauman said it’s his pet peeve Medicare and Social Security are called entitlements because it mischaracterizes the federal programs people pay into.
“Our mission is to elect leaders who will protect and advance the rights and the quality of life of older Americans,” Bauman said. “And I’m here today in Waterloo because we are going to endorse for Congress in Iowa’s 1st congressional district one such leader.”
Murphy and Bauman were equally passionate about the federal programs and criticized Blum’s stance — mostly pulled from his time as a conservative columnist for the Dubuque Telegraph Herald — on those issues.
Blum’s campaign responded by arguing that Murphy is playing politics with this issue and others like immigration reform.
“Career politicians like Pat Murphy always start with scare tactics,” Blum’s communications director Keegan Conway said. “He claims that anyone who wants to have a serious conversation about preserving Social Security and Medicare is in fact trying to destroy it, using words like ‘privatize’ to frighten elderly voters.”
Conway said Blum acknowledges the “fiscal reality” that the programs are in danger and need to be reformed to continue for this generation and future generations. Murphy, however, argues the programs are solvent, and with some tweaks, the programs are viable for the long term.
Bauman noted aside from referring to them as “earned benefits,” Murphy will not vote to raise the retirement age of Social Security, will not vote to convert Medicare or Medicaid to state block grant programs and will not vote to make Medicare a voucher program to get insurance on the private market, among others.
Bauman also entertained the crowd of about two dozen by playing songs on a keyboard, including signing off with a cover of “Goodnight Sweetheart” that encouraged people to get out to vote.
Because people could request ballots before early voting began on Thursday, Black Hawk County has already had 6,784 absentee ballot requests as of Thursday. Democrats have requested 58 percent of those ballots with 3,944.
People not registered with a party followed with 1,460 absentee ballot requests in Black Hawk County, with Republicans at 1,380.
Those numbers are running ahead of the count during the off-year election four years ago, when at this time there had been 3,995 absentee ballot requests. Those numbers, however, are dwarfed by the turnout in the 2012 presidential election year, where with 40 days to go there had been nearly 10,000 absentee ballot requests.
Black Hawk County Auditor Grant Veeder said the first day of early voting at the courthouse is going smoothly, and while the turnout is good, he expects it to pick up as the election nears. He said the auditor’s office expects the “trend is ever upward” when it comes to early voting; when comparing like elections, each election year bests the previous cycle.
Both parties have made clear this election cycle they’re urging supporters to vote early. Though Republicans have traditionally lagged in early voting turnout, the candidates and party leaders have been on the campaign trail this year pushing absentee voting.
Sha Na Na singer helps local Democrats
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, a former member of the 70’s music group Sha Na Na, performed Wednesday at the Fort Madison Democratic Headquarters, 827 Ave. H, and spoke to volunteers there. Bauman, co-founder of the national organization Senior Votes Count, told audience members his organization has decided to back Bruce Braley for U. S. Senate based on Braley’s voting record and how it favored seniors. Bauman was there to officially kick off the Democratic Party’s Phone Banking Program to encourage all Democrats to vote at the polls or to vote early at the Auditor’s office or by requesting a ballot by mail. While on hand, Bauman performed a few songs made famous from his days as a performer.
Sha Na Na’s ‘Bowzer’ stumps for Enyart in Belleville
By JACQUELINE LEE News-Democrat September 24, 2014
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman discusses Medicare and Social Security on Tuesday at the Pie Pantry in downtown Belleville. Bauman was a spokesman for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare during the 2012 election cycle, and he started Senior Votes Count, a political action committee, this year. U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart listens at right. DERIK HOLTMANN — [email protected]
Bauman opposes candidates who are for the privatization of Social Security — as he said, turning taxpayer money “over to Wall Street” — and turning Medicare into a voucher-based program.
Enyart, D-Belleville, would maintain or expand the programs, unlike his 12th Congressional District GOP opponent, state Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, Bauman said.
Bost’s spokesman said Bost supports preserving and protecting both Medicare and Social Security.
In the 2012 election cycle, Bauman was a spokesman for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. This year he started Senior Votes Count, a political action committee.
Bauman said people associate him with the 1950s because of his music, but he would not want to return to that time period because it was before Medicare was in place.
As Bauman talked about preserving earned benefits for seniors, he at times took on the persona of “Bowzer” and played the piano at the restaurant.
Bauman played a song in honor of his mother, who was a public school teacher in Brooklyn, New York, and said her quality of life in retirement was much better than her parents’ because of Social Security and Medicare.
“In later life, she had dignity and independence,” Bauman said.
Sha Na Na star ‘Bowzer’ stumps for Michigan Senate candidate Gary Peters Wednesday at two Senior Votes Count! events
Gongwer: Former ‘Sha Na Na’/’Grease’ Star To Campaign For Peters – Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, who starred in the 1977-81 television variety program “Sha Na Na” and had a role in the 1978 movie “Grease” as part of the band Johnny Casino and the Gamblers, will be in Flint and East Lansing on Wednesday to campaign for U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate. He also is backing Democrat Jerry Cannon of Fife Lake in the 1st U.S. House District.
MIRS: Sha Na Na & Grease Star Stumps For Peters – Sha Na Na and Grease Star Jon “Bowzer” BAUMAN is campaigning this week for U.S. Senate candidate Gary PETERS this week at events in Flint and Lansing. He’s also doing stops for Democratic congressional candidates Jerry CANNON in the 1st and Pam BYRNES in the 8th. Bauman is known for portraying “Bowzer” on the 1970s and 1980s hit TV show “Sha Na Na” and starred in “Grease.” In Sha Na Na’s heyday, Flint was the show’s highest market share in the country.
Flint Journal: Sha Na Na star ‘Bowzer’ stumps for Michigan Senate candidate Gary Peters – A Michigan candidate for the United States Senate is looking for a boost among senior voters from an unlikely place. Specifically, a 33-year-old music act and its television show. Jon Bauman, known for his role as Bowzer in “Sha Na Na” was scheduled to visit Flint and Lansing Wednesday, Sept. 17, to talk to seniors about the race. There was a time when the show was on the air that it’s largest market share came from the Flint area. “I love the music of the ’50s and the early ’60s, but that does not mean I want to return to a time before Medicare when 35 percent of seniors lived below the poverty line,” Bauman said in a statement.
Oakland Politics (Charlie Crumm): Bowzer for Peters in Michigan Senate race – Finally a bit of a break in the months of negative advertising on behalf of candidates in Michigan’s high-profile U.S. Senate race. In that race, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield, Mich., Democrat, is running for Senate against former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. Peters’ campaign announced Tuesday, Sept. 16, that Jon ‘Bowzer’ Bauman, former member of the band Sha Na Na, will campaign for Peters Wednesday at two Senior Votes Count! events in Flint and Lansing. Bauman, now 67, is an advocate for seniors issues. Peters has been, by far, the more physically visible of the two candidates.
WNEM: To Genesee County now, a Michigan candidate gets a celebrity endorsement. “Sha Na Na” and G”rease” Star Jon Bauman, better known as Bowzer, was out campaigning for Senate candidate Gary Peters in Flint today, outlining the stakes for Michigan seniors in this November election. “They’re reliable voters, but they still need t come out for sure and they need to also understand what’s important for them and what’s in their own best interest, who to vote for in their own best interest. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
WSYM: A familiar face was on the campaign trail today. Jon “Bowzer” Bauman was in East Lansing to show his support for Gary Peters. You may remember him from the do-wop group “Sha Na Na” and the “Grease” movies. We asked the actor and musician how he got involved in politics. “My involvement really began as a started doing fewer and fewer Bowzer shows, even though I was still doing about thirty a year, and I’ve taken more and more time, you know, to crisscross the country and really fight for seniors.” Bauman is part of the group Senior Votes Count!, which raises awareness and support for issues that affect seniors like Medicare and Social Security.
WDBM: [11:45] Another big race in Michigan this year is to replace Carl Levin in the U.S. Senate and the Democratic nominee, Congressman Gary Peters and on the phone with us right now is someone I – if you asked me who would be coming to Michigan to campaign for Gary Peters, I would not have said Bowzer from Sha Na Na, but Jon Bauman, better known as Bowzer is on the phone with us right now, welcome to City Pulse.
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman from Sha Na Na Campaigns for Cannon at “Senior Vote Counts” Rally to Highlight Senior Issues
TRAVERSE CITY – Retired General and candidate for Congress, Jerry Cannon welcomed entertainer and musician Jon “Bowzer” Bauman to Northern Michigan. Jon “Bowzer” Bauman highlighted the “Senior Vote Counts” project to help raise awareness about senior issues and encourage seniors to get out and vote.
“I am here to raise awareness about senior issues and let people know how important it is to preserve Social Security and Medicare. Congressman Benishek still doesn’t get it,” said Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, entertainer and musician. “Congressman Benishek doesn’t realize how much seniors depend on Social Security to live and how it affects their household budgets. Not having Social Security can have devastating consequences.”
Congressman Benishek has publicly supported the end of Social Security and has voted against measures to protect the program. He has also voted to raise Medicare costs on Michiganders by thousands of dollars while cutting taxes for millionaires like himself.
Gen. Cannon echoed Jon “Bowzer” Bauman’s sentiments. “We need to protect Social Security and Medicare, and Congressman Benishek’s willingness to privatize Social Security and risk thousands of seniors’ retirements is irresponsible and dangerous.”
Benishek Supported Privatizing Social Security and Medicare. In 2010, Benishek voiced his support for privatizing Social Security and Medicare at a candidates’ forum. “Social Security and Medicare are bankrupt, and cannot be sustained the way they are. There’s going to need to be some tough votes made as to how we’re going to change this. I agree that privatizing Social Security and Medicare is the only way to do it.” [Escanaba Candidate Forum, 7/28/10]
Congressman Benishek Voted Against Protecting Social Security Benefits from Privatization. In March 2011, Benishek voted against a measure that would have prohibited continuing appropriations funds for fiscal year 2011 for being used in developing or implementing a system that cuts Social Security benefits or that privatizes Social Security. The amendment also prohibited funds from being used to develop or implement a system that cuts Medicare benefits, eliminates guaranteed health coverage for seniors or establishes a Medicare voucher plan that limits payments to beneficiaries in order to purchase health care in the private sector. The motion failed 190-239. [HJR 48, Vote #178, 2/15/11]
Congressman Benishek Voted to Cut Medicare’s Guaranteed Benefit. In 2011, Benishek voted for the 2011 budget resolution proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [H Con Res 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Associated Press, 4/15/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]
- Ryan Budget would Replace the Current Medicare Program with “Vouchers.” In April 2011, Max Richtman, executive vice-president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, told an audience that Ryan’s 2012 budget plan “would replace the current Medicare program with vouchers and leave seniors and the disabled – some of our most vulnerable Americans – hostage to the whims of the private marketplace.” [NCPSSM press release, 4/05/11]
- Republican Budget Would Increase Medicare Costs by Thousands. In 2011, the USA Todayreported that the House Republican budget passed in April would cost beneficiaries an average of $6,400 more annually, based on estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. [USA Today,10/03/11]
- Republican Budget would Give Millionaires a $125,000 Tax Cut. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, under the Republican budget “people with incomes over $1 million would receive average tax cuts of $125,000 a year.” [CBPP, 4/20/11]
Wolf brings ‘Bowzer’ to senior citizens rally
September 10. 2014 6:08PM
By Bill O’Boyle [email protected]
WILKES-BARRE — Rock and roll performer Jon “Bowzer” Bauman got the crowd of about 150 senior citizens in a party mood Wednesday afternoon at Genetti’s, setting the stage for a brief campaign stop by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf. Bauman, who was a member of the group Sha Na Na and now heads “Bowzer’s Rock and Roll Party,” uses his celebrity status to support candidates sensitive to issues affecting older Americans. On Wednesday Bauman talked about Wolf’s plan to lower real estate taxes and the importance of keeping the Pennsylvania Lottery run by state employees.
But the event’s main attraction was Wolf, who told the crowd that though polls have him ahead of Republican incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett, “the only poll that counts is the one taken on Nov. 4 — Election Day.
“I need you to get out and vote for me on Nov. 4,” he told the crowd.
Wolf, 65, said Pennsylvania should be doing more for senior citizens, an issue that he takes personally because his father is 93 and his mother is 91. “We have to care for our seniors,” he said. “We have to have a state that recognizes the importance of life at all stages. I want to make Pennsylvania better.”
Wolf said he wouldn’t eliminate property taxes, but his plan would lower them significantly. He said the state now contributes 30 percent to the public education budget. Wolf said that should increase to 50 percent, with a significant savings to property owners. “By increasing the state’s share for public education, there would be a corresponding decrease in property taxes,” he said.
Megan Sweeney, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, said Wolf’s tax plan would shift some of the burden to married couples filing joint tax returns.
“At a time when Wolf pays a much lower tax rate than the average Pennsylvanian, his attempt to force married couples to pay even more in taxes is yet another example of his hypocritical policies,” Sweeney said. “Does Tom Wolf care about the effects of his marriage penalty tax will hurt middle class couples in our Commonwealth? What does Tom Wolf say to couples who will be forced to drastically alter their tax filings in order to avoid his latest tax scheme?”
Bowser, Eddie Day
The political stop had its light moments. Bauman, 66, and state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, a retired teacher, performed a song on stage and then posed for pictures.
Bauman also played Chopin on the keyboard, telling the audience that he attended Julliard School of Music and he dreamed of playing Carnegie Hall. When he finally got there, he was with Sha Na Na. “But my mother was still proud,” he said, adding his mother worked as a public school librarian. “She would not be happy with $1 billion in cuts to public education.” “This state has taken great strides in providing a better quality of life for its older residents,” he said. “We want to make sure those benefits remain intact or even get better. That’s another reason why we need to elect Tom Wolf.”
PA Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf campaigns in ‘Senior Votes Count’ rally with help from ‘Bowzer’ of Sha Na Na
Tom Wolf, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, campaigned in a “Senior Votes Count” rally today at The Manor at Oakridge in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County.
Wolf’s mother, Cornelia Wolf, took the microphone to speak about her son at the rally.
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, of Sha Na Na, also made an appearance at the rally, playing songs on the piano and signing autographs.
Senior Votes Count! Endorses Woolf
September 02, 2014 3:43 pm
Democratic and Working Families Party congressional candidate Aaron Woolf on Tuesday announced that Senior Votes Count!, a national political advocacy group that focuses on health care, Social Security and voter identification issues, has endorsed his candidacy.
Here is a link to the group’s policy statement. “Millions of Americans every year rely on Social Security and Medicare for a safe and dignified retirement,” Woolf said in a press release.
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, the group’s cofounder, endorsed Woolf and campaigned with him last week.
Woolf, a filmmaker from Elizabethtown, is running in the 21st Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, is not seeking re-election. The Republican and Conservative Party candidate is Elise Stefanik, a plywood company vice president and former White House policy adviser from Willsboro.
Stefanik has said there should be no changes in Medicare or Social Security for those “at or near” retirement, but changes should be considered for future retirees. The Green Party candidate is Matt Funiciello, a bread company owner and political activist from Glens Falls. Funiciello has said Medicare should be expanded to provide mandatory coverage for everyone, and that the cap on income subject to Social Security taxes should be increased.
Click here to read a Post-Star report about Medicare issues in the 21st Congressional District race
Lama lama ding dong – thank you Bowzer for your #NY23 endorsement on behalf of Senior Votes Count!