Corwin Backlash, Davis Dodders, Bellavia Battles

23 Feb

Yesterday, tea party activist and hater of tolls Rus Thompson appeared on a radio program hosted by some mulleted, paranoid, Islamophobic, little person. There, Rus explained that he was disappointed that the Republican county chairs in NY-26 had rushed to select Jane Corwin, a solidly doctrinal Republican Assemblywoman, to run for that congressional seat.

Rus said good things about Batavian Iraq War veteran – and the Yin to Jon Powers’ Yang – David Bellavia, and Kathy from Williamsville, the Dr. Laura of uninformed jingoism.  When the noxious paranoiac radio host asked Rus whether he was familiar with Corwin’s policy positions, he replied that he wasn’t. He added that he hadn’t looked into them.

Afterwards, I asked this question on Facebook:

Rus Thompson is upset at the Republican chair’s selection of Jane Corwin because he doesn’t know where she stands on issues. Also, he hasn’t looked into them. WTF.

I tagged Rus in that, so it showed up on his wall, and he replied:

Assembly Member Jane L. Corwin refused to tell citizens where he/she stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

That is true – Corwin didn’t fill out the 2010 questionnaire. But…

So why not use the 2008 courage test? No one ran against Corwin in 2010, so why would she have bothered to complete a questionnaire?

It’s interesting that the Democrats are split two or three different ways in WNY, and they openly bicker & fight over patronage jobs and benefits like rabid dogs all the time.  Yet when it comes time to coalesce behind a consensus candidate for high office like House or Senate, they set aside their petty little local differences and get it done.

The Republicans have traditionally been a unified lot, bickering and fighting over jobs and benefits largely behind the scenes while putting forth a unified front to the public. However, the tea party is completely satisfied to call out the party apparatus in public and split the party; on the one hand are those friendly to the apparatus who understand that winning elections is important, but so is handing out jobs and cutting deals. On the other hand is the tea party, which is, itself, split between the Palinists and the Paulists, and insists on having a seat that it hasn’t really earned at the party’s table.

You earn a seat at that table by doing more than just agitating – you have to do the grunt work that electoral politics demands, like petitioning, canvassing, stuffing envelopes, making phone calls, raising & donating money.  The tea party thinks it’s entitled to be an equal with Nick Langworthy because it gets media attention.  But the Palinist tea partiers are just conservative Republicans, nothing more.

In the meantime, tea party hero and serial emailer Carl Paladino has endorsed Jane Corwin’s candidacy:

I’m a proud member of the Tea Party movement in New York, and together we helped change the face of Congress in November. Jane Corwin will be another member in our movement to take our country back. As the 2nd most conservative member of the New York State Assembly in rankings by the New York State Conservative Party and the #1 Legislator of Unshackle Upstate, a New York reform organization, Jane knows we need to slash federal spending, balance the budget, end bailouts, oppose the Obama stimulus package and support repeal of Obamacare.

Not to be outdone, perennial candidate Leonard Roberto has also endorsed Corwin.  (I think we just got a strong hint as to where Roberto got that $50,000 he “personally” injected into his race just a week or so before election day).

It’s fun to watch the shenanigans.

Why go public and claim that Corwin was shoved down people’s throats as a nominee when you (1) aren’t part of the official selection process; (2) didn’t participate in the NY-26 race in 2008 or 2010; (3) haven’t articulated reasons why she’s unqualified or inappropriate; and (4) haven’t even investigated her positions on issues, and claim that they’re unavailable when they are, in fact, readily available?

Jack Davis is a $3 million man without a party.  He has successfully bullied and angered the Democrats and Republicans, because in Jack’s world, money talks, period. Hopefully the Democrats don’t return his undeserved calls, which leaves him with the option of hiring day laborers to gather petition signatures, most of which will be invalid.  The magic number is 3,500, and if Jack can hire a small army of people to get, say, 10,000 signatures, there’s a good chance he finds his way on the ballot. The problem with Davis is that his anti-immigrant, anti-trade xenophobia appeals not just to rightists, but also to many in labor, so it’s somewhat less predictable how his entry in the race might affect the outcome.

Politico is reporting that David Bellavia is “strongly considering” a race on either the Conservative Party line, or some other line. Bellavia was told in 2008 to step aside for Lee, as it wasn’t “his turn”, and he actively campaigned for Lee over the years, and organized veterans to do the same. Now, he believes it’s his turn, not Corwin’s, and he evidently feels betrayed that the party selected the well-funded Assemblywoman over him to run in this race.  National tea party consultants have injected themselves into the race and advocated for his run.  He released this statement (embed via Daily News):


In the meantime, the Democrats are biding their time, not rushing into anything for a race that hasn’t even been declared yet.  As of right now, the election to replace Chris Lee in NY-26 will take place in November 2012.

9 Responses to “Corwin Backlash, Davis Dodders, Bellavia Battles”

  1. peteherr February 23, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I had to laugh the other night when I saw Nick Langworthy say on TV something to the effect of …. I call on Governor Cuomo to call this election quickly so that we can end this taxation without representation.

    Um….Nick……we have this situation because your guy couldn’t act like an adult.

  2. DanB February 23, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Off topic comment but I want to make sure the Cuomo shills don’t miss that even though the honeymoon phase is still in full swing the feeding frenzy of corruption amongst Andrew’s friends has already become apparent:

    If this is how they are starting off imagine how they’ll be a year from now. I am kicking myself for never having invited Andew to stay at my Manhattan triplex though – imagine, he might have given me a whole agency to run as my fiefdom.

  3. Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    If it’s off topic, it’s inappropriate in this thread.  Although I have to say it’s SHOCKING that the New York Times – liberal rag that it is – would so embarrass our new socialist overlords in Albany. It’s also shocking that Andrew Cuomo might have friends who are wealthy and influential.  If there was misconduct, I’m sure it will be investigated and prosecuted.  If not, start your own “Cuomo Corruption” blog and keep it out of a thread regarding NY-26.  

    And yes, any further comments veering off the topic at hand will be summarily deleted without further explanation.  Have a great day!

  4. Mike In WNY February 23, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Your analysis ignores the fundamental problems with politics. The Democrats and Republicans have not “earned” a seat at the table, they have rigged the game to make it nearly impossible for any outside challenges. The “Tea Party” is hardly a quantifiable group. The term better represents the growing awareness of the failings of our government and increased vocal displeasure, wrapped around one basic premise – the need for a smaller, cheaper, less restrictive limited government.

    • Alan Bedenko February 23, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      Well, Mike, having Rus Thompson or Jim Ostrowski calling everyone who works for or funds the party an oligarchical asshole won’t earn anyone any seats at any tables or other favors, but you’re welcome to keep trying.

  5. Mike In WNY February 23, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Of Course Alan, we don’t have a 638 page set of election laws in NY that effectively eliminates political challengers outside the protected 2 party system. Said system is wielded by the local Boards of Elections, which are politically controlled, and back-stopped by the politically chosen judiciary. Changes can only be made if the government officials, backed by said 2 party system, give their legislative approval.

    Perhaps we should model our State Legislature after New Hampshire’s. There is one representative for every 3,300 people. Each paid $200 for a 2 year term.

    BTW, oligarchy does aptly describe the present system.

  6. Jesse February 23, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I’m just satisfied that Alan has decided to acknowledge the difference between the Ron Paul followers who started the Tea Party and the Palinist goofballs who just don’t like librulz. That’s a good first step.

    That said…

    “It’s also shocking that Andrew Cuomo might have friends who are wealthy and influential.”

    You seem to think so when the names include Koch and Walker…..

  7. Starbuck February 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    “anti-immigrant, anti-trade xenophobia”

    It’s interesting to notice the EC Dem Chair Len Lenihan going out of his way in today’s BN to heap public praise on anti-immigrant, xenophobic Jack Davis. Lenihan said he admires him and called him a great American.

    But while Erie County Democratic Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan expressed his admiration for Davis – even calling him a “great American” – he said Tuesday that he and other party leaders will not back Davis again.

  8. Carl February 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    With “friends” like Len Lenihan, why the F do we need enemies?

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