Tag Archives: NY-23

#NY26 to be Overrun with Hipster Wingnuts?

22 Feb

As our Batavian correspondent, Chris Charvella notes, the Republican chairs in NY-26 have selected Assemblywoman Jane Corwin – the most self-fundiest candidate – to run on the (R) line for Chris Lee’s seat of shirtlessness.  Corwin released this statement:

I am humbled to receive the support of Western New York’s Republican leadership and I thank them for conducting this process in an open, fair and comprehensive manner considering the time constraints.

As the 2nd most conservative member of the New York State Assembly in rankings by the New York State Conservative Party and the #1 Legislator in scoring by Unshackle Upstate, a New York reform organization, I know we need to slash federal spending, balance the budget, end the bailouts, take leftover money from the Obama stimulus package to pay down the deficit and support repealing Obamacare.

As someone who has run a business and created hundreds of private sector jobs in Western New York, I know that government only gets in the way of job growth. Fighting massive government expansion and runaway spending were two of the biggest reasons I entered public service a few years ago. Demanding fiscal responsibility in Washington and creating jobs in our communities in Western New York will be my priorities should I be this region’s Representative in Congress.

2nd most conservative?  Looks like someone is trying to wrap the Conservative Party line in a neat little package and otherwise thwart any challenges from the right.

Other interviewees included Amherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein, Akron Lunatic Jack Davis, Professional Yenta Kathy Weppner, Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, and three people from the rural areas or near Rochester whom you’ve never heard of.

But back to that “2nd most conservative” quip.  One reason why that’s there has to do with the fact that Corwin shockingly believes that women should have the right to terminate a pregnancy within the first trimester, and in cases of rape or incest. The other major development yesterday in NY-26 is the noise the tea partiers are making about their exclusion from the selection process.  Entirely missing the point about the special election nomination process, and how their own proud outsiderism has suddenly found them powerless, the Palinist/Paladinoist wing of the tea party is making noise about Corwin supposedly “buying” the nomination.

As a Democrat living in the 26th Congressional district, I will do everything I possibly can to encourage the tea partiers to nominate and run a separate, more right-wing candidate for the Lee seat. On Twitter, a Californian who runs the tea partyish “One Country PAC”, which encouraged tea party darling Doug Hoffman to challenge Dede Scozzafava in NY-23, has been agitating for the county chairs to pick David Bellavia, saying they’d be “dumb” to select anyone else. Hopefully Mr. Eustis may do for Ms. Corwin’s campaign what he did for Ms. Scozzafava’s.

Not to be rejected or outdone, enigmatic lunatic Jack Davis threatened the GOP chairs that he would take his “platform” and go sell crazy to the Democrats or some other party.  He is determined to go to congress to ensure that the Asians and the brown people get what’s coming to them.  He told the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy:

“I think I can get the Democratic endorsement,” he said. “I still have connections there.”

I’ll tell you right now that there’s nothing about Jane Corwin that is repellent enough for me to ever consider mouthing or writing a word of support for Jack Davis. I would rather see 400 Corwins in the House of Representative than a single Davis, and if the Democratic establishment completely loses its mind and selects Jack Davis to run as a Democrat in this race, then I’ll abandon the party and throw my support behind Corwin.

It looks like the burning need for right-wing ideological purity, and a desire for contemporary relevance, will spur the tea partiers to throw a monkey-wrench into what should otherwise be a pretty easy and straightforward Republican path to victory.  Chris Lee would have been congressman-for-life; it’s an easy Republican seat. But by pushing an alternative Iraqi war vet candidate in Bellavia (or, one can only hope, email conspiracy theory regurgitator Weppner), the tea party will show that the lessons of NY-23 haven’t been learned; that New York Republicans and conservatives are actually interested more in winning than in ideological obeisance.

The margin of victory in 2004 was 55-45; in 2006 it was 52-48; in 2008 it was 55-40 again (with Jon Powers getting 4.5% on the WFP line without even trying, living in D.C.).  The tightest margin was in 2006, when Reynolds beat Davis by only 8,300 votes.  It’s a very tough, but possible Democratic win, with the right mix of candidate and money. If the Republican vote is split, and a tea party candidate garners – through active campaigning – more than 5% of the rightist vote, then it’s not insane to suggest that Hochul could win 48 – 44 – 8.  With a bunch of outsider city slickers running through Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties telling people what to do, it could be as bad as 48 – 42 – 10.

When Bill Owens defeated Doug Hoffman in NY-23 by less than 4 points after Scozzafava dropped out, I wrote,

the American people are generally in the middle.  Party activists can tend to be on the political extremes.  Our system of candidate selection, including through primaries, favors the true believer extremists.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate well when you open it up to the general population.  Make no mistake – this loss is a huge blow to the Palinist wing of the Republican Party, which pulled out every single available stop to make sure Hoffman won. When they start the purge of Olympia Snowe, they’d better remember this day.

So, let’s all encourage the tea partiers to run Bellavia or Weppner.  Let’s encourage the PACs and young activist movement conservatives to swarm into western New York to discover beef on weck, gray skies, and despair.  Let’s ensure that Jack Davis skulks back into his factory to yell angrily at the wall.

It’s shaping up to be a fun ride here in the district of Reynolds.

Hoffman Calls Givesies-Backsies in NY-23

19 Nov

A few weeks ago, way up in northern New York, Democrat Bill Owens defeated Doug Hoffman, a Conservative Party candidate who drew support from the tea-steepage-pouch crowd all around the country to defeat the evil Dede Scozzafava.

The result hasn’t been finalized, and the final corrected counts are coming in, and absentee ballots are being counted as well.  Every county board of elections in New York State is run with one Republican and one Democratic commissioner.  If there were any anti-Hoffman shenanigans going on, the Republican commissioners would be screaming bloody murder.

Hoffman has been going on the Glenn Beck program recently to, among other things, retroactively attempt to retract his election-night concession.  Gosh, I remember it was just 9 years ago when Al Gore refused to concede in the first place, and the Republicans accused him of everything short of infanticide.

Not one to just milquetoastedly play givesies-backsies, Hoffman went full wingnut with this insane, rambling letter to supporters accusing ACORN of attempting to steal the election in NY-23. The body of the letter is what one might typically expect from a disingenuous nutter, but my favorite part is this postscript:

I ran a different kind of campaign, one where Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Party and 9/12 activists rallied around. ACORN, the unions and Democratic Party were scared, and that’s why they tampered with the ballots of voters in NY-23. Will you please contribute today so we can show them that fair elections are the Will of the People? Thank you.

Yeah, the Democrats were so scared that they won the election.  The unions were so scared, they helped Owens win the election.

But the kicker is this:  ACORN didn’t send anyone to NY-23.  ACORN wasn’t there.  Even a handful of Republican BOE commissioners up there take issue with Hoffman’s outburst.

Jerry O. Eaton, Jefferson County Republican elections commissioner, called Mr. Hoffman’s assertion “absolutely false.”

“No one has touched those ballots or has access to those ballots except Board of Elections staff — and in a bipartisan manner,” he said…

…George J. Williams, Oswego County Republican chairman, said Mr. Hoffman’s assertion “is not accurate.” He said he roamed the county on Election Day and saw no evidence of tampering.

“We’re not going to take the blame because he didn’t hold his concession speech,” Mr. Williams said. “If there’s any doubt, I would never concede. I know things could happen. Did illegal things happen? No, I do not believe that.”

Mathematically, Hoffman cannot win.  It’s over.

And it’s not over because ACORN stole an election or SEIU intimidated people.  It’s over because the voters were given a stark choice between a candidate who was acutely aware – and concerned – about local issues, and a candidate who was acutely aware of what Glenn Beck’s listeners and viewers were concerned about.

In just a few days, the word ACORN has gone from being something that struck fear in the hearts of conservatives and Fox News commentators everywhere, to being the punchline of a joke.

NY-23 Postscript

12 Nov

The vote was close enough that absentees are being counted, and machines are being recanvassed. It may even end up with a Hoffman victory.

But remember this: regardless of the outcome, regardless of whom it may help or hurt:

Count. Every. Vote.

Scozzafava Exits

1 Nov

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

Dede Scozzafava Suspends Campaign, Endorses No One

31 Oct

As noted above, the endorsed Republican candidate has been effectively purged from the Republican Party, and some sort of conservative purity is, therefore, effectively preserved.  Or something.  Scozzafava has released all her supporters, and the party chairs who backed her, to do whatever they want.

Scozzafava could have – but didn’t – aggressively combat Hoffman’s onslaught. As I did before, I attribute this to the failure of Albany politics.  She has been in the Assembly since 1999 – that’s ten years in office with the benefit of what Albany incumbency means.  Once confronted with a motivated, well-funded opponent, she was all done.

The Republican Party has moved out of the big tent and they’re all huddled in a much smaller shelter.  In the South.

Sullivan’s take is hereAmbinder here. LGF reacts here.

But frankly I don’t care if the Republican Party is busy enforcing ideological purity and expelling moderates from its ranks.  What I’m interested in is how this all shakes out.  The last two credible polls were essentially identical, showing Hoffman and Owens apart by one point, with Scozzafava way behind.  But as Nate Silver notes, NY-23 may have a 50,000 Republican enrollment advantage, but it went for Obama last year.  Scozzafava’s supporters like Obama, not so much Owens or Hoffman.

The reality is that a lot of Scozzafava’s ex-supporters, many of whom don’t like either Hoffman or Owens, simply won’t vote. And some of them will still wind up casting their ballots for Scozzafava undaunted, as she’ll still appear on the ballot and may have made herself something of a sympathetic figure. Certainly, it would seem to help Hoffman if Scozzafava decided to endorse him — but only 15 percent of Scozzafava’s voters had a favorable view of Hoffman, so they aren’t going to come over easily, if at all.

Also note that Owens has the WFP line.  The IP had endorsed Scozzafava, but with her withdrawal, IP state chairman MacKay has specifically endorsed Owens.


Pulling Out All The Stops

30 Oct

In NY-23, that paragon of New York good government excellence, George Pataki, has endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.  After Pataki’s decade-long tenure, where Albany pretty much stayed the same exact tax-and-spending place it’s always been, I hardly see how this is a boon to Hoffman, but as this article supposes, no matter what happens, it’s always good news for the Republicans.

Also, relatively newly minted Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who also represented a relatively conservative district as congresswoman, will be campaigning with Bill Owens this weekend.

Wednesday November 4th

29 Oct

Here’s a scenario:

It’s Wednesday November 4th. Bill Owens has very narrowly won a seat in Congress from NY-23.  Dede Scozzafava, the endorsed Republican candidate finished a distant third.  All the smart #TCOT kids wearing Banana Republic have left town with their Blackberries and laptops no longer taxing the local coffee shops or Verizon towers.

Now what?

Are they going to stick around NY-23 and help #rebuild the party apparatus there?  Are they going to run to become local committeemen, eschewing their small apartment in NW for a ranch on a rural road with propane heat and a septic tank?

No.  The Republican voters of NY-23 will wonder how the hell they blew a pretty safe seat, and probably be pretty pissed off that all these tools came in from out of town to fuck it all up.

Doug Hoffman: Car Owner

29 Oct

This piece at HuffPo from Chris Kelly, a writer for Real Time with Bill Maher, is funny.

What Doug Hoffman really has is an accountant’s willingness to repeat what he’s told. Glenn Beck is mad as hell about ACORN? So is Doug Hoffman. The Concerned Women for America don’t like abortion? Neither does Doug Hoffman. The Family Research Council hates gay people? So does Doug. Did you bring the check?

No one cares about their accountant’s life story. They just need him to get the numbers to work.

Still, it must be hard to get a crowd fired up. Even the name, “Doug.” It’s like someone started writing “Douglas” and lost interest.

I haven’t seen any of Hoffman’s lit, but it apparently hearkens back to that magical 1980 when Reagan was elected, the US won the cold war through hockey, and we had hostages in Iran.

I guess Doug Hoffman had some role in the Miracle on Ice, although, if memory serves, the assist went to Pavelich. Hoffman was the Olympics’ accountant. (The Games ended up $6 million in debt and had to be bailed out by Jimmy Carter.) The connection between Hoffman’s math skills and the Reagan Revolution is a bit of a stretch.

The Republican Implosion in NY-23

27 Oct


Rather than rehash and reword what Andrew Sullivan writes here, how’s about I just link to it, k? And Little Green Footballs, too.  As a reminder, here’s the map of NY-23.

Back when I was a Republican, I was a fan of guys like Bill Weld.  Guys who preached lower taxes, less spending, but really didn’t want to get all up in people’s business over stuff like abortion and whether you’re gay or not.

Now, there is a specific and concentrated effort to purge those northeastern moderate Republicans from the party completely.  According to this, Dede Scozzafava is more conservative than Jim Tedisco, whom conservatives supported strongly in NY-20 earlier this year.  Newt Gingrich – as red-blooded a conservative Republican as anyone – is now shunned and vilified by the True Believers because he has the nerve to support Scozzafava’s campaign.

And think about this – the people up in the North Country had a relatively moderate Republican representative in John McHugh, and he had represented the people of northern New York since 1993.  Who are all these people coming in to the district from all sorts of parts of the country to tell upstate Republicans that Scozzafava, who is like most upstate Republicans, is a heretic?

Gingrich says:

“This idea that we’re suddenly going to establish litmus tests and all across the country we’re going to purge the party of anybody who doesn’t agree with us 100 percent; that guarantees Obama’s reelection, that guarantees Pelosi as Speaker-for-life,” he told Fox News last night.

Gingrich called Scozzafava a “liberal Republican” for her support of gay marriage and abortion rights. But he defended those positions as in-step with her district and her predecessor, former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), who was tapped to be President Barack Obama’s Army Secretary…

…“So I say to my many conservative friends who suddenly decided whether they’re from Minnesota, or Alaska, or Texas, they know more than the upstate New York Republicans? I don’t think so,” he added.

Malkin replies that centrists should indeed be purged from the party.  As for Gingrich’s point about out-of-staters imposing their opinions on people campaigning, blogging, and activisting in Watertown?  Like this guy?  She cites…

…the New York Post.

The people along the Quebec border are probably more apt to listen to people from out of state than the New York fricking Post. In the end, the Democratic candidate Bill Owens is free to talk about real issues and stay above the fray.


NY-23 Where it's Teabags vs. Republicans vs. Democrats

22 Oct

Did you know that NY-23 is now ground zero for the civil war underway within the Republican Party? After Republican Representative John McHugh resigned the seat to become Secretary of the Army, the RNC selected Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R, I, WF) to run for the vacant seat, while the Democratic candidate is lawyer and Air Force veteran, Bill Owens.

But there’s a third candidate in the race. Doug Hoffman is a member of the usually fusiony Conservative Party, but there’s something genuinely interesting at play here. The ultra-right conservative movement has seemingly more hatred for Dede Scozzafava than for the Democrat, Owens.

If you Google Hoffman and NY-23, you get a laundry list of conservative bloggers, pundits, and activists lining up to assassinate Scozzafava’s political career and promote Hoffman as the “real Republican”. Malkin. Bachmann. Armey. NRO. Club for Growth. Even Sarah Palin.

Notorious racist Robert Stacy McCain is freelancing (for himself) and is soliciting donations from his readers to fund a trip up to the North Country to “cover” this race. To get a sense of what the teabagger contingent really think, consider this from McCain’s site:

For an extra $4.60, I can add a 23-mile detour to Ogdensburg, N.Y., walk to the Canadian border and urinate on the other side. Just sayin’ . .

Hahahahaha! Because they’re Canadian!

This from the same crowd who earlier this year breathlessly supported the lazy Albany career hack Jim Tedisco – an empty-suited RINO if ever there was one – in the NY-20 special election.

Far be it from me to get my hands dirty while the Republicans are busy further damaging the remnants of their brand, but it’s a fascinating battle going on between the traditional northeastern moderate Republican establishment that has a libertarian streak on social issues and believes in lowering taxes and spending, and the whacko Cheneyistas who think anyone to the left of Michelle Malkin is a commie heretic.

Will the Republican Party go full teabag? They’re trying that out in NY-23. It will definitely be fun to watch the right split their vote between Scozzafava and Hoffman, thus hopefully enabling a Democratic pickup.

But for what it’s worth, Scozzafava’s campaign is packed with hilarious fail.

For instance, don’t hold a press conference outside your opponent’s campaign HQ. Hilarity may ensue.


Albany incumbents are so cute when they’re caught in tough races.