Tag Archives: Jane Corwin

Hochul vs. Corwin 2.0

14 Aug

The only thing missing so far is a kid dressed like Fonzie shoving a camera in an old man’s face. 

Issue: Medicare, Paul Ryan, and what noted Marxist philosopher Newt Gingrich called “right-wing social engineering”

The Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski wrote Monday about how Chris Collins refuses to comment on the Ryan Budget, which would fundamentally transform Medicare from the popular single-payer system seniors enjoy – and future seniors pay into throughout their work history – into an expensive voucher-based privatized program.  

Of course he’s keeping mum. This issue did tremendous harm to his neighbor, Jane Corwin’s, campaign in 2011. 

At the heart of the Republicans’ Medicare Privatization Syndrome Because is to replace a reasonably efficient government bureaucracy with a 97% approval rating from users, and replace it with the fragmented, fundamentally broken, redundant, private (oft for-profit) bureaucracy to take money from the patients through premiums, and nickel-and-dime the physicians on payouts, and futz with what is and isn’t covered. Ungrateful looters & moochers

Mitt Romney has now selected the architect of that unfair and likely unconstitutional Medicare voucherization plan to be his running mate, and the fallout is spilling over into the hotly contested NY-27 race. 

Incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul released this Monday morning: 

“Try as he might, Chris Collins cannot run from the fact that he said a budget that ends Medicare as we know it and forces seniors to pay more for their healthcare to fund tax cuts for his millionaire friends ‘doesn’t go far enough,’” said campaign manager Frank Thomas. “Voters deserve to know how much further Chris Collins would go when he already supports decimating Medicare so he can give tax breaks to the rich. How can voters be expected to trust a candidate who will not be candid about his position on an issue that will crush seniors and the middle class.”

Collins told the Batavia Daily News that the Ryan Budget “doesn’t go far enough.” According to the Batavia Daily News, “Collins said he favors the Tea Party push to reduce the federal government. He praised Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, for ‘starting the conversation’ about reducing entitlement programs. But Collins said Ryan doesn’t go far enough. Ryan believes the budget could be balanced in 30 years, Collins said it needs to be done in 10 years. To delay it longer isn’t fair to young Americans who will have to foot the bill.” [Batavia Daily News, 5/9/12]

Collins said his stance on the Ryan Budget is similar to Jane Corwin’s. In March 2012, Collins has admitted that his position does not differ significantly from Jane Corwin’s position. Corwin supported the Ryan Budget, which “would essentially end Medicare.”  [Buffalo News,3/25/12; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

But now Collins refuses to even answer questions on the Ryan budget.  According to the Buffalo News,

Asked in a weekend telephone interview for his reaction to Ryan’s selection, Collins, the former Erie County executive, would not – even when asked again and again – endorse or even comment on Ryan’s budget, which would partly remake Medicare into a voucher program for future seniors while drastically cutting most domestic spending. [Buffalo News, 8/13/2012]

Republican Chris Collins released this, in response: 

“What we are seeing is a desperate public sector millionaire employ every scare tactic under the sun to distract from the issue that matters most to voters – fixing this economy. Of course, with her record of massive tax increases and job killing regulations, it’s no wonder Kathy Hochul wants to talk about anything other than her failed plan to fix the economy. 

With her whole-hearted embrace of ObamaCare, Kathy Hochul has jeopardized the future of Medicare for current seniors. More incredibly, she turned her backs on the seniors she promised to protect when she voted to cut their Medicare and Medicare Advantage by $700 billion. 

The only way we will solve our budget problems is by adopting pro-growth, pro-small business policies that cut our debt, protect Medicare from going bankrupt, and let small businesses thrive. Kathy Hochul’s plan is to cling to ObamaCare, gut $700 billion from Medicare and watch our economy go down the drain. That’s not a leader – that’s a politician. Our region simply deserves better.”

A few quick observations: 1. Hochul’s release is more effective because it takes Collins’ own words and uses them against him. 2. Anyone else find it odd that Collins, of all people, is using “millionaire” as a pejorative against Kathy Hochul? I thought that was “class warfare” or something. 3. Collins’ statement is so much unsupported pablum about tax & spend liberals. 4. Collins is particularly vulnerable when it comes to being consistent and transparent. Whereas he merely spouts off talking points recycled from his last re-election campaign, Hochul provided hyperlinks to the things Collins has said in the past, and merely hoists him by the petard he so carefully constructed. 

From Zremski’s piece, Collins says

All I’m saying is that I’ll never support cuts to Medicare for current seniors or anyone close to retirement age, including Medicare Advantage, which my opponent has actually voted to cut.

But if you’re not “close to retirement age”, yet you’ve been paying into Medicare through your FICA for years and years, relying on the promise of hassle-free Medicare coverage when you retire, you can go pound salt. 

Now – about that $700 billion claim. Collins has been using that for weeks – you should follow his aide Michael Kracker on Twitter, and watch him do battle with Hochul’s campaign manager, Frank Thomas. This claim comes up a lot. 

The claim is that Obamacare rips $700 billion out of Medicare – that it’s a cut, that it steals from Medicare to fund Obamacare, etc. The claim is clumsy, palpably and provably false, and worse – assumes you’re stupid and will accept it as truth. 

Does Obamacare cut $700 billion from Medicare? No. Obamacare saves $700 billion in waste while enhancing and improving seniors’ access to healthcare.  This savings extends Medicare’s solvency by a full eight years. 

A Redditor independently examined the claim and reached the same conclusion – that Chris Collins and other Republicans are criticizing Democrats for saving $700 billion from a socialistic, redistributive, government-run single-payer health care system. 

CBO breaks out the $716 billion that Reibus refers to:

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) = $517 billion
  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) = $247 billion
  • * Medicare Part D (offset) = ($48 billion)
 = $716 billion 

To make a little more sense of this, I also referred to CBO’s Analysis of the Major Health Care Legislation Enacted in March 2010 – start at page 24 which basically bulleted the reasons, as follows:

  • Changes to Payment Rates in Medicare: “Permanent reductions in the annual updates to Medicare’s payment rates for most services in the fee-for-service sector (other than physicians’ services) and the new mechanism for setting payment rates in the Medicare Advantage Program will reduce Medicare outlays by $507 billion during the 2012-2021 period” I found this very confusing, so I referred to Politifact which states: “The biggest portion of that savings…will come from reducing annual increases in payments to medical providers….The healthcare law does not cut $500 billion from Medicare. It just reduces future growth.” So in essence, it aims to curtail Medicare spending, not outlays to recipients. Ironic how the GOP is attacking Obama for an initiative to save money.

  • Disproportionate Share Hospitals: CBO states that “Both Medicare and Medicaid provide additional payments to hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of low income patients. PPACA…modified the formulas use to calculate such payments under Medicare. Projected to reduce direct spending by $57 billion over the 2012-2021 period.” The Urban Institute explains that ” the loss of federal disproportionate share hospital payments and potentially high uncompensated care costs borne by state and local governments on behalf of the uninsured will also motivate states to expand Medicaid under the ACA. On balance, states would experience net budget gains from implementing the Medicaid expansion.” So they are basically phasing out a federal program (disproportionate share hospitals) to expand another (Medicaid) and States would have a net budget gain!

  • Thus far we have accounted for $650 billion of the $716 billion and NONE of these “steal money from Medicare.” They simply attempt to save money, reprogram funding.

As for the remaining $65 billion, CBO says “many of those provisions will reduce spending, whereas others will increase it. The provisions that will reduce spending make a variety of changes to prior law, including establishing a mechanism to reduce the growth rate of Medicare spending if projected growth exceeds a given target, initiating a number of programs intended to modify the health care delivery system, and adjusting payments for prescription drugs in Medicaid….PPACA and the Reconciliation Act include numerous provisions intended to identify opportunities and create incentives for providers to make changes to the health care delivery system that will reduce costs and improve the quality of care.”

So, there you have it. Chris Collins and the Republicans are lying to you about Obamacare, about how it affects Medicare, and about myriad other things. Collins isn’t talking about the Ryan budget and how it effects Medicare because he saw what it did to Jane Corwin. Instead, he’s trying to pivot the debate (by the way, has he agreed to any debates? Will he be releasing any tax information at all?) to lies about how Obamacare is stealing money from Medicare. Are we going to re-litigate the Corwin vs. Hochul debacle of  May 2011? Looks like it, and even with a re-worked district geography and demographic, it’s still got a lot of seniors who don’t appreciate being lied to, and don’t like that Collins supports the partial privatization, decimation, and increased user cost the right wing is proposing for Medicare. 

Household Help to Remove Corwins’ Sour Grapes?

6 Jul

Corwin? More like Cor-LOSE...

Both major political parties in western New York, it seems, are going through some upheaval. The Democrats have been fractured into oft-warring factions since time immemorial, but a massive push by Governor Cuomo to broker peace has been largely successful, at least for the current election cycle. There has been some grumbling, but when the most popular governor in America tells you to knock it off, you probably will.

On the other hand, the Republicans are just now getting a taste of what “disunity” means. Chris Collins is a wholly unliked and unlikable personality, and his brain trust just got through handing Jane Corwin an incredible, epic loss to a Democrat in Tom Reynolds’ hand-made NY-26. The strife was on full display during this past weekend’s Hardline program on WBEN, with Dave Debo hosting former Erie County Executive (and no friend of Collins’) Joel Giambra, Artvoice’s Geoff Kelly, Rus Thompson by phone to talk tea party, and Michael Caputo, Paladino campaign manager also by phone to talk about how Collins’ people screwed Batavia Iraq War veteran David Bellavia.

The discussion was touched off by this Buffalo News article and this commentary, written by Caputo and posted to WBEN.com. Caputo made the point that, in his opinion, the young guys running the Erie County GOP and Collins’ campaign apparatus are blatantly anti-veteran, pointing to their treatment of Gary Berntsen in 2010, and David Bellavia in 2011.

After Caputo emailed a link to the WBEN commentary to his contact list, he received the following email from Assemblywoman Jane Corwin’s husband, Phil. (Phil is the treasurer for the Collins campaign):

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM, philcorwin1@__.com wrote:
Michael,David Bellavia is a spoiled child who didn t get his way. I ve watched his public temper tantrum with disgust. He is also a liar who distorted my wife’s voting record. For the record she was the best candidate endorsed by Republican, Conservative, and Indepence parties based on her record in the Assembly, involvement in the Community and private sector job creation. David is a war hero and we all acknowledge it and respect him for his service but that doesn’t automatically make him a good person or a qualified candidate.

Take me off your email list and get a fucking life!

Phil Corwin

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

How about that! A demand that Caputo “get a fucking life” from an unemployed Range Rover Republican millionaire in the Chris Lee inheritance-mold. Remember: when Corwin says that Bellavia “didn’t get his way”, what that translates into is: Bellavia was promised the Republican nomination by Nick Langworthy in 2008 in exchange for Bellavia’s exit from the NY-26 race and endorsement of Chris Lee, along with a promise from Tom Reynolds that Langworthy would set up a PAC for that very reason. Seems as if Bellavia held up his end of the bargain, but the party apparatchiks lied. Twice, minimum. Phil Corwin likens Bellavia’s reaction to that breach an agreement to a “temper tantrum”.

Seems like he should know.

In response, Caputo sent the following to Mr. Corwin:

Phil:Until this email I thought you were a good guy, that you and your wife were just poorly served by a childish group of gutless punk kids. I believed you were above all the dirty tricks and so did David. But I was wrong: now I know you were a part of it, and you disgust me.Don’t tell me what David Bellavia said about Jane’s record; I know precisely what he said. He was truthful at all times, albeit in opposition. You have clearly never been in a competitive campaign because your sensitive skin is chafing.I know you don’t understand the honor and integrity inherent in a veteran’s service: you never deigned to serve your country. Many of us did that for you. We feel a man who is decorated for heroism – for taking bullets for your family, for watching his men die for your family, for holding the head of a friend as he gasped his last breath for your family – is far above the crap you, your wife and your sick allies in the Erie GOP pulled on him.

In fact, now that I know you and Jane were clearly behind all the dirty tricks, it may be time for a primary in Assembly District 142.

When a man fuels his campaign with integrity, he becomes the target of those who have none…

…Click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your email. Most folks understand that’s the easy and legal way to stop political mail, protected speech under the First Amendment. Maybe your butler can show you.

Finally, keep your foul language to yourself; it reveals your education. You’ve already shown your patriotism.

Don’t poke bears, Phil. They bite.

Sincerely,
Michael Caputo

There’s a battle being waged for the heart and soul of the local Republican Party – a war brought by those who see the Collins camp as dishonorable and led by a bunch of incompetents. Could Collins get his come-uppance this year due to his own hubris?

UPDATE: I inadvertently wrote that Phil Corwin is an “unemployed Range Rover Republican”. This ignores the fact that Mr. Corwin has an office on the 16th floor of the Manor Rath Building, as a Director of Noblesse-Oblige Vice-Chairman of the Erie County IDA. Even though he’s a dollar-a-year type of guy, he is not technically “unemployed” and reports directly to the man for whom he is the re-election campaign treasurer.

Maelstrom: Mallia Out

1 Jun

The phenomenal anti-Collins Republican Maelstrom blog is reporting that Michael L. Mallia, the Republican Fonzie / Jane Corwin Assembly Chief of Staff is resigning his post.

Corwin will wear her weak defense of Mallia for many months and will endure the whispers of other Assemblymen and women behind her back. They all know that a Chief of Staff of a sitting Assemblywomen does not quit at 5 o’clock as Corwin claimed. A Chief of Staff must be available at all hours, as the Assemblywoman and other elected state officials are. Not to mention the fact Mallia was obviously working for Corwin and her campaign when the video was recorded otherwise Langworthy would not have immediately posted it on the official Republican Party YouTube website.

Had this happened on or about May 12th, after Mallia’s video ricocheted back into her campaign’s face, Corwin may have had a better shot in the special election.

Now? the video has been removed from the ECGOP YouTube stream. Only people who have the code can view it. What was once a source of excitement and pride is now a symbol of utter failure.

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How Hochul Won #NY26

25 May

Today, the local spin masters are out in force, explaining how Kathy Hochul, Democrat, was able to beat Republibot5000 Jane Corwin for a Congressional seat once held by Jack Kemp and Tom Reynolds.

Republicans believe the reason that Corwin lost is clear; Jack Davis. Corwin and her surrogates assert that Davis appealed to independent and conservative voters in the district…in other words, a vote for Davis, would’ve been a vote for Corwin. When asked for comment on this assertion, Jack Davis replied with the following:

However, the numbers do not back up the Republican position. As the support for Jack Davis eroded in the last two weeks of the race from 23% in a Siena Poll to 9% in the election booth, the majority of those votes broke for Kathy Hochul. Using the final poll numbers, if Davis had not been in the race, Corwin would’ve needed to receive 76% of Davis’s votes to overcome Hochul’s margin of victory. That does not fit with the overall trend of the race.

Last night, several Republicans argued that if the race had been Hochul/Corwin, the results would have resembled the 2006 Davis/Reynolds election. Hochul received roughly the same percentage of the vote as Davis did in 2006 and Corwin would’ve received the same support as Reynolds did. Firstly, if the queen had balls, she’d be the king.  Secondly, Hochul was a much better candidate with an energized base and a competent field operation, two things Davis never had. For instance, in 2006, Reynolds beat Davis in Livingston County by a margin of 60-40. In 2011, it was a dead heat. Hochul picked away at the margins in the fringes of the district while shoring up her base in Erie County.  Thirdly, Medicare.

Which brings us to the national spin from the Democrats, that this election was a referendum on the Paul Ryan budget which would’ve turned Medicare into an episode of “Extreme Couponing” whilst giving massive tax breaks to people like Jane Corwin. Unsurprisingly, the voters in the rural areas of the district and the working middle class families of Erie and Monroe counties thought this was a pretty shitty proposal.

So, was Hochul’s win due to the Medicare issue? Yes and no. I haven’t seen any objective exit polling data to support that position, but it’s clear through anecdotal voter information and pre-election polling that it was a major factor.

Most importantly, this came down to campaign organization, messaging and field operations…as it always does.  The message is important, but the candidate who runs the tightest combined effort campaign ALWAYS wins.

Kathy Hochul took her time to assemble her campaign team, raise the necessary money, build support amongst the county chairpeople, reach out to important constituencies and gather grassroots support. She defined herself early in the race, stayed centered, never got rattled and ran a field operation with textbook precision.

Jane Corwin was rushed through the process because she could “self fund” and left a lot of the fundamental campaign organization to “her people”. Essentially, she outsourced her campaign “like a business”. She let tinpot Machiavellians like Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant run her operation into the ground. Their failures resulted in over $2MM of NRCC/Astroturf national republican money being spent on a race that should have been a cakewalk for the Republibot5000 candidate. Corwin should have stepped in and asserted leadership over her team, especially after “Operation: PunchOut” with Jack Davis, but she’s not that kind of politician.  And now she’s on her way back to oblivion as a minority member of the State Assembly, doomed to a life of ribbon cuttings and press conferences with the likes of Jim Hayes.

So, what’s next? A continued battle for the soul of the Republican Party in Erie County between Joel Giambra and Chris Collins. Leading to an exquisitely fun battle between Mark Poloncarz and Chris Collins for the office of Erie County Executive.  Collins’ braintrust, which fell on their face last night, are trying to sell Chris on the fact that they did a fine job and Jane would’ve won too, if it weren’t for that meddling Old Man Davis!

I’m sure Poloncarz is ready to prove them wrong…

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.

Vote Today, Watch WNYMedia.net 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.)

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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 WNYMedia.net, 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 WNYMedia.net 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.

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.

and

“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.

 

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.

and

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

 

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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.

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.