Scozzafava Endorses Owens

1 Nov

Well, NY-23 just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting.

UPDATE:  Let me start off by quoting this from John Cole:

You know the thing that I find most amusing about the NY race is that what they are basically telling every moderate Republican across the country is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a loyal Republican for decades, it doesn’t matter if you know the district and the people, it doesn’t matter if you fit the district, and it doesn’t matter that you have given decades to the party. It just doesn’t matter. If the teabagging wingnuts and the shrieking lunatics like Malkin don’t like you, high profile crackpots like Palin and Dick Armey and others are going to swoop in and back some clown who doesn’t even live in the district and then shit all over the area’s voters, telling them their interests are “parochial.”

There’s no way of knowing for sure who’s going to win, but odds are it’ll be Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate.  After all, there’s a 50,000 person Republican enrollment advantage.

Scozzafava’s rationale for endorsing her former Democratic opponent? Partly principle, partly payback.

Some of it has to do with a traditional tug-of-war among Congressional candidates – macro versus micro.  While House reps certainly are called upon regularly to weigh in on national issues, they are also expected to serve the constituents of their district, know their issues, and consider them carefully. Hoffman is an abject failure on all of those fronts, and he’s proud of it.  Sure, he doesn’t live in the district he wants to represent, but that’s perfectly legal and small potatoes.  (Lake Placid’s issues aren’t going to be altogether too different from those in Plattsburgh or Watertown when all is said and done).

Scozzafava is right to be butthurt about what’s happened to her, because no one ever said she was somehow subpar or ineffective as an Assemblywoman since 1999.  (Well, as effective as a Republican Assemblyperson can be, but I digress).  She’s garnered the support of her constituents regularly for a decade.  One would presume that people like her, or like what she’s done.  Her campaign was beset by failure and missteps, which only helped to hasten its demise. She claims, rightly, that her campaign was hijacked by people who care not one whit about the people and issues of NY-23, but are more concerned with the big-ticket national issues.

Even former Gov. George E. Pataki decided to endorse her conservative opponent.

“George Pataki is probably to the left of me on some issues,” Ms. Scozzafava said. “It leaves me a little baffled.”

No shit.

Upon learning of Scozzafava’s withdrawal, the Owens campaign issued this statement:

Over the course of her career, Dede has always committed to serving the people of Upstate New York before serving a partisan agenda,” he said in a statement. “Now more than ever we need bipartisan solutions to help bring jobs to Upstate New York to get our economy back on track and move our country forward. Those are the kinds of priorities I will fight for in Congress because that’s the kind of leadership Upstate New York needs right now.

The Hoffman campaign, however, was less gracious or conciliatory:

This morning’s events prove what we have said for the last week; this campaign is a horserace between me and Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked candidate, Bill Owens. At this moment, the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party, ACORN, Big Labor and pro-abortion groups are flooding the district with troops and they are flooding the airwaves with a million dollars worth of negative ads. They are throwing mud; they are trying to stop me

Given the juxtaposition of those two statements, on top of everything else, it makes sense that Scozzafava would give Hoffman a massive, “fuck you, too, buddy”.

After Scozzafava’s endorsement of Owens was confirmed, spokespeople for the Hoffman campaign delved into serious self-parody and a complete lack of perspective or sense of irony.  After everyone from Sarah Palin to Fred Thompson to the execrable George Pataxme Pataki jumped on the Hoffman bandwagon, this:

This afternoon Dede Scozzafava betrayed the GOP. She endorsed a Pelosi Democrat who will spend more, tax more, and push the liberal agenda that is dragging down this nation.

The GOP true believers all but got through calling Scozzafava a Marxist whore for the past three weeks, and she betrayed them?  Keep talking, guys.  Also, Pelosi!

If I was a voter in NY-23 and on the fence, the kicker for me would be this item from the Watertown paper.  More to the point, today the Watertown Daily Times switched its endorsement from Scozzafava to Owens:

The Watertown Daily Times initially endorsed Ms. Scozzafava as the best-qualified candidate in the race. We still think she is. However, in suspending her campaign she released her supporters’ commitment to her. That left voters to choose between Mr. Owens and Mr. Hoffman.

Of the two, Bill Owens is by far the superior and only choice.

The Democratic candidate has demonstrated a willingness to listen to people about ways in which he could help the district as their representative in Washington. Mr. Owens has remained focused on the economy and job creation throughout his campaign. At the same time, he has shown an understanding of the military, a keen desire to help dairy farmers, an ability to work with labor unions and an eagerness to learn more about the vast, 11-county district that he hopes to represent.

Mr. Owens seems to approach politics and challenges with an open mind, a generous spirit and a can-do attitude. He has conducted a dignified campaign in comparison to Doug Hoffman.

Mr. Hoffman is running as an ideologue. If he carries out his pledges on earmarks, taxation, labor law reform and other inflexible positions, Northern New York will suffer. This rural district depends on the federal government for an investment in Fort Drum and its soldiers, environmental protection of our international waterway and the Adirondack Park, and the livelihood of all our dairy farmers across the district, among other support. Our representative cannot be locked into rigid promises and policies that would jeopardize these critical sectors of our economy.

For a member of Congress, there may be a time to promote reform in Washington, but there is also a time to work within a system that best serves the people you represent.

It is frightening that Mr. Hoffman is so beholden to right-wing ideologues who dismiss Northern New Yorkers as parochial when people here simply want to know how Mr. Hoffman will protect their interests in Washington.

The race has changed, but voters still face an important choice. Northern New York must send to Congress a representative who serves their interests first and foremost.

The Times endorses Bill Owens for Congress.

Emphasis mine.

23 Responses to “Scozzafava Endorses Owens”

  1. mike hudson November 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    got a whole lot more interesting? you’ve been interested in it for a month, alan. and afflicting us with updates, constant updates. so nobody gave a shit about your heroine repug dede scozzafava enough to donate two cents to her campaign. and nobody gave a shit about her enough to say they liked her in the polls. she sucked so bad that a guy who is a member of a party that was just invented and doesn’t even in exist in the vast majority of these united states managed to beat her by 15 percent in the polls, and now you think, that because she says she likes this guy instead of that guy, anyone’s gonna give a shit?
    that’s some political strategy, alan.

    looking forward to discussing this, the sheriff’s race and more on tuesday night.

  2. Alan Bedenko November 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    I’ve been posting about this for less than a week. The fact that you can’t even get that basic little easily verifiable fact straight underscores how silly you are. Scozzafava my “heroine”? I want the Democrat to win. And this is all so boring to the self-anointed Niagara Falls intelligentsia, that he’s left almost a dozen comments about it in the last 48 hours. Thanks for caring.

  3. ike November 1, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    Isn’t this horrible “purge” strategy basically the same one that Howard Dean successfully employed as head of the DNC?

    you remember, Howard “the democratic wing of the democratic party” Dean?

  4. The Humanist November 1, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

    Some folks get a little testy around Daylight Saving Time when the liquor stores open an hour later.

    As a Democrat, my sole interest in the NY-23 race is watching the nascent civil war in the GOP where moderate Republicans who favor civil rights and responsible fiscal policy are having a jihad waged on them by the Palin/Beck/Limbaugh/Teabag consortium. It is always nice to see the other side engage in some ideological fratricide.

  5. mike hudson November 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    i never said i was bored, alan. pathological group behavior is one of my hobbies.

  6. The Humanist November 1, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    @ ike – no, that would be the “50 state strategy” that Dean employed at the DNC, where he invested resources and recruited competitive candidates in every state (not just swing states), even those that Democrats had performed terribly in for decades. Dean committed the party to winning elections at every level in every region of the country and put his money where his mouth was by raising money directly for individual state parties. The electoral victories in 2006 and, especially, 2008 (where Obama won traditional Republican strongholds like Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia) vindicated that strategy.

    Compare that to the current joke that is the RNC, which is struggling to hold onto seats in traditionally Republican districts, like NY-23.

  7. Howard Owens November 1, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    I want to get some bumper stickers made up, “Parochial and Proud.”

  8. mike hudson November 1, 2009 at 11:31 pm #

    humanist will be so sad an weepy when the arrogant dems lose congress next year. as if it even fucking mattered.

  9. The Humanist November 1, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    @ Mike Hudson – that is a possibility. Another possibility is that health care reform (with a public option) is passed this year and Congress’ approval rating goes up. Anything is possible and while the GOP wingnuts in Congress are being obstructionist assholes, that does not excuse the Democrats from not using their majorities in both houses to pass meaningful legislation.

    Democrats aren’t arrogant…we’re just fed up with Republicans embracing Teabagism (because God forbid the Democrats get credit for meaningful reform) and the Democrats in Congress who enable them.

  10. ike November 1, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    Sure pundit, that and a focus on getting candidates who refuse to apolgoize for being democrats…

    same thing republican grassroots are demanding

  11. Mike In WNY November 2, 2009 at 12:32 am #

    Pataki, in retrospect, realizes the error of his ways as a big spending, big government RINO in a liberal state. He sold his soul and now he is trying to atone for it. Of course Hoffman is interested in “federal issues” – he is running for Congress. We’ve seen the results of locally oriented members of Congress like Scozzafava , earmarks and a ruined economy. Scozzafava are represents subsidies and big spending, that is why she is out of the race.

  12. Ward November 2, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    Scuzzy showing her true colors–good riddance.

    Sorry, Pundit–Owens now leads in the polls 54 – 38. Guess Sullivan, Kos and BP imposing their vision on NY 23 isn’t quite going according to plan. Seems Scuzzy’s endorsement is about as impressive as her candidacy was.

  13. Chris November 2, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    This isn’t about the GOP trying to purge their ranks of “moderates”. Scuzzy isn’t “moderate” by any stretch of the imagination. She’s a liberal.

    This is about purging the GOP of Democrats. Good riddance.

  14. Hank November 2, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    At the end of the day, all that was done was a move by the Conservative wing of the Republican Party to tell Liberal and Moderate Republicans that if they play Democrat Lite, they will lose.

    I’m surprised she dropped out, as most Republicans in positions of power in NYS aren’t really Republicans anyway, just slightly Conservative Democrats.
    Guess we’ll know tomorrow if Conservatives take the day in NY-23. Big slap in the face for Barry if it does. Even worse if Corzine loses the NJ Governor’s race. IMO the big issue again are independent voters. They swung to Barry for Change, but now don’t much care for the change they got.

  15. Ward November 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    How long before Scuzzy switches her party affiliation? Her union-thug hubby has been pitching this to his Dem buddies for a while now.

  16. The Humanist November 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    I think the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just added moderate Republicans to the endangered species list.

    And, by the way….Hoffman’s money master, Club for Growth, made Dougie sign a pledge that he wouldn’t help his constituents or his district’s largest employer once he’s in office just so Sarah Palin thinks he’s still cool. Hope folks remember that on the way into the voting booth.

  17. jesse November 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29013.html

    What will she get out of the deal?

    On earmarks: Sure they’re a small part of the budget, but they are absolutely symptomatic of an underlying disease called corruption.

  18. The Humanist November 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    @ jesse – well, for one, not being called a Marxist whore by her alleged party brethren (h/t to Pundit)

    Also…..when Rep. McHugh secured $114 million over the past decade for Fort Drum (the largest employer in his district) that most certainly saved the post from closure in 2005….was that more Chicago-style gangster politics or an example of a representative acting in the best interests of his consituents and his district?

  19. The Humanist November 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    constituents, sorry

  20. Hank November 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    @ Humanist Really dig your knowledge of today’s armed forces. I’m sure had you actually served, your rifle would be in excellent condition–never fired, and only dropped once!

    Try looking at it this way. The Army uses Drum for the HQ of the 10th Mountain Division. The Adiraondacks are an outstanding place for Mountain troops to train, climate and terrain comparible to the passes in the alps where mountain troops have been used since the days of the Roman Legions.

    Do you want the 114 million to go to NY, or some other mountain state where the Army would end up placing the 10th Mountain Div? I’d say it’s the best interests of NYS, and the residents of the area working on the government’s payroll. If you consider it, you must think that there wouldn’t be a lot of jobs for all those people who work on the base, making good money, that the state can get income tax and sales tax out of.

  21. The Humanist November 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    @ Hank – I must have missed the section of my comment where I said Rep. McHugh’s earmarks for his district were a bad thing.

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