The other day, I reported on the high-handed tactics of Dede Scozzafava when faced with questions she didn’t like from a Weekly Standard reporter: she called the police on the guy as she drove away.
Her story (or her husband’s spiel) was that Mr. McCormack “yelled” at her. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Just another dance step in the choreography of Stupidly We Go Stumbling.
AP has listened to the tape. Mr. McCormack didn’t yell his questions; they were simply on issues she didn’t want to address. You’d think by now that politicians would know that reporters – and regular folks for that matter – carry recording devices and cell phones.
Erick at RedState has been on top of this political campaign from the beginning. It might seem like small potatoes to anyone who is not paying attention, but this particular election, in northern New York state, is a bellwether. Everyone with an interest in the composition of the House of Representatives, and everyone who is priming up for the 2010 Congressional elections sees this race as key to what will come next.
Erik says reasonably:
With just over a week to go before the election, we strongly believe Dede Scozzafava should withdraw from the race and throw her support to Doug Hoffman. It is objective fact that Scozzafava is in third place in the race. It is objective fact that she has the bulk of the Republican Party, despite the help of official organs of the party, and the totality of the Democratic Party aligned against her.
She was always a terrible choice. In the end, she has become liar, filing a false police report because a journalist dared ask a question she did not like and then using leftwing media in an attempt to smear the journalist. This campaign is a national embarrassment for the Republican Party.
Dede Scozzafava should withdraw from this race and offer her support to Doug Hoffman. Likewise, should the RNC and NRCC continue spending funds on this race, the money should be spent against the Democrat and not for Scozzafava or against Hoffman.
Given her record so far – inept, over-bearing, and inclined to use muscle where none is needed – I doubt she or the Republican Party will cooperate in an attempt to keep the district conservative.
The voices raised against her have become a chorus of “NO!”
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Jim Geraghty at NRO’s Campaign Spot explains why:
When a candidate commits a crime, the usual bonds of loyalty that a party requires are severed. When Sen. Larry Craig got caught in the airport restroom, Mitt Romney threw him off his campaign team. When Rod Blagojevich was arrested, every Democrat who had endorsed him and re-endorsed him ceased any sense of support.
You can call this throwing someone under the bus, but there’s a difference between severing a tie over political inconvenience and severing it over criminal behavior. If your friend committed a serious crime, you might end the friendship; even if you didn’t, you would probably express some disapproval.
In New York, Dede Scozzafava – or, more specifically, her husband – has, at least on the face of events, filed a false police report when he called the cops on Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack.
I refer you to New York state law:
S 240.50 Falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
He has the whole statute up. Scozzafava’s husband looks guilty.
The Washington Examiner has an unsigned editorial explaining further:
Faux New York Republican congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava didn’t like it Monday evening when The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack asked her about her support for Card Check. So Scozzafava’s campaign called the cops on McCormack, then falsely claimed the reporter had screamed at the candidate. The latter accusation was hastily withdrawn when McCormack played his tape recording of the encounter.
But, bad as that was, yesterday Scozzafava again went over the line, hypocritically slamming her opponents – Democrat Bill Owens and Doug Hoffman of the Conservative Party – for not taking questions in open forums: “If you don’t have the political courage to face constituents directly in open forums and answer their questions directly, then what type of courage are you going to have when you go to Washington?” We are not making this up.
Scozzafava – whose claim to be a Republican is undermined by her support of Card Check and her previous endorsement by ACORN’s far left Working Families Party – should withdraw from the special election campaign for New York’s 23rd congressional district. And donors to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which funded Scozzafava, should demand their money back.
The Washington Times gets it right this time. No more Republican shilling:
After we published this editorial on the outrageous attempt by New York’s liberal Republican congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava to intimidate the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack, and after not one but two attempts by the Scozzafava campaign to further smear the reporter, including one in which they all but accused the reporter of being a stalker by saying they had “no doubt he intended to follow her home, too,” it turns out that the Associated Press has confirmed that an audio recording of the event totally confirms Mr. McCormack’s version of it and proves that the Scozzafava campaign was being untruthful.
Forget the politics of this. Forget any questions of ideology or political philosophy. As a simple matter of protecting a free press, of showing proper mortification at any attempt to use police power to intimidate an honest reporter, I believe that Dede Scozzafava ought to withdraw from her race. Just one opinion in defense of the First Amendment — one opinion that I think is shared by many. Furthermore, all the Republican bigwigs who endorsed her and helped finance her, including the NRCC and the RNC and former speaker Newt Gingrich, ought to privately urge that she step down and, if she doesn’t, they should publicly call on her to do so. Police state tactics are inexcusable, and the media in general, along with all who cherish constitutional checks on abuse of the police power, ought to fight such tactics and defend fellow journalists/bloggers from them. Ms. Scozzafava should stand down.
And blogger Another Black Conservative speaks for many of us when he takes David Frum to task regarding “moderates”:
The point that Frum misses as he calls for more moderation is the aftermath of electing these so called moderates. Sure by lowering the standards of conservatism, we can have all kinds of people running around with the letter R after their names. But when the votes are needed to bring about conservative reform or to stop disastrous liberal legislation, these so called moderates have time and time again failed to deliver.
The moderates Colins, Snow and Specter all folded like a house of cards and thus caused America to throw away $800 billion dollars on a failed stimulus package. Perhaps if either of these moderates held a fiscally conservative belief, we would not be looking at a $1.4 trillion deficit for 2009.
Many in the base, myself included, are sick and tired of such fair weather friends. We are tired of so called moderate Republicans running as conservatives and then legislating as full on liberals. It isn’t just a question of ideological purity; it is a question of integrity. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Sadly, many conservatives are hard pressed to find such integrity among the so called moderate Republicans.
I am sick of the word “moderate” when applied to Republicans. It means a faux snow job: just dust it over enough to hide the fact that this woman is a Card Check leftist and the Party of Stupid was simply doing the only thing it knows to do: promote the hack.
Are they smart enough to stop throwing good money after bad? Who knows? One thing is for sure: we didn’t give them money when we had it to spare. Our support went to the Club for Growth or to individual candidates who campaigned from the right.
At Ace, Dave in Texas [not Dave in Sweden — little inside GoV humor there] says we’re going to see a lot of this. By “this” he means the Greek chorus singing NONONONONO to Ms. Scozzafava. A thousand times no, lady. Go Home!
This swell of opinion gives me hope that things can change for the better and we don’t have to sit idly by while the Republican Party tries to build a graven image that looks appallingly like Donkey Too.
Dave offers this tidbit:
Geraghty also offers an unconfirmed tip that Hoffman will get Sarah Palin’s endorsement. Sounds right to me.
That’s a coincidence: the Baron and I were speculating when and where Governor Palin would don the mantle of Republican base organizer and start showing up in local campaigns.
Whether you agree with her or not, she is popular and appealing. This rôle is a good fit for her. Let’s see if Scozzafava’s husband calls the police on Sarah Palin, hmmm?
Michelle Malkin is on it:
It’s time for the GOP to cut bait on radical leftist Dede Scozzafava.
Dump Dede and quick.
I repeat: Can the Republican establishment hear conservatives now?
That’s the big question, isn’t it? The echo chamber in the Beltway makes it hard to hear reality. Maybe the lack of funds from the average conservative will speak the volumes they obviously need to read.