Archive | May, 2011

Congresswoman-Elect Kathy Hochul (#NY26) [UPDATED]

25 May

(UPDATE:  Tom Donahue, Shelly Schratz, and Corey Griswold had me on WECK 1230-AM this morning to talk about the race. Sorry I spoke over people – I couldn’t hear their audio very well.)

I didn’t think the day would ever come that the 26th Congressional District would be represented by a Democrat. For that we have a list of people to thank.

Let’s thank Chris Lee, for his brazen tranny hunting on Craigslist.
Let’s thank Paul Ryan, for his plan to privatize and voucherize the exquisitely popular Medicare program. It’s an axiom in domestic politics that seniors vote. Fortunately, future seniors also vote.
Let’s thank Nick Langworthy for pushing Jane Corwin through the Republican candidate selection committee, shunning the guy he promised it to in 2008, David Bellavia.
Let’s thank David Bellavia for having courage and principles and not being just another party follower.
Let’s thank Nick Langworthy again for so eagerly releasing that tape of Michael L. Mallia harassing Jack Davis.
Let’s thank Chris Grant for being the mastermind behind the awesome that was the Corwin campaign.
Let’s thank Chris Collins for convincing the Corwins to bring their life of leisure to a halt and enter politics.
Let’s thank Michael Mallia for being such a great actor. Republican Fonzie, like your namesake you jumped the campaign shark.
Let’s thank Channel 2 for catching Mallia and Emily Hunter, the second cameraperson, on tape.
Let’s thank Michael Caputo for his relentless hectoring of Langworthy and Grant.
Let’s thank Jane Corwin for doubling down on the Ryan budget and then being so shallow in her platform that she misrepresented what it was.
Let’s thank Corwin’s handlers for taking what is, by all accounts, a very bright, knowledgable, and capable woman, and presenting her in this race as an empty bucket of Fox talking points.
Let’s thank all the outside groups that came in to “help” Corwin, serving only to drive up her negatives.
Let’s thank Jack Davis for hiring Jim Ostrowski and David DiPietro, who now need a new excuse for their electoral failure.
Let’s thank Kathy Hochul for being a great campaigner and a likeable, capable political figure.
Let’s thank the Democratic county chairs in NY-26 for taking their time to vet and select a candidate for this race.
Let’s thank all the volunteers who made calls, dropped lit, and canvassed relentlessly over the past several weeks, singing Kathy’s praises.
Let’s thank Kathy’s campaign apparatus, which acted professionally and handled a very tough race very, very well.
Let’s thank the voters who took the time to do so, regardless of whom they voted for.

I’m operating on too little sleep to put up a more thorough analysis than that right now, but suffice it to say the spin from the Republicans is going to be that this race is an anomaly, that it wasn’t a referendum on the Ryan budget, that special elections are one-shots, and that Davis was the big problem.

That’s not true.

At least as far as Medicare and the Ryan budget are concerned, this was a referendum on them, at least in this district. This race was a trial balloon for what’s going to be done and said to Republican House members who voted for that bill. This race matters for this region and this district, but Republicans are going to have a tough time running from this Ryan budget. Medicare is popular, and it matters. In the end, Davis didn’t have much of an affect. He pulled in 9% of the vote, and it’s silly to think that all of those voters would have gone to Corwin had Davis not been in the race. Murphy got 1%. No, Corwin didn’t run on Ryan’s Medicare disaster, but she embraced it until Hochul started doing real damage with it. Then, Corwin lied about it and even brought in Betsy McCaughey to help deflect.

So, this race matters and you can expect every race against a Republican who supported the Ryan plan to sound a lot like NY-26 in May 2011.

Congratulations, Kathy, for taking the district that was hand-carved by Tom Reynolds and Karl Rove in 2002 – drawn to enable Reynolds to consolidate his power and vote like any Southern Republican. To call this astonishing is an understatement.


24 May is projecting that Kathy Hochul, Democrat from Hamburg, has won the special election to replace Chris Lee in Congress.

Election Night 2011: #NY26 Special Election

24 May

While the Cover it Live Liveblog will be up shortly on the main page, I thought I’d pull together what we’re up to right now.


The WFP just sent this around:


As the polls close in Western New York tonight, we anticipate a close election – so close that the results may not be known overnight. In fact, Republican Jane Corwin’s camp has already filed legal paperwork in anticipation of a drawn out certification process. However, we are confident that Democrat-Working Families candidate Kathy Hochul will prevail once all the votes are counted.

Hochul was up against two self-funding millionaires and at least $650K of Karl Rove’s money in a deep red district. Whatever the outcome, the results tonight would not have been possible in the Republican wave of 2010. That wave is clearly now over, and the Republicans have Paul Ryan and the Tea Party to thank.

Republican Overreach:

Make no mistake – this election was a referendum on the Republicans’ overreach – led by John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan – and their attempts to destroy Medicare as we know it.

Majority Leader Cantor and other Republicans have already begun spinning their side in anticipation of a loss for their candidate – they’re going to say this election came down to a spoiler candidate in a three-way race. It would be wrong to accept this premise. In fact, as Davis’s support bled week-over-week, his voters migrated directly to Kathy Hochul, not to Jane Corwin. Further, his supporters rate Hochul more favorably than Corwin. Most importantly – Davis is also against the Paul Ryan plan to destroy Medicare.

Simply put, a majority of voters in this election have cast their votes for candidates who said they would protect Medicare and oppose Paul Ryan’s budget.

Jane Corwin has tried to distance herself from her party’s views in the final weeks of this election; however, the radical strain of right-wing ideology espoused by Paul Ryan and the current crop of GOP House leaders has proven too heavy an albatross.

A loss for Republicans in a district this red is sure to drain the color from John Boehner’s face; it won’t be easy for him to keep his caucus together as vulnerable Republicans in swing districts begin to walk back their embrace of the Tea Party fringe. Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts has already disavowed the Paul Ryan-Tea Party budget proposal in preparation of a tough re-election ahead of him. He won’t be the last member of his party to do so.

In fact, when Scott Brown was originally elected in January 2010 to replace liberal icon Ted Kennedy, the nascent Tea Party crowed that their moment had arrived. Win or lose, we say that their 15 minutes have now come to an end. Their policies have been soundly rejected.

Role of the Working Parties Party:

Published reports state that Karl Rove’s American Crossroads enterprise spent over $650,000 in the district as of a few weeks ago in order to put Jane Corwin over the top. We suspect that number may have risen in the final days of the campaign.

On May 10, I said this in an appeal to WFP supporters:

“We don’t need to compete dollar for dollar with Rove and his corporate backers. But we do need to get as much manpower as we can into the district. Our person-to-person grassroots campaign can beat Rove’s TV commercials any day.”

Our supporters, along with friends at, raised us over $130,000 to fund our GOTV work – and we believe it’s made much more of an impact than anything Rove put on TV. Thanks to those contributions, we’ve knocked on tens of thousands of doors, and we’ve spoken to disaffected Democrats, turned-off Republicans, and unaffiliated voters. Those cross-sections of society don’t agree on much – but they do believe in economic fairness and the need to protect Medicare.

Of course, lawn signs don’t win elections, but we think our “Save Medicare, Vote Hochul” signs in public spaces and outside polling places throughout the district didn’t hurt. The message seems to have resonated.

Lessons for 2012:

Republicans have been trying to dismantle Medicare since LBJ enacted it into law. They’ve been trying to end Social Security since FDR enacted it into law. And now, of course, they’re trying to end President Obama’s historic health care reforms.

They are backed in these efforts by their powerful donor base — corporate interests and a few bad-acting ultra-wealthy individuals who have a stake in social inequality.

Tonight’s election shows that we can do two things in order to beat the Republicans and their Big Money backers:

1. Democrats must stay true to their legacy of social progress and their progressive roots. They must not be afraid to rail against attempts at “right-wing social engineering.”

2. We must fund strong campaigns that rely on aggressive grassroots outreach. We might not win every TV war, but we can win in the field when we bring our message to voters’ doorsteps directly.

The Corwin Order

24 May

You may have heard this afternoon that the poorly managed Corwin campaign went to court to ensure that they can more carefully scrutinize paper ballots excluded from the machine count and do what Republicans always do when they’re afraid – minimize the number of valid ballots. Although returns will be counted and announced as usual, no result can be certified until at least Thursday, when Judge Buscaglia holds a hearing and makes a decision.

Here is what was filed today:


Vote Today, Watch Tonight #NY26

24 May


Thanks, Chris Lee, for making 2011 interesting

Let’s take a step back today and give thanks to his Craigslistness, Chris Lee, for imploding his political career so dramatically, so unexpectedly, and so quickly.  Another in a long line of moralistic Republican pervs, he paved the way for a race that is being billed by national media as a referendum on the ridiculous Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it, and noted more importantly in the local media as a dry run for the Collins for our Future re-election brain trust.

And what we’ve found outeven if Corwin wins in a squeaker – is that (a) Collins’ sycophantic crew doesn’t know how to handle a credible political opponent and is horrible at “campaigning“; and (b) People young and old detest the idea of receiving a coupon from the government to go out and buy private insurance when they get older, and then being on the hook for the cost the coupon doesn’t cover. It’s a breach of the American social contract as it’s existed since the mid-60s – it takes something that you and I are right now paying for and basically takes it back. Whoever dreamt this up is a dummy. More importantly, anyone who voted for it in Congress, or pledged to vote for it if elected (Jane) is politically tone-deaf. You don’t “save” Medicare by destroying it any more than you “save” a drowning man by throwing baseballs at his sinking head.

Because Jane Corwin, who is Chris Collins without the charm and Chris Lee without the Y chromosome, should have walked away with this thing.  It never should have been close. Regardless of the outcome, she’s already lost.  She’s lost her integrity and her sheen of electoral invincibility in this red area.

A very small amount of blame goes to Jack Davis, who cleverly ran as a “Tea Party” candidate. And he most certainly has every right to don that mantle, as an angry older conservative man with extreme views. He’s got actual grassroots tea partiers supporting him, while the only tea partiers Corwin got were the ones supported by big astroturfing Republican PACs.

Corwin never should have let her Chief of Staff, Michael L. Mallia, campaign for her. She never should have gone along with the plan to harass Jack Davis. She never should have condoned her staffer yelling “coward!” at a veteran. She should have fired him. She should have addressed it and expressed her displeasure. She misplayed the Mallia flap in every possible way it could have been misplayed. Collins’ guys were literally and palpably giddy over that 15 second video of Jack Davis swatting away Mallia’s camera – they even sent it to us.  The next morning, we revealed who the cameraman was and the entire thing rebounded into Corwin’s face. (Incidentally, we’re still waiting for the whole tape, and the second tape.)


Corwin and her surrogates mounted a relentlessly vicious negative campaign against Davis and Corwin. It worked against Davis, to a degree, but backfired on Corwin. It drove up Corwin’s negatives past 50% and drove up Hochul’s positives in a huge way. Recent polls show that the Pelosi Congress is more popular here than the Boehner Congress. Corwin brought Boehner to town and hammered everyone and his brother as being a Pelosi puppet. Clumsy claims that Hochul had raised taxes were addressed rather publicly months ago, in a region where people have almost uniformly chosen to pay higher taxes rather than, e.g., lose the “Village of Sloan” or “Village of Williamsville”.

I’ll be helping Kathy Hochul and her well-oiled, professionally run campaign get their vote out today. I hope you’ll consider taking some time to do the same. Hochul is a unique public servant – she’s responsive and competent. She has taken the offices she’s held and done something positive with them.  She is a student of good government who will go to Congress and continue the good work being done for the region by Louise Slaughter and Brian Higgins. After all, she’s a South Buffalo conservative Democrat in the Higgins mold.

Tonight, turn off your TV and join us here at, where Chris Smith, Marc Odien, Chris Charvella and I will be live-blogging and offering up some audio & video interviews, chatting with you and each other about the election results. The Cover it Live screen will be on the main page, so join us starting around 8:30 or 9:00 pm tonight as we join you from the Hochul campaign party at the UAW hall in Amherst.

Buffalo For Real, Part 2, Electric Boogaloo

24 May

I thought it might be time to break up the constant NY-26 updates with something completely different.

A couple of weeks ago, Visit Buffalo Niagara (formerly known as the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau {CVB}) unveiled their new branding slogan, entitled “Buffalo. For Real.”

It was released with an accompanying video that generated lots of buzz.


Shortly after its release, Alan Bedenko and I began a light-hearted Twitter contest to solicit suggestions for a better slogan.  That contest caught fire and dozens of parody videos started popping up on YouTube, like this one:


In the aftermath of the story, we were dismissed as naysayers because we deigned to criticize what we saw as a fundamentally flawed marketing campaign. We thought the video was too focused on the built environment and we resented the Sarah Palin-ish conceit of “Real America”. We also opined that the video lacked an overall sense of fun.

Supporters of the marketing campaign countered by stating the video was designed to attract “bifocal cultural tourists”…much like the three previous marketing campaigns from the CVB. We thought that maybe, just maybe, they could broaden their scope a bit and appeal to people who don’t really care who H.H. Richardson was or why he is important to Buffalo.

We eagerly awaited the opinion of an impartial third party to evaluate the merits of the campaign. Clearly, any objective analyst or critic would see that this beautifully shot video and marketing campaign designed for free by volunteers was an absolute homerun. Right?

Last week, Advertising Age Magazine issued their opinion on the campaign in an article titled “Buffalo’s New Tagline Highlights The Worst of Tourism Marketing”:

Tourism slogans are reliably corny, but last week New York state took the grand prize for “Huh?” with a newly anointed slogan for its fair city to the north that’s best known for its proximity to Niagara Falls and everyone’s favorite 25-cent bar snack.

So, there’s that.

However, something that has stuck with me for over a week was an exchange on Facebook between a few WNYMedia writers and one of our readers. You know this reader as “STEEL”, a reliably liberal voice in our daily political threads. He is properly known as David Steele, a Buffalo Expatriate who lives in Chicago.  Dave is also the author of “Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land“.

Dave is a middle aged guy who likes architecture.  Unsurprisingly, he thought the “Buffalo. For Real.” video was the bees knees.

Dave operates under the illusion that the primary obstacle to progress in Buffalo is our defeatist attitude. If only we were to stop with all the complaining and negativity, we might start to make some real shit happen right here in Johnson City!  Also, he detests sprawl and people who don’t live in the City of Buffalo. Ironically, he doesn’t live here either.

However, as we have detailed over the years on this website, no matter what you think the most important problem in Buffalo is, it’s not THE problem. Sprawl, poor zoning, absentee landlords, deteriorating infrastructure, UB in Amherst, the Skyway, the 190, inaccessible waterfront, house flipping, redlining, terrible schools…no matter what, the problem is political. Each of those problems has a distinctly political cause and requires a distinctly political solution. Political leadership is required to solve any problem in Buffalo as it is a town designed by and ruled by politicians. However, that leadership is sorely lacking.

Until we change THAT problem, the private and non-profit sectors will be forced to to hoard the crumbs on the table while the rest of us wish for a distant, more prosperous past. A time when our fortunate location at the end of the Erie Canal created the economic and geographic accident that we now know as Buffalo. That past is prominently featured in that video and frankly, we’re bored with it. Dave, being the smart guy that he is, had a suggestion for us.

So, when will we be releasing that video?  When someone hires us to do it. We’ve released hundreds of videos over the years that shine a positive light on our community and those working to make it better. However, what Dave doesn’t know is that we actually made a proposal to the CVB about 18 months ago to help market Buffalo and WNY.

Prior to the hiring of Dottie Gallagher-Cohen as the CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, Drew “Wing King” Cerza served as the interim CEO. During his tenure, the CVB received increased funding from Erie County and Drew put out the word that he was looking for some cool new ideas to market the region. We approached him with a proposal marketing campaign that would begin during the World Junior Hockey Championships and continue on after the event.

We (along with a marketing partner) proposed the following:

  • An iPhone/Android App that would feature links to all Buffalo restaurants, clubs, cultural attractions along with location aware directions and maps
  • Each listing would have a basic profile page featuring some business basics, but each listing had the opportunity to upgrade their default profile with video/audio/time sensitive specials and coupons. Upgrades would be paid for with donations to the CVB.
  • A recommendation engine featuring well known locals who would give their tips on where to go and what to do.
  • A mobile trip planner that would organize a full list of activities for each day based on a chosen starting point.  “Here for a Bisons game?  Here’s five other places you might enjoy!”
  • Marketing videos for each tourism “vertical” in Buffalo and WNY.  Cultural, sports, family, shopping, dining, hotels, architecture, theater, etc.
  • An umbrella marketing video featuring outtakes from each of the “vertical” videos which presented Buffalo and WNY as a four seasons destination for everyone.

There was more to it, but you get the point

As we’re a small company that cannot perform work for free, we also presented the CVB with a pricetag for the project.  The CVB decided to wait until Ms. Gallagher-Cohen was hired to make a decision. She never got back to us. No big deal, we moved on to other clients and other projects and we’re doing quite well, thank you very much. Over the next 18 months, Ms. Cohen took the organization in a new direction and we wish her the best of luck.  She’ll need it. Especially if she is again forced to “crowdsource” regional marketing campaigns for free.

The reason for sharing this is that I’m tired of this obsessive accusation that we’re “naysayers”.  We are realists, we see this city and region for what it is, warts and all.  To simply assume that we are absolute cynics is to either be grossly misinformed…or to be nuzzled in a Chicago bungalow ignorant of the reality on the ground in a city 600 miles to the east.

We deal with the political realities around us and we love our city as much as anyone else here. We choose to live in WNY and raise our children here. We choose to pay our taxes, vote in local elections, volunteer for organizations we believe in, and organize people to support causes and politicians we believe in.  We support local business and we hire local vendors. We advocate for political solutions we think practical and assail, with malice, those who advocate for harmful policies and causes. We’re confident in our choices to live here and we’re not going anywhere. We put our skin in the game and we’re here, making a difference. It’s who we are, it’s what we do.

Because of all that, we’re entitled to some self-deprecating humor and we have a right to criticize how we are marketed.

So, don’t ever challenge me or anyone on this website about our love for this city and region. For Real.

Last-Minute #NY26 Snippets

24 May

Murphy Calls for Corwin

Last week, I asked Green Party candidate Ian Murphy what his plans were for the weekend, and he sort of shrugged. Evidently, he had this up his sleeve. He posed as an eager young Republican volunteer, waltzed into Corwin HQ and started making calls.

I actually spoke with roughly 100 people, and the majority of them were extremely upset with the harassment by phone. Unless they immediately relented and said they were voting for Jane, their name went back into the system, and we’d call them until their spirits were thoroughly crushed. It’s an odd campaigning strategy — one that is no doubt backfiring.

People are sick of the media saturation–the constant lies spewing from camp Corwin. These calls seemed to represent the last straw for a lot of folks.

“Um, Bob?” I beckon the supervisor.

“Yeah, Steve, what is it?”

“Some of these people are saying that Jane is going to end Medicare–just because that’s what the Wall Street Journal wrote. What should I tell them–should I lie?”

“Hmm…” Bob thinks about this for a few seconds. “They’ve been asking about Medicare?”

“Yeah.” And they were.

“Shit,” he mumbles under his breath. “Don’t lie. Tell them that, if they’re 55 or over, Jane’s plan won’t change their Medicare. And if they’re 54 or under tell them that Jane’s plan will…um…make things…better.” He walks away.

“But, Bob?” I call after him. “Some of these people are younger and they think Medicare is a problem…should I tell them that Jane’s plan will end Medicare?”

“Yeah, if it helps,” he says, running back to his desk. The ruminant Chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee Nick Langworthy is lingering in a back corner. They conspire about something terrible, no doubt.


“Hi, sir, my name’s Steve and I’m a volunteer for the Jane Corwin campaign–”

“Jesus!” a guy screams at me. “You know, I was thinking about voting for Corwin, but this is too much! You people have called me a dozen times in the last two days! I am sick of it!”

“But Jane Corwin wants to rule over you with an iron fist,” I calmly relay. “Don’t you crave strong leadership?”

“What?!” he balks. “An ‘iron fist’?”

“Yes,” I assure him. “These phone calls are just the beginning. When Jane’s in Congress she will do everything in her power to crush you mentally and physically.”

“Don’t call me again!” he says and slams down the receiver.

Through the pranksterism, you catch a glimpse of a very poorly run campaign that has absolutely no clue about how to get the vote out. Pro tip: don’t call prime (R)s so damn much that you actually piss them off into not voting for your candidate.

Coniglio Challenges Man Who Owns Own Law Firm

I received this in my inbox yesterday:

Last week, Carl Paladino appeared on the Tom Bauerle show and made a variety of comments regarding the 26th district congressional race. During his commentary, he stated that Jack Davis, the tea party candidate, bought the tea party line by “paying off three tea party guys” who are all on his payroll. He then proceeded to name the three in the following order: “Coniglio, Bellavia, and Ostrowski”. He referred several times during the remainder of the show to the idea that the Davis endorsement had been bought. The fact of the matter is that I have never received payment of any kind from anyone at any time for any work I have done for the tea party movement, nor have I ever sought payment in any way, nor would I accept payment from anyone if offered. Further, it should be noted that there is a putative tea party group in Buffalo which is controlled and operated by a man with long time ties to the Republican party, Rus Thompson, who always supports the Republican party and their candidates. Thompson and Paladino effectively ended the campaign of tea party candidate, David DiPietro, by supporting GOP boss Jim Domagalski in the 59th district senate race last year. It should be understood that we in the true tea party movement have been fighting the efforts of the Republicans to infiltrate and control the tea party movement since the very beginning and it can be further stated that that infiltration and control has effectively been accomplished in much of the United States as many so called tea party groups are now run by the Republican party and/or their operatives. The tea party was established because we the people were not satisfied with the actions of any political party, including the Republicans, and a Republican takeover of the tea party is not in the interests of the people of this nation. Locally, we the people have been fighting the Thompson group which we refer to as TeaGOP but as Thompson knows very well how to manipulate and control the press, it has been a difficult struggle. Thompson appeared on the Bauerle show with Paladino and made numerous comments agreeing with and/or supporting Paladino’s assertions that the Davis endorsement had been purchased. Thompson was himself paid a sum, believed to be at least $35,000 to promote Paladino as the putative tea party candidate for governor which to many of us in the tea party movement was laughable and dishonest. Paladino is in a position to know that I have never received any payment from anyone and despite that, he recklessly and maliciously sought to destroy my reputation for the purpose of destroying the Davis campaign and to offer support for the hand picked candidate of the GOP party bosses, Jane Corwin, who has shown herself to be unfit for office as a woman who will stoop to any dirty trick to be elected. Paladino has a history of making reckless and untrue statements designed to destroy, such as his comment last year that Andrew Cuomo’s “prowess is legendary” in reference to Cuopmo’s alleged affairs outside of his marriage. His propensity for acting as a violent thug is well known as well as can be seen by his remarks that “I am going to take you out, buddy” to Fred Dicker and that he is going to clean out Albany with a baseball bat. I will not be bullied by Paladino and I will not sit idly by as he acts in his usual manner to destroy the reputation of anyone who gets in his way.

I am hereby advising Carl Paladino that if he does not issue a retraction of his statement to all press outlets in the area served by WBEN radio claiming that I am on the Jack Davis payroll and that I received money to endorse Jack Davis by Friday at 5 PM, I will pursue further action against him in a court of law.

Never thought I’d say this, but good for Coniglio. Taking on the biggest asshole with the biggest mouth in town takes balls.

Betsy McCaughey Throws Corwin an Anchor

That’s the headline here, which details the fact that anti-universal-health-care advocate and inveterate liar Betsy McCaughey was in town to campaign for Jane Corwin. She was quoted telling people that the Ryan plan to privatize and voucherize Medicare coverage for people now under 55 is a fantastic idea, and she only wishes it was bolder and was implemented immediately. The DCCC responded:

Jane Corwin (NY-26) was joined on the campaign trail today by former Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey.  As the Siena College poll released this weekend shows, NY-26 voters are rejecting Jane Corwin’s plan to end Medicare, and her latest move reconfirms her commitment to ending Medicare.

“Jane Corwin has chosen to campaign with Betsy McCaughey, who not only wholeheartedly supports the Republican plan to end Medicare, but actually thinks it’s a ‘shame’ that the plan doesn’t end Medicare immediately for current seniors,” said Josh Schwerin, Northeast Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “Even as voters are rejecting her positions, Jane Corwin is doubling down on her support for the radical Republican plan to end Medicare while protecting taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil.

Corwin was also joined by Jim Martin of the 60 Plus Association, a group well known for their vocal support of privatizing Medicare and Social Security.


Help Kathy Hochul Get the Vote Out

23 May

Both the Siena and PPP Polls show a tight race. Although Hochul has momentum and is better liked than her adversaries, it’s still a pretty red district that’s been inundated with remunerated Republican operatives.

If you have any time at all to help make sure that Hochul’s vote turns out, please contact her campaign at (716) 861-6881 to find out how you can help.

Hochul’s local campaign office is on Transit Road in Clarence, just north of Sheridan; next to Yankee Candle, between Lia Honda and Delta Sonic. You can stop in there to volunteer, and canvassing is based there.  Phone banking is taking place daily at the UAW hall on Wehrle near Transit. Monday and Tuesday are critical.

The Republican Rift, the PPP Poll #NY26

23 May

Is Phil Corwin Pissed?

That’s the claim being made in this blog post that was emailed to me yesterday. While the facts are a bit sloppy (e.g., the Channel 2 debate was held at 9am, not 12pm), it wouldn’t at all surprise me if the Corwins were caught unawares by the dirty trickery of the Collins brain trust, and blew their chance to prevent the Mallia fiasco from becoming a 2 week-long story.

Corwin’s Chief of Staff Mike Mallia’s weak attempt of a video ambush of Davis on the night of May 11th occurred without Corwin having any knowledge of the plan. The scheme was hatched by Chris Collin’s COS Chris Grant and endorsed by Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. The video was then put on YouTube and hit the late news, but Corwin had gone to bed early due to the noon debate on Ch 2 the next day. Phil Corwin saw the video clip but failed to tell his wife in the morning, fearing it would distract her. Corwin was clueless when she was approached by reporters in the Ch 2 parking lot after the debate because not one staff member had bothered to tell her what had transpired.


Corwin is also coming under fire for not cutting loose Malia and separating herself from such a frat house stunt. The issue there is that Malia was just following orders and would probably go public on Chris Grant with all of the sordid details if he were to be fired.

It goes on to allege that Phil Corwin may begin publicly excoriating Collins and his minions should Jane lose on Tuesday.

The rift in the Erie County Republican Party is deepening, and while they’re putting on a very thin front of unity for now, it looks like Collins has become the Republicans’ Steve Pigeon – another tinpot Machiavelli looking to grow and consolidate power at the expense of the old guard, embodied by people like Tom Reynolds.

First Siena, Now PPP

Another poll was released last night showing Kathy Hochul with 42%, Jane Corwin with 36%, and Jack Davis with 13%.  The results of this poll very closely mirror the Siena poll released on Saturday.  Hochul is up 7%, Corwin is up 5%, and Davis is down a whopping 11%.  Also similarly to the Siena poll, Hochul’s favorability is +14 while Corwin’s is -18, down 15 points in just two weeks. Whereas Davis’ favorability/unfavorability was even at 43/43 two weeks ago, he’s now -39!

Corwin’s camp knew it would have to deal with a Tea Party line Jack Davis in this race, and assumed that if they hammered away at him for being weak Tea, those voters would break for Corwin.  But because Corwin has run a campaign that is only competent at incompetence, and because she has adopted extreme and radical positions not followed by voters in the district, those people have instead gone to Hochul in droves.  Hochul is drawing more Republican support than Corwin is drawing Democrats, and independents are relatively evenly split, with the advantage going to Hochul by +2.

PPP says that voters it surveyed think the Republican majority in Congress is doing a worse job than its predecessor.  It also found that, while NY-26 doesn’t like Obama, it dislikes John Boehner more. That’s a huge Corwin miscalculation, bringing him to town to campaign with her. Every time someone links Hochul with Pelosi, that isn’t as bad as it would be to link Corwin with Boehner.  Finally, Democrats in the district are more enthusiastic about voting for Hochul  than Republicans are about Corwin.

Probably because Hochul hasn’t been running a relentlessly negative, extreme campaign of dirty tricks. Davis would probably be doing a bit better if he had better advice and wasn’t being advised by sycophants and guys who never won a race.  The PPP results show huge dissatisfaction with Washington. Davis is making little headway on what should be – but isn’t – his big issue.

Hochul’s in the lead, but there’s no guarantee she’ll win. It all comes down to turnout and whose get out the vote effort is better.


Free Meals and Hotels to Canvass for Corwin

22 May


Click to enlarge


Click the email above to enlarge and read how those liberal Democrats like the well-liked, competent, Medicare-preserving Kathy Hochul is going to “steal” a seat in Congress from its rightful nobility in Spaulding-sur-Lac. In fact, those dastardly communards are bringing in “liberal downstate unions and radical special interests”. I’m shocked that the Democrats aren’t bringing Satan, Hitler, and our Muslim President, to boot.

And what of those brave young grassroots Republicans, inundating the district with cars sporting “Nobama” bumper stickers?

Hotels and meals! What a bargain! Grassroots!  By the way, Lisa Thrun is the “grassroots director” (oxymoron, sorta) of a Republican PAC called “Americans for Prosperity“.  Of course, Americans for Prosperity is David Koch’s group, which is an astroturf front group purporting to be a grassroots organization. They hate unions, the middle class, anti-smoking efforts, and any effort to bring about universal health coverage. They’re also huge climate change deniers.

It doesn’t get more extreme and radical than anything that David Koch advocates and pays for. The Corwin campaign is clearly in bed with this extreme John Birchist association run by millionaires, for millionaires, and there’s clearly some coordination between the campaign and this group.