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NY-13: Giovinazzo Won't Run, Either

by: James L.

Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 4:14 AM EDT

This is just getting ridiculous.

With the decision of former Assemblyman Matthew Mirones not to run for the seat of retiring Rep. Vito Fossella, the Staten Island Advance reported that the GOP would likely fall back on NY1 broadcaster Lisa Giovinazzo as their next best option. Giovinazzo, as you may recall, ran for the GOP endorsement against the late Frank Powers last month but lost the party's vote to the self-funding Powers.

Well, the New York Times reports that Staten Republicans can count her out:

Party leaders on Staten Island said they were looking seriously at a number of potential candidates. [...] They had also considered Lisa Giovinazzo, a lawyer and part-time anchor at the cable channel NY1 News. But on Wednesday, Ms. Giovinazzo said she would not be a candidate.

How many times can the GOP be snubbed here? Donovan, Lanza, Fiala, Oddo, Friscia, Mirones, Giovinazzo and even Fossella himself -- that's getting to be quite the list.

So who's next for the GOP? By my estimation, they have two apparent choices: cross-endorsing Paul Atanasio, the nominee of Brooklyn's Conservative Party, or cross-endorsing health care executive Carmine Morano, who is running on the Independence Party line. The Times has the straight dope on Atanasio:

Mr. Atanasio resigned under fire from the board of the city's School Construction Authority in 1999. He had been accused of nepotism by city and state investigators after an investigation into a construction accident at a Brooklyn elementary school in which a girl was killed by a falling brick. According to the investigators, Mr. Atanasio helped his secretary's husband, who had little construction experience, secure a job as project overseer.

Or the GOP could just give up and not field any candidate. Just a suggestion.

James L. :: NY-13: Giovinazzo Won't Run, Either
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So they're left with endorsing a 3rd party candidate
in a pretty even district with an open seat.  Wow.  Just wow.  

Maybe they'll just pack it and give it up.  Then, hopefully McMahon will do what Jackie Speier has done and pony up the hard-earned but suddenly unneeded money to the DCCC (her campaign is actually their top contributor this cycle, I think).

What a wonderful turn of events that would be---a free seat and another 250k or so for the DCCC to utilize.  

John McCain: Healthcare for kids?  Not for a Bush-McCain America.

It makes sense
I read in the Staten Isand Advance that McMahan thoroughly kicked Giovinazzo's ass in a race for NY City Council in 2002 I think.

On another note, are we reaching a point where we can actually look at nominating Harrison without being afraid of losing in November, or should we look to who can hold it in 2010? I think this race is over from a Rep v Dem perspective.

Well, you never know.
The GOP may be able to pull out a self-funding millionaire from their rolodex to save face here. Like I say -- it's best to wait until we know for sure. Powers' funeral is tomorrow, so we likely won't see any major moves until after that.

While my politics might align more with Harrison, I'd still say that McMahon is by far the better choice. If McMahon wins in November, he'll be instantly entrenched and could hold the seat for a long time.

Staten politics are rather parochial, and I think that Harrison as a Brooklynite would invite a top-tier challenge in 2010 if he somehow made it through the primary and won in November.

[ Parent ]
what would be different in 2010?
Why do you think a top tier Republican would emerge in 2010 to take on an incumbent Democrat when they have all passed on their best chance to take on an open seat this year?  

[ Parent ]
Different atmosphere.
If 2010 is even marginally better for Republicans (including more time passing from the scandals) and we have a Brooklyn Dem who is definately to the left of the district, it's easy to see a challenger arrising.

[ Parent ]
It would be like a Carol Shea Porter/Nancy Boyda situation
Republicans view those incumbents -- rightly or wrongly -- as very weak, so top-tier GOPers lined up to take them on.

I think a lot of Republicans would view Harrison as an "outsider", a weak fundraiser, and a lot easier to beat than a guy with a longer electoral track record like McMahon. Plus, as wmlawman says, 2010 will be a very different atmosphere -- one that could be negative for Team Blue.

[ Parent ]
great examples
I have regularly used them to say a progressive and activist candidate can win and hold this seat.  They both beat DCCC endorsed candidates and now have the full backing of the DCCC in their frontline program providing resources to their campaign.  While they have not completely embraced the DCCC's support it is there and I can't see why it would not be for Harrison.  Shea Porter ran on a very similar budget to Harrison in 2006 and while she isn't in a safe seat right now polling shows her doing very well.  She currently has raised $660,000 as an "outsider" and "weak fundraiser".  

Second we have seen what the top tier candidates on the Republican side look like.  Lanza and Tobacco would have to give up their seats to run against a Democratic incumbent.  Oddo is running for Borough President in 2009 which if he were to win would leave only two elected Republicans, Ignizio who would not be termed limited out of City Council and DA Donovan.  We have gone through literally 20+ candidates, there are not any other top tier candidates left.  Today's supreme court decision could produce a better self funding candidate but not one with campaign experience.  

As for 2010 being a different year we have no idea what to expect out of either Democratic candidate.  I don't believe we can look past this year and say that if McMahon were to win he would have a better chance of not having top tier candidates in 2010.  I have not seen any evidence to this and would appreciate if you could share if you know otherwise.  If nothing else this election has shown us that this is very unpredictable and the only race we can focus on is the one this November.

[ Parent ]
Fair points
I'll say this: When a Democrat wins according to a so-called "fluke", like Mahoney beating Mark Foley/Joe Negron, or Carol Shea Porter riding the '06 wave, or Nancy Boyda beating Jim Ryun, they vault to the list of vulnerable races that receive NRCC attention. If Harrison were to defeat a ninth-stringer Republican this year, I have no doubt that the GOP would make a full-court press to defeat him. And even if they didn't get their first or second or third choice, they might not even need a "top tier" recruit to make the race highly competitive -- Harrison would have his work cut out for him against any competent Island-based candidate.

Also, I'm not sure if we can hold Boyda and CSP up as examples of candidates who can hold seats. While I do suspect they'll both hold on, their refusal to accept DCCC help from the Frontline program was not a wise decision -- and it's one that CSP recently reversed after the Republicans began running ads against her (did she expect otherwise?).

[ Parent ]
I'm hoping in 2010...
...the Democrats have the State Senate and the conservative areas of Brooklyn are purged from the district and the lower end of Manhattan is added to the district instead to make the seat friendlier to Democrats.  Which would be difficult if Harrison won.

I'd also reserve judgement on McMahon.  While he did vote against a resolution condemning the war in 2003 he also supported Howard Dean in 2004.  I'm still waiting to see what type of platform McMahon releases and perhaps most importantly in terms of my vote how he comes down on the FISA issue.

Of course with Harrison (and especially given how effectively he was slimed by Fosella last time around) I still need to see that he can run an effective positive campaign to soften up his image.

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...

[ Parent ]
I doubt you will see the southern top of Manhattan, Nadler's district  go to the 13th.  It doesn't make much sense.  Currently the portions of Brooklyn in the district share issues of the bridge and tolls, public transit/rapid transit, waste management and development.  Additionally it is geographically closer than South Ferry and Wall Street.  That aside Jerry Nadler would not give up Wall Street with his seniority and all that comes with it, to a very junior new member of Congress.  We are much more likely to see the Brooklyn portions of Nadler's district join the 13th, making this even more Democratic and more hospitable to a Brooklyn candidate.  

[ Parent ]
Geographically it makes much more sense to keep it as is.  And you're right about other congressman being loathed to give portions of their own district up.  But the 13th was designed to stuff areas of Brooklyn that could be Republican friendly into the district.

What I suggested of re-orienting the district back to the way it used to be facing Manhattan is admitted probably nothing more than a pipedream.  But I do hope we at least the Brooklyn portion is rerigged to make the district more solidly Democratic.

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...

[ Parent ]
The Brooklyn portions of this district are much more Democratic leaning than Staten Island.  Brooklyn is an asset to this district in terms of helping Democratic candidates and adding any more portions of it will only help.  Democrats hold nearly every elected seat in the surrounding neighborhoods that potentially could be added to the district.  

[ Parent ]
...but they are culturally conservative areas with a high number of Italians.  They are areas we still lost in the historically Democratic year of 2006.  These are areas where a Staten Island Republican can not only be competitive but victorious.  If we control the redistricting process in 2010 we can certainly make a friendlier non-Staten Island portion of the district to help keep it in Democratic hands.

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...

[ Parent ]
North Shore
Giovanazzo ran against McMahon in 2003 for an open City Council seat on the North Shore.  This is a heavily democratic area and even Fossella probably would not have won with his name recognition.  It would be fun to have her run and lose again but I don't see the lose as a sign of her weakness as a candidate, just a sign that she had poor judgment in choosing which race to get into.

[ Parent ]
The lead Mccain had in Tennessee in the most recent rasmussen poll has been split. He now has a 15 point advantage in Tennessee instead of a 30 point advantage. If a trend continues in this direction even in the more conservative areas of the country...could we be looking at a landslide, and could this type of movement make even extremely safe Senators like Lamar Alexander in trouble in November...wouldn't that be great!


This has nothing to do with NY-13, but lets give a big round of applause to
Democrat killer Jack Davis, running for congress in NY-26. "Court Strikes Down Campaign Finance 'Millionaire's Amendment"

The majority overturned both the contribution limits for opponents of affluent candidates and a requirement that millionaires report every $10,000 expenditure within 24 hours. But the dissenting justices argued that neither provision limited speech.

why would a serious GOP candidate step up in 10 when they wouldn't today?
because it might be a whole different environment.  bush revulsion has created an unusual two election disgust that means we may have for the first time in forever, 2 straight wave elections going the same way.

if obama wins with large majorities in both chambers, that pendulum will begin to swing the other way, no matter how effective obama is.  

if the angry, motivated voters are republicans then inexpereinced, extreme left wing congress members in 50-50 districts like a steve harrison or a leslie byrne, will certainly invite serious opposition and could certainly lose.

extreme left wing?
Neither Harrison nor Byrne meet that description - they are both a bit more progressive on many issues than their primary opponents (Byrne already lost her primary to Connolly), but they are both pretty mainstream Democrats. While Harrison might be seen as too liberal for Staten Island, he's hardly a bolshevik.

Democratic candidates should be suited to their district -- Barbara Lee shouldn't run in Waco, and Chet Edwards shouldn't run in Berkeley. But in 50/50 districts, Democrats shouldn't have to turn into pseudo-Republicans in order to hold their seats -- good constituent work, advantages of incumbency, and effective outreach and communication can turn an incumbent in these kinds of districts into a safe seat without running to the right. (A few examples that spring to mind-- David Obey in Wisconsin, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin in South Dakota, Tim Bishop in NY, Peter DeFazio and Darlene Hooley (retiring this year) in Oregon, Rick Larsen and Brian Baird in Washington State.)

Throwing terms around like "extreme left wing" to describe mainstream Democrats  feeds into Republican talking points that paint moderate/progressive candidates as dangerous radicals. In this case, it is extremely inaccurate.

[ Parent ]
"Extreme left wing" sounds like the reason...
... St. Paul's erstwhile mayor Randy Kelly endorsed Bush, and what type of people were throwing the state to the republicans in 2002 with victories to hacks like Pawlenty and Coleman.  But in 2004, the pendulum began to swing back to progressive values.  Well, we'll see how popular the Randy Kelly, Tim Pawlenty, and Norm Coleman types remain after they bring the GOP Convention to St. Paul in 2008.  I bet the former mayor will probably even be in attendance.  Hell, if anything will take the halo off minimum wage hike vetoing Pawlenty and even give Al Franken a bump that might last till Election Day, it will be giving St. Paul a taste of the hell NYC had to deal with 4 years ago...  even so, let's just hope they'll cut down on the toe-tapping while they're there.  Now that will be hell all around.

[ Parent ]
I disagree I think 2012 is the test.
Democrats will go in to 2010 strong as ever and looking at a senate map that is very unfriendly to Republicans. 2012 is the first cycle where we will have to play major defence I think.  

CO-02 (college)/FL-15 (home).  

[ Parent ]
If all trends continue ^^ n/t

CO-02 (college)/FL-15 (home).  

[ Parent ]
We'll see...
I'm sure back in 1992 after Clinton won big and Dems had large majorities in Congress that 1994 would be another good year...

[ Parent ]
Then again,
the Republicans weren't in as deep a hole in 1992 as they are now.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]

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