New York Archive:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vote Vets Throws Down in Four Races

Posted by James L.

By now you may have seen one of these new ads by VoteVets PAC, running against Republican congressmen Jon Porter (NV-03), John Doolittle (CA-04), Gil Gutknecht (MN-01) and John Sweeney (NY-20):

In terms of advertising effectiveness, VoteVets is giving more bang for the buck than any other PAC or party committee this year. Their much-hyped body armor ads against Senators Talent, Burns, Allen and Santorum were impaired only by their limited budgets: a $30k-$50k media buy doesn't exactly dominate the airwaves, especially in a state as large as Pennsylvania or Virginia. For this new series of ads, however, VoteVets has scored the funding to make big, serious buys that will have an impact in each of these districts:

• $98k against Gutknecht (MN-01)
• $136k against Sweeney (NY-20)
• $237k against Porter (NV-03)

As I understand it, the John Doolittle ad will be a narrower cable buy, but even still, it should penetrate deeper in a House race than the body armor ads did with limited statewide purchases in the Senate races.

Posted at 03:25 AM in 2006 Elections - House, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New York | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 26, 2006

DCCC Hones in on New York: Mejias, Hall, Davis, and Massa Added to Red to Blue

Posted by James L.

Perhaps sensing a once in a generation opportunity to paint as many as seven Republican districts in New York blue this cycle, the DCCC has just added Dave Mejias (NY-03), John Hall (NY-19), Jack Davis (NY-26), and Eric Massa (NY-29) to the Red to Blue program (see Jesse Lee's posts here and here). With the election a week and a half away, this would've been more significant had it been announced a few weeks ago, but hopefully it should lend these four guys an extra surge against their embattled opponents. With Sue Kelly (NY-19) running away from the local media (and taking some absolutely blistering criticism for it), Peter King (NY-03) labelling the AARP and NAACP "extremist organizations", Tom Reynolds reeling from his role in the Mark Foley cover-up, and Randy Kuhl (NY-29), um, being his crazy self, the time is ripe to turn New York state solidly blue.

Posted at 04:28 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, October 21, 2006

NY-03, NY-19: New York Times Endorses Mejias & Hall

Posted by DavidNYC

Cognizant of all the ususal disclaimers about endorsements, let me just say that this is a nice bit of news for both Dave Mejias and John Hall. The Times often likes to endorse Republican incumbents for irritating, silly reasons (seniority, "thoughtfulness," etc.), so it's nice to see they've taken the right side in both of these races. Because the Times produces separate local editions for both Westchester and Long Island, these endorsements should help boost both candidates' name rec.

No links yet, but some excerpts from each below the fold.


Mr. Mejias is one of the few bright bulbs in the low-watt Nassau Legislature. He helped to create a bill of rights for domestic workers in Nassau, requiring that employers give them written statement of their rights under federal and state law. He has a good environmental record, particularly in efforts to preserve open space, and has been an important ally of County Executive Thomas Suozzi in restoring fiscal discipline to Nassau government. He promises to be a refreshing change in the Third District, and we endorse him.


The New York Times has endorsed John Hall for US Congress in the 19th District and calls him “a lawmaker of energy, steady conviction and clear principles” and “the obvious choice” in an editorial that will be published in the paper’s Westchester section tomorrow, Sunday, October 22.

The 500-plus word editorial endorsement in the Times notes that Hall, who has been “politically engaged for decades,” emerged from the Democratic primary race with “a resounding victory,” thanks to an “ambitious and coherent” platform that “calls for universal health coverage, a return to fiscal discipline and a full-bore national effort to achieve energy independence.”

Posted at 04:43 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 09, 2006

NY-26: CQ Makes a Dramatic Rating Change

Posted by James L.

From Leans Republican to Leans Democratic. Wowza.

The scandal surrounding resigned Florida Republican Rep. Mark Foley and the salacious messages he sent to underage congressional pages has engulfed Washington, D.C., and reordered the already pitched partisan battle for control of the House.

And nowhere is that more true than in New York’s 26th District, where the re-election prospects of four-term Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds — head of the Republicans’ national House campaign organization — have seen a stunning reversal of fortune. The controversy over Reynolds’ handling of information about Foley’s activities has prompted to change its rating on the race to Leans Democratic from Leans Republican.

That switch comes just one week after downgraded Reynolds to Leans Republican from Safe Republican — a position where Reynolds had comfortably resided prior to Foley’s abrupt Sept. 29 resignation.

National Republican Campaign Committee chairman Tom Reynolds is in such a bind that CQ is calling him the underdog now. That's no small feat for a formerly popular Republican in a district that only gave 43% of its vote to John Kerry in 2004. In the wake of Reynolds' involvement in covering up Mark Foley's predatory behavior in Congress (with Reynolds even going so far as to ask Foley to run again after he learned of inappropriate e-mail messages sent from Foley to a 16 year-old boy), CQ notes that national 527s and PACs like Majority Action and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are pushing Reynolds' pressure points hard. To hear Majority Action's no holds barred radio ad slamming Reynolds' role in the Foley cover-up scandal, click here. I'd love to see AFSCME's ad, but I have yet to see a copy of it distributed online.

This is what striking at the head of the serpent looks like.

Posted at 06:52 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 05, 2006

NY-26: NRCC Chairman Reynolds on Brink of Defeat

Posted by James L.

In the wake of scandalous headlines and embarrassing press conferences, it's no wonder that NRCC chair Tom Reynolds is reduced to a sweating, blubbering apologist for his role in the House Republican Leadership cover-up of Mark Foley's predatory advances towards congressional pages. Here's one more reason for Reynolds to toss and turn tonight (SUSA, likely voters, 9/28 in parens):

Jack Davis (D): 50 (43)
Tom Reynolds (R-Inc.): 45 (45)
MoE: ±4.6%

How sweet it is: the man in charge of co-ordinating the defensive strategy for House Republican incumbents this fall is on the path towards losing his own seat. Jack Davis, who captured a surprisingly good 44% of the vote here in 2004 (where he outperformed Kerry by 1%) and can self-fund this year's bid, is poised to strike a decapitating blow for Democrats this November.

PS: Sorry for the slowness this week--I have a huge economics exam tomorrow, so I'll be hunkered down in my vice-presidential bunker for a good 24 hours.

Posted at 04:11 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 28, 2006

NY-26: NRCC Chairman tied with Jack Davis (D)

Posted by RBH

SurveyUSA released a new poll showing the following results.

Jack Davis (D): 43
Tom Reynolds (R-Inc): 45
Christine Murphy (G): 8
Undecided: 4
MoE: ±4.5%

But, there's a few catches that make this look even better.

1) The Green Party candidate got booted off the ballot during the polling period. She got 8% of Democrats and 20% of Independents. And those votes are more likely to go to Davis than to Reynolds.

2) Reynolds leads with Republicans by a 62/31 margin. In races where your side is outnumbered, it's pretty helpful to get some people from the other side cross over and vote for your guy, especially if you can get 1/3rd of them to cross over.

3) SurveyUSA had a huge Republican sample. In a district where 41% of voters are registered Republicans, their sample was 51% Republican.Needless to say, when it comes to this poll, I would imagine that at worst, it's a tie, and at best, we're on our way to an upset.

So, some of you might be asking "Who the hell is Jack Davis?"

Jack Davis is a business owner who is staunchly opposed to free trade treaties. He ran against Reynolds in 2004, mostly self-financing his campaign, and recieving 44% of the vote.

Davis' website outlines 12 short policy statements which are the basic foundation for his campaign. As well, there's Speeches.

Back in 2004, Davis spent over $1M of his own money. In 2006, he has mentioned spending as much as $2M of his own money. Of course, Reynolds just says that he's trying to buy the seat. Which I would imagine doesn't quite work as well when it comes to someone who is 73 years old. He's spending what it'll take to win, because people like Tom Reynolds upped the ante in campaign spending. Jack Davis probably isn't going to make any fundraising lists, but he is putting this race on the map.

And I can't see any problem in making the Republican House campaign committee chairman concentrate on winning his seat. After all, he'll be spending money in his district, instead of sending it off to help other incumbents.

Posted at 07:22 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, New York, Polls | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, September 25, 2006

NY-25: Maffei (D) Makes Stunning Gains in New Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll (PDF) for Dan Maffei's campaign, from the Benenson Strategy Group (likely voters, March in parens):

Maffei (D): 40 (23)
Walsh (R-inc.): 44 (52)
Undecided: 14 (24)
(MoE: ±4.9%)

Maffei went from minus 29 to minus 4 - a monster 25-point swing. And Walsh is now well under 50%. This race has received a lot less attention than many others in NY, though I think that's at least in part because New York is so target-rich this year. In any event, this poll - combined with Maffei's addition to the Red-to-Blue list - will no doubt cause more people (myself included) to take greater notice.

With a swing this big, you have to wonder if it's legit. So I'll be curious to see if Walsh responds with a poll of his own. If he doesn't (and he probably won't), then we'll know that Maffei has done something really impressive in this district.

(Hat tip to Pogues Fan.)

Posted at 08:43 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, September 09, 2006

9/12 Primary Races Round-Up

Posted by James L.

So it's primary day this Tuesday, with elections being held in AZ, DC, DE, MD, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, and WI. Here's a round-up of everything you should be keeping your eye on.

AZ-08 (Open, Kolbe): Boy, do I ever feel good about the Democratic chances in this district. Jim Kolbe, the district's Republican incumbent, is retiring. Kolbe, one of those elusive gay Republicans, cultivated a moderate reputation (whatever that means in the Republican Party these days), but received a slight scare in 2004 when conservative firebrand Randy Graf ran on a hard-right platform and scored 43% of the vote in the Republican primary of that year. That's a pretty impressive showing, given the traditional resource gap between a no-name challenger and an entrenched incumbent (admittedly, Graf's a state legislator, so he did start off with base of support). Now, Graf, an anti-immigration advocate, is leading the charge to clinch the Republican nomination for this open seat, and the most recent polling puts him ahead of primary opponent Steve Huffman (33-25, with 14% dispersed among three other minor candidates, and 29% undecided). However, Graf's in-your-face conservatism isn't exactly the best fit for a district that only tilts ever so slightly to the Republicans (Cook rates it as R+1.4), and the NRCC is in panic mode, spending $100k in a last-ditch effort to drag Huffman across the finish line. Clearly, we should be rooting for Graf in the primary if the NRCC is willing to spend coin to stop him. That said, even if Huffman is the winner, Hotline On Call notes that Huffman has plenty of weaknesses of his own:

But there are signs that Huffman is running a lackluster campaign. Despite a big fundraising advantage and Kolbe's endorsement, he remains down in polls. His treasurer was snooping around his challenger's ex-wife's home, prompting the Tucson Weekly to revoke their endorsement of him. And unlike ex-state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and Graf, he kept his seat in the legislature during the campaign - allowing the DCCC to hammer him for missing recent votes on border security.

Yikes. Things are looking pretty stressful for the Republicans if Huffman is the best they can come up with in this district. I can already see the negative ads in my head regarding his treasurer's bizarre antics.

The Democratic primary, on the other hand, is pitting two candidates who would either be strong or reasonably strong performers in the general election: ex-State Sen. Gabrielle Giffords and local TV anchor Patty Weiss. Giffords, though, leads Weiss 46-29 in the latest polling, and looks like the likely winner on Tuesday. Giffords is also the only Democrat in the current field who leads Huffman in a hypothetical general election match-up, by 42-39. Additionally, recent generic polling suggests that the district is leaning towards pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate this cycle, by a 50-46 margin. Between the nasty Republican primary pitting the NRCC against the local conservative base, a strong Democratic candidate, and an electorate that's beginning to tilt Democratic in the most recent polls, I'm expecting good things from AZ-08 in November.

MD-Sen (Open, Sarbanes): A whopper. A late August poll put Rep. Ben Cardin ahead of former NCAAP head Kweisi Mfume by a 43-30 margin in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes, although other polls have shown a tighter contest over the past several months. However, the demographics of Maryland's Democratic electorate would seem to hold more favorables for Mfume than Cardin, at least on the surface. Still, Cardin has outraised Mfume by a wide margin, and has been putting up a far greater amount of resources on air time in this stretch run than Mfume can afford to spend. I'd be surprised if Mfume pulled off this upset.

MD-04 (Incumbent, Wynn): 2006 has seen a series of surprising primary elections where incumbents have been knocked off their perch--Lieberman, Joe Schwarz in Michigan, and Cynthia McKinney in Georgia. Can Donna Edwards make it four by knocking off entrenched Democratic incumbent Al Wynn? Edwards has made a strong case against Wynn, who has supported the Bush administration on several crucial votes, including the Bankruptcy Bill and the Iraq War. Lemme just chime in and say this: no Democrat has any business voting for the ass-backwards Bankruptcy Bill, but this especially applies to any Democrat who represents a district that delivered 70% of its vote to John Kerry in 2004, like Wynn's. The Club For Growth, even if their choice in candidates is often extremely questionable, has the right philosophy: use primary races in districts with deep partisan favorability to their cause, and push ideological purity there. An Al Wynn-style voting record may be a lot easier to stomach for, say, a Democrat representing a white-majority district in the South, but Maryland's fourth can do a lot better than Al Wynn. Edwards has been picking up momentum in recent weeks, with the impressive achievement of securing the Washington Post's endorsement. If she can't do it this time, Edwards will be well-placed to make an earlier, more well-funded challenge to Wynn in 2008.

MN-05 (Open, Sabo): I gotta say, I know next to nothing about this hotly-contested open D seat race in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. The field is huge, but the big spenders and movers have been Keith Ellison, Mike Erlandson, and Ember Reichgott Junge. I would invite our resident MN commentators to give us the lowdown in the comments.

NH-01 (Incumbent, Bradley): This race isn't quite as sexy as NH-02, but there's still a glimmer of hope here. Cook rates this district as a highly competitive R+0.1, and Bush only edged Kerry by 2% here in 2004. One of the Democratic challengers, NH House Minority Leader Jim Craig, is credible, and holds at least some name recognition in the district. But first he'll have to get through a primary with Carol Shea-Porter, who has her share of supporters as well.

NY-11 (Open, Owens): The most recent polling I've seen in this open seat shows a dead heat between the four would-be Democratic successors to retiring incumbent Major Owens in this central Brooklyn district (and my home away from home): NYC Councilmembers Yvette Clark, David Yassky, State Sen. Carl Andrews, and Owens' son, Chris Owens. Yassky's had the best fundraising, but also the most controversy, with the other candidates criticizing Yassky for running in an African-American majority district. Looks like this one will go down to the wire.

NY-19 (Incumbent, Kelly): The Democratic field to take on incumbent Republican congresswoman Sue Kelly has been annoyingly huge, but it's been whittled down to four: ex-Republican attorney Judy Aydelott, school principal Ben Schuldiner, political hack Darren Rigger, and Orleans guitarist John Hall. Aydelott had the very early mo' in this district, but Hall's fundraising has really picked up steam, and the endorsements (including one from the NY Democratic Party) followed suit. Cook rates this district R+1.5, but the locals are hoping for some serious coattails from the Spitzer-Clinton bulldozer at the top of the ticket this year, as well as changing demographics as a result of NYC residents moving into the district for more affordable housing.

RI-Sen (Incumbent, Chafee): The big one! Depending on whether you choose to believe Rhode Island College or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, this primary race is either firmly in conservative challenger Steve Laffey's hands, or will be held safely by incumbent Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee--both organizations put out wildly conflicting polls. The NRSC has made it clear that they're reading to cede the Rhode Island Senate seat to the Democrats if Laffey wins on Tuesday, so... well, you know who to root for.

RI-02 (Incumbent, Langevin): I don't have much to say about this one, but Jennifer Lawless has been running a primary challenge against Rep. Jim Langevin from the left. Langevin, in my estimation, is a pretty decent Rep, aside from his pro-life/anti-choice record. Lawless has gone so far as to say that Langevin Equals Lieberman, but given Langevin's opposition to the Iraq War, I don't think that passes the sniff test. So whatever.

WI-08 (Open, Green): No question about it: this is a Republican district. Bush scored nearly 55% of the vote against Kerry's 44% in 2004, yet Democrats are smelling an opportunity this year. Indeed, the most recent RT Strategies/Constituent Dynamics poll has the generic Democrat edging the generic Republican by 48-44 in this open seat race. The DCCC has gone up on the air to soften up likely Republican nominee John Gard's numbers, while the NRCC has done the same against physician Steve Kagen, the big spender in the Democratic primary race (he's put up over $1m of his own funds into this race, the last time I checked). Kagen's primary opponents, former Brown County Executive and De Pere mayor Nancy Nusbaum and business consultant Jamie Wall, have also raised impressive amounts for a crowded field, but Kagen's deep pockets has put the local Republicans on edge. If the NRCC is committing resources to defend this seat, the 2006 field is favorable indeed for Democrats.

Posted at 09:02 PM in 2006 Elections, Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, August 25, 2006

NY-20: Sweeney Hires Celeb Lawyer to Harass TV Stations

Posted by DavidNYC

Who knew that Rep. John Sweeney was such a WATB? From the Albany Times-Union blog:

U.S. Rep. John Sweeney has gotten one of the region’s best known lawyers to ask TV stations to pull a brutal MoveOn.Org ad against the congressman.

The letter comes after Sweeney’s campaign spokeswoman, Maureen O’Brien Donovan, was apparently unsuccessful in trying to persuade the stations to stop airing the “red handed” ad.


Both ads, however, use the “caught red-handed'’ theme, which, [Stewart] Jones wrote, falsely implies Sweeney has done something illegal.

Perfect WATB behavior: When your press flack can't whine loudly enough, you call in the high-priced lawyers to whine a little louder. Of course, this joke definition of the word "red-handed" doesn't meet the laugh test - unless you think little kids who get caught with their hands in the cookie jar are going to jail.

Undoubtedly, the in-house counsel for these various TV stations realize any defamation claim by Sweeney is almost certainly frivolous. It's very hard to defame a public official under American law. The issue, though, is that a station might have to spend a lot of money getting such a case dismissed. So when the bean-counters do a cost-benefit analysis, they all-too-often decide they're better off not running the ads.

Which is why it's so important that we express our support for MoveOn and the TV stations. In a key way, this really is about freedom of speech. Yes, the stations are private companies - but they are broadcasting on public aiwaves (owned by you and me), at the public's sufferance. They control access to a public commons, and it's vital that they let all voices be heard.

And besides, if John Sweeney (and Randy Kuhl and Charlie Bass) don't like MoveOn's speech, the classic response is always to engage in more speech of your own. Curtailing the speech of others is just un-American.

So if you are in NY-20, you should be writing letters to the editor, in support of MoveOn and the stations and opposing Sweeney. You should also call and write to the stations (saying "attaboy!"), and also call and write to the Sweeney campaign (telling them to knock it off). The relevant stations are:

CBS 6 Albany (WRGB)



Fox 23 News (WXXA)

Capital News 9

Also, definitely let the Albany-Times Union know how you feel - either via an LTE or in the comments of the above-linked blog post (or both). As always, be civil and keep it short - you're much more likely to get heard that way.

Posted at 02:04 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Media, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Netroots Filing Deadline Roundup

Posted by DavidNYC

• MissLaura has a great bit of bonafide reporting:

Tonight at a meet the candidates event held by the Rumney Democrats, Hodes announced that he has now broken the all-time record for in-state fundraising for any Congressional candidate in any party for an entire cycle. (Emphasis added.)


• MissLaura also reports that MoveOn has gone up with ads targeting Charlie Bass. I'm sure he's totally flipping out right now. One thing I can tell you: MoveOn did some very careful polling after they ran their first batch of ads (in CT-05 and elsewhere). Turns out, the ads had a net positive effect. I hope to blog more about this later. You can see the ad here.

• Meanwhile, a reliable source tells me that Bass recently went into the field with his own internal poll. (How can anyone outside the Bass campaign or his polling outfit know this? Easy - when a Hodes supporter gets an obvious polling phone call, they let others know. Word can get around pretty quickly.) Yet, apropos my post yesterday about internal polls, Bass hasn't yet released his. What're you scared of, Charlie?

• And speaking of MoveOn, they've also gone up in NY-29, home of Eric Massa. This district, even moreso than NH-02, is especially cheap, so MoveOn should get some good bang for the buck here. (They're also running the same ad in NY-20, where Kirsten Gillibrand, a personal favorite of mine, is running against Sweeney Blutarsky.)

• Also, Eric Massa receives a letter of support from a lifelong Republican who just happens to be a former GOP county chair. Unlike all those phony "lifelong Democrats" who write in to Andrew Sullivan or the New York Post, this turnabout is legit:

. Consequently, I must in good conscience vote to replace you in Congress with your Democratic opponent, Eric Massa, who I understand is a well-intentioned, well qualified individual of principle and integrity, just the right mix.

Allow me the literary license to paraphrase a statement Republican, Senator Barry Goldwater thusly: "Mindless party loyalty is no virtue. Breaking with miscreant party leadership is no vice."

• Finally, while I don't have anything to add about Darcy Burner in WA-08 at the moment, she, too - like Hodes and Massa - faces the end of a fundraising period tonight. Help all three of them, and all the other netroots candidates. Any donation of any amount is greatly valued.

UPDATE (James L.):

• Great news! As of tonight, all of the Netroots candidates have surpassed past candidate Ciro Rodriguez in terms of total donors. Now, let's see if we can get a few to leapfrog Busby!

Posted at 06:57 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 17, 2006

AFL-CIO Is Getting It in NY

Posted by DavidNYC

Peter King Watch provides us with a complete list of AFL-CIO House race endorsements in New York State:

1. Tim Bishop (D)
2. Steve J. Israel (D,I,WF)
3. Dave Mejias (D/WF)
4. Carolyn McCarthy (D)
5. Gary L. Ackerman (D)
6. No Endorsement
7. Joseph Crowley (D)
8. Jerrold Nadler (D)
9. Anthony Weiner (D)
10. No Endorsement
11. Carl Andrews (D)
12. Nydia M. Velazquez (D)
13. Stephen Harrison (D)
14. Carolyn B. Maloney (D)
15. Charles B. Rangel (D)
16. Jose E. Serrano (D)
17. Eliot L. Engel (D, L, WF)
18. Nita M. Lowey (D)
19. John Hall (D)
20. Kirsten Gillibrand (D/I/WF)
21. Michael R. McNulty (D)
22. Maurice Hinchey (D,I,WF)
23. John McHugh (R)
24. Mike Arcuri (D/I/WF)
25. Dan Maffei (D/WF)
26. Jack Davis, Jr. (D/I/WF)
27. Brian M. Higgins (D)
28. Louise M. Slaughter (D)
29. Eric Massa (D/WF)

Twenty-nine races and only one Republican nod. But it goes beyond that. Peter King (3rd CD) has always gotten the AFL-CIO nod in the past - this year, they're hanging him out to dry. Ed Towns (10th CD) has been an extremely disloyal Dem of late, and here the AFL is snubbing him. And as you saw a few days ago, they also switched support from Kuhl to Massa in the 29th CD. This endorsement is also welcome news for a whole spate of Dem challengers, but especially John Hall, who faces a primary in CD 19.

Unfortunately, the AFL-CIO is supporting Republican state Sen. Nicholas Spano in his rematch against Andrea Stewart-Cousins. This is really disappointing, because Stewart-Cousins lost in 2004 by a mere 18 votes - and a left-leaning group played a role in that loss.

That year, the Working Families Party (as you might guess, a pro-labor third party) gave their line to Spano - not because Stewart-Cousins had a bad record on labor issues (to the contrary), but because they thought Spano could better advance the cause of increasing the minimum wage in the state Senate. Needless to say, Spano got far more than 18 votes on the WFP line - votes which would have overwhelmingly gone to the Dem had she gotten that line instead.

Of course, a Dem-controlled Senate would be a lot more helpful to all manner of issues which affect working families, and we're very close to achieving a majority in that body. I think the WFP made a major mistake supporting Spano last time, but I think they realized that, because they did not endorse him this year. I wish the AFL-CIO would follow the WFP's lead. Hey, if they could switch from Kuhl to Massa, maybe it's not too late for Stewart-Cousins.

Posted at 01:45 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

NY-29: AFL-CIO Defects to Massa

Posted by James L.

Great news from the Eric Massa Campaign:

For the second time in a week, a major labor organization announced its endorsement of Retired Navy Commander Eric Massa for Congress, switching support from incumbent Randy Kuhl (R, NY-29). The AFL-CIO, a federation of 53 labor unions, made the announcement following its annual meeting in Albany.

The endorsement, a major score for Massa, is another in a growing list of labor organizations, elected officials, and public figures that are endorsing or supporting Massa in his campaign to unseat Kuhl. Just four days ago, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) switched their long-time support from Kuhl to Massa. It is highly unusual for labor organizations to endorse a non-incumbent.

AFL-CIO representative Peggy Costello said, “In years past, we’ve based our endorsements on voting records. Randy Kuhl’s record in the NY State legislature was generally acceptable. In Congress, however, we rate his record as very weak, no more than 35% favorable to labor interests.”

The AFL-CIO assesses legislators based on voting patterns on a list of key issues, including health care, pensions, and public support for higher education, Costello said. “Eric Massa is very strong in all these areas, and Kuhl has consistently failed to deliver.”

Massa undoubtedly has a little extra jump in his step after today. With labor coming onside, Eric is well-positioned to take advantage of the deadly Democratic wave sweeping from Buffalo to Long Island under the Spitzer-Clinton banner.

On the web: Eric Massa for Congress.

(Hat tip to MyDD.)

Posted at 07:48 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 10, 2006

NY-03: Peter King Says Lamont Supporters Are "Bigots"

Posted by DavidNYC

Add Peter King to the list of people who hate democracy:

King said the Connecticut primary has no bearing on his re-election race because "fortunately, the Third District is not composed of the left-wing bigots who went after Joe Lieberman."

You can read the article to find yet another iteration of the "this means Dems aren't serious on national security" line of attack. The GOP clearly plans to use this over and over until November. I really wonder if it will resonate, though.

(Hat-tip to Dave Mejias for Congress.)

Posted at 11:14 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, July 27, 2006

NY-03: Peter King's Clueless Vote Against Stem Cells

Posted by DavidNYC

Dave Mejias, running to unseat Rep. Peter King on Long Island, points out something that I can hardly believe: Last week, Peter King voted against expanding stem cell research. Yes, against it. Now, those of you who know how I feel about this issue know that few things can make me as crazy in the head as the issue of stem cell research. My fiancee has Type I diabetes, and one of my closest friends and mentors is a paraplegic. When reactionary obscurantists like Peter King vote to privilege undifferentiated clumps of cells over my loved ones, I can make the Incredible Hulk look like Emily Post.

But today, that isn't my point. Oh, yes, I am in disbelief, but not concerning the merits of the legislation. Rather, it's the optics of this vote that have me brain-boggled. I can't believe that a Republican in a blue-trending swing district in an extremely blue state headed toward an extremely blue landslide this fall would vote against this. And did I mention that, by the way, over 80% of New Yorkers support stem cell research? I am sure that King has an explanation for what he will undoubtedly call his "principled" vote on his House website, though, right? Wrong. What about his campaign website? Asking you to go look for it would be as cruel as sending kids Easter egg hunt without hiding any Easter eggs first. In other words, his campaign site is about as real as the Easter Bunny.

And that little fact, just like his vote on stem cells, suggests that Peter King really is badly out of touch. What kind of 21st century campaign, less than four months from election day, doesn't have a functioning campaign website where you can make donations? One that's either stupid, arrogant or clueless. I think King is, sooner or later, going to pay a price for being this out-of-step with his constituents.

Speaking of which, I think Mejias could really gain some traction on King's stem cell vote. This is an uphill battle no matter what - it always is, when you go up against an incumbent, especially in the most expensive media market known to man. But this race is right in my back yard, so I can hardly ignore it. And Mejias did manage to raise over $200K in a very short period last quarter (he got a late start), which indicates he might have some pop in his bat. (Extra scratch is always welcome.) His task, as I see it, is to give Long Islanders a reason to stop liking (or tolerating) Peter King. In other words, he's got to drive up King's negatives. And King just handed Dave a great weapon to do that with.

Posted at 10:53 AM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, May 18, 2006

NY-24: Road Is Cleared for Arcuri

Posted by DavidNYC

The battlefield just became a whole lot clearer in NY-24, an open seat race that is bound to be one of the most competitive this year. Les Roberts, a healthcare specialist, graciously and wisely decided to drop out of the Dem primary, leaving Oneida County DA Mike Arcuri with a straight path to the nomination.

This is good news. While primaries can often be a good thing, provididing a way for newcomers to gain both combat experience and name recognition, they cause a lot of headaches in New York. That's because primaries are so obscenely late (Sept. 12) - by the time you win the Dem nomination, you have less than two months to turn around and face off against the Republican. It amounts to an incumbent protection plan, though it also makes life difficult in primaries as well. (Hopefully Gov. Spitzer will change the primary date to May or June.)

Also, Chuck Todd just wrote a piece this week about "perilous primaries," noting that there are competitive and potentially destructive Dem primaries for a number of vulnerable GOP seats. This, of course, is to be expected - but in any event, Chuck can cross this one off his list. We are good to go.

Posted at 03:48 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

NY-20: Sweeney Blutarsky At It Again

Posted by DavidNYC

Rep. John Sweeney (R-Animal House) showed off his boorish frat-boy manners once again, delivering this bon mot about his opponent, Kirsten Gillibrand.

"You can't take a resume and a pretty face from New York City and say to people this is good for you simply because we can spend a lot of money and raise a lot of money," Sweeney told the Record of Troy. (Emphasis added.)

Glad to see that hooting about women's looks is still in style at Gamma Omicron Pi house (GOP for short). Good one, Brother Sweeney!

(Hat tip: Jesse Lee.)

Posted at 06:19 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NY-29: Ninety-Three Percent

Posted by DavidNYC


"My voting record has been independent...."

- Randy Kuhl, announcing that he won't retire (5/8/2006)


Randy Kuhl, 2005 Party Unity Score: 93%

- CQ Weekly (1/9/2006)

I think there must be a "lying gene" that the Republican Party simply favors by natural selection. Of course, they don't believe in natural selection, but that's neither here nor there.

In other NY-29 news, Eric Massa is petitioning to get on the ballot. This is a frustrating fact of life for almost all New York campaigns, especially since NY has some of the most onerous ballot access laws in the nation. However, there's a nice silver lining, which is that the petition process forces you to ramp up your field operations well in advance of election day - consider it something of a trial run. Moreover, the campaign gets to identify and make contact with tons of potential supporters, which is also very useful further down the road.

Eric needs 1,250 signatures, but obviously wants to get more. Kuhl will probably sic his minions on the Massa petitions (in NY, a petition can be invalidated for as little as an errant mark of a pen), so it's important to have a big buffer. If you live in the area (note: you do NOT have to be a district resident to carry petitions) and you want to get involved, sign up for Eric's e-mail list here. (Be sure to check the "Volunteer" box at the bottom.)

Because it's petition season throughout New York State, other campaigns will be looking for help as well. Check Barry Welsh's site for any Dem challengers near you.

Posted at 12:42 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, April 28, 2006

NY-20: Sweeney Blutarsky

Posted by DavidNYC

I was ready to let this one be a one-day story, but this picture cracked me up too much:

Thanks to reader AW!

P.S. To those who question the wisdom of harping on a story like this, let me just say that I very much wish that the tradmed were interested in talking about serious policy matters. But they aren't, and all the wishing in the world won't change that. However, they will lap up stupid stories that supposedly reflect on a person's "character" or "honesty" or "genuineness," etc. (Just think about all the crap they hurled at Al Gore, none of it substantive.) We have to take what we can get, and what Sweeney gave us was a chance to force him to endure least one embarrassing news cycle where he had to go off-message - and over 100 articles on the story, thanks to the AP picking it up.

Posted at 08:58 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NY-29: Internal Poll Shows Very Tight Race

Posted by DavidNYC

Eric Massa just released an internal poll (sub. only) with some very positive results (likely voters, no trendlines):

Massa: 40
Kuhl: 43
(MoE: ±4.4%)

What's more, the Roll Call story says that Massa is "not well known to most voters" (they didn't specify exact numbers), while Kuhl has an astounding 33-50 approval rating. Bush, meanwhile, struggles along at 31-69 in the district. Considering Kuhl's beyond-pathetic first-quarter fundraising (only $82K - Massa raised more), I think he's definitely vulnerable. You should definitely consider voting for Massa in Barbara Boxer's poll.

One tangentially related point I'd like to make: If you are a campaign, and you've done an internal poll, and the numbers look good, and you want to make them public, please, please e-mail your polling memo (or summary) to bloggers, and please please post it on your website as well.

It's just silly that the subscription-only Roll Call (which most people don't have access to) is the source for this poll, and it's even sillier that the Massa people don't have this up on their website. I am not saying this because I think bloggers are Teh Awesome and campaigns should suck up to us. I'm saying this because, outside of the few Capitol Hill uber-insider publications (Roll Call, The Hill, Hotline, Cook, Rothenberg), blogs are the only arm of the media which really cares about this kind of stuff.

A campaign releasing an internal poll might get an article or two in the local tradmed if they're lucky. Maybe not even that much. But bloggers love this kind of stuff. You'll get a lot more exposure if you make your polls accessible to us. What's more, if you do it right, you might net a few more donations or signups on your website. (Campaigns should put donation links on every page.) As they say, help us help you.

Posted at 03:41 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, April 27, 2006

NY-20: Sweeney Up In Smoke

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh man. Yet another entry in the "Too Good To Be True" Dept. Only, this one is 100% bonafide certified genuine. I can hardly believe my own fingers as I type this, but Rep. John Sweeney looks to have gotten tanked at a freakin' FRAT PARTY:

From the Concordiensis, the student newspaper at Union College, we have the full details:

Congressman John Sweeney, a Republican from the 20th district of New York State, appeared at a registered party at Alpha Delta Phi on Friday, April 22nd. The Congressman came from Geppetto's bar and was described by witness as being inquisitive and engaging, while also acting openly intoxicated.

No word yet if Bluto Blutarsky put in an appearance. But in the back corner, we can clearly see Tommy Chong, Jr. hard at work.

At first, I thought I heard the sound of a hundred slides dropping back into their bongs, and then I thought I heard kegs being whacked on the side to see if they've been kicked. But I finally realized what it was: It's the sound of nails being driven in to John Sweeney's coffin.

UPDATE: Just saw this: Rahm says the DCCC is going to help out Kirsten Gillibrand. Talk about a good day for Team Blue in NY-20!

Posted at 06:11 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, March 31, 2006

NY-29: Just $2,000 More

Posted by DavidNYC

Yesterday, Eric Massa said he needed $15,000 more by tonight's filing deadline. The netroots swing into action, here, here, and here - and that's just the sites I'm aware of. I'm sure others have jumped on board as well. When we started the push just yesterday, the combined netroots page showed 40 total donations for $1,856.54, and 721 donations across all ActBlue pages for a total of $57,584.43.

As of right now, we've clocked in an even 200 donations on the netroots page, adding up to $6,556.10. Meanwhile, the entire ActBlue community now stands at 930 donations, equalling $69,678.06 raised. Pretty impressive - but we're not done yet. Massa still needs another $2,000 to hit his goal. I think we can definitely help him across the finish line here. I just gave $25.01 myself. If you are able to contribute, now is the time. Let's do this thing!

UPDATE: We did it! We more than did it, in fact. Eric's ActBlue total stands at just a couple bucks shy of an even $75,000. That means he raised some $17,500 online in under a day-and-a-half, exceeding his goal of $15K. Can't wait to see what his final total quarterly numbers are. Great work, everyone!

Posted at 04:54 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, March 30, 2006

NY-29: End-of-Quarter Netroots Push for Eric Massa

Posted by DavidNYC

As you may have seen on DailyKos, the combined netroots fundraising page has added Eric Massa to its list of candidates. I'm really pleased with this decision - it was one I supported - and I'll tell you exactly why:

• Massa is running against a freshman, Randy Kuhl, who was only elected with 51% of the vote in 2004.

• New York's 29th Congressional District has a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of only R+5.2, which means that over the last two presidential elections, the CD was 5.2% more Republican than the nation as a whole. That's not very much. For instance, two freshmen Dems who won seats last time out - Melissa Bean in IL-08 and John Salazar in CO-03 - ran in districts with almost identical PVIs.

• Randy Kuhl is a totally insane nutbag, who threatened to shoot his ex-wife with TWO shotguns in the middle of a dinner party at their own home! Please click the link - I swear I am not making this up.

• Massa is not only a Fighting Dem - he served in the Navy for twenty-four years - but he's been at the forefront of his band of brothers and sisters. He authored the founding pledge (MP3) which forty fellow Fighting Dems all united behind on Feb. 8th in Washington, DC. In short, he is a leader among leaders.

• Massa's already done a decent job fundraising. He had raised $218,000 by the end of last year, which is a very solid sum for a candidate who isn't on the radar screen of the major establishment players.

• To continue with that theme, the fact that this race isn't considered "top-tier" makes it a perfect opportunity for the netroots to get involved. In a race where both sides will raise millions, the marginal difference we can make is small. But for races which aren't receiving tons of attention, our time, resources and money can have a very big effect.

• Finally, I don't usually make predictions, but I am confident that Democrats in New York are going to have a huge year. With Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer at the top of the ticket - both of whom should easily clear 60% - there will be major Dem coattails all the way down the ballot. Guys like Massa are exactly the sort of people who are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this - if they have enough help from people like us.

And speaking of help, the campaign just sent out an e-mail explaining that Eric Massa needs to raise $15,000 by tomorrow night. March 31st is the end of the fundraising quarter. Like it or not, big organizations and major donors put a lot of stock in those quarterly fundraising reports. Undoubtedly, this final chunk of change will help push Massa over an important threshold.

So let's make it happen. While this blog may not be able to do it alone, we can definitely reach this goal with a widespread push from the netroots. As always, donations of any size are appreciated.

P.S. If you're a blogger and you'd like to get involved with this end-of-quarter drive, please feel free to use the combined netroots page. If you want to make sure your site is credited properly, you can use ActBlue's handy referral codes, which are explained at the top of the netroots page.

Posted at 02:47 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, March 25, 2006

NY-Sen: Hillary's Newest Opponent: Stark Raving Nuts

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, I just could not resist this. The New York GOP is having an awful, awful year. They have no serious candidates for either Governor or Senator. They are trailing badly in the Attorney General's race. Their dwindling House delegation is also in weak shape, with one recent retirement and several vulnerable incumbents. Their former stronghold of Nassau county has been completely taken over by the Dems. And even their one-time leader, the odious Al D'Amato, is backing Eliot Spitzer in all but name.

If this isn't rock-bottom, what is? I truly, truly did not think it could get worse for the NY GOP. But guess what, sports fans? It just did:

A Republican challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is bizarrely claiming that the former first lady has been spying in her bedroom window and flying helicopters over her house in the Hamptons, witnesses told The Post yesterday.

Former Reagan-era Pentagon official Kathleen "KT" McFarland stunned a crowd of Suffolk County Republicans on Thursday by saying:

"Hillary Clinton is really worried about me, and is so worried, in fact, that she had helicopters flying over my house in Southampton today taking pictures," according to a prominent GOP activist who was at the event.

"She wasn't joking, she was very, very serious, and she also claimed that Clinton's people were taking pictures across the street from her house in Manhattan, taking pictures from an apartment across the street from her bedroom," added the eyewitness, who is not involved in the Senate race.

Wow. This is just too, too good. (And, in case you don't click the link, several non-anonymous sources also confirmed McFarland's remarks.) At this point, I'm actually feeling sorry for McFarland and the Republicans, so I thought I might offer them some helpful information, in the form of this chart:

Hope this helps! Have a nice day!

(Post story thanks to SusanG. Graphic from One World Government resistance manual courtesy Field Commander Plutonium Page.)

Posted at 01:44 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New York | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, March 20, 2006

NY-24: Meier (R) Announces He'll Run

Posted by DavidNYC

Republican state Senator Raymond Meier has announced that he'll run to succeed outgoing Rep. Sherwood Boehlert in NY-24. This is important for a few reasons. First, the GOP wagons are likely to circle around Meier. Second, Meier is quite a bit more conservative than Boehlert, who often faced primary challenges from the right. This may cause Meier some difficulty in this swing district, especially since he probably will have his own primary to deal with. And third, this means there's a new Repubican-held open seat in the NY State Senate. I hope the NY DSCC is ready to target this one.

Posted at 03:38 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, March 19, 2006

NY-13: NYC Council Member De Blasio May Jump In

Posted by DavidNYC

Thanks to NYGreg in the comments comes this excellent bit of news:

A Brooklyn lawmaker with close ties to U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is looking at taking on Rep. Vito Fossella this year, setting up a potential battle between Staten Island Democrats and Washington, D.C., party leaders.

Democratic City Councilman Bill de Blasio has been approached by a "number of people" about the race, said Howard Wolfson, a top Democratic strategist who advises Mrs. Clinton (D-N.Y.) and the state party.

"He is taking a look at it," Wolfson said. "He's very much in the examination phase."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which bankrolls House races, yesterday said it would embrace de Blasio's candidacy.

A few thoughts:

• De Blasio is pretty well-known (as far as these things go, for city councilmen). He just lost a race to become City Council Speaker, so he's actually one of the more prominent members of the council.

• De Blasio has close ties to the Clinton network, which suggests he'll be able to raise the large sums necessary to beat the incumbent, Vito Fosella, in this race.

• Speaking of Fosella, he's the last Republican to hold a House seat in NYC (and one of only two metro-area GOPers). If grassroots groups in NYC have their act together, De Blasio could benefit from an enormous flood of volunteers, given that there will probably be no other serious D vs. R races anywhere in the five boroughs.

• As to the district, it's a bit of an odd duck. It covers all of Staten Island and a chuck of neighboring Brooklyn. It went for Gore 52-44 in 2000. However, it went for Bush 55-45 in 2004, which the Almanac says was one of the biggest turnarounds in the country. (They think 9/11 might have had something to do with it - Bush was still at 55% approval on Staten Island in the summer before the election, but just half that or worse in the other four boroughs.) Don't forget, though, that Bush's overall performance in NYS increased 7% in that same timeframe. I think NY-13 is ready to boomerang back: Quinnipiac showed Bush with a 43% statewide approval in Sept. 2004; SurveyUSA now pegs him at just 27%.

• One last thing: Fosella is the GOP's golden boy to run for mayor in 2009. Unlike Giuliani and especially Bloomberg, who infuriated "real" Republicans by being too liberal, the last few conservative Republicans in NYC think Fosella is one of them, and really want him to succeed. Ordinarily, I'd say this makes Fosella too conservative to ever become mayor of New York City, but after four straight Republican victories - and the fact that the GOP is often very good at hiding how extreme it is - I'm a bit gunshy. However, if Fosella loses his seat in Congress, that certainly takes some of the sheen off.

Unfortunately, there appears to be some unpleasant whingeing going on:

But Assemblyman John Lavelle, the Island Democratic leader, said it was "a little late" for de Blasio to be looking at the race.

"They may welcome him, but it's not their decision," said Lavelle (D-North Shore), whose executive committee has endorsed Brooklyn attorney Stephen Harrison.


"I'm not appreciative of people in D.C. having these conversations without telling us," said Lavelle.

Ugh. Lavelle was responsible for recruitment here and the best he could come up with was Harrison, a man with no comparable prior political experience. Now he has the temerity to complain that he wasn't consulted when a very good candidate might be ready to jump in? Talk about putting your own bruised ego ahead of your party! This is another illustration of what RBH accurately termed the "Calling Shotgun Principle" - ie, filing first is all that matters. If de Blasio does enter the race, Lavelle better fall in line. I think we'd have a real shot at this seat, but that'll only happen if everyone is prepared to be a team player.

Posted at 01:39 PM in New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, March 17, 2006

NY-24: It's Gotta Be Retirement

Posted by DavidNYC

Sometimes, the obvious just doesn't click. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert scheduled his announcement for 3pm today. Today is (duh) a Friday. And what kind of news do you release late on a Friday afternoon? News you want to bury. Elton Gallegly announce his retirement late on a Friday. Joel Hefley made his announcement on a Friday. Bill Jenkins was the exception, announcing on a Wednesday.

But man, there's no way you announce good news late on a Friday. I don't often make predictions, but I'm feeling pretty sure about this one - Boehlert is gonna retire. Start your engines, because this is going to be one hot race.

UPDATE: Retirement it is!

More here:

Three Democrats, including Oneida County District Attorney Michael Acuri, have already announced they will run for the seat. Representative Rahm Emanuel, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has said Acuri is one of his key recruits this year. Republicans who have expressed interest in the seat include New York State Senator Ray Meier.

Posted at 12:16 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, March 16, 2006

NY-24: Boehlert Announcement Tomorrow

Posted by DavidNYC

GOP Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, long speculated to be on the verge of retirement, will make an annoucement about his future tomorrow at 3pm. If he leaves (and I lean toward thinking he will), then this seat becomes a top-tier pickup target for us. It went for Bush by just 53-47 and gets a mere R+1 rating from the Almanac. I don't know much about the potential Dem candidates (and there are several). How 'bout you?

Posted at 02:14 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 09, 2006

NY-Gov: Bill Weld, Liar

Posted by DavidNYC

"Flip-flopping" is the media's derisive term for what normal people call "changing your mind." It's an entirely different matter, though, when you change your mind but pretend you haven't. Of course, politicians do this now to avoid being labelled a flip-flopper - they want to act like they've upheld the ultimate shallow media virtue, consistency (causing Emerson to smugly cross his arms up in heaven). Problem is, you commit a much worse (and real) sin: You're now a liar.

And Bill Weld, who aspires to lose the New York gubernatorial race, has done just that.

March 2nd, 2004:

ADVOCATE: So are you saying you now support same-sex marriage?

WELD: I have read the opinions in the case, and while they are all thoughtful, scholarly, and serious, I do believe the case was correctly decided.

Dec. 5th, 2005:

NY OBSERVER: I'm sorry, didn't you support the Massachusetts court ruling that validated gay marriage in Massachusetts?

WELD: No. No. I said that you can't repeal it by a statute, which is quite true as a matter of law.

What a kowtowing wretch, sacrificing his support of equal rights for gays in a feeble attempt to gain the endorsement of the Conservative Party. Bill Weld was praised in the past for what appeared to be a courageous effort to buck the Republican establishment on gay equality. Now, he's backed down - and lied about it.

The Log Cabin Republicans extolled Weld for his support of the Massachusetts gay marriage decision just last August. I wonder if they'll say anything about Weld's latest flip-flop and lying cover-up.

Posted at 09:42 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, February 04, 2006

NY-Gov: Pathetic

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh man, this is just sad:

As William F. Weld runs for governor of New York this year, his campaign has put a new spin on the old political rule of having a positive message.

Campaign aides have significantly altered two newspaper articles on his Web site about his bid for governor, removing all negative phrases about him, like "mini-slump" and "dogged by an investigation," and passages about his political problems.

Also removed were references to a federal investigation of Decker College, a Kentucky trade school that Mr. Weld led until he left to run for governor last fall; the college collapsed into bankruptcy weeks later amid allegations of financial aid fraud. And criticism of Mr. Weld by a former New York Republican senator, Alfonse D'Amato, was removed.

I think LarryInNYC has it exactly right:

One wonders -- is there still time for Jeannine Pirro to switch from the Attorney General's race to the Gubernatorial? If so, she'd be the first candidate to complete the hattrick -- failing to be elected Senator, Attorney General, and Governor in the same year!

Too funny.

Posted at 12:41 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

NY-Gov: Golisano is Out

Posted by DavidNYC

So bazillionaire businessman Tom Golisano has decided not to run for governor. While Golisano was never a threat to Spitzer, his personal fortune would have allowed him to cause all kinds of mischief. With a gang of true nobodies now vying for the GOP nomination, Spitzer will be able to husband his resources and spend more time campaigning for down-ticket candidates.

Posted at 12:46 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, January 27, 2006

NY-Sen: Cox Out; Spencer, Seemingly, In

Posted by DavidNYC

No one, it seems, wants to take on Hillary Clinton. With Jeanine Pirro vanishing into the ether, the NY GOP turned (once again) to Ed Cox, most famous for being the son-in-law of Dick Nixon. Cox, who actually had either the sense or grace to bow out when Pataki endorsed Pirro, decided it wasn't worth bowing back in. So they're down to a guy named John Spencer, who I always thought was a recently-deceased star on West Wing. Turns out, he's also a former mayor of Yonkers.

Not that you needed any confirmation, but this race is going to be seriously dull. A few people have noted that HRC is fundraising gold for the right - her name alone in direct-mail solicitations increases the return rate dramatically (or so it's said). Without even a semi-serious challenger for Clinton, she'll be able to fly under the radar for much of the campaign season, so it'll be that much more difficult to milk her name for some good old fashioned hate-bucks. Of course, she's still a celebrity and will get more coverage than most candidates, but this campaign probably won't produce many sparks of the sort which can light a fire under the anti-Hillary base.

Of course, they'll probably just make shit up anyhow.

Posted at 01:45 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, January 26, 2006

NY-Gov: Spitzer Supports Gay Marriage, Suozzi Doesn't

Posted by DavidNYC

Tom Suozzi:

He also opposed gay marriage but supported a civil unions law for same-sex partners.

Eliot Spitzer:

He countered by saying that, as governor, he would introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Posted at 02:38 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, January 23, 2006

NY-Gov: Spitzer Taps Patterson; Nassau Lege in Disarray; Golisano Filing

Posted by DavidNYC

First, Eliot Spitzer has asked state Senate Minority Leader David Patterson to be his "running-mate." I put that phrase in quotes because in NY, there are (ridiculously) separate primary elections for Gov. and Lt. Gov. (They run on one ticket in the general.) So it's conceivable that Spitzer would win the nomination while his favorite choice for second-chair loses. In fact, this happened in 1998, when Peter Vallone's preferred choice, Clyde Rabideau, lost to Sandra Frankel. At the time, though, Vallone didn't command nearly the power that Spitzer does now, and the gubernatorial nomination was much more hotly contested. So I think Spitzer's endorsement is likely to carry the day.

This is really all just pure politics, though. The Lt. Gov. has no important duties in NY except to replace the Governor in the event of incapacity or removal from office. So finding the ideal Lt. Gov. is really mostly a matter of creating some kind of perceived balance on the ticket. Eliot's obviously going for ethnic, not geographic, diversity - Patterson is black, but also hails from Manhattan. Patterson also has a pretty compelling bio (read the NYT story for more).

NYCO raises one angle not covered in the NYT story (which itself reads almost like a bloggy tea-leaf reading exercise). Patterson has been heavily involved with the Democratic effort to retake the state Senate - a goal which is tantalizingly within reach. This is of enormous importance because if the Dems can retake and hold the Senate, and if Spitzer can win a second term in 2010, we will be in a commanding position to shape redistricting for the 2012 elections. I imagine, though, that Patterson would not leave the Senate without ensuring that his efforts are in good hands.

Anyhow, in some other related news, Tom Suozzi is seeking to govern the whole of New York State, but he can't even seem to govern his own county these days. A couple of rebel Democratic county legislators, working with the Republicans, have shut down the Nassau legislature. If Suozzi can't handle a couple of wayward Dems - including one goon who's thrice filed for bankruptcy, lied about serving in Vietnam and even lied about graduating college - then how can he hope to command respect in Albany? The point, of course, is entirely academic. Suozzi isn't going to beat Spitzer - the last Q-Poll had Eliot up 72-8 (yes, 8).

Finally, the Daily News is reporting that Tom Golisano is about to jump in on the Republican side, and he may spend up to $125 million of his own money. Kind of sad that he wants to waste so much money on a losing effort (he's spent enormous sums before, only to lose three times in a row), but hey, it's his cash.

Posted at 04:19 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, January 14, 2006

NY-Gov: Now It's Too Late

Posted by DavidNYC

Just the other day, I suggested that Tom Suozzi could still back out from his stupid, politically suicidal plan to challenge Eliot Spitzer for the gubernatorial primary. Well, now it's too late. Ala Jeanine Pirro, he's not exactly off to a smooth start:

"That's good policy stuff I just gave you. Eliot's been running for a [expletive] year and he hasn't -- " Mr. Suozzi stopped himself at that point, then asked if the comment could be excluded from this article. However, there was no prior agreement in place to allow Mr. Suozzi to select his remarks.

If Suozzi sticks it out until September, his only friends left will be the greedy Wall Street Republicans who are bitter that they got caught behaving improperly by Spitzer. But at this point, Suozzi doesn't seem like someone whom any sense can be smacked into. This is going to be a long, stupid, ugly, pointless primary, with an outcome as clear today as it will be on election day. Sigh. What a waste.

Posted at 02:53 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, January 12, 2006

NY-Gov: Tom Suozzi's Brain

Posted by DavidNYC

So Nassau County exec Tom Suozzi thinks he wants to challenge Eliot Spitzer. Here are possible scenarios for Suozzi, with my estimated likely outcome percentages:

1) He beats Spitzer in a primary. Ha ha.

2) He loses embarrassingly. 75% chance.

3) He loses, but by some arbitrary margin which insiders and the media agree means that he "did surprisingly well" and "raised his profile across the state." 25% chance.

Don't forget that no matter what the outcome, he will earn the undying ill will of many if not most Democrats throughout the state. I'm probably over-estimating Suozzi's odds of nailing #3, but in any event, that's his best-case scenario. But what does that even get him? In other words, where does he go with his newly-enhanced profile? Here are his options, and how viable they each look to me:

• Primary challenge again to incumbent Governor Eliot Spitzer in 2010. Whatever.

• Primary challenge to Senator-for-Life Chuck Schumer in 2010. Uh huh.

• Primary challenge to Spitzer's appointed replacement for Hillary Clinton (should she become President), presumably in 2010. Suozzi certainly won't be Spitzer's appointee. Bleak.

• Vie for Hillary's senate seat in 2012, possibly against Hillary herself. Ugh if it's Hillary. If it's an open seat, it'll be a lively primary, and Suozzi will be six years away from his crowning achievement... a primary loss to the incumbent governor.

Suozzi's choices, in other words, suck, no matter what. But what I should really say is that any overly ambitious New York politician not named Spitzer, Schumer or Clinton will have to cool his or her heels for quite a few years yet to come. There just aren't any good opportunities to move up the ranks (except for Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is poised for a strong NYC mayoral run in 2009).

Suozzi is manifestly impatient, to the point that it's very dangerous to his own dreams. Any run against Spitzer, as I say, would lead to a harsh and permanent backlash against him from many quarters. Moreover, he's already behaving in damaging ways - allegedly courting an endorsement from Republican (!) Tom Golisano, and receiving loud backing from Home Depot CEO & bigtime winger Kenneth Langone (who harbors a grudge against Spitzer).

Politicians do dumb stuff all the time. Most of the time (perhaps sadly) those stupid mistakes can be overcome. Tom Suozzi is about to embark on a different kind of mistake, though - the kind which can't be repaired or forgiven, and which will never be forgotten. I think his ability to damage Spitzer is mercifully quite limited, but I hate to see this kind of ridiculousness regardless. It's not too late to back out. I still maintain he should challenge Peter King in NY-03 (Suozzi lives in King's district). I hope he changes his mind.

Posted at 01:59 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, December 15, 2005

NY-03: DCCC Poll Shows King Vulnerable, But Still No Challenger

Posted by DavidNYC

Via Steve Singiser, here's this Newsday story on a poll commissioned by the DCCC and Suffolk County Legislator David Bishop. Incumbent Republican Peter King leads Bishop 55-37, but apparently, those numbers flip-flop after respondents were asked "a series of questions linking King to Bush."

I'm not going to hang my hat on the results of a one-sided "message-testing" poll. But it does confirm something a lot of us have suspected for a long time: Peter King survives only on his phony "moderate" image, and Long Island voters would be more than happy to turn him out of office if only they knew how much of a Bush shill he is. I think a strong, well-funded challenger could make those charges stick. Add to that a) a strong Democratic election year and b) some killer Dem candidates at the top of the NY ballot and you've got a real chance to unseat King.

Right now, there's apparently a squabble between Bishop and the DCCC. But my ideal candidate for the race is Tom Suozzi. He's the best-known Dem on the island who isn't already in Congress. He's got money (or at least access to it) and an organization. Considering that a new Quinnipiac poll just yesterday put him down 69-11 in a Dem primary against Spitzer, this would seem to be the smart move for him.

Posted at 12:28 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Talk About Disarray

Posted by DavidNYC

It just gets more amazing by the minute. The New York State Republican Party is fighting itself over literally ever important statewide race next year:

Senate: Jeanine Pirro has been a total bust. She's a gaffe-prone bumbler who hasn't shown herself to be an adept fundraiser. So now State Sen. Majority Leader Joe Bruno, along with a growing crowd of other malcontents, are trying to force her from the race. However, as far as I can tell, they don't have a backup plan. Would they really go back to Ed Cox, hat in hand - the man whom Pirro and the powers-that-be forced from the race?

Governor: This fight is a little more interesting. Totally checked-out George Pataki supports Bill Weld, but he's doing little to help him. (Pataki hasn't even endorsed Weld yet.) Bruno, meanwhile, wants Tom Golisano to get the nod - a guy whom Pataki hates, given that Golisano ran against him as an independent three times and spent (I'm ballparking) at least $100 mil combined on those efforts. It's a strange battle, though, between an enfeebled Bruno and an out-of-touch, unconcerned Pataki. It's like watching an aged, washed-up prize fighter duke it out against a basketball team which is resting its stars because it thinks it's made the playoffs. And yes, the fight is so strange, it merits a completely messed up sports analogy like that.

Attorney General: Ha! Did you even know there was a squabble here, too? Bruno wants Pirro to pirouette into the AG's race. But why? As I noted above, it's not like he's got someone great waiting in the wings to run for senate. (The second coming of Rick Lazio?) Here's your answer: State Sen. Michael Balboni, who represents a chunk of Nassau County right on the Queens border, wants to run for AG himself. This is a huge problem for Bruno, who is perilously close to losing his majority in the State Senate. An open seat in NY-SS-07 is an awesome opportunity for the Dems. Even though Balboni won his last election by 20 points, Dem registration actually outnumbers GOP totals in the district: 77,612 to 72,788. Bruno, predictably, wants Pirro in the AG's race to keep Balboni from going anywhere.

I think the only statewide race the GOP isn't warring over is comptroller, but just wait. I'm sure they'll start bickering over that one soon enough.

Posted at 04:02 AM in New York, Republicans | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

NY-Sen: Bruno Kneecaps Pirro

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh, this is good - well, good and bad. Read on:

Jeanine F. Pirro's bid to unseat Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton suffered an embarrassing setback on Tuesday when the State Legislature's most powerful Republican said she should call the whole thing off and run for state attorney general instead.

The remarks by the official, Joseph L. Bruno, the majority leader of the State Senate, forced out into the open simmering concerns about Ms. Pirro's candidacy, which has been beset by gaffes and fund-raising difficulties. And it heightened the sense that the state Republican Party is nervous about its future and riven by squabbles as its de facto leader, Gov. George E. Pataki, prepares to step down at the end of next year.

Mr. Bruno said that Ms. Pirro, who was elected Westchester district attorney three times, would be a better fit as a candidate for attorney general. "I have said from the beginning, and I know a lot of my colleagues, and people within the party, share the thought, that she would make a great attorney general," Mr. Bruno told reporters. "By background, by her experience, by her prosecutorial record. And I hope that before this procedure gets too much further, that Jeanine Pirro would reconsider and run for A.G."

Wow. That must feel like a punch to the gut for Pirro. The fact is, though, that Bruno is right - Pirro would make a great AG candidate for her party. She has the right background for it, and her association with the Republican Party would be less of an issue just by the nature of the office. (It doesn't matter what the AG thinks about the Iraq war or Social Security.) And the Dem AG hopefuls aren't nearly as strong as the top-tier Gov and Sen candidates. If Pirro heeds this bit of advice, then the most powerful AG's office in the nation is in peril of being shut down.

Of course, it would be a deeply humiliating climb-down for Pirro, and I doubt she'll do it precisely because Bruno has suggested it. If Bruno really cared about Pirro and the AG race, he wouldn't have blathered to reporters. He would have arranged a private meeting with Pirro herself. But Bruno probably has neither the clout nor the established goodwill to engage in that kind of backroom politicking anymore. Rather, this outburst was simply a bit of far-sighted ass-covering. By distancing himself so openly from Pirro, he's trying to insulate himself from her inevitable spectacular failure.

What precisely Bruno is protecting is beyond my understanding, though. The New York Republican Party has been circling the drain for some time now. An old guy like Bruno (he's in his mid-70s) ought to be considering retirement and a cushy sinecure.

Posted at 11:19 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

NY-Gov: Tom Suozzi, What Are You Thinking?

Posted by DavidNYC

According to the New York Observer and Newsday, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi is seriously looking to challenge Eliot Spitzer for the NY gubernatorial nomination. There is no way Suozzi can beat Spitzer - the only thing he can do is raise his own profile. But he will also create a lot of enmity - enmity which would far outweigh any increased name recognition he might earn, in my opinion.

NY also has an obscenely late primary date (September), which is designed to protect incumbents. Fortunately, Spitzer won't be facing an incumbent, but if he has to waste time fending off Suozzi, that curtails his ability to turn his guns on whomever his Republican opponent will be. If I were Spitzer, I might try ignoring Suozzi altogether. If the first poll of a hypothetical primary puts Suozzi's support in the teens and Spitzer's at or over 50% (as I'd expect), then this strategy might work.

On the other hand, maybe those news reports are wrong. We can only hope.

(Via Political Wire.)

Posted at 10:23 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

NY-Sen: Not Her Best Day

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh, Jeanine:

"I got to tell you, was it my best day? Absolutely not," she said before adding emphatically, "Am I better than that? Absolutely not."

A year out, and already getting tagged as gaffe-prone. So sad. Will her campaign start faring better? Absolutely not!

Posted at 04:32 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New York | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 13, 2005

NY-Sen: Can't Touch Hillary

Posted by DavidNYC Siena also polled the NY Senate race at the same time it was polling the Gov race. The results are equally strong in favor of Clinton, but I did notice something interesting. In the post just below, I observed a correlation between how "well" Spitzer's lame-ass opponents performed against him vs. how well-known they are. With Jeanine Pirro and Hillary Clinton, there appears to be no such correlation - and boy does that ever spell doom for Pirro's chances, if she ever had any in the first place. Check this out:

Date Pirro D/K Clinton vs. Pirro
10/05 51 59-31
8/05 55 55-34
7/05 61 57-31
6/05 65 59-29
5/05 68 57-29

So Pirro's name recognition went up almost 20 points in 5 months. Not bad. But her performance against Clinton has gone... exactly nowhere. At this rate, Pirro might fare so poorly that she won't even get the Fox News show she's obviously angling for.

The only distressing thing about this poll was that it showed Hillary losing to Rudy, 48-43, in NY state in a possible presidential matchup. I'm surprised to still see Giuliani that popular, four years after he left office. Maybe he won't be in another two or three. But if he were somehow to emerge as the GOP's nominee, I'm starting to think he'd be a lot more formidable that many people - including myself, in the past - have predicted.

Posted at 10:32 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New York | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NY-Gov: Spitzer Still Smoking All Comers

Posted by DavidNYC

Yesterday I mentioned that zillionaire and perennial losing independent gubernatorial candidate Tom Golisano had joined the GOP. Siena College now obliges us with a new poll showing just how strong Eliot Spitzer is in the state (registered voters, late Aug. in parens):

Spitzer: 56 (52)
Golisano: 26 (28)
Undecided: 18 (21)

Spitzer: 62 (56)
Weld: 18 (19)
Undecided: 20 (26)

Spitzer: 63
Faso: 19
Undecided: 19
(MoE: 4%)

Faso? Whodat? You know you're seriously nobody when I have to Google you to discover that you're merely a former freakin' Assemblyman. Alright, so he was minority leader, and alright, he came close to beating Alan Hevesi for the state Comptroller's job a few years ago - but you'll forgive me for erasing him from my memory, considering that 78% of my fellow New Yorkers (according to Siena) also don't know enough to form an opinion on the guy.

It does seem, though, that there's a pretty simple correlation going on between name recognition and support among potential Republican voters. Golisano gets a 52% D/K and 26% of the vote, while Weld and Faso are basically the same (75/18 and 78/19, respectively). Three point of name reco seems to be worth about one point at the polls. I don't know what the usual ratio, but that strikes me as pretty sad-sack.

Anyhow, like I said earlier, Golisano's got money to spend, and spend it he will. But he still won't beat Spitzer, and it's looking like he'll have a loser's primary with Faso and Weld to even get a chance against Eliot.

Posted at 10:14 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

NY-Gov: Golisano Turning (R) - Will He Jump In?

Posted by DavidNYC

From the NYT:

Tom Golisano, the businessman who helped found the state's Independence Party, ran for governor three times and spent tens of millions of dollars of his own money attacking George E. Pataki, became a Republican on Tuesday and announced that he was "seriously considering a bid for governor in my new party."

Golisano might make life difficult for Spitzer if only because he could spend jillions of his own money. (Work for a company? Get paid via an automatic check system? If it's not run by ADP, it's run by Paychex - which is Golisano's company and how he made his fortune.) However, Golisano would still have to fight a primary against Bill Weld. What a weird primary that would be.

I don't see Weld being remotely able to raise enough money to compete against Golisano, but as long as he stayed in the fight, it would be good for Spitzer. New York has a very late primary (September), so anything that keeps the GOP wrapped up until that point is probably a good thing.

Posted at 01:45 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

NYC-Mayor: Bad News for Ferrer

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Marist puts Freddy Ferrer (D) far behind Mike Bloomberg (registered voters, late Sept. in parens):

Ferrer: 33 (37)
Bloomberg: 56 (50)
Other: 2 (2)
Undecided: 9 (11)
(MoE: ±4%)

I'm using Marist's registered voter numbers because I don't trust their likely voter screen. Their much-discussed NJ gubernatorial poll put Corzine up just 1 point with likely voters (2 with leaners) - putting it, as I've observed below - well outside the range of just about every other poll. However, their RV numbers were much more in line, giving Corzine a seven-point lead.

But either way, these numbers don't give Freddy much succor. I don't see, though, why he'd go from -13 to -23 in just a couple of weeks. I suppose Bloomberg's saturation campaign might have something to do with it - but his massive media buys have been going on so extensively for so long, I'd be surprised if they could have any serious effect right now.

And Ferrer has pretty much avoided the mis-steps that plagued him early in the primary campaign. He's even come up with a couple of politically clever maneuvers, like dinging Mayor Mike about "Pay to Pray" (ie, requiring people to feed meters on Sundays, when many are in church). But Pay to Pray, cute as it is, is really just small potatoes. I don't know how Ferrer can gain momentum in the little time he has left, especially since he's hit fundraising difficulties.

It may well be that in politics, it ain't over till it's over, but it's looking like it'll take something near-miraculous for Ferrer to pull out a victory here. Then again, this is the city that produced the Mets, who managed to win the World Series in `69 despite finishing in 9th place the year before. So I'll still keep my fingers crossed.

Posted at 12:26 PM in 2005 Elections, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

NYC-Mayor: Weiner to Concede to Ferrer

Posted by DavidNYC

According to New York 1, Anthony Weiner is going to concede to Fernando Ferrer, despite Weiner's statements to the contrary last night. This would eliminate a run-off between the two Democrats and allow Ferrer to directly take on incumbent Republican Mike Bloomberg immediately.

But I'm curious - can you really "concede" if your opponent hasn't actually hit 40%? Wouldn't that be a bit like trying to concede if you got over 50% (ie, you won) in an ordinary election? If the absentee ballots show that Ferrer stays under 40%, then what happens?

Posted at 11:03 AM in New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, September 12, 2005

NYC-CC/PA: Election Day Tomorrow

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Tomorrow is primary day in New York City, and there are two elections that have caught our eye over at Swing State Project. If you are from the area, please vote. If you are so inclined, pleased consider voting for the following two candidates for City Council and Public Advocate in NYC:

Gur Tsabar for City Council
Last November, Gur Tsabar found himself fighting for traction in what has to be a very difficult race for City Council in New York City. Looking for new and original ways to campaign, he stopped by Swing State Project and dropped some comments and exchanged ideas in a post I wrote.

Seven months later, Gur received an endorsement from the New York Times in large part because of his unorthodox campaign style. Tsabar has taken to the streets of New York, preforming acts of community service with volunteers as a foundation of his field operation. I like to describe it as Dean Corps on steroids.

If I were in NYC, I would be offering my time to Gur's progressive vision for the city, and probably have the same enthusiam and nervous anticipation for the election I had as an Ohioan waiting for the results of Paul Hackett's campaign.

Andrew Rasiej for Public Advocate
Andrew Rasiej has captured the imagination of many in the online community including Joe Trippi, Bob Brigham, Jerome Armstrong, and the good people over at Personal Democracy Forum... and for good reason. Rasiej is running in large part on a platform that highlights the need to turn NYC into one giant wireless network.

From a New York Times profile on Rasiej:

For Mr. Rasiej (pronounced ra-SHAY), being public advocate - the person who succeeds the mayor if he or she is incapacitated - is not just about triaging complaints from the public. It is also about fostering a revolution in the way people and government exchange information.

“The traditional model is that we elect a public official and they’re going to solve all our problems,” said Mr. Rasiej, 47. “I don’t believe that model works anymore. I don’t believe that one politician can solve the problems of eight million New Yorkers. I do believe that eight million New Yorkers can solve their own problems.”

And there it is. Can't say it much better than that. For Rasiej, the Internet is the only mechanism for mass communication available by which his ideas can be achieved. It's not just that he wants all people to have availability to high-speed wireless access, it's that he has a compelling vision in how to use such a network in governing. Completely revolutionary. If elected, it would be like New York City immediately had 8 million people truly representing themselves in the Apple.

I am not sure how much we can accomplish to help out these deserving candidates in the waning hours of their campaigns. I guess we get a couple hundred visitors from the area a day, so if we can inform a few of them about Gur and Andrew, that is a start. If those people would please email their lists, ask their co-workers, family, and friends to cast their ballots for the two of them, we can take an even larger step in creating an online component to Ken Mehlman's neighbor-to-neighbor strategy.

Posted at 07:26 PM in New York | Comments (4) | Technorati

Sunday, August 21, 2005

NYT: We endorse Gur Tsabar

Posted by Bob Brigham

On Christmas Eve, Gur Tsabar, a candidate for New York City Council joined the Swing State Project conversation. At the time, I remember thinking that it was a sign of some serious enthusiasm on the part of the candidate. Since then, his enthusiasm has been noticed and it even helped land him the New York Times endorsement:

No fewer than seven Democrats are promising to find solutions to this diverse district's problems, from the proliferation of noisy bars to the lack of affordable housing. Strong contenders include Rosie Mendez, the smart and personable party district leader and former chief of staff to Margarita Lopez, the departing councilwoman. Brian Kavanagh, who worked for Gail Brewer, a councilwoman from the Upper West Side, was the first to advocate lobbying Albany to gain local control over liquor licensing, which could help to manage the loud bars.

But Gur Tsabar, a former member of the staff of Council Speaker Gifford Miller, has distinguished himself with a campaign run on ideas and action fueled by a contagious enthusiasm. He has combined the nuts-and-bolts activities like gathering petition signatures with efforts to help the community, including a clothing drive and collecting used cellphones for distribution among the elderly. In a unilateral rejection of so-called "pay to play" money, he gave to community organizations about $3,000 in donations that came from people who do business with the city. Mr. Tsabar has made a point of campaigning in all corners of the district and pledges to hold meetings regularly with constituents where they live. Combined with his experience with the inner workings of the Council, he is exactly the kind of representative the district needs. We endorse Gur Tsabar.

Go Gur!

Posted at 12:21 PM in New York | Technorati

Friday, August 19, 2005

NY-Gov: Weld to Challenge Spitzer

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm unimpressed with him as a foe for Spitzer, but what the hey, Bill Weld ignored my advice and tossed his hat into the ring anyway.

P.S. Fuck Bill Weld:

[Weld] also retained Mr. Rove's direct-mail firm in his races for governor, and said yesterday that Mr. Rove "is a friend and someone who knows me well."

What a wimpy, scaredy-cat piece of shit Weld is. If he were to have any chance in NY, it would be to run as an old-style liberal Republican (ie, the otherwise extinct variety) and demonstrate that the national party holds no sway over him. But instead he calls that scum Rove a "friend" - Rove, who denigrated all New Yorkers by coming to NYC and attempting to slander "liberals."

This ad, as they say, just writes itself. I had no idea this race would be this easy for Eliot. Just hang Rove around Weld's sorry-ass neck.

(Oh, and wanna bet that Bill Weld is afraid of the dirt Rove has on him - and the whisper campaigns which Rove is so excellent at starting? Nah - don't take that bet. It's a sucker's play. Of course Weld is scared of Rove.)

Posted at 12:46 AM in New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NY-Sen: Pirro Campaign is Just Pretty Pictures, and Monkeys

Posted by DavidNYC

This is from "even the conservative" New York Post (free registration required - just use BugMeNot):

From the looks of this, Jeanine Pirro would rather show off her monkey love than be seen with her ex-con husband, Albert.

Pirro's new campaign Web site — which has 103 pictures of the Westchester DA — features not a single one of her husband of 30 years. And there's no mention of the two-timing tax cheat in her online bio.

The Web photo gallery is extensive.

There's Pirro with singer Tony Bennett and the late actor Ossie Davis; with Republican Govs. Pataki and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California; with Democrats, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Al Sharpton; with her mother and her kindergarten teacher.

And Pirro with that monkey, whose "identity" was not disclosed. It's meant to show her commitment to animal welfare as district attorney.

I guess when your best-known accomplishment is making it on to People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" list, this campaign strategy makes sense. Oh, and here's the monkey. Cute little feller.

And hey, I didn't know about this:

A paralegal came forward and claimed that she had had an affair with [Al Pirro, Jeanine's husband] and that he had fathered her child. After years of denials, he 'fessed up when a DNA test supported the woman's claims.

So the Pirro camp has been trying to claim that Hillary's well-known past issues with Bill will somehow "cancel out" the fact that Al Pirro served an eleven-month sentence for cheating on his taxes. But he also cheated on his wife (and fathered a baby!). So, like an algebra equation, even if the various martial infidelities did cancel each other out, that still leave's Al Pirro's tax fraud on the table. Why am I not surprised that Republicans are only capable of fuzzy math.

Posted at 11:19 AM in New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

NY-06: CAFTA 15 Feeling the Heat

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Seems Representative Meeks' Senior Policy Advisor is feeling the heat after the congressman sold out the working men and women of America with his CAFTA vote.

By the way, since your last email cited Crain's NY, I hope you saw their editorial today regarding Cafta, along with the many others. So keep up your racist campaign. But just a warning to you, when we respond back, you better be prepared. Because we will fight back your racist campaign of misinformation. And it will be just as ugly and nasty as you and your fellow Nadar klansmen. Put that in your elitist pipe and choke on it!"
I kind of hope they wage war against the blogs on this vote. In a district that has failed to field a Republican challenger in two cycles, it would be a shame if Meeks met the same fate as Henry Cuellar in TX-28. In addition to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, apparently the NAACP is a bunch of racists as well.

Posted at 12:30 AM in New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 08, 2005

NY-Sen: Pirro to Challenge Clinton

Posted by DavidNYC

It's official: Jeanine Pirro, former Westchester District Attorney will challenge Sen. Hillary Clinton next year.

Pirro will actually faced a contested primary (or so it would seem) against Dick Nixon's son-in-law Ed Cox. (I'll remind everyone that today is the 41st anniversary of Nixon's resignation announcement.) Contested primaries are a real hassle in New York State - the primary date is so late (in September) that the victor has less than two months to raise money and do battle with his or her opponent. If Cox stays in this fight, then whoever wins the GOP primary won't even have time to take a breath before the giant Hillary machine swamps 'em in the fall.

Pirro is also burdened by the fact that her husband is a convicted tax cheat (whose crimes she partially benefitted from). Amusingly, the GOP is saying that the sins of the husband should not be imputed to the wife - while at the same time claiming that Hillary's ancient marital issues will "cancel out" Pirro's problems. Not the first time the GOP has talked out of both sides of its mouth.

Pirro is allegedly the GOP's dream candidate for this race - but I ain't buyin' it. There's no chance she'll beat Clinton. At best, she might raise her profile because Hillary is a national figure, but even that's open to question, since this Senate race won't be one of the top-tier contested fights.

Posted at 01:45 PM in New York | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, June 24, 2005

NJ-Gov: Karl Rove Scandal Scalds Doug Forrester

Posted by Bob Brigham

I knew the Karl Rove scandal would have impacts in local elections when I received the following email with an hour of the scandal blowing up:

Vicious Karl Rove Just Raised Money for Republican Doug Forrester

I’m sure you’ve heard about Karl Rove calling liberals and Democrats traitors, and the White House supporting his comments.

I think it’s interesting that Karl Rove was just in New Jersey raising money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester: link

Now there is an Action Alert to contact NJ Gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester, New York City Mayor Michael Bloombloog and New York state Governor Bill Pataki. This already has support from Americablog, Eschaton, Steve Gilliard's News Blog, and Chris Bowers at MyDD.

From AmericaBlog:

Anti-Karl Rove Action Alert

Atrios suggests we all do the following. I agree:
This week Karl Rove headlined a couple of fundraisers for the Republican candidate for governor of New Jesrsey, Doug Forrester.

Call his campaign office and demand to know if Forrester stands by Karl Rove's assertion that Democrats like Dick Durbin are motivated by a desire to see troops die (especially if you live in New Jersey or imagine that you do). Demand that he return the money he raised. Find out if he's proud to stand with Karl Rove, and if also thinks that New Jersey Democrats are motivated by a desire to see our troops die.


GOP Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has refused to repudiate what Rove's, Mehlman's, and the White House's assertion that YOU want to kill the troops and didn't give a damn about September 11. And remember folks, this is New York City, if they want to play that "liberal" card, let them. 80% of the city would call itself "liberal." So Bush thinks 80% of New Yorkers didn't give a damn about September 11. You're traitors, you dishonor the dead. When your friends died that day, you wanted to give Osama a hug.

Call Mayor Bloomber and demand he publicly repudiate the White House's slander against New Yorkers and all those who survived September 11. Bloomberg's wishy-washy statement about how we wishes all sides would stop politicizing September 11 is cute, but "all sides" weren't politicizing it. Only one party has. That would be the party he invited to hold its patriotic orgasm of a convention there last fall, the one that politicized September 11.

It's time for Bloomberg to tell New Yorkers, is he with them or against them? Does he stand by the White House's words that 80% of New Yorkers are motivated by a desire to kill our troops, and that 80% of NYers didn't give a damn about September 11? Answer the damn question, or don't be mayor.

Email bloomberg here.

Then make some phone calls to Bloomberg's press people:

Edward Skyler, Robert Lawson, Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958


Pataki refused to even give a wishy-washy answer yesterday about the White House's slander of NYers and all Americans. He stood by Rove 100%. Give him a call too, and demand that he publicly repudiate this disgusting use of the 9/11 dead to help George Bush's polls.

Main governor's office phone: 518-474-8390, 212-681-4580
Email the governor here

Lynn Rasic (Governor)
(212) 681-4640

Forrester, Bloomberg and Pataki need to do the right thing by denouncing Karl Rove and returning the poisoned money.

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, New Jersey, New York, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, June 02, 2005

NY-Gov: Thomas R. Suozzi to Run

Posted by Bob Brigham

The New York Times plays the role of trial balloon for Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. Steve Gilliard shoots it down:

If Tom Suozzi wants to commit political suicide, that is his right, but he should talk to Andy Cuomo first. Because he almost ruined his career running against Carl McCall.

The best thing for him to do is lay low or run for Lieutenant Governor, not challenge Spitzer, who will club him over his head with his "abortion compromise". Spitzer and NARAL will run him into the ground. While abortion is a toss in New Jersey, a NARAL attack on Suozzi would doom his candidacy. Abortion rights is so important in New York, even the GOP is pro-abortion and there is a seperate Right to Life party.

Suozzi would do well to not let his ambition get ahead of his common sense.

If he thinks Spitzer's support is shallow, I would invite him to test that theory. I think he will find it lacking when he tries it. New York Democrats want someone who is going to fight, not try and make deals. There is NO question about Spitzer's ability to fight. Suozzi seems willing to cut deals. So if he wants to run and get hammered like Dennis Vacco, that is his right. But a wise man would look elsewhere.

Indeed. Elliot Spitzer is a dream candidate and Suozzi should keep his selfish grandstanding in Long Island -- the rest of us have neither the time nor patience.

Posted at 04:37 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

NY: Pirro Being Shoved into a Race, but Which One?

Posted by DavidNYC

The New York Times today makes it sound like Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro is being goaded into running for statewide office, so desperate are the Republicans for what the NYT embarrassingly calls a "high-profile" name. Talk about defining high-profile down. Pirro is a local county DA - quick, can you even name your own DA, let alone one from another part of the state?

More importantly, Pirro's husband was convicted of tax fraud just a few years ago and served a year in the clink. That's one hell of an albatross, especially when you're a freakin' law enforcement official. The GOP is pretending like this problem can be swept under the rug - whatever.

And finally, Pirro has said she'll run for a statewide race, but hasn't even said which one. Pretty bizarro. It could be Attorney General, Governor or Senator. She'd obviously get creamed in either of the last two, but the state GOP fantasizes that her profile will get raised even in a losing effort. Yeah, this kind of thing does happen sometimes - Brian Schweitzer in Montana and Mark Warner both lost before they won. But I think you've got to make it close in order to be considered viable the next time out, and I can't see Pirro's margin even being as small as Dan Quayle's IQ.

The only campaign she might not get Alan Keyed in is the AG race (I'm not so impressed with the current crop of Dems running for the seat). But man, if Stephen Minarik's rising star is someone who, in 2008 or 2010, will be able to say, "I lost the Attorney General's race to Mark Green," then the NY GOP must really enjoy kissing its sister.

Posted at 08:38 AM in New York | Comments (5) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

NY-Sen: Republicans Still Looking for Hilary Challenger

Posted by Bob Brigham


A suburban New York City prosecutor said she's "flattered" to hear she's been mentioned by the White House as a possible candidate to run against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — but refused Monday to say if she'll run.

The New York Times reported Monday that a delegation from the White House Office of Political Affairs had met with state Republican leaders to discuss the possibility of Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro challenging Clinton in 2006.


A son-in-law of the late President Richard Nixon, Edward Cox, plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Hillary Clinton, Newsweek reported in its Web edition on Tuesday.

Considering Clinton's poll numbers, winning the GOP nomination is a total booby prize.

Posted at 09:42 AM in New York | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, May 05, 2005

NY-Sen: Clinton "Buries All Challengers 2 -1 Or More"

Posted by Bob Brigham

New Quinnipiac Poll (April 28 - May 2, 1,191, ± 2.8 percentage points):

Sen. Clinton had an all-time high 65 - 27 percent approval rating in a February 9 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Clinton easily defeats a number of possible Republican challengers:

* 60 - 32 percent over Gov. George Pataki;
* 62 - 27 percent over Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro;
* 63 - 26 percent over former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld;
* 63 - 25 percent over Edward Cox, son-in-law of the late President Richard Nixon.

New York State voters say 67 - 27 percent that Sen. Clinton deserves to be reelected.

With a re-elect number of 67%, Clinton is in good shape for re-election. But what does this poll tell us about her 2008 plans?

Voters also say 60 - 30 percent that if she runs for reelection in 2006, she should promise to serve another full six-year Senate term. In another question, voters say 51 - 41 percent that they do not want Clinton to run for president in 2008. [...]

"But if the Clinton-for-President talk stays strong, she has problems. More New Yorkers don't want her to run for President. And, 2 -1, they think that if she runs for re- election as Senator, she should promise to serve the full six years," [director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Maurice] Carroll added.

Interesting to see New Yorkers' positions begin to set this far out.

Posted at 08:57 AM in New York | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

NY-Gov: Bill Weld, Go Home (wherever that may be)

Posted by DavidNYC

Very, very erstwhile New Yorker and former bored Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld has been touted as the GOP savior candidate to take on Eliot Spitzer. Some folks said they thought Weld would make a strong candidate. I was pretty skeptical of those claims - and I have to admit, I had a good chuckle when I saw this new poll today from Quinnipiac (registered voters, no trendlines):

Spitzer: 60
Weld: 16
Undecided: 22
(MoE: ±2.8%)

Sixty-to-sixteen is Alan Keyes territory, another oft-mentioned (and I'm not even sure it's a joke anymore) potential challenger to Spitzer. Yeah, I know it's early, and Weld's name reco is low - but come on: He's not bringing anything to the game if he's starting out at 16%. Even Republicans only support him 40-31.

Meanwhile, Eliot still smashes Pataki 53-32. The latter's approval rating stands at an abysmal 36-47, despite the first on-time budget in decades. Nothing can rescue him now.

Posted at 07:50 PM in New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, April 24, 2005

NYC-Mayor: Ferrer the Bumbler

Posted by DavidNYC

Just a few days ago, in discussing the mayoral race in New York City, I opined:

Ferrer will continue to make mistakes (everyone in NYC knew that his Diallo comments were an enormous error the moment he uttered them) - partly because he now has a seeming penchant for them, and partly perhaps out of desperation for losing Sharpton - or, chastened and burned, he will run an overly cautious campaign.

As someone who admittedly has not been fully tuned into this campaign, I had no idea how right this guess (and it was only a guess) would actually be. To wit:

On Monday, Fernando Ferrer, a Democratic candidate for mayor, announced his proposal to revive a tax on stock trades, and his rivals immediately denounced it as misguided and hurtful to business. On Tuesday, pressed to defend the plan, Mr. Ferrer said that the city was under court order to produce billions for public education, and his opponents pounced on that mistake to paint Mr. Ferrer as gaffe-prone and ignorant.

And on Thursday, a day after Mr. Ferrer said that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had failed to extract any additional state aid for education, he was left once again to defend himself against claims that he was wrong. (Emphasis added.)

Wow. I know that to many people (especially non-NYers), these issues may seem a bit arcane or even downright inscrutable, but I assure you, Ferrer's stumbles represent some pretty serious screw-ups. This hardly seems like the kind of campaign that will stay intact until the primary in September. Everyone is gunning for Ferrer, and he just can't handle the incoming fire. And the biggest beneficiary may well be the incumbent Republican Mike Bloomberg.

Posted at 03:43 PM in New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

NY-Gov/Sen: Weld Chatter

Posted by DavidNYC

Over at DailyKos, there's some renewed chatter about Bill Weld being recruited by the NY GOP to run against either Clinton or Spitzer. It all strikes me as wishful (Republican) thinking, but in any event, I don't think Weld has the fire any longer to take on either of these formidable campaigners.

Posted at 02:51 PM in New York | Technorati

Thursday, April 21, 2005

NYC-Mayor: Sharpton Staying Mum

Posted by DavidNYC

It's hard to believe Al Sharpton would ever really keep his mouth shut, and who knows whether he'll keep his promise, but according to the NYT, he won't be endorsing anyone in this year's Dem primary for NYC mayor.

Before I go any further, let me say that I have absolutely no dog in this fight. Being away from my hometown, I haven't followed this race as closely as I did the last mayoral contest. But moreover, I just haven't been in the least bit inspired by any of the candidates. Nonetheless, this race matters to eight million New Yorkers and an equal number of people who live in the greater metropolitan area.

Anyhow, that aside, what does Sharpton's move mean? Well, it's pretty deadly for the Ferrer campaign, it seems. Sharpton was explicit in saying that Ferrer's recent comments about the Amadou Diallo case, in which Ferrer said he thought that the shooting of Daillo was not a crime, were the deciding factor. (If you aren't familiar with the Diallo case, I strongly urge you to follow the prior link - it was a seminal moment in recent New York City history.)

This suggests to me that one of two things is likely to happen: Ferrer will continue to make mistakes (everyone in NYC knew that his Diallo comments were an enormous error the moment he uttered them) - partly because he now has a seeming penchant for them, and partly perhaps out of desperation for losing Sharpton - or, chastened and burned, he will run an overly cautious campaign.

Either way, this throws the field wide open. Ferrer was still the front-runner (though declining) in a Q-Poll even after his Daillo remarks - he had a 36-21 lead over his nearest opponent, Manhattan Borough President (a mostly powerless job) C. Virginia Fields. But pre-Diallo, it was 4013. I'll bet ya that gap tightens up a good bit more more, and soon.

Posted at 01:08 PM in New York | Technorati

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

NYC-Mayor: Whatever, Bob Kerrey

Posted by DavidNYC

Now go back to doing whatever it is you do, you flake.

Posted at 02:10 AM in New York | Technorati

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

NY-Gov: Magic 8-Ball Says, "Signs Point to No"

Posted by DavidNYC

It's always interesting to watch a prominent politician's career slowly, slowly circle the drain. It's like a toilet bowl inside a centrifuge: There's already a morbid coriolis effect before someone reaches out to finally flush it. George Pataki is most definitely jiggling the handle:

With Gov. George E. Pataki expected to announce his political plans as soon as next month, talk of his future has consumed the capital. And many of the signs are pointing away from Albany.

Numerous lobbyists, lawmakers and political operatives here say they do not expect him to run for a fourth term as governor. They point to a slow but steady exodus of aides from the Pataki administration, to unenviable poll numbers, and to indications that some of his supporters are beginning to cozy up to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a leading Democratic contender in the 2006 governor's race.

Former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato, a friend and confidant of Mr. Pataki's who helped make him governor, has shared a few meals with Mr. Spitzer and has praised him publicly. And Mr. D'Amato's former chief of staff, John Zagame, was listed as a sponsor on the printed invitations to two fund-raisers that Mr. Spitzer held last year.

Ouch! That's gotta sting! Al D'Amato, the very reason George Pataki won the governor's mansion in the first place back in 1994, has turned Judas. Personally, I have no idea how Eliot could stand even five minutes of breaking bread with Senator Space Alien, but then again, the Spitzer's got some serious fortitude. As distatesful as it may be, it's a canny move that hammers a few more nails into Pataki's political coffin.

A Marist Poll from a couple weeks ago showed Spitzer dominating Pataki by an astonishing 60-33. Considering the absolute highest number a New York Democrat can expect in a perfect storm is about 65%, that's just devastating. (Yes, Schumer got over 70% last year, but he also wasted many millions of dollars to do that.) Siena College also had Spitzer up by a less stratospheric 48-34 (and admittedly, Pataki inched up a bit from their prior poll). But no matter what, I just don't see how Pataki could ever want this race.

Posted at 01:21 PM in New York | Technorati

NY-Sen: Financial Reports

Posted by Bob Brigham

In case anyone was looking for evidence that Senator Clinton is as effective a fundraiser as her husband, look no further:

WASHINGTON, April 18 - Even as Republicans struggle to find a candidate to challenge Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York next year, she has embarked on a furious fund-raising drive that appears to have left her with a larger reserve of cash than any other senator seeking re-election.

Her campaign reported on Monday that she had amassed nearly $4 million in contributions in the first three months of this year, meaning that she will close the first quarter with $8.7 million in the bank. [...]

The amount raised by the Clinton campaign during the first quarter of the year strongly suggests that her base of support is swiftly mobilizing, even though Republicans are having trouble recruiting a big-name candidate to run against her.

However, that is just what she's done to build her campaign the largest warchest out of all Senators standing for re-election in 2006. What about other candidates?

But remarkably enough, the nearly $9 million that Mrs. Clinton has in the bank does not capture the full extent of her fund-raising ability, say her campaign advisers and other Democrats.

That is because Mrs. Clinton spent her first four years in office playing host to fund-raising events not so much for herself as for House and Senate candidates around the country, as well as the three major Washington-based Democratic campaign committees.

Her campaign advisers estimate that she brought in at least $45 million for other Democrats, including Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic candidate for president. Indeed, Whitehaven, the Clinton home in Washington near Embassy Row, has been a hub of Democratic activity, with frequent fund-raising dinners and receptions.


Posted at 08:57 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New York | Technorati

Sunday, April 17, 2005

NYC-Mayor: Bob Kerrey for Mayor of NYC???

Posted by Bob Brigham


NEW YORK - Former Sen. Bob Kerrey is considering entering the city's mayoral race, saying Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not fought Republican lawmakers who have hurt the city with tax cuts and reductions in national security funding.

"I am angry about the way New York City is being treated by Washington D.C.," Kerrey told The New York Times in Sunday editions. "Who is fighting these guys? What would Giuliani and Koch be doing now? They'd be raising hell!"

The 1992 Democratic presidential candidate, a former Nebraska senator and governor, said he would decide within a few days whether he will join the crowded Democratic field. He is now president of New School University.

Here is where it gets really interesting:

Aides to Bloomberg said they were surprised by Kerrey's comments since he accepted an offer to head "Democrats for Bloomberg." Kerrey said he began having second thoughts after accepting the offer.

Posted at 01:07 PM in New York | Comments (5) | Technorati

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Senator Hillary Clinton presidential ambitions attacked

Posted by Bob Brigham

The problem with being the early mainstream media frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination is that everyone wants to tear you down. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will certainly understand this dynamic in the coming years.

From the AP:

ALBANY, N.Y. - Claiming Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for the White House, New York's GOP chairman has kicked off a national "STOP HILLARY NOW!" fund-raising effort to thwart her 2006 Senate re-election bid.

"Stopping Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most important thing you and I can do as Republicans in the next two years," says the fund-raising appeal sent out by Stephen Minarik. "You could say it's our duty as Republicans."

Minarik's fund-raising letter, dated Friday, promises a Republican "truth squad" that will "monitor Hillary's appearances and expose her lies."

While Minarik has sent out similar missives to New York Republicans, Friday's appeal — a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press — is his first to the potentially more lucrative national anti-Clinton audience.

Clinton, who has said she is not looking beyond her Senate re-election effort, has countered with fund-raising appeals of her own, including a March 31 e-mail warning supporters she is "the No. 1 target for the right-wing attack machine."

And now this from drudge:

The project being billed as "Hillary in the Raw", like you've never seen her before, is set to drop in September by liberal Ed Klein, former NYT MAGAZINE editor, VANITY FAIR, PARADE contributor and author of multiple works on the Kennedys.

"The revelations in it should sink her candidacy," a source close to Klein warns the DRUDGE REPORT.


Last week, Clinton stalwart Ann Lewis fired off an email to supporters warning of the 'Swift Boat' tactics coming against the former first lady turned senator.

Now the coming sales pitch for ' THE TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President' reads: 'Just as the swift boat veterans convinced millions of voters that John Kerry lacked the character to be president, Klein’s book will influence everyone who is sizing up the character of Hillary Clinton...

'Despite more than a dozen years in the national spotlight and more than a dozen unauthorized books about her, she has managed to keep many secrets from the public -- especially about her turbulent marriage and its impact on her career. There have been plenty of rumors about what Hillary and Bill Clinton did behind closed doors, but never a definitive book that exposes the truth. Bestselling author Edward Klein draws on rare access to inside sources to reveal what Hillary knew and when she knew it during her years as first lady. Klein’s book, embargoed until publication, will break news about the choices and calculations she has made over the years.'

Yes, the 2008 presidential campaign has already begun.

Posted at 08:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

CT-2: Rob Simmons challenged to refuse DeLay Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

Campaign for America's Future:

The Public Campaign Action Fund begins a $25,000 buy of television ads also calling on Rep. DeLay to resign this week in three districts represented by Republican members Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., Republican National Committee Chair Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., and House Ethics Committee Chair Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.

The Campaign for America’s Future spot is available for viewing at Text of the ad follows:

“Without DeLay” TV :30

Female narrator:

He has scoffed at the law.

Male narrator:

Tom Delay. A pattern of abusing authority.

Female narrator:

Repeatedly the House Ethics Committee has found Tom Delay guilty of serious rules violations.

Male narrator:

Tom DeLay is a national embarrassment. He should resign his leadership position, if not his office.

Female narrator:

It’s time for Republicans to stand up and demand Delay’s resignation

Male narrator:

Congressman Simmons. Refuse the tens of thousands of dollars Tom DeLay’s PAC just raised for you, and clean up Congress without DeLay.

Posted at 07:17 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Connecticut, New York, Washington | Technorati

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

New York Governor: Eliot Spitzer

Posted by Bob Brigham

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is the frontrunner for Governor. Here is some background.

Eliot Spitzer 2006:

Eliot Spitzer was born on June 10, 1959 in the Bronx. He is a 1981 graduate of Princeton University and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and where he met his wife Silda, also a Harvard Law School graduate.

Eliot and his wife, Silda, live in Manhattan with their three daughters, Elyssa, Sarabeth and Jenna and also maintain a home in Columbia County.

Eliot Spitzer was first elected New York State Attorney General in 1998 in a stunning upset. Eliot brought considerable experience to the office when he became the state's 63rd Attorney General on January 1, 1999. He was a clerk to United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet and then, an associate at Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison.

From 1986 to 1992, Eliot served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, rising to become Chief of the Labor Racketeering Unit, where he successfully prosecuted organized crime and political corruption cases. He later worked at the New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, and was a partner at Constantine & Partners. In 2002, he was re-elected New York State Attorney General with the largest winning margin--1,509,403 votes--of any statewide candidate.

There is a great tradition in New York of Attorneys General being aggressive public advocates. Since Eliot took office in January 1999, he has continued this tradition. Working with a team of dedicated professionals, Eliot has won important victories in the areas of investor protection, healthcare and prescription drugs, environmental protection, consumer affairs, civil rights, criminal justice and public safety.

When New York Magazine gave him their Public Service Award, they wrote, "... if you've heard of it, Spitzer did it. Spitzer demonstrated that you win these fights with hard work, a zest for battle--and, most of all, with facts (and a great staff). Sure he gets headlines, but unlike a lot of people in public life, he does the work that earns them. What he gets is results."

In 2003, Eliot's office recovered $1.74 billion in penalties, fees and tobacco money -- a 34 percent increase over the record $1.3 billion collected in 2002. The New York Observer editorialized, "Mr. Spitzer probably has done more to stabilize the state's finances in the last few years than any other elected official. By refusing to look the other way as C.E.O.'s and financial institutions ripped off New Yorkers, he helped bail out the state during a difficult budget crisis. "

Eliot Spitzer: The Two Billion Dollar Man – 5/26/04

The San Francisco Chronicle named Eliot their 2003 "Businessperson of the Year," saying that he was "all about looking out for the little guy." The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board called his 2003 investigation of the mutual fund industry a "public service" and the New York Times editorialized, "Investors can be grateful that the attorney general is once again propelling the inquiries."

Businessperson of the Year: Eliot Spitzer – 12/31/03

Revenge of the Investor Class – 10/23/03

Mutual Fund Misdeeds 9/5/03

TIME Magazine named Eliot Spitzer their 2002 "Crusader of the Year" for his landmark settlement with ten of the nation's largest securities firms over charges of misleading investors--and posed the question, "What will Spitzer do for an encore?"

Time Magazine names Eliot Spitzer "Crusader of the Year" – 12/21/02

Then, there is Eliot's leadership in protecting our environment. As a result of a 2002 lawsuit he filed to keep clean-air policy intact, the United States Court of Appeals recently blocked a Bush administration attempt to weaken the Clean Air Act. The New York Observer editorialized that we "need officials like Mr. Spitzer, because the Environmental Protection Agency has abdicated its responsibilities." After his settlement with Virginia Power over pollution from their power plants, the Albany Times-Union praised him in an editorial, "Take the moment to savor a rare victory. We will breathe a little easier as a result."

Spitzer versus the Pollution President – 11/16/03

State in Clean Air Lawsuit against power company – 5/21/04

Posted at 10:35 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Technorati

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Pataki Circling the Drain

Posted by DavidNYC

The third poll in a week - this one courtesy of the New York Times - demonstrates just how bad life is for George Pataki (registered voters, no trendlines):

Spitzer: 49
Pataki: 34
Undecided: 14
(MoE: ±3%)

The rest of Pataki's numbers are even more atrocious. Job approval: 43-41 (lowest since his first year in office). Favorables: 33-38 (again, lowest since 1995). Spitzer's numbers, meanwhile, are awesome: 59-13 job approval and 39-7 favorable.

Oh, and one point I'll add (because Steve Soto taught us all to ask this question): The poll undersamples Democrats (and Republicans, but by a smaller margin). The spread in New York state is (according to the most recent enrollment figures) 47% Dem, 27% GOP and 20% independent. (Another 3% are potentially confused members of the Independence Party who may think they are registered "independents," while the final 3% belong to an assortment of other small parties.) The NYT poll has a sample of 43D-25R-22I.

Granted, according to CNN's exit polls taken during last year's election, Republican-identifiers apparently voted in greater strength than the number of GOP registrants would predict. But those figures are only useful for determining how to weight for likely voters. Since the NYT is only talking to registered voters at this very early date, it should re-weight accordingly. The Times weights for other factors but not, evidently, party ID.

The bottom line: Among registered voters, I think the numbers are actually a bit worse for Pataki than even this abysmal showing indicates. Time to throw in the towel, George.

You can get the full results here (PDF).

Posted at 01:17 AM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Clinton leads Pataki & Giuliani

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Two days ago, David pointed to the Siena College poll that has Elliot Spitzer crusing Pataki in a race for NY Gov.

Falcon4e pointed out in the comments that Pataki's best bet might be to square off against Hillary for the US Senate seat. That might be the case, but if the race were held today, he would get beaten even more soundly in that contest. It is also interesting to note that Clinton would not only demolish Pataki, but leads Giuliani as well.

Quinnipiac Poll released today (registered voters, early December in parens for first poll):

Clinton: 61 (58)
Pataki: 30 (36)
Undecided: 5 (4)
(MoE: ±2.8%)

Clinton: 50
Giuliani: 44
Undecided: 5
(MoE: ±2.8%)

Many more particulars on the Quinnipiac press release.

Posted at 11:40 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, New York | Technorati

Monday, February 07, 2005

Spitzer Crushing Pataki but Behind Giuliani in New Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

Siena College has a new poll out covering my favorite race, NY Gov. Here's how things look (registered voters, no trendlines):

Spitzer: 51
Pataki: 35
Undecided: 15
(MoE: ±3.9%)

For a race that's almost two years away, 15% undecided seems remarkably low - a product, surely, of the high name-recognition that both men, particularly Pataki, have. In fact, that really tells the whole story here: Spitzer's favorable/unfavorable/unsure rating is 48-17-34; Pataki's is 39-45-16. With 34% DK, Spitzer has room for improvement. Pataki, glub-glub-glubbing with a negative rating and few undecideds, has little room for movement, especially when (in a separate question), 57% say they'd like "someone else" to be governor.

The Spitzer-Giuliani matchup provides a different picture but actually tells a similar story:

Spitzer: 40
Giuliani: 49
Undecided: 11
(MoE: ±3.9%)

Giuliani, over three years after 9/11, still has impressive favorables: 61-28 (with just 11% unsure). This certainly is what accounts for Spitzer's weaker performance against Rudy than against George. But the key difference here, as I noted above, is that Spitzer has room for improvement. Until and unless the GOP starts running a Swift Boat-style campaign against Eliot, his numbers should only get better. (Except among Wall Street whiners, it's hard for an AG by himself to drive up his own negatives.)

The bottom line: If it's Spitzer vs. Giuliani, we will have a serious horserace on our hands. (That's a big "if" - I don't think Giuliani has shown much interest in running.) But I'm confident that Eliot can go toe-to-toe with Rudy, who will be five years out of office by the time election day 2006 rolls around - and 13 years removed from his last serious election campaign (in 1993 vs. Dinkins). He'll be rusty, and Eliot will be fiesty. I'll take that matchup.

(Thanks to NYCO.)

Posted at 05:26 PM in 2006 Elections - State, New York | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Let The Polls Begin

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A Quinnipiac University Poll:

1,186 registered voters from N.Y.
MoE +/- 3%

NY Governor:

Spitzer (D) 50%
Pataki (R) 38%

Spitzer (D) 42%
Powell, Colin (R) 47%

NY Senate

Clinton (D) 58%
Pataki (R) 36%

Clinton (D) 49%
Powell (R) 44%

I have no idea why they tossed Colin Powell into the poll.  Maybe they are looking for a race on an even grander scale than Spitzer v. Pataki.  ABC's Note, where I found the data, says the inclusion of Powell was purely hypothetical and that he has made no overtures toward running.

Posted at 02:47 PM in New York | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Elliot Spitzer Running For Governor In NY

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A rumble fit for a pay-per-view audience in Madison Square Garden.  George Pataki vs. Elliot Spitzer for Governor of New York in 2006.  New York's Attorney General made the official announcement today, on his website, that he intends to run for Governor of New York.

"The people's lawyer" has received wide acclaim for going toe to toe with investment banks, pharmaceutical companies, and Wall Street giants.  I am not going to pretend to know enough about Spitzer and his legal crusades for justice; I think DavidNYC would be the perfect candidate to write something up about that to educate us all (hint).

From Spitzer's announcement:

I want to fix what's broken. It's what I do best. I bring people together whether they like it or not and we tackle complex problems not with band-aid solutions, but with major reform and real change. We did it in the financial industry and other sectors and we can do it in government. I'll bring new energy and resolve to the task of transforming state government and turning around the state economy.

Today, I am confirming that I intend to run for governor and I have authorized my supporters outside the government to begin preparations for a campaign.

His web page is a great avenue for two-way mass communication with his potential constituents.  My hat is tipped to any candidate who has a blog front and center on the main page.

The site's interactivity is tremendous.  Along with the blog, there is a message board, citizen endorsement page, and an ability to gain "points" through on-line activism and promotion of the Spitzer campaign.

I am from Chicago -- The city you New Yorkers take your cues from.  I can tell you about Governor Blagojevich.  The Governor who defied Bush Administration by setting up a website providing access to affordable medicine from Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

But until I learn enough to speak competently on the subject of NY politics, does Spitzer have a shot?  Why do you support (or not) Spitzer's candidacy?  Are there better Democrats out there for the state?  This is obviously a race we will spend some time discussing in the coming months/years.


Posted at 04:13 PM in New York | Comments (10) | Technorati

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