Tag Archives: Ian Murphy

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.

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.


Hochul Takes Lead in Siena Poll

21 May

Siena Research’s most recent poll in the 26th congressional district, released today, shows Democrat Kathy Hochul taking a 4- point lead over Republican Jane Corwin. Jack Davis’ support has collapsed by half, to 12%. The big story has to do with the candidates’ favorability numbers. Crosstabs here.

A Pox on Both Your Houses

18 May

Is it any wonder that Jack Davis is running a close third at 24% in recent NY-26 polling. Or, to be more exact, Not Jane Corwin is running at 24%. The strength of third party candidates is a direct reflection of the general opinion of the electorate on the two main nominees. Democrats are thus seemingly content with the choice of Kathy Hochul, as is reflected in the 2% draw of Ian Murphy. It may help that Ian Murphy can’t has balance between humor and serious policy position. Incidentaly, he can’t has mandatory FEC filings either, as far as I can tell. In any case, having learned their Kryzan/Powers/Davis lesson of two and half years ago, Democrats sorted themselves out in time for a special election this year.

Republicans, on the other hand, are unhappy with their party’s choice. This bodes well for the future, though not the immediate present.

Jane Corwin is the least desirable of the three main archetypes Republicans have rolled out to voters since the election of President Obama. The Congressional midterms were dominated by tax cutting, true believer Tea Party types, who managed to swing to the right of (former) Senator Bob Bennett of Utah, for instance, and in disowning President Bush’s over-spending, convinced voters that they really, finally, were going to be the one’s to cut the budget. So far they have bandied about with side issues, enjoyed modest though real success (converting President Obama from a Stimulator to a Budget Cutter is no small feat) , and are meeting the wall of reality in the opposition to Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan.

Archetype #2 is the distinctly Southern brand of social conservative, which believes opposition to the teaching of evolution in school is a matter of such public import that it leads as a major policy plank of their election platform. I may disagree with their policy substance and priority both, but at least they often fairly represent their districts.

New York seems saddled with Archetype #3 – the Empty Vessel. The special election for NY-23 proved true Tea Partiers don’t do well enough up here. Likewise, the evangelical appeal is not broadly culturally appropriate. So we are left with the hollow opposition. In Chris Lee, Jane Corwin, and Chris Collins, one is encouraged to find whatever one is looking for. Safe Republican platitudes about lowering taxes and fiscal responsibility. A business-veneer meant to denote trust and competence: “If [insert-Empty-Vessel-name-here] can build a business in New York under our onerous tax and regulation climate, they must be good!”

But underneath, there lies only the forgotten wisp of a shadow of policy positions. Chris Collins has the most going for him, but struggles to succeed beyond only the lowest of low-hanging fruit (note: cell phones and picnic shelters are a start, not the end). Chris Lee had the instinct to attach himself to Brian Higgins, but not much else. Jane Corwin is the emptiest yet, and her failures reveal a national Republican flaw.

Articulate defense is required when approaching a third rail of American politics. Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan is not for the faint of heart and vacuous of policy background, and unfortunately, the large number of social conservatives, true believers and Empty Vessels recently elected do not have the nimbleness to do the fight justice. By using the buzzzword “voucher,” Ryan excites the Right and opens countless openings for opponents to fearmonger a Democratic version of Deathpanels. Paul Ryan hates your poor old grandma and wants her dead – that’s why he’s gutting Medicare.

Of course, Medicare already is a voucher system without the voucher. The government provides the money (i.e. voucher), you go see a private doctor, and the government pays. You never see the voucher, but one can think of age and citizenship as the invisible substitute for one. Healthcare conglomerates certainly understand this, and already see Medicare patients as walking cash registers. Introducing the actual voucher into the mix adheres to a basic economic theory that when someone knows the cost of a service, they will seek a best value. When costs are unknown to the purchaser, its easy to end up with the highest end product full of features you would never have purchased yourself. At its basic level, Paul Ryan’s plan is about introducing economics into healthcare, a controversial opinion and a realm that only the uninsured currently occupy. The current economics-free Medicare System will be broke in an ever-shrinking 13 years. The choice is not between the current system and vouchers. The choice is between vouchers, and something yet to be articulated, as Democrats still bury their head in the sand, searching for votes.

Defending, discussing and advocating for an stark ideological position like this takes policy understanding and rhetorical faculties either Jan Corwin does not have, or is unwilling to learn. Paul Ryan’s Plan is not a policy position that defends itself. Corwin is only now understanding this. Her solution is to play video games. Tom Reed’s solution is to talk to voters.

Congressman Tom Reed took over for (faux?) cancer victim and tickle-fight extraordinaire Eric Massa, representing the Southern Tier in the 29th District. While Corwin cancels campaign events, Reed is holding a remarkable series of town hall meetings and forums with constituents to discuss the budget deficit and what to do about it. He has ideas and he talks about them, with voters. It sounds positively revolutionary, and that’s sad.

How far metro-Buffalo Republicans have fallen. Tom Reynolds was the last of a line that included Jack Kemp and Bill Paxon – representatives of Buffalo with national standing and influence. I’d even take moderate and dependable Jack Quinn at this point; he is head and shoulders above what passes for the party’s candidates now. In retrospect, last Autumn’s crowning of the Erie County GOP machine as the state leader was a bit premature. Paladino’s defeat of Rick Lazio now looks more like a hyper-surreal sign-of-the-times than a true indicator of the future. There is no second flash in this pan.

Buffalo does not seem destined to find another of Tom Reynolds’ stature any time soon. My colleague Alan Bedenko dismisses Reynolds in his endorsement piece of Kathy Hochul:

Chris Lee and Tom Reynolds were basically placeholder Republibots. Reynolds came from a background where he had to work for a living, so his main function in congress was to grow his own political clout and power, which has since enabled him to go to work as a lobbyist. He was always more interested in the Beltway game than western New York, except when Jack Davis’ campaign spooked him in 2006 . . .

I disagree, and would not lump Reynolds in with what has come later. It may be that Reynolds grew to care less about WNY, but in one important respect, Tom Reynolds embodied the WNY culture. He was our native son grown up, moved away, and done good. We followed his newspaper clippings intently. When he appeared on national television, so did Buffalo. Like the Bills, he made us nationally relevant. He fulfilled our desire to still matter.

It is perhaps also befitting of Buffalo that I would be nostalgic for our political past instead of promoting the future. Oh well.

Not too long ago, but before the Fonz and the Amherst Bear competed for shark jumping headlines, I predicted Corwin would win, based purely on registration. Chris Smith predicted the opposite. In the last several days, the odds seem to be tipping in his favor. The Rothenberg Political Report gives the edge of Hochul because of the Democrats have the edge in the enthusiasm gap. I would agree, though the enthusiasm in question seems to be for a Democrat winning, and not for Hochul personally.

No matter who wins, the new Congressman or woman will join a shrinking WNY delegation consisting of Buffalo-First and National-Unknown Brian Higgins, Failed Parliamentary Trick Promoter Louise Slaughter (who lately excels mostly at getting high speed rail funds for NY districts other than her own), and the aforementioned Reed. The Obscure, the Tired and the Diligent. Which luminary will we add to this constellation?

Rejecting the Range Rover Republicans

16 May

Kathy Hochul for Congress:
Vote Against Right-Wing Social Engineering

I am going to be voting for Kathy Hochul.  It’s not that I don’t like Ian Murphy, or even that I disagree with him. I like him and respect him for what he’s doing, jokes and all. But I’ll be voting for Kathy Hochul because right now she’s the center-left candidate who has been working very hard for a very long time indeed on behalf of western New York’s dwindling working class and struggling middle class.  Hochul is a thoughtful, hard-working civil servant who is a reasonably conservative Democrat; i.e., she and her positions reflect those of the reasonably centrist people in this district.

When a Republican tells you a Democrat is engaging in “class warfare”, thank him. It means you’re sticking up for the less powerful, the less influential in our society, and that you’re somewhat sick of benefits and welfare going to those who are already rich.

Chris Lee and Tom Reynolds were basically placeholder Republibots. Reynolds came from a background where he had to work for a living, so his main function in congress was to grow his own political clout and power, which has since enabled him to go to work as a lobbyist. He was always more interested in the Beltway game than western New York, except when Jack Davis’ campaign spooked him in 2006 (along with the Foley scandal), and Reynolds brought home some FEMA money to shut us up. Chris Lee, on the other hand, didn’t have to work for a living, and was a wealthy, privileged millionheir. He went to congress because it’s the next best thing to a knighthood for the superwealthy in this country; it would look good in the family tree. He occasionally did the right thing with shared border management and Flight 3407, but he was a millionaire looking out for the interests of millionaires everywhere.

I think it’s time we had a representative from NY-26 who served the interests of a middle-class, aging, rural/suburban district.  I think it’s time we had a representative who believes in good government, rather than spouting facile platitudes about “smaller government”.  I think it’s time we had a congressperson who wasn’t spouting some Randian pablum about growing business through the tax code; i.e., further lowering millionaires’ income tax rates to better grow the ranks of household help throughout America.  I think that it’s time we didn’t elect a political empty vessel with no credentials, no accomplishments, negligible experience, and whose first campaign act in this congressional race was to demonize gay people.  Also, Corwin is just a repeat liar. Her campaign has been relentlessly, viciously, and falsely negative almost in its entirety.  She has no serious positions and is no more or less of a joke candidate than Murphy himself.

Of the three millionaires in the race for NY-26, Hochul is the least millionary. She’s been running a serious campaign on serious issues, and she’s been looking out for us as clerk, doing a fantastic job there. The series of videos the Buffalo News posted, showing the three non-Murphy candidates’ meetings with its editorial board show a stark contrast between the candidates. Hochul’s positions are thoughtful and polished. Davis is like some Gilbert & Sullivan character at war with China. Corwin has, at best, a very superficial grasp of the substance of her “positions”, and the procedure in which to implement them

Jack Davis is unacceptable to me not because he calls for an end to free trade (I would support a candidate who demanded reciprocal rights and responsibilities under trade treaties); Jack Davis is unacceptable because he’s a xenophobe. He is anti-immigration and anti-immigrant. He thinks he’s entitled to go to Congress because he’s paying through the nose for it.

Jane Corwin isn’t some principled conservative thought leader; she’s an extreme right-wing sycophant who came out in favor of ending Medicare and privatizing it into a voucher program.  More incredibly, she doesn’t seem to understand that the bill she supports would do these things. Even more amazingly, she seems to misunderstand that the Ryan budget bill wasn’t just some abstract proposal subject to tweaking, but a bill that the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for to become law – and that she would have done the same. Medicare may need some shoring up, but to get rid of it would be devastating; let’s don’t forget that, at the time of Medicare’s passage, about a third of seniors lived in abject poverty.

If you’re poor or middle-class, health care costs in old age are a very real concern. When you’re a million-heir, they’re not.

Corwin isn’t just someone who was born into success and money, but she is just a Collins parrot, regurgitating his “government like a business” idiocies. Right out of the Erie County GOP central casting, she’s a exurban Range Rover driver who lives a life of leisure (i.e., wealthy unemployed) and has no concept of what regular people throughout the 26th district worry about.

Hochul can work bipartisanly, and is a relatively centrist Democrat whose positions reasonably reflect that of reasonable people. We can fix problems without engaging in what even Newt Gingrich refers to as “right wing social engineering“.

On top of all of that, Hochul has helped remake the clerk’s office so that renewing your license and closing on a house aren’t daylong excursions into a world that resembles Soviet Russia. She is responsive and competent – a higher compliment can hardly be paid to an elected official in western New York.

Please sign up to help make phone calls or canvass for Kathy Hochul through May 24th, and contribute here via ActBlue.

The Mallia Fail

Jane Corwin’s Assembly Chief of Staff, state employee Michael L. Mallia, has apparently disappeared to Florida, which is where the Erie County Republican Party disappears people who may embarrass it. (See Lee, Chris).  Corwin at first denied having seen the video, then refused to utter a critical word against her minion, since he was supposedly off the state’s clock. But what it underscores is the fact that Corwin has no knowledge what her campaign staff is up to, what her Assembly staff is up to, and instead of taking responsibility for her staffers’ misdeeds, she deflects. The buck stops…elsewhere.

“He wasn’t acting as my employee. He wasn’t acting on behalf of the Assembly or myself. He was a volunteer. This was on his own time,” she told the publication. “As his employer, I don’t think I should be telling him what he should and should not be doing with his free time.”

But as the candidate for whose campaign he works, he was representing you when traveling all the way out to Greece – well outside of your Assembly District – to harass and cajole Jack Davis; to call crazy Jack Davis a “coward” to goad him into reacting dramatically. It backfired. Your Assembly chief of staff comes across like a whiny asshole, as does your whole campaign.

Corwin refused to demand that the Erie County GOP release both full videotapes – both Mallia‘s, and the tape from the camcorder being held by a female seen behind Mallia in the Channel 2 video. Erie County Republican Party chairman Nick Langworthy also refused to release the full video, making two simply astonishing statements in the process.

Langworthy told the Buffalo News:

I think the footage speaks for itself.

Yes, but not in the way he thinks.

What it shows is that some young punk Mallia – more Horshack than Fonzie – whined dramatically when Davis swatted his camera away as he was blocking Davis’ way to his car.

Then Langworthy said that the female’s video wouldn’t be released because,

Langworthy said the battery in the camera was dead.

Camcorder viewfinders are little video screens. They’re not optical. The girl in the video is clearly recording something and looking in the viewfinder. This is a lie.

Also, Langworthy invoked the little known reverse-Godwin-law, or “Niwdog’s Law”, likening Michael L. Mallia and the Corwin campaign to accused World War II Nazi war criminals.

Questioning whether Davis has the temperament to serve in Congress, Langworthy added: “Why are we putting Mike Mallia and this campaign through Nuremberg over the fact that one candidate lashed out, lost his cool and misbehaved?”

Seriously, you couldn’t dream up a more ineffective and insincere campaign than Corwin’s. She might be self-funded, but that’s all she is.

I want to see Mallia‘s video in its entirety.  I want to see the video – in its entirety – that was recorded by the woman behind Mallia, shown above. To suggest that her battery ran out assumes we’re all idiots.

Let’s Talk Tea Parties

There’s a lot of misinformation on Twitter and elsewhere regarding whether Jack Davis is a true Tea Party candidate. Make no mistake about two things: 1. Anyone who pays tens of thousands of dollars to Jim Ostrowski and David DiPietro to help run a campaign is a bona fide tea partier; and 2. I love that Davis is in this race because he helps Hochul.

When the tea parties sprang up in 2009, they went out of their way to portray themselves as non-racialist, non-partisan grassroots groupings of people who opposed health care reform and other Obama initiatives. As time has gone on, however, that grass has turned Astroturfy, and mainstream Republican committees have gone out of their way to try and consume the tea party movements and run them under the party umbrella.  That happened here in western New York during the Paladino campaign, during the campaign to replace Dale Volker, and is happening now in NY-26.

While the mainstream Republican/Palinist wing of the Republican Party backed Corwin as the establishment Republican who made mouth-noises that vaguely resembled what they wanted to hear, the libertarian wing of the local tea party endorsed Jack Davis. I think they’re all wrong, but to suggest that Davis isn’t a bona fide “tea party” candidate is factually inaccurate. No one owns the copyright on that term. Corwin partisans would do well to tell the truth and simply state that Davis’ wing of the tea party hasn’t yet been subsumed by the ECGOP. At least that would be honest.

Bellavia Resurfaces : Hell Hath No Fury…

Remember David Bellavia? The combat veteran of the Iraq War quite vocally endorsed Jack Davis at the very event that ended with Michael L. Mallia’s overdramatic, girlish antics. Bellavia is a conservative Republican with whom I disagree about … well, about everything. But I don’t doubt that Bellavia is sincere, and that he’s honorable. These are rare traits in politics, and political hacks don’t know what to make of it, or him.

Bellavia is the guy Paladino and Collins tried to convince to leave the race, and pave the way for Corwin. Bellavia couldn’t be convinced to leave the race, so the establishment Republicans instead threatened him. They assailed him by threatening to ruin his reputation, his credit, his job, his life. After having all but promised Bellavia the endorsement “next time” in exchange for his exit from the race and endorsement of Chris Lee in 2008, they turned their backs on him in favor of Range Rover Republican Jane Corwin.

Combat veteran Bellavia tried to make his way onto the ballot by soliciting the assistance of another guy who got royally screwed by the western New York Republican Party bosses and elites, combat veteran Gary Berntsen. Bellavia is out for revenge against the Range Rover Republicans and their accomplices in the party hierarchies – the middle-class guys who love being so close to money.  To guys like Bellavia, principles and honor are worth more than all the money in Collins’, Lee’s, and Corwin’s bank accounts, combined.  He is supporting Jack Davis, and is actively recruiting tea partiers, Republican activists, and veterans to join him.

Strange Bedfellows

If you haven’t yet read this article, which appeared on Politicker NY on Friday, do. It’s a fun read. The joint mission is Corwin’s defeat, and Caputo has a keen sense of humor, strategy, and timing.


Corwin and the ECGOP: Desperate, Scared, Violent (UPDATE: TRACKER IS CORWIN CHIEF OF STAFF)

12 May

****UPDATE:  REPUBLICAN FONZIE IS JANE CORWIN’S ASSEMBLY CHIEF OF STAFF MICHAEL L. MALLIA. WE PAY HIS SALARY ($1,419 biweekly).*** Another punk Republican kid suckling at the teat of mother Government.

Davis Bails on Channel 2

I understand why Jack Davis is backing out of the farcical Channel 2 non-debate.

First of all, who holds a political debate at 9 in the morning? Who’s watching a political debate at 9 in the morning? No one. At 9 in the morning, most people are at work. Ah, but Channel 2 will be rebroadcasting it at 12 noon, as well! It will even be simulcast on WECK 1230-AM at that time. Well, that’s also not really a very convenient time for people to watch or listen to a political debate, because people are at work. Some might opt to watch online at their desks during their lunch hour, but it’s supposed to be another gloriously sunny 70 degree day.

Under normal circumstances, a normal television station would do what serious television stations usually do and air the debate during prime time, when people are home, and when most people are done with dinner.

I checked, and apparently Channel 2 doesn’t want to pre-empt an all-new Community, and an Office repeat with a local congressional debate.

So, take it with a boulder of salt when Channel 2 disinvites Ian Murphy from participating because he wrote satire in the satirical paper for which he works – satire that poked fun at Channel 2 anchor Scott Levin. They didn’t disinvite Murphy because he’s not a serious candidate, but because they were butthurt. I don’t think “butthurt” is a good reason to exclude a legitimate political candidate, no matter how silly he may be in his satirical paper.

Channel 2 isn’t holding a serious debate because no one’s going to watch it. They’ll play some sound bites during their newscasts, and that’s about all that most voters will glean from this thing. You’ll have to seek out the video on their barely navigable website to watch the whole thing in dribs and drabs. Fail.

Baiting Davis

It’s also become quite evident that there is nothing scarier and more serious to the Erie County GOP than the fact that Jack Davis is polling in the mid-20s. They’re quite palpably freaking out over this, and they’re pulling out all the stops to destroy Davis, practically ignoring Kathy Hochul in the process. Yesterday I linked to the Karl Rove-backed video that you’ll soon be very sick of. Corwin’s campaign, led by supposed Buffalo Republican wunderkinds Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant, is panicking because this should have been a cakewalk like Lee vs. Kryzan in 2008 and Lee vs. nobody in 2010.

Davis doesn’t perform well in debates and he isn’t warm and fuzzy. The more he’s seen by voters, the less they like him. I’ve seen him debate in person on several occasions, and he’s just lousy at it. So, it’s no surprise that he pulled out of Channel 2’s “debate” today. The GOP lashed him over it, saying he can’t “be trusted” or some such nonsense.

Then yesterday evening, at David Bellavia’s event to endorse Jack Davis (and, in turn, begin his epic life’s work to motherf*ck Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant), the GOP sent someone to harass him (it worked well with the Mike Madigan video a few weeks ago).


This is edited down to high heaven and you can’t figure out what’s happening, why it happened, or who’s harassing Jack. I don’t see Jack hitting anyone in this video, but someone off-screen shoves the cameraman who dramatically grunts for effect. A lot of shaky camerawork and bad acting. I’d like to see this within context, unedited. The Davis campaign should hire someone to track its trackers.

David Bellavia tweeted:

The tweet has since been removed changed (UPDATE).


And a similar sentiment was posted to his Facebook page:

The Corwin campaign is desperate because its candidate came out in favor of obliterating Medicare, has a thin resume, is lying about her resume, is something of an empty container spouting GOP talking points, and is otherwise not thought of either negatively or positively in the region. By contrast, people either love or hate Davis, and most people think Hochul is the bee’s knees.

The Corwin campaign is desperate because its cakewalk is now riddled with roadblocks. She hasn’t been winning hearts and minds with her alleged ideas or positions, so she has to send out goons to harass cranky older candidates. She has to send out goons to threaten David Bellavia, and accuse him of wrongdoing. She has to send out goons to ruin David Bellavia’s life because he has the nerve to fight back.

What we’re witnessing from the party of Tom Reynolds, Chris Lee, Chris Collins, and Carl Paladino is thuggery that would seem right at home in Central American, Taiwanese, or Eastern European politics. Threats, goons, intimidation, and ruination of lives shouldn’t be part and parcel of political campaigns for a podunk congressional race in a podunk part of a podunk region.

Shame on the Erie County Republican Party, and shame on anyone who doesn’t condemn this disgraceful, dictatorial, violent thuggery. It failed in making Davis look bad. It made a desperate Corwin campaign and a scared ECGOP outfit (the one that’s supposed to cruise the detested Chris Collins to re-election) look bad, instead.

NY-26: Heating Up, Full of Sweet Payback (UPDATED: LONSBERRY BAILS ON DAVIS)

11 May

David Bellavia is holding an event tonight where he’s expected to endorse a candidate whose name doesn’t begin with “Jane” or end with “Corwin”. By way of another hint, it’s also not Ian Murphy.


(Rochester, NY) – SSG David Bellavia (US Army, Ret.), a decorated combat veteran of the Iraq War, will host a “Salute to Veterans” party in Rochester on Wednesday night to celebrate the actions of the US Navy Seals who recently captured and killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Army Veteran and Rochester radio talk show host Bob Lonsberry will be master of ceremonies at the free chicken and pork barbecue buffet – a menu chosen to highlight the al Qaeda leader’s wretched life.

May 11, 2011

6:00 PM- 9:00 PM Barnard Exempts Restaurant & Party House
360 Maiden Lane Rochester, NY 14616

Lonsberry has already endorsed Davis, so there’s the best hint. (UPDATE: LONSBERRY RESCINDS HIS ENDORSEMENT OF JACK DAVIS) Bellavia was promised the Republican nomination for NY-26 in 2008 when he left the Republican primary to pave the way for Chris Lee, whom Bellavia actively supported. In exchange, Bellavia was promised the nomination next time around, when Lee left Congress. Well, Lee left Congress and Bellavia got screwed.  Not just screwed, but there was a massive whisper campaign started by Corwin loyalists to try to destroy Bellavia altogether.

Bellavia will be exacting his revenge over the next couple of weeks.

In other NY-26 developments:




Channel 2 to Murphy: Drop Dead

5 May

Ian Murphy was somewhat invited, then quite rudely disinvited, from participating in a NY-26 debate being hosted by Channel 2.

Murphy says the disinvitation reads as follows:

As you are aware, WGRZ-TV and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle invited the candidates for the 26th congressional district to a debate at the WGRZ-TV studios on May 12th. In fact, after a certified letter to your business, the Buffalo Beast, was returned to our station, we sent Scott Levin to your home to personally make sure you were given every opportunity to respond and participate.

Since the letters were mailed to all four candidates, two major situations have developed. First, a Siena poll shows you garnering only 1% of the vote, while the other three candidates have substantially higher and much closer poll numbers. The Siena poll would indicate you are not considered a serious candidate by the residents of the district.

That indication was supported this past weekend with your latest post on your latest Buffalo Beast blog, dated April 29th. In that blog, you wrote about Scott delivering you the invitation, and refer to Scott as a “tall, orange robot.” You wrote that you were “stoned,” and “a little drunk.” You referred to Scott Levin’s face as “covered with wierd [sic] orange puddy?” You made crude references to the condition of your home. You also greatly distorted the conversation you had with Scott to the point of turning it into a vulgar satire.

You make it clear in the way you present yourself that you are not a serious candidate in this race. WGRZ-TV, the other candidates, and the residents of the 26th congressional district ARE taking this race seriously. As such, we no longer offer you an invitation to the May 12th debate.

Best regards,
Jeff Woodard
News Director

I think that’s bullshit.

Murphy is a duly nominated candidate for federal office by a legally constituted and recognized political party, and has quite frankly presented more substantive positions on real issues than many of the others.  Jack Davis shows that you can be a joke candidate and be taken seriously, so long as you have millions in the bank.

Murphy responds:

And that 1%? Well, WGRZ-TV, it’s not your fucking job to interpret poll numbers. It’s not your fucking job to censor one of the candidates. It’s not your fucking job to tell people who is and who is not a “serious” candidate. It’s just not your fucking job. In case you forgot, your fucking job is to present all the information available to your viewers, on any given subject, and let them decide. That is your fucking job. And, you know what? Maybe I’d have a little more than 1% if the local media did its fucking job to begin with.

Like me or not, what WGRZ-TV has done here is an insult to our democracy. Local news stations, no matter how awful, have no business excluding someone who is officially on the ballot from taking part in a debate. Since, for the most part, the local media has not done its fucking job, this debate was one of the few opportunities for me to speak directly to the residents of NY-26. But WGRZ-TV doesn’t think much of folks around here, apparently. Not enough to let them decide for themselves, anyway.

Whether you agree with Murphy or not; whether you think he’s right on the issues or a joke, he makes a valid point about the way in which the regular media have covered this race.

I’ll be sending a note to Mr. Woodard asking that WGRZ reconsider its decision to disinvite Ian Murphy from the NY-26 debate.  As a voter in the district, I’d like the opportunity to hear what Murphy has to say, and I’d like to see that happen with the other candidates being present.

Barring that, perhaps WNYMedia.net could host some sort of online video chat/forum whereby voters can interact directly with Mr. Murphy.

Jane Corwin Dot Org

27 Apr

Epic campaign silliness ensues in NY-26 as a new “Jane Corwin for Congress” website launches…


Corwin Outlines Comprehensive Pandering Strategy

WILLIAMSVILLE – Jane Corwin, successful daughter of rich people and candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, today outlined a comprehensive pandering strategy to say she’ll decrease gas prices because that’s what our polling research said people want to hear. Corwin discussed her pandering agenda to a crowd of local idiots.

The need for a “whatever-sounds-good” pandering strategy has never been greater.

“I don’t pump my own gas, or have any idea how much it costs, but my maid tells me she can barely afford to get to my mansion anymore! Washington has heavily subsidized the oil industry and I plan to do the same–except I call it reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Eww, foreign. It sounds so…foreign.” Corwin told the idiots. “When I’m in Congress I will crush the EPA and ensure that your grandchildren live in a dystopian environmental hellscape–I mean, lower costs of fuel.”

Corwin offered several no-nonsense ways to ensure these vague sentiments:

  • Increase domestic energy by burning the homeless and having gross fat people ride a treadmill that’s hooked into the grid.
  • Get Washington out of the business of regulating anything, at any time, for any reason.
  • Stop the EPA from doing stuff. Richard Nixon was one of our greatest presidents, but that agency is for losers.

“America’s energy concerns, kitchen table issues, groceries, et cetera, et cetera, things stupid poor people care about. I’m out!”


Who might be behind such a dastardly parody?  I think I have a suspect…


Ian Murphy, Habitual Linestepper

A simple whois search shows the site is registered to Paul Fallon, Founder and Mildly-In-Charge Muckety Muck at The Buffalo Beast.

Good job, guys!  I wish we had thought of it first…

Leadership Through Tweets

12 Apr

Jane Corwin, who has spent the last couple of years doing bugger-all in Albany, and is now making stuff up about Kathy Hochul instead of touting her weak roster of non-accomplishments, is all over this tough budget stuff that was going down in Washington last week.

Although the budget compromise process in Washington ended on Friday April 8th, on Monday April 12th, Ms. Corwin had just got through “reviewing” it, and instead of offering an opinion or a position or a hint of how she might have voted, she asked her Twitter followers what she should think:


Literally within hours of the budget compromise being reached, Kathy Hochul released this statement:

“Tonight, with just over one hour before a massive a government shutdown, the United States Congress finally came to a budget compromise.

“For days, I have called on my opponents, Republican Jane Corwin, and Tea Party-endorsed candidate, Jack Davis, to join me in supporting a budget compromise to no avail.  I am thankful Congress has worked through their disputes and finally come to this compromise that cuts spending.  However, I am greatly dismayed at the lack of concern Jane Corwin and Jack Davis have shown on this issue.  Instead of supporting what was right for the people of the 26th District, my opponents chose to play politics and avoid the issue at hand.

“If Jane Corwin and Jack Davis were currently serving in Congress, their apathy towards the budget compromise would have delayed students their loans, seniors their social security benefits, small business owners their loans, veterans their benefits, military men and women their paychecks, and hard working families their tax refunds.

“We cannot allow partisan politics to stand, which is why once elected I will work with all Members of Congress to make sure this fiasco does not occur again.  I will work hard to pass a 2012 budget on time that makes substantial cuts, while still ensuring essential services are not disturbed.  We cannot decimate Medicare and break the promises made to our seniors.”

Like it or not, it’s a thoughtful and well-considered position. Yet four solid days later, Jane Corwin doesn’t know what she thinks about it all. (For the record, neither Jack Davis nor Ian Murphy have offered up any sort of substantive statement on the averted shutdown, either).

Four days later, Hochul continually taunts Corwin for her refusal to take a position on this. She made the point in a tongue-in-cheek release claiming to be the “only candidate to support the Sabres”:

“Now that the regular season is officially over, I congratulate the Sabres on an amazing 40th season and look forward to watching them in the playoffs.  Since my opponents – Republican, Jane Corwin, and Tea Party-endorsed candidate, Jack Davis – have refused to take a position on Congress’s budget compromise, I now call on them to immediately join me in rooting on the Sabres in their run for the Stanley Cup”

I mean, if Davis and Corwin can’t formulate an opinion on the most important thing the Congress has accomplished since this special election process began, it is right for Hochul to call them out and mock them.

This isn’t some silly game like going to Albany as a minority freshman, where frankly you don’t have to be smart or interested to keep getting re-elected. Going to Congress isn’t some jejune exercise that can easily be bought with personal millions just because you have an enrollment advantage.

Corwin continues to prove that it is she, and not anyone else, who is the joke candidate.