Tag Archives: Owens

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 Endorses Owens

1 Nov

Well, NY-23 just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting.

UPDATE:  Let me start off by quoting this from John Cole:

You know the thing that I find most amusing about the NY race is that what they are basically telling every moderate Republican across the country is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a loyal Republican for decades, it doesn’t matter if you know the district and the people, it doesn’t matter if you fit the district, and it doesn’t matter that you have given decades to the party. It just doesn’t matter. If the teabagging wingnuts and the shrieking lunatics like Malkin don’t like you, high profile crackpots like Palin and Dick Armey and others are going to swoop in and back some clown who doesn’t even live in the district and then shit all over the area’s voters, telling them their interests are “parochial.”

There’s no way of knowing for sure who’s going to win, but odds are it’ll be Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate.  After all, there’s a 50,000 person Republican enrollment advantage.

Scozzafava’s rationale for endorsing her former Democratic opponent? Partly principle, partly payback.

Some of it has to do with a traditional tug-of-war among Congressional candidates – macro versus micro.  While House reps certainly are called upon regularly to weigh in on national issues, they are also expected to serve the constituents of their district, know their issues, and consider them carefully. Hoffman is an abject failure on all of those fronts, and he’s proud of it.  Sure, he doesn’t live in the district he wants to represent, but that’s perfectly legal and small potatoes.  (Lake Placid’s issues aren’t going to be altogether too different from those in Plattsburgh or Watertown when all is said and done).

Scozzafava is right to be butthurt about what’s happened to her, because no one ever said she was somehow subpar or ineffective as an Assemblywoman since 1999.  (Well, as effective as a Republican Assemblyperson can be, but I digress).  She’s garnered the support of her constituents regularly for a decade.  One would presume that people like her, or like what she’s done.  Her campaign was beset by failure and missteps, which only helped to hasten its demise. She claims, rightly, that her campaign was hijacked by people who care not one whit about the people and issues of NY-23, but are more concerned with the big-ticket national issues.

Even former Gov. George E. Pataki decided to endorse her conservative opponent.

“George Pataki is probably to the left of me on some issues,” Ms. Scozzafava said. “It leaves me a little baffled.”

No shit.

Upon learning of Scozzafava’s withdrawal, the Owens campaign issued this statement:

Over the course of her career, Dede has always committed to serving the people of Upstate New York before serving a partisan agenda,” he said in a statement. “Now more than ever we need bipartisan solutions to help bring jobs to Upstate New York to get our economy back on track and move our country forward. Those are the kinds of priorities I will fight for in Congress because that’s the kind of leadership Upstate New York needs right now.

The Hoffman campaign, however, was less gracious or conciliatory:

This morning’s events prove what we have said for the last week; this campaign is a horserace between me and Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked candidate, Bill Owens. At this moment, the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party, ACORN, Big Labor and pro-abortion groups are flooding the district with troops and they are flooding the airwaves with a million dollars worth of negative ads. They are throwing mud; they are trying to stop me

Given the juxtaposition of those two statements, on top of everything else, it makes sense that Scozzafava would give Hoffman a massive, “fuck you, too, buddy”.

After Scozzafava’s endorsement of Owens was confirmed, spokespeople for the Hoffman campaign delved into serious self-parody and a complete lack of perspective or sense of irony.  After everyone from Sarah Palin to Fred Thompson to the execrable George Pataxme Pataki jumped on the Hoffman bandwagon, this:

This afternoon Dede Scozzafava betrayed the GOP. She endorsed a Pelosi Democrat who will spend more, tax more, and push the liberal agenda that is dragging down this nation.

The GOP true believers all but got through calling Scozzafava a Marxist whore for the past three weeks, and she betrayed them?  Keep talking, guys.  Also, Pelosi!

If I was a voter in NY-23 and on the fence, the kicker for me would be this item from the Watertown paper.  More to the point, today the Watertown Daily Times switched its endorsement from Scozzafava to Owens:

The Watertown Daily Times initially endorsed Ms. Scozzafava as the best-qualified candidate in the race. We still think she is. However, in suspending her campaign she released her supporters’ commitment to her. That left voters to choose between Mr. Owens and Mr. Hoffman.

Of the two, Bill Owens is by far the superior and only choice.

The Democratic candidate has demonstrated a willingness to listen to people about ways in which he could help the district as their representative in Washington. Mr. Owens has remained focused on the economy and job creation throughout his campaign. At the same time, he has shown an understanding of the military, a keen desire to help dairy farmers, an ability to work with labor unions and an eagerness to learn more about the vast, 11-county district that he hopes to represent.

Mr. Owens seems to approach politics and challenges with an open mind, a generous spirit and a can-do attitude. He has conducted a dignified campaign in comparison to Doug Hoffman.

Mr. Hoffman is running as an ideologue. If he carries out his pledges on earmarks, taxation, labor law reform and other inflexible positions, Northern New York will suffer. This rural district depends on the federal government for an investment in Fort Drum and its soldiers, environmental protection of our international waterway and the Adirondack Park, and the livelihood of all our dairy farmers across the district, among other support. Our representative cannot be locked into rigid promises and policies that would jeopardize these critical sectors of our economy.

For a member of Congress, there may be a time to promote reform in Washington, but there is also a time to work within a system that best serves the people you represent.

It is frightening that Mr. Hoffman is so beholden to right-wing ideologues who dismiss Northern New Yorkers as parochial when people here simply want to know how Mr. Hoffman will protect their interests in Washington.

The race has changed, but voters still face an important choice. Northern New York must send to Congress a representative who serves their interests first and foremost.

The Times endorses Bill Owens for Congress.

Emphasis mine.

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.

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.