"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Franksigiving

How FDR tried, and failed, to change a national holiday.


Last I checked, Thanksgiving is still scheduled to take place tomorrow. The economic news may be gloomy, but unlike President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression, President Barack Obama has not tinkered with the date of the holiday.

In 1939, FDR decided to move Thanksgiving Day forward by a week. Rather than take place on its traditional date, the last Thursday of November, he decreed that the annual holiday would instead be celebrated a week earlier.

The reason was economic. There were five Thursdays in November that year, which meant that Thanksgiving would fall on the 30th. That left just 20 shopping days till Christmas. By moving the holiday up a week to Nov. 23, the president hoped to give the economy a lift by allowing shoppers more time to make their purchases and—so his theory went—spend more money.

Roosevelt made his decision in part on advice from Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins, who was in turn influenced by Lew Hahn, general manager of the Retail Dry Goods Association. Hahn had warned Hopkins that the late Thanksgiving, Nov. 30, might have an "adverse effect" on the sale of "holiday goods."

In an informal news conference in August announcing his decision, FDR offered a little tutorial on the history of the holiday. Thanksgiving was not a national holiday, he noted, meaning that it was not set by federal law. According to custom, it was up to the president to pick the date every year.

It was not until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln ordered Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November, that that date became generally accepted, Roosevelt explained. To make sure that reporters got his point, he added that there was nothing sacred about the date.

Nothing sacred? Roosevelt might as well have commanded that roast beef henceforth would replace turkey as the star of the holiday meal, or that cranberries would be banned from the Thanksgiving table. The president badly misread public opinion. His announcement was front-page news the next day, and the public outcry was swift and loud.

First to complain was Plymouth, Mass., home of the Pilgrims and location of the first Thanksgiving in 1621. "Plymouth and Thanksgiving are almost synonymous," intoned the chairman of the town's board of selectmen, "and merchants or no merchants I can't see any reason for changing it."

College football coaches also objected. The United Press news service noted mildly that coaches would find the date change "a considerable headache." The Associated Press predicted that the Roosevelt plan would "kick up more clamor than a hot halfback running the wrong way." By 1939 Thanksgiving football had become a national tradition. Many colleges ended their football seasons with Thanksgiving Day games, a custom that dated back to the 19th century. In Democratic Arkansas, the football coach of Little Ouachita College threatened: "We'll vote the Republican ticket if he interferes with our football."

FDR's proclamation of the date of Thanksgiving had the force of law only in the District of Columbia and the territories of Hawaii and Alaska. A few states mandated that Thanksgiving be marked on the date set by the president, but in most states governors issued pro forma ratifications of the date the president proclaimed.
Now, however, the celebration became a political hot potato. Governors had to read public opinion, examine the local business climate, consider political loyalties, and decide which date to select as the official Thanksgiving.

Do they stick with tradition and celebrate Thanksgiving on Nov. 30, or follow FDR's lead and change the date to Nov. 23? It wasn't long before people started referring to Nov. 30 as the "Republican Thanksgiving" and Nov. 23 as the "Democratic Thanksgiving" or "Franksgiving."

Public sentiment ran heavily against Roosevelt's plan. Ten days after the president's announcement, Gallup published the results of a national poll finding that 62% of Americans surveyed disapproved of the date change. By the time November arrived, the 48 states were nearly evenly divided. Twenty-three decided to stick with the old Thanksgiving, and 22 decided to adopt FDR's date—Texas, Mississippi and Colorado said they would celebrate on both days.

For the next two years, Roosevelt continued to move up the date of Thanksgiving, and more states resigned themselves to celebrating early. By 1941, however, the facts turned against Roosevelt.

By then, retailers had two years of experience with the early Thanksgiving, and data were available regarding the 1939 and 1940 Christmas shopping seasons. In mid-March 1941, The Wall Street Journal reported the results of a survey done in New York City. The Journal's headline put it succinctly: "Early Thanksgiving Not Worth Extra Turkey or Doll." Only 37% of stores surveyed favored the early date. In Washington, the federal government reported that the early Thanksgiving resulted in no boost to retail sales.

And so, on May 20, 1941, FDR called a press conference at the White House and announced that he was changing Thanksgiving Day back to its traditional date. The early Thanksgiving had been an "experiment," he said, and the experiment failed. It was too late to move the 1941 Thanksgiving back to the traditional date, but in 1942 Thanksgiving would revert to the last Thursday of the month. This was "the first time any New Deal experiment was voluntarily abandoned," a Washington Post columnist wrote.

Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this tale of Washington folly: On Dec. 26, 1941, Roosevelt signed a joint resolution passed by Congress making Thanksgiving a national holiday and mandating that it be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

Ms. Kirkpatrick is a former deputy editor of the Journal's editorial page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tiffany Network

Adds a little polish to the health care debate. How cute!

MSNBC At Its Best

MSNBC "The Place for Politcs"

Norah O’Donnell noted in vain that Palin’s fans were “largely white — almost no minorities in this crowd.” Matthews chirped the same line later, assailing the “white crowd.” Walsh likened the gathering to a “paranoid tea party.” Matthews hammered away at the “monochromatic” scene.

Does the brightness blind you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

JC - 15 Race

JC - 15 Race
Challenger Anothony Doldo is only down by 8 votes to long time  incumbent Jim St. Croix.

This race is headed for a recount due to the closeness.

Even On Thanksgiving

Obama feels the need to insert himself into our day of rest, football and belly popping turkey, dressing and deserts with this United Way commercial appearance.

United We Serve features Drew Brees, Eli Manning and others along with O-Bow-Ma.

and here is a spoof of the commercial.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Giuliani Out, But Still In

Rudy Giuliani is out of the race for Governor but in the hunt for the US Senate seat. Oddly enough that pits two rivals for the GOP nod - Giuliani against Pataki (take II).

In polling he leads Gillibrand by a 14 point margin - 54% to 40% and if he is to come up against Pataki, well he would crush him nearly 3 to 1 with 71% support to Pataki 24%.

Read more here: Marist Poll

This clears the way for Cuomo to crush Rick Lazio like a bug on a windshield. Oh wait, Zogby reports to not count Paterson out yet, his re-election isn't hopeless. Read more here: Forbes.

Message From The UK

What the Brits think of us now and our new foreign policy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Senate Democrats: "Making Believe They Are Doing Something"

These are the words of a Senate Democrat, they are just making believe they are doing something.

Senator Ruben Diaz sums it up, "We are not nothing here"

Finally there is Democrat who speaks the truth, (insert a little laughter here).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tid Bits

NY -23
Hoffman is "un-conceding the race for NY-23 (here), which means all is in play until the election results are certified. Ho Hum - big deal, that is the case anyway whether he conceded or not, while statistically possible it is highly improbable the results will change. This is nothing more than a publicity stunt and an opportunity to keep a Hoffman candidacy for a 2010 race in the public's view and it also keeps Owens' vote for the Pelosi health care plan in the public arena for debate and puts him on notice that his every move is under even more scrutiny than usual.

It is time for Hoffman and Scozzafava both to move on and get over it, the race is over and enough post mortem already.

Are the Senate Democrats miscalculating the state deficit issue? Governor Paterson is attempting to address the state deficit with a real plan while he continues to look like a lame duck Governor. It is clear his days in office are numbered, he is having to spend money now on an advertising campaign just to raise his favorable ratings a meager percent or two and maintain any resemblance of being a viable candidate.

But, the Senate Democrats appear to be ignoring him and viewing him as a liability in this crisis, which could be a serious miscalculation on their part. They could and are likely to be viewed as do nothing Democrats and the media is already rolling out story after story on their lack of action and lack of any plan to address the deficit.

The Senate Democrats should not make this a referendum on the Governor's popularity, they need to do their own job or they will spoon feed their opponents an issue and pay the price with the electorate in the next election cycle.    

O-bow-ma, Take 2

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tell Us What You Really Think

NY Times Tells It Like It Is
Whistling Past the Deficit

Unfortunately, the Democrats running the State Senate seem to think things are not as bad as the governor makes out, and have advanced a plan that is politically palatable but also ludicrous. They would drain rainy-day funds and any other untapped pool of savings to pay the bills until March of next year.

That’s like cleaning out your 401(k) to pay the rent.
It is time for the Legislature to face facts.

Ritchie Scores

Patty "Plate" Ritchie who began the petition drive to stop the new license plate program looks like she will score a victory against the Senate Democrats' proposal.

Of course, in sort of a John Kerry "I was for it before I was against it" there are some Senate Democrats who voted for it and are now claiming they were against it, but it is strange how they never spoke in opposition to it before or after it passed until all the pressure mounted.

Paterson: I'll reverse license plate fee...

Assembly will say "no" to new license plates fees too

Senate Democratic letter against the new license plate fees

$25 license plate fee may be dropped...

The last article includes this stellar quote:
"We were trying to at least put it on the table to get it off the table," Drew Mangione, spokesman for North Country Sen. Darrel Aubertine, said of the plea.

Say What????


43 American Presidents and 220 years, they have never bowed to Monarchs. Until.....

Friday, November 13, 2009

For It, Before He Was Against It


Show Spelled Pronunciation [i-pif-uh-nee] Show IPA

A sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

Ex: Senator Aubertine had an epiphany on New York State’s Plan requiring new license plates.

The following Senators have buckled under massive pressure:
Sen. Dave Valesky (D-49th Senate District),
Sen. Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent),
Neil Breslin (D-Albany),
Bill Stachowski (D-Buffalo),
Antoine Thompson (D-Niagara)

Bah Humbug

When does the fiscal situation of the state stop becoming a crisis? The state is reportedly going to be broke by Christmas caused by out of control spending. This year there will be coal in every one of the legislator's stockings.

Here is timeline for the DRP discussions as prepared by CapCon. 

Emphasis added.

DRP Timeline
9/23/09 – Leaders Meeting: Paterson predicts $2.1 billion deficit will grow to over $3 billion. (Republican) Senator Skelos is the only leader to offer any substantive proposals to reduce the deficit including cutting back $2.2 billion in legislative adds in the 2009-10 budget; reducing state agency spending by five percent; consolidations of state agencies; and selling surplus state property.

10/14/09 – Senate Republicans formally release their DRP plan which includes: Cutting back the $2.2 billion in general fund spending added to the 2009-10 budget by legislative Democrats;
  • Cutting state agency non-personal services by ten percent to save $480 million;
  • Freezing state purchases of recreational lands to save $78 million;
  • Freezing planned Medicaid expansions to save $200 million;
  • Reinstating welfare and Medicaid anti-fraud protections to save $34 million;
  • Cutting Medicaid optional services to save $150 million; and
  • Cutting state agency contract balances by five percent to save $300 million.
10/15/09 – Governor Paterson announces two-year, $5 billion DRP, which includes several proposals included in the Senate Republicans’ plan, including across-the board agency reductions and more aggressive Medicaid fraud protections. Governor Paterson’s proposal also includes a spending cap, which Senate Republicans passed twice last year and offered as an amendment to this year’s budget.

10/16/09 – Assembly Republican Leader Kolb puts forth “conversation starters” for over $3 billion in savings including:
  • Across-the-board reduction in mid-year State Operating Funds ($2.5 billion);
  • Consolidating certain administrative agencies ($241 million);
  • Remove a state mandate from local governments so they can decide which optional Medicaid services to provide ($1 Billion), as  proposed by Senate Republicans;
  • Reduce Non-Personal Services across all state agencies ($500 million), as  proposed by Senate Republicans;
  • Reduce Personal Services across all state agencies, focusing on appointed administrative positions ($175 million);
  • Eliminate Legislative Earmarks ($100 million); and
  • Eliminate funding for state government to buy up more private land ($30 million).
10/21/09 – Leaders Meeting: Senator Skelos outlines Senate Republican plan and points out similarities in the Governor’s proposal. Governor asks to address Joint Legislature. Senate Democrat Leader Sampson makes one suggestion to refinance tobacco bonds, which Paterson calls a non-starter. Assembly Democrats offer no proposals to reduce the deficit.

10/29/09 – Leaders Meeting: Senator Skelos announces agreement on $2.1 billion of Governor’s plan, and announces additional cost savings included in Senate Republican plan. Assembly Democrats still have offered no proposals to reduce the deficit. Governor calls session on November 10th.

11/05/09 – Senate Republicans release outline of areas of agreement with Governor Paterson and additional proposals to close $3.2 billion deficit.

11/08/09 – Senate Democrats announce a DRP, built mostly around one-shot revenue sources. Assembly Democrats have still not released a plan.

11/12/09 – Governor Paterson holds a conference call with legislative leaders and claims they are  ¾ of  the way there on agreement for a deficit reduction package. Assembly Democrats claim to support cuts in spending, but no details are given, and to date, Assembly Democrats have not publicly offered any plan to reduce the deficit.

Did you happen to notice the Democrats in the Assembly have not offered a plan and the Senate Democrats are focused in raising more revenue and not cutting spending? With thinking like this will anything happen to ever fix the problem, NO!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

GOP Love Letters

One of the many issues the Scozzafava campaign had was raising enough money in order to balance media campaign, respond to the attacks and get their message out. In the era of heavy media marketing of candidates when the money dries up so does your poll numbers.

Politics is a game of attrition and it takes money.

This may be some indication of why the money dried up!

"Old Game Is Over"

Stephen Aquario, Executive Director of the NYS Association of Counties discusses how NYS has changed forever and how the "old game is over". The legislature needs to understand that and make some serious changes, because it is game over. Senator Aubertine is correct when answering the question about whether or not the legislature is dragging its feet, he said the process needs to be deliberate, correct, but on the other hand the fiscal situation is not new, the legislature knew it was coming.

Listen to the interview here:

Paterson's cuts could redefine local government, jobs in North Country

Dede Speaks

Dede has been very vocal since the conclusion of the campaign, she has several national interviews and NCPR. Here is an interview on CNN. If only she would had have campaigned like she is attacking back now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So Says He

Democratic Senator Eric Adams' infamous YouTube was "so me the money" when he was arguing for a pay raise for the legislature, mind you it was just shortly after he was elected that he wanted that pay raise. Now, he comes up with another good one, he links Veteran's Day and their honor of serving with marriage equality.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here Is What You Are Paying For

The New York State Democrats want to sock us for more money through their DMV re-register your vehicle scheme, they decided they might as well give us new plates to show for it. The new plate could actually be considered a retro plate.

Circa 1974

Tedisco - Sour Grapes or Legitimate Point?

Jim Tedisco, who ran in the NY-20 special election speaks about he perceives there to be a double standard in the media. He speaks to how Owens ducked the health care reform question for weeks and implies he was given a pass, while he was put on the spot and not given a pass on whether he would support the stimulus plan.


The story of Judas is written in the Washington Post and how Judas was used by the Democrats to get an election win, but she naively thinks they were sincere.  Read it - here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Decision Dede 2009

Word from Albany is that Dede Scozzafava has resigned as the floor leader for the Assembly Republican minority conference. "Resigned" could be interpreted as the polite public face of the real decision.

The source close to the situation says, she will remain a Republican.

The source also included "They are not a happy bunch" there, but failed to elaborate on that comment.

Dede is supposedly lashing out again at the Republicans in an upcoming edition of the Washington Post. (Her victim card is a marked card - sigh)  

Aubertine's NY Senate Leader

The NYS Senate Democratic conference in loaded with brain power (insert sarcasm), here is clip of Senator Pedro Espada talking about how he wants to link same sex marriage (on the calendar for Tuesday's session) to the farm workers.

They obviously did not pay close attention to events leading up to Tuesday or what happened in Maine. And linking Farm workers bill to same sex marriage to travel through the Senate at the same time! Espada needs to be "Scozzafavaed"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quick Study

For months Owens was saying things like this;

"I want to be able to analyze the information and the bill and come to a conclusion," or I'll have to read more on it or I'll have to review it further

But he has become a quick study since Tuesday;

Owens said. "There are still changes I would like to make, including raising the payroll exemption for small businesses, but like I said last week, there is a fundamental need for reform and we must act with a sense of urgency.

Along with his quick study of the issues since Tuesday, he voted down an amendment that would have blocked federal funding for abortions. The health care legislation he voted for will grow government in the neighborhood of $3 trillion dollars - 1.2 trillion is funded through new revenues and 1.8 trillion in debt.

The bill will reduce Doctors pay under the Medicare formula effecting Senior citizen's care. Suspected but not yet known is whether or not it will broaden the eligibility for people to receive Medicaid, which in turn will have a significant impact on local property taxes.

This Week In Video

Politico presents this week in video:

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Come Monday will the word "Scozzafava'd" become part of the political lexicon much like "Bragmaned" did?

You might recall Mike Bragman from Syracuse attempted a coup on Shelly Silver but Bragman came up short, His future in politics was defined by that moment, he ended up going from a high profile leadership position with a nice office to below rank and file member level and working out of a broom closet before he eventually departed for good.

What is Dede Scozzafava fate as Leader Pro Tempore? The minority leader of the Republican conference in the Assembly, Brian Kolb, said she is not in danger of being kicked out of the conference, but did not offer the same guarantee for her leadership position in this article.

And if Kolb is wondering whether or not the locals support a decision to take action, read what Jefferson GOP chieftain Don Coon has to say in the article:

“I campaigned for her. I played the loyal soldier and held my nose as I worked for her and then what does she do?” said Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Donald Coon. “She doesn’t care about the GOP. She doesn’t care about the people who worked for her. She just cares about herself.”
“They’ll remove her from her position and she’ll cry that they picked on poor little Dede and go switch parties and claim it’s all our fault,” said Coon. “She made a decision on Sunday, and now she’s going to have to live with the consequences of that.”
Not many people feeling a lot of remorse if the Assembly leader takes the appropriate action.

They're Out (UPDATED)

Someone opened the barn door and let the horses out for the 2010 races already. So let's have an open discussion here.

They are:

122 Assembly Seat
Rick Lucas, Lewis County Legislator
Ken Blankenbush, Jefferson County Legislator
Mike Behling, Jefferson County Legislator
Scott Burto, West Carthage Mayor
David Renzi, Attorney Watertown
Jessica Renzi
John Peck, Town of Champion Councilman

118th Assembly District
Nick Vaugh, Ogdensburg City Council
Phil Reed, Jefferson County Legislator
Josh Lynch, Waddington (former or current aid to Senator Brownback)

48th Senate District
Patty Ritchie, St. Lawrence County Clerk
Barry Ormsby, Jefferson County Legislator
Josh Lynch, Waddington (former or current aid to Senator Brownback)

23rd Congressional District (and these candidates will make their intentions known very quickly)
Paul Maroun, Franklin County Legislator
Matt Doheny, Alex Bay native, Watertown resident and area businessman
Doug Hoffman, Essex County, CPA, former Conservative candidate

Let primaries occur in these race that will separate the serious from the wannabees. A primary will show someone's time commitment to campaigning, financial resources, local support/volunteers and demonstrate their knowledge on the issues. The party leaders cannot be blamed again for "hand picking" someone, the voters must decide and will if a primary occurs. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

GOP Active Tuesday Night

The demise of the Republican party is greatly exaggerated, lets take a look around the state at their performance Tuesday night. If they move back to a position of fiscal responsibility they have the opportunity to keep gaining.

* Voters all across New York voted for lower taxes and Republican leadership Tuesday, and the results show New Yorkers believe that the Republican Party will do more to protect their wallets and pocketbooks, and improve the quality of life for middle-class families.
* Suburban Republicans swept to victory yesterday, highlighted by newcomer Rob Astorino’s stunning victory against three-term incumbent County Executive Andy Spano.  Rob Astorino’s call for lower taxes and shrinking the size of government resonated with suburban voters who are seeking real change.
* Republican challenger Ed Mangano has run a neck and neck race with high-profile Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, and the race will now be decided by absentee ballots.  Nassau County Democrat Comptroller Howard Weitzman has been defeated and Republicans have retaken the Nassau County Legislature and could still pick up an additional seat.

*Republicans gained a county wide seat in Jefferson County at the county clerk's office. 
* Republicans have also seized control of the County Legislatures in Ulster and Dutchess counties, where Republicans went from being in the minority to holding a supermajority after Election Day.

* Republicans strengthened their majorities in Onondaga County, and maintained control of legislatures in Rensselaer and Saratoga counties, where Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson won a landslide reelection victory.

* Republicans maintained the majority in Lewis and Jefferson County Legislatures.

* Republicans continued their control of the Oneida and Monroe County Legislatures, and Republican challengers unseated Democrat town supervisors in the Monroe County towns of Irondequoit and Mendon.

* Republicans shrank the Democrat majority on the Erie County Legislature, where three Republican challengers backed by Erie County Executive Chris Collins defeated three Democrat incumbents.

* Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef easily won a fifth term Tuesday, as voters gave an emphatic thumbs up to his responsible Republican leadership in an overwhelmingly Democrat county.

* Republicans grabbed three key New York City Council seats in Queens, where Dan Halloran Peter Koo and Eric Ulrich, won impressive victories.

* Nationally, voters in Virginia and New Jersey, where residents traded in Democrat Governors for Republicans, sent a clear message they want checks and balances on the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress.

First 2010 Campaign Commercial

For those listed below that are thinking about running in 2010, it is not too late to get your commercials on the air. Governor David Paterson is the first out of the gate for the 2010 campaign ads. The ad capitalizes on the sentiment of this past Tuesday's election.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Is this is any consolation, Hoffman did win Jefferson County. It was originally reported that Owens won the county, but once a recount occurred it was found that Hoffman in fact won the county, albeit by a small margin.

William L. Owens (D,WF) 10,121 Districts
Dede Scozzafava (R,I) 1,179 Districts
Douglas L. Hoffman (C) 10,407 Districts


Dede perpetuates her campaign and poor performance in the 23rd Congressional district race by going on the offense and playing the victim card. (If she would have only done that during her lackluster debacle of a campaign) See WWNY story (here).

More to the point though, Dede is not a victim. This was a high profile race and unless no one paid attention, including her, to the previous state senate races or the 20th Congressional race or NJ Governor's race then you might have expected something different. If Dede thought this was going to be some sort of low profile quilt show where everyone gazes at someone's fine craft, than she should have stayed home on her couch knitting.

This was a multimillion dollar race and here is a news flash Dede - they get ugly, you may call that the unfortunate part of politics, but nonetheless, it is reality.

Here is another news flash for Dede - and any other candidate expecting financial assistance in their campaign for outside organizations - money follows performance. Read how this cycle work; you do well in the polls, they invest in you, you continue to perform in the polls and they continue to invest in you.

Conversely what happens when the voters start to reject you and your message? Com'on you know the answer - that is right, your funding goes away. So Dede can complain all she wants about RCCC not investing money in her at the end and where RCCC money went after she quit the race and she can attempt to use that as a some futile reason for why she endorsed her opponent, but it all came down to the fact that she was being rejected by the voters in the polls.

When she QUIT her campaign she technically remained a candidate, she should have stayed away from the remaining food fight.

Here is the next victim card she will lay at the public's feet. She should be removed from her leadership position in the Assembly, where she leads the debate against Democrats on issues. Especially after Silver throwing the welcome mat to her. How can she possibly be effective in her role?

Now for those who are criticizing the selection of Dede, here is something to think about.
  • The special election did not allow for a primary.
  • The Republican leadership opened the process up to as many people as possible with the regional meetings.
  • Consider the ongoing narrative if Dede is not the candidate - again she would be playing the victim card, "they overlooked me again," "I'm being courted by the Democrats," yada yada yada. 
  • The end result of picking her and not picking her ended up the same. Although the voters rejected her not the party leadership this time. 

Loyalty is everything - Dede even professed that during the regional meetings; how she has been there for everyone, yet she did not follow through. She should not be playing the woe is me victim card now - that message is ineffective, just like her campaign.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Who Lost NY-23?

This is a good article that was forwarded and you all would probably enjoy another perspective. Reprinted in its entirety.  

Who Lost NY-23?
Posted By Jonathan Tobin On November 4, 2009 (6:17 AM)

The defeat of Conservative-party candidate Douglas Hoffman in the special election for New York’s 23rd congressional district was the only bright spot for the Democrats on a night when the governor’s races in both New Jersey and Virginia (states that Barack Obama won last year) were swept by the Republicans. So we can expect the Dems to tout their capture of a seat that had been in the hands of the Republicans for over a century as a rejoinder to those who will say this election is a harbinger of a GOP revival in 2010.

The main talking Democratic point about this race, both before and after the voting, was that the collapse of the campaign of the liberal Republican who had been tapped by the state party to try and hold the seat was due to the intolerance of a radical-Right fringe bent on purging the party of any but the most rabid conservatives. In this way Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate who dropped out of the race over the weekend and then endorsed Democrat Bill Owens, was elevated from an inept candidate whose positions were largely indistinguishable from that of the Democrats and who was heading for inevitable defeat, to a martyr for the lost cause of liberal Republicanism. The narrative portrays the Republican grassroots, aided and abetted by national conservative personalities such as Sarah Palin and Dick Armey, as bullies who can’t abide the presence of a pro-choice woman in their ranks and would rather lose an election with a conservative than win with a “moderate."

The loss of this seat ought to cast a shadow on what was otherwise a big night for Republicans. But the villains here aren’t the tea-party rabble-rousers who sunk Scozzafava, but a local and state Republican leadership that imposed an incompetent candidate on a Republican electorate eager for leaders who could offer an alternative to the Democrats, not someone who would be a halfhearted supporter of Obama’s agenda. The victory of Chris Christie in New Jersey illustrates that there is room in the GOP for Blue State candidates who wouldn’t pass the muster of the conservative rank and file in more conservative states. But the decision to foist Scozzafava on Upstate New York Republicans was a cynical ploy that was always destined to fail even if a credible Conservative-party alternative hadn’t emerged. It is one thing to seek to open up parties to candidates who are not ideological purists. It is quite another to nominate a person whose positions put her on the side of the Democrats on virtually every major issue that Republicans care about. Scozzafava’s candidacy may have seemed like a good idea to GOP big shots, but since she refused to take up any issues that might have rallied the Republican faithful to her side and lacked the ability to appeal to the dissatisfied independent voters that deserted the Democrats elsewhere this fall, what possible chance did she ever have of winning?

The lesson here is not the danger that the right poses to the future of the Republicans but rather that a party leadership that is insensible to the interests of its voters is doomed to defeat. Had the Republicans chosen a candidate who could have counted on the support of the party’s base to start with, the seat could have been held despite the changing demographics in the district. It was Scozzafava’s dismal campaign that lost the seat, not the fact that it was impossible to convince most Republicans that they had no reason to support her.

Congratulations To Last Night's Winners

Bill Owens, Democrat, NY-23

Cheryl Lane, Republican, County Clerk. Cheryl registered a large large victory and ran a great campaign.

Kim Martueswicz, Democrat County Judge with a large victory

Republican Legislators: Gino Zando, Mike Behling and Bobby Ferris all who were in contested races and Democrat Jim St. Croix. 

Rep. Owens

Our new Congressman is Bill Owens who won he hotly contest race that was close until Mr. Hoffman conceded just before midnight.

Bill Owens stayed on message throughout the campaign while the other banged each other around, so much so that the first blood was an unprecedented move of having a candidate, Dede Scozzafava, quit the campaign 72 hours before it's conclusion.

When Scozzafava quit the race she threw her support behind Bill Owens and that could be possibly be the difference in the outcome. The polls showed Hoffman leading but given the turmoil anything was possible.

This was a special election, therefore Mr. Owens is eligible to be sworn in immediately as opposed to January 1, 2010. So, while Mr. Owens assumes his responsbilities as a Member of the House of Representatives and the Republicans are looking at the next election.

Owens wins 49% at last count while Hoffman and Scozzafava combined for 51%, which signals immediate vulnerability. It is anyones call though.

Yes one of the first emails I read this morning was from a friend saying "Doheny in 2010."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This election is intense down to the wire. A Hoffman poll watcher had his tires slashed in Plattsburgh according to a police report.

Call The Cops

Is Dede training the Democrats now? Did the Democrats pick up this trick from Dede's defection to them? She must teaching them a thing or two about how to run a campaign that includes calling 9-1-1.

Daily News reports:

I just got off the phone with former state Democratic Chairwoman June O’Neill, who informed me the police had been called to at least two polling sites in St. Lawrence County due to overzealous electioneering (O’Neill called it “voter intimidation”) by Doug Hoffman supporters.

“We’ve gotten reports that people are standing there, covered with Hoffman stickers and yelling anti-choice stuff at voters,” said O’Neill, a St. Lawrence native who has been running the party’s GOTV effort for Bill Owens in NY-23. …

O’Neill also said she had received anecdotal reports of problems at polling sites in Gouverneur, which is Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava’s hometown. But she couldn’t immediately confirm this.

To Sean Hennessey's credit he down played it. 



It is an honor and a civic duty


Letter To Dede

This is a letter from Jessica Renzi to Dede Scozzafava. I think Jessica captures and sums up the frustration felt by many, so I will reprint it here and also link you to Jess's blog (here). I will add that Dede throughout the campaign said "this is not about me" (her), but time will be the judge of that when the truth is known on your sell out. I'll join Jessica and others today voting for Doug Hoffman.

Dear Dede,

When you quit the race yesterday for the 23rd Congressional district...I cried. As someone who has been through a long, bloody, and difficult campaign, I know and understand the emotional, physical, and mental stress it puts one through. I know what it is like to have your integrity attacked, or in my case my husband's, when you know the attacks are false and made up of lies. I "get" the stress, the exhaustion, and the inner workings of a campaign that sometimes you feel you have no control or say. In every campaign there are issues and problems, and as I have had my fill of "Monday morning armchair quarterbacks," from people who have never undertaken a campaign, I never planned on saying one negative thing about yours. I had even planned on writing you a nice note on integrity...I had even considered pulling the lever for you on Tuesday regardless...but then...

...I read you were endorsing the Democrat. To me...that was a slap in my face! A slap for everything your local volunteers and I have tried to do for you. Yes, maybe the national party did not help you out as much as you would like, perhaps you are mad, bitter even...but what about all of us locals who did everything we could do to see you succeed. What does it say to all of your volunteers who have put in time, energy, and money...who have gotten your petitions signed (year after year) and defended your voting record to their neighbors. There were many issues that I did not agree with you...but when you became the nominee I did my part to help. I put up signs, organized a party (which you canceled), offered to drive people to your fundraiser, defended you to my family and friends, defended you on this blog, and defended you for a whole hour on the Mayor's show when we all knew you could not win.

What I am trying to say is this...YOU said it was about us...but Dede what about us!?! Has this always only been about you?? It is one thing to lose...another to quit...but you have become a traitor. And no...I'm not talking about a traitor to the party, the outside interests that have dominated this race, the national party, nor the press. I'm talking about us. Today you became a traitor to all of us who believed you were in it for the right reasons.

Jess Renzi

On Tuesday I am voting for Doug Hoffman on the Conservative line for Congress. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to do the same.

...And if you think this letter is harsh...you should have seen the first draft! ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hoffman Rally

The crowd was large and the excited - there was clear evidence that this is a grass roots campaign. The official attendance count provided by the fire department was 450, that outnumbered the attendance at the Biden event by some 120 people.

The description of the two events is that the crowd at the fairgrounds tonight was 4 times more excited than the early days event.

Here is video on Fred Thompson stumping for Doug Hoffman. (Apologies the audio went quiet for a bit)

Politcal Suicide?

Is Dede planning on switching parties to become a Democrat where she appears more comfortable in her positions with issues such as card check, bailouts and stimulus funding?

Or is she committing political suicide on her own? After all many GOP supporters despite their discomfort with her left of center positions on card check, etc. stuck with her and now she slaps them in the face.

Scozzafava headlines:

Lured by Cuomo
Spoke with Schumer
Met with June O'Neill
Silver told Scozzafava
Dede coaxed by White House

The end result would have been the same whether or not she was selected as the candidate. She knew people had difficulties with some of her positions; had they not selected her it would have been "they are kicking Dede to the curb yet again." But they selected her despite her positions and the electorate kicked her to the curb and she lashes back at the GOP and appears to be on a path to switch parties. 

How does she expect the Republicans to react? At the very least the Assembly Republicans have an obligation to remove Dede from her leadership post sooner rather than later, which will provide the necessary excuse for Scozzafava to quit the Republicans (like she quit the race) and change her party registration.

Dede's statement on the day she quit the race -
I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my party will emerge stronger and our district and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations.
She spoke of integrity, principles and people's word during the campaign and attacked another opponent for going back on their word. And now just more than 48 hours after hoping her actions would help her party emerge stronger, she is a different person who's own self proclaimed principled words are now annulled. 

Hoffman Has Huge Lead

Two days after an unprecedented move by Dede Scozzafava to quit an election during the campaign the race is now focused on the remaining two candidates, Doug Hoffman and Bill Owens, who decided they would finish the job they started.

Hoffman opens a  huge lead according to Public Policy Polling (here)

Hoffman is at 51% to 34% for Bill Owens and 13% for Dede Scozzafava in the poll
conducted over the weekend. In a two way contest against Owens, Hoffman holds a 54-
38 advantage.

Independents have swung by large numbers toward Hoffman 52-30, which is not surprising because this is the same swing the Great O is seeing in his polls number. O is losing independents by the bus load.

Dede Scozzafava had a 52% unfavorable rating in the district. She likely has higher unfavorable ratings among Republicans given her recent actions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Republican Leader & Colleagues In The Assembly Speak

This says volumes about what the Republican leadership is thinking about the recent events.



"As a friend and supporter, I was deeply saddened and disappointed by Dede Scozzafava's actions.  It is clear to me that North Country families will be best served by Doug Hoffman, a true fiscal conservative who will fight Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her wrong-headed policies of higher taxes and more government spending.  I urge voters across the North Country who want real change to vote for Doug Hoffman on Tuesday."

Statement from Assemblyman Dave Townsend (R,WF-Sylvan Beach):
            “Like many, I was surprised to learn that my colleague had endorsed someone for Congress who actively supports Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s radical agenda that is based on higher taxes for middle class families and greater government spending.  Now, the choice in the race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District could not be clearer: Doug Hoffman is the only candidate who will stand up for taxpayers and stand against Speaker Pelosi.  North Country voters who are fed up and frustrated with an out of touch, unresponsive federal government should go to the polls and vote for Doug Hoffman this Tuesday.”

            “After being out of town, I have returned to learn that Dede Scozzafava has suspended her campaign for Congress and has endorsed Democrat Bill Owens.  This is a very disappointing development.  The last thing Washington needs is another rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi.  In light of this development, I am putting my support behind Doug Hoffman.”
Statement from Assemblyman Robert C. Oaks (R,C-Macedon):
“I am endorsing Doug Hoffman for New York's 23rd Congressional District because he will stand up for the North Country's hard-working taxpayers.  We do not need one more Congressman beholden to special interests or blindly supporting Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  We want a Congressman who can bring real change to Washington.  That candidate is Doug Hoffman and I encourage voters across the 23rd District to vote for Doug Hoffman on Election Day.”

What Is Dede's Future

The campaign was a mangled mess and it continues down the same road in the aftermath of her quitting.

Yesterday she departed the race in the best interest of the party - her words not mind - and today she continues the dive. She has clearly reached the anger stage and does not know how to manage it.

What is her future?

It is hard to believe she will remain a Republican and if she does make a move to the Democrats how does she reconcile - "I am a Republican, always have been and always will be a Republican" statement from the Hotline? She was critical of an opponent for not keeping his word. 

Is she does remain a Republican it is hard to believe that she will escape next year's election cycle without a primary.

Dede's Parting Gift

Was Dede forced out of the race from someone above?

Likely not, the decision was most likely a result of the true blood and guts of politics.

You often hear politics is a blood sport or a contact sport, well that along with the fact it is a very expensive sport, especially if you are 15 points down heading into the final stretch. The decision by Dede to quit this race is a result of all of these factors; she was short on cash and was ravaged by her opponents - both Owens and Hoffman and lagging in the polls.

If this decision came from on high, then there would have been a negotiated deal for her to endorse Doug Hoffman within 12 to 24 hours. She has not endorsed Doug Hoffman and the WDT even reports the contrary. This is after a campaign worker appeared to the people shortly after Dede quit and encouraged people to make phone calls and go door to door to assist ... whom ... well, the staffer even had a difficult time answering this until he said for the Republicans to beat the Democrat.

This was just another typical misstep of the campaign that was poorly organized, poorly managed and poorly executed. Candidate and campaign staff never appeared to be on the same page, even after she quits the race - her support heads one way and her staff heads another.

Is this an indication that Dede may switch parties? She was accused of that during this campaign and she fervently denied it, even saying on the Hotline "I am a Republican, I have always been a Republican and will always be a Republican."

But, Dede quits this race and leaves the GOP a departing gift from her campaign.

UPDATE: Daily News reports (here) her preference to support Owens was for card check - that would also be the issue that is arguably her greatest downfall in the campaign that branded her a liberal. One person after another said they were not one or two issue (abortion and same sex marriage) voters, yet they identified card check as an issue that solidified in their minds that she was too left of center for them to support her. She is ratifying their thoughts.

Live Blogging