As I said, this race is political theater. Scuzzy, as one New Yorker called her, has now formally endorsed her Democrat opponent. I’m not sure she did him any favors.
Here is her full statement because only by reading the whole thing can you see the political gears meshing and turning. Surely this woman is a DIABLO (Democrat In All But Label Only – from Mark Steyn):
Since announcing the suspension of my campaign, I have thought long and hard about what is best for the people of this District, and how to answer your questions. This is not a decision that I have made lightly.
You know me, and throughout my career, I have been always been an independent voice for the people I represent. I have stood for our honest principles, and a truthful discussion of the issues, even when it cost me personally and politically. Since beginning my campaign, I have told you that this election is not about me; it’s about the people of this District.
It is in this spirit that I am writing to let you know I am supporting Bill Owens for Congress and urge you to do the same.
It’s not in the cards for me to be your representative, but I strongly believe Bill is the only candidate who can build upon John McHugh’s lasting legacy in the U.S. Congress. John and I worked together on the expansion of Fort Drum and I know how important that base is to the economy of this region. I am confident that Bill will be able to provide the leadership and continuity of support to Drum Country just as John did during his tenure in Congress.
In Bill Owens, I see a sense of duty and integrity that will guide him beyond political partisanship. He will be an independent voice devoted to doing what is right for New York. Bill understands this district and its people, and when he represents us in Congress he will put our interests first.
Please join me in voting for Bill Owens on Tuesday. To address the tough challenges ahead, we must rise above partisanship and politics and work together. There’s too much at stake in this election to do otherwise.
The Watertown Daily Times reported that a Democrat source told them Scozzafava and her husband met with the Democrat Committee Chairwoman at a restaurant to discuss her endorsement. No doubt the Dems will reward her apostasy well. Pols like Scozzafava never jump into bed with anyone for free.
Let’s see if the New York Republican Party has the integrity to drum her out of the club. Or maybe she knows where too many bodies are buried and they’ll just have to wait for her to pull a Specter and depart in a huff.
The comment section in this news item is an education. People are still climbing on to give their two cents worth and some of them are worth every bit of that. Here’s a good one,though, rising in value to at least a dollar:
Dede supports a Democrat? I am shocked. She finally comes clean. She played Republicans like real chumps. Will she be returning all that money.
Folks, you wonder why the North Country is economically troubled. It is because of LOSERS such as Dede Scozzafava. She is a poster child for the problems in Albany and the only savings grace is that this political hack of the first order will not be going to Washington.
Dede, you are a disgrace who could not stand the crucible of a real campaign. So go ahead and join your fellow tax and spender Bill Owens and please do us all a favor and re-enroll as a Democrat.
Tuesday is going to be a cliff-hanger.
Hat tip: Sean O’Brian
To those who are shrugging “who cares?” about all the attention being paid to a Congressional district so far north it bumps up against Canada, I’m here to tell you why it’s important: even more than the couple of governor’s races to be decided next Tuesday, this dress rehearsal in New York is the sign of things to come in 2010. That’s when the Congressional races will tell us what Obama has wrought during his term in office. In the meantime, this one particular, peculiar race will sort out the issues plaguing the GOP.
Admittedly, the 23rd District is an anomaly. Other places won’t have a three-way split with an established Conservative Party already in place as the one in New York is. In fact, this special election has demonstrated clearly why a national Conservative Party is a good idea, especially as more Americans are choosing to label themselves conservative in preference to any other designation, including “independent”.
This phenomenon was quite evident when a group of voters met with our Congressional representative here in Virginia last Spring to protest his big-spender Democrat voting pattern. When he referred to those assembled as “Republicans” there was an immediate, boisterous disagreement. People had to explain to him several times that they were libertarian or conservative – i.e., they believed in small government. One thing was certain: they adamantly were not going to accept the GOP label he tried to pin on them. Even when the principles were explained, it wasn’t clear that he really grasped the difference. Perhaps that reality will hit home next year during the election campaign.
With the internet to turn to for information, lots more people have become interested in politics and policy. It’s easy to find accurate information; it’s even easier to ascertain the political mood and to gauge public opinion. Smart politicians are using the net to their advantage, as Obama has demonstrated. And despite his repeated broken promises about transparency, the opaqueness of the fat cats who meet behind closed doors is becoming much more obvious to the general public. It is becoming increasingly easy to find any given politician’s voting record and use it either for or against them.
That’s why the New York 23rd special election is so full of portent.
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It has brought out distinctly both the nascent changes and the chronic problems plaguing the GOP. Here we have an unmistakable surge in outspoken conservatives against the business-as-usual RINO. The latter had the backing of the national GOP. Their spineless endorsement failed and that spells trouble for the Republican machine long-term. In addition there is a moderate Democrat poised to take advantage of the intra-party bickering.
I’ve said from the beginning that Obama chose the Republican from the 23rd district to be the Secretary of the Army because he wanted to turn what had been a safely Republican seat into another vote for his policies. His scheme may still work, but it won’t go as smoothly as he must’ve hoped.
The state and national GOP couldn’t have cooperated more with Obama’s plans if they tried. It was as though they met with him to choose the candidate most likely to annoy conservatives. The GOP’s final pick, state assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, is a disgrace to the Republican party. How do conservatives loathe her? Let me recount the ways:
- she loves Obama’s Stimulus plan;
- she won the Margaret Sanger award for her very liberal stands on abortion;
- her union goon husband threatened a Weekly Standard reporter by siccing the police on him for asking questions after a meeting;
- some of the national Republican campaign funds ended up in a bank account under the name of her sister-in-law;
- she was endorsed by the Working Families Party, part of the despised ACORN machine. The WFP has endorsed the Democrat now that she’s dropped out.
It was the Siena College Research Institute Poll that finally drove Scozzafava to quit. The small Franciscan school near Albany is respected for its predictions in local races and the numbers told her there was no way to win:
“Unfortunately for Assemblywoman Scozzafava, this has become a two person race between Owens and Hoffman,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. “She now has the support of only one in five voters, having gone from 35 percent support to 20 percent support since the beginning of the month.
That twenty percent of voters committed to Scozzafava will decide the race. It’s not a given that they’ll simply go for the other Republican. Anyone strongly in favor of Scozzafava is either a relative of hers or actually likes her big government RINO philosophy (which doesn’t differ much from the Democrat Party platform). So Owens, the Democrat candidate, could easily pick off some of her supporters.
An interesting aspect of the race is the MSM spin. It was their deliberate misrepresentation of reality that motivated me to begin writing about it in the first place. These “journalists” have painted Scozzafava as a “centrist” ever since the campaign began to attract public attention. As I said back then, if she’s a centrist, I’m a leprechaun.
Another thing they would have you believe is their tale that some brand new civil war is developing on the right. The fundamental disagreement isn’t new; conservatives have been disgusted with the GOP for ages. Many of them held their nose and voted for McCain but his candidacy did not make them happy. In fact, being left with such a poor choice is what finally drove many into declaring themselves anti-GOP.
The MSM has repeatedly attempted to make this a “tea-party” vote. The message there is the “froth-and-spittle” crowd spoiled things for the centrist Scozzafava. They have to believe this or otherwise the looming reality of a rebellion-from-the-middle voters in 2010 would be too scary to think about.
Scozzafava’s withdrawal doesn’t make the conservative Hoffman a shoo-in. The race is still too close to call. For one thing, Scozzafava’s name will still be on the ballot; the embittered will vote for her in protest. For another, some of the people who actually like Scozzafava’s politics will be drawn to the Democrat by default. A third factor to consider is the conservative endorsements for Hoffman. Pataki’s willingness to campaign for him is a plus but Palin’s support is a mixed blessing. Something she will have to deal with as time goes on is the fact that she is inherently polarizing in the same way Obama is. Not every Democrat incumbent next year is going to want Obama showing up in his district; some will be distancing themselves from the Big Government disasters of the current administration.
When the Club for Growth threw its weight behind the conservative Hoffman and opened its coffers to his campaign, Scozzafava was doomed. Since dropping out of the race she hasn’t endorsed “the other Republican” either. I’m not sure he’d want her support anyway.
So as things are winding up, Siena’s pollster says it’s close:
…it is likely that whichever campaign – Owens’ or Hoffman’s – does a better job of getting their voters to the polls will be the campaign holding a victory party. Given the tightness of the race and the need to count every vote, however, including those from the military, it is certainly possible that the victory party will have to be delayed beyond Tuesday night.”
This is one election count that the Republicans will be monitoring closely. ACORN’s voter fraud tricks are so well established by now that wherever they are a factor, monitoring is mandatory.
Aside from the campaign, then, several issues have emerged. The first is Newt Gingrich’s unwise decision to endorse Scozzafava. He’s been inside the Beltway too long and he actually thought his endorsement was something other than shooting himself in the foot. Not only that, but he was clueless enough to announce his probable candidacy for President in 2013. Who is going to break the news to him that it’s not 1990 any more? Gingrich is history, literally. His moment, if he ever had one, has long since passed him by. Without this New York campaign, we’d never have known of his delusions.
The other obvious fact is that the media spin on conservatives from now on is that they are “tea partiers”. This is supposed to marginalize them as lacking gravitas or sufficient numbers to make a difference. I suppose if they keep their hands over their ears while they mumble “nah, nah, can’t hear you” they’ll be able to avoid the looming truth: conservatives are mad and they’re ready to ride.
One more feature which has emerged from this campaign is the increasing strength of the Club for Growth. They may provide a nodal point to attract the conservatives who are disgusted with the feckless Republican National Committee. In this race the CfG has proved itself to be organized, efficient and focused. As people refuse to donate to the RNC, the Club for Growth will be a welcome alternative organization for funding truly conservative politicians.
Who knows? This could prove to be the beginning of a national Conservative Party. Lots of disgruntled voters are looking for a home.