Aug 10th - 11:00 am
Now, he’s hitting the airwaves and reintroducing himself to voters in the 24th Congressional district.
Hanna’s new ad is called “Opportunity” and it will air locally in Central New York. A transcript appears after the jump.
Hanna first ran for the seat now held by Democratic Rep. Michael Arcuri in 2008, losing by just 2 percent of the vote. This time around he is running on three lines – Republican, Conservative and Independence. Rep. Arcuri’s name will appear on just the Democratic ballot unless he’s successful in petitioning for a third party line.
Aug 10th - 8:39 am
Hayworth, who is trying to defeat two-term Democratic Rep. John Hall, joins NY-24′s Richard Hanna, who is making his second attempt at ousting Democratic Rep. Mike Arcuri; and NY-29′s Tom Reed, who is running for the seat vacated by disgraced former Democratic Rep. Eric Massa.
An NRCC source said:
“This is further evidence that Republicans are positioned to do well across New York State.”
“It also demonstrates the growing momentum behind Hayworth and her commitment to lower taxes, limited government and less spending, which is a sharp contrast to John Hall’s record as a rubberstamp for the stimulus, ObamaCare and tax hikes.
The designation makes candidates eligible for fundraising and strategic support from the NRCC, which added six House candidates nationwide to its growing list as of today.
Hall won and easy re-election bid in 2008 with 59 percent of the vote. He defeated then-GOP incumbent Rep. Sue Kelly in 2006. Hayworth had $775,000 in the bank at the end of June (with the help of $500,000 she has loaned her own campaign), compared with $564,000 for Hall.
Last month, Rothenberg had NY-19 listed as a “toss-up/tilts Democrat” race, while NY-24 was “toss-up/tilts Republican” and NY-29 was “Republican favored”.
Aug 10th - 8:23 am
There must be something in the water upstate that’s causing candidates to take a position on the mosque proposed for construction near Ground Zero that’s counter to the stance they’re expected to adopt.
First there was Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy. The LG contender split with his running mate, Democratic gubernatorial designee Andrew Cuomo, saying it would be preferable for the mosque developers to find another site for their project. (Cuomo’s campaign declined to comment on Duffy’s remarks).
Now comes word, compliments of WAMC via the Utica Observer-Dispatch, that NY-24 Republican candidate Richard Hanna has broken with his fellow Republicans – most notable gubernatorial hopefuls Carl Paladino and Rick Lazio – in expressing support for the mosque.
“It’s extremely easy to understand why people are upset by this, but this country was founded by people who were running away from religious persecution,” Hanna said in an e-mailed statement to the paper Monday. (The WAMC interview won’t be airing until Aug. 16).
“So how can we become what we have beheld and found contemptible other places?”
Hanna is making his second attempt at unseating Democratic Rep. Mike Arcuri, who is widely viewed as in trouble this fall, particularly since he lost the Independence line to Hanna (both a blessing and a curse, as it turns out) and his refusal to vote “yes” on the health care reform bill cost him key labor support and the Working Families Party line.
(Arcuri is now seeking to run on an independent line he’s calling NY Moderates).
As for where Arcuri stands on the mosque, well, that’s anyone’s guess. According to the Utica OD, Arcuri’s spokeswoman couldn’t reach the congressman – who is due in Washington, D.C. today to vote on the FMAP/education funding bill – on Monday night.
Aug 9th - 6:34 pm
Two opposite-end-of-the-spectrum endorsements to report today for two candidates who hail from Long Island.
This first is for Gary Berntsen, one of two Republican candidates vying for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer in the November election (he’s fighting Jay Townsend, who has the Conservative Party nod, for Row B).
Berntsen landed the support of Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, who caused a stir this summer when she started a Tea Party Caucus in the House. (She also ran afoul of some Tea Partiers after she endorsed Rep. Roy Blunt against state Sen. Chuck Purgason in the Missouri Senate primary).
“After getting to know Gary and his positions on domestic and foreign policy issues I am very happy to endorse Gary in his effort to defeat Chuck Schumer,” Bachmann said in a statement released by Berntsen’s campaign.
Meanwhile, another Long Islander, Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, is going to be the recipient tomorrow of a “thank-you” rally courtesy of MoveOn.org, which is cheering his support of the “Fight Washington Corruption Pledge“.
This pledge calls for the overturning of the recent US Supreme Court decision that enabled corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns, support of public campaign financing and stricter lobbying rules.
Aug 9th - 5:25 pm
Here’s Rep. Dan Maffei, a former staffer on the House Ways & Means Committee, explaining yet again why he is neither abandoning Rep. Charlie Rangel nor returning the $82,000 worth of campaign contributions he has received from the embattled Harlem Democrat over the years.
Maffei has refused to join his upstate House colleague, Rep. Mike Arcuri, in calling for Rangel to resign rather than go forward with his fight of the 13 ethics charges he faces.
He also hasn’t heeded calls – including one from his GOP opponent, Ann Marie Buerkle – that he give back Rangel’s cash. (Maffei explains in the clip below that the money is already spent).
“People say: ‘Well, you should have nothing to do with Charlie Rangel.’ But he’s a friend of mine. Clearly he did something wrong. I don’t condone that. But I’m his friend. You deplore the sin but love the
As noted on MonroeUprising last Monday, this isn’t the first time a Republican has sought to use Maffei’s connection to Rangel against him.
Aug 9th - 12:29 pm
George Demos released a new Web video today hitting one of his two GOP NY-1 primary opponents, Chris Cox, for playing up his family ties to the hilt while campaigning for the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.
“Bloodline and pedigree are not qualifications to serve in the US Congress or any job,” the spot states.
Cox rarely misses an opportunity to note that his is the grandson of the late President Nixon – a connection he said has been a “big plus so far” during a “Today” show segment that aired last week.
The first-time candidate insisted he is feeling no negative effects from the Watergate scandal that tarred his grandfather’s legacy and forced his resignation on this very day, 36 years ago.
Cox also frequently mentions, albeit with less regularity, the fact that he is the son of state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, even though his father has insisted on multiple occasions – much to the disbelief of Conservative and Republican detractors – that he is steering clear of Cox-the-younger’s campaign. (The task of defending Chris Cox has been taken up of late by his future father-in-law, John Catsimatidis).
Since this race is becoming increasingly negative, it was only a matter of time before one of Cox’s opponents sought to use what is arguably his strongest suit – his family connections – against him.
UPDATE: Cox’s campaign spokesman Jim Teese responded by accusing Demos of breaking the late President Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment, (thou shalt not attack a fellow Republican), in a response that appears after the jump.
Aug 9th - 7:25 am
Rep. Pete King, the Long Island Republican who memorably clashed recently with his Democratic colleague, Rep. Anthony Weiner, over the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, has teamed up with DNC Committeeman Bob Zimmerman to call for the measure to be brought back for a vote with no strings attached to endanger its passage.
Zimmerman, a Democratic donor and longtime Clinton supporter (as is Weiner), joined King in releasing a bipartisan statement early this morning that called on the House Democratic leadership to let the bill pass under the standard rule of a simply majority and for the GOP not to add any poison pill amendments on issues like immigration on which endangered Dems won’t want to vote.
The duo said the Democrats should let the bill come to the floor even if the Republicans won’t relent, noting 225 members voted for the legislation on July 29th and that 218 votes constitute a simple majority.
“(W)e believe the Democratic Leadership has the moral obligation to allow this legislation to pass by a simple majority vote,” King and Zimmerman wrote in a statement that appears in full after the jump.
“Police officers, firefighters and construction workers should not be allowed to die because elected representatives are reluctant to cast a possibly difficult vote. It would be unconscionable not to pass lifesaving legislation when a clear majority of House members support it.”
The House is scheduled to return this week to Washington, D.C. for a mid-summer recess session to take up the jobs and education aid bill passed last week by the US Senate. That measure includes some $2.6 billion in Medicaid and education funding for the states.
Aug 6th - 3:20 pm
It has been eight months since Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava was forced out of the NY-23 special election and crossed party lines to endorse now-Rep. Bill Owens, clearing a path to victory for the Democrats in a long-held GOP district and making her a pariah among her fellow Republicans.
Scozzafava lost her leadership post in the minority as a result and has since decided not to seek re-election, yet her treason continues to be revisited, used in campaigns and held up as Exhibit A by Republicans who want to force candidates to sign a pledge promising not to oppose the eventual nominee of a given race.
From the Washington Post:
“This is a shot across the bow of folks who are going to break party unity,” said Morton Blackwell, an RNC member from Virginia who proposed the rule change and said it was adopted by the RNC’s rules committee unanimously.
“We need this when we have people doing outrageous things like Crist and Dede Scozzafava.”
“Crist” would, of course, be Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran and raised campaign cash as a Republican candidate for the US Senate and then dropped out of the GOP primary against Marco Rubio and is now running in the general election as an independent.
Doug Hoffman, the man who forced Scozzafava out of the race, arguing – along with Tea Party activists and the state Conservative Party – that she was too moderate, is now making a second run against Owens. He’s battling newcomer Matt Doheny for the GOP line.
Aug 6th - 12:47 pm
As his three GOP primary opponents duke it out in advance of the Sept. 14 primary, Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop today collected the endorsements of the New York League of Conservation Voters and the national League of Conservation Voters Action Fund.
“Through his four terms in Congress, Tim Bishop has proven himself as a strong and steady advocate for the environment in Long Island and New York as a whole,” NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn said in a press release. “The League is proud to endorse him for re-election in 2010.”
LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski praised Bishop’s support of clean energy legislation, saying he “stands with the people of New York who need clean energy jobs now, and not with the Big Oil companies and special interests who are blocking progress in Washington.”
There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering or surprising about these endorsements, with the exception of the fact that the NYLCV has been splitting the baby when it comes to state Senate races, backing Democrats in some districts and Republicans in others.
It does serve to illustrate how Bishop is benefitting from the intra-party war going on in the GOP. Since he doesn’t have a primary, he has the luxury of being able to focus on fundraising and locking down his base.
While at one point he was widely viewed as in serious trouble this fall, the incumbent congressman now appears to be on much firmer ground (although perhaps not yet out of the woods, given the anti-incumbent sentiment among voters and the potential of a low-turnout election, which makes these races that much more difficult to predict).
Aug 6th - 12:06 pm
Several readers wrote in to say they had received the following robocall this week from embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel, urging them to attend his Aug. 11 birthday fundraiser:
“Hi. This is Charlie Rangel. I’m sorry I missed you, but I’m calling to let you know that there’s a birthday party. It’s going to be on Wednesday, August the 11th at the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel. If you can be with us, please call 212-862-4990. It’s going to bne a terrific party and we want you there. Again, the number is 212-862-4990. Please try to make it. I’ll be looking to meet you.”
The calls come as pols nervous about getting too close to Rangel as he prepares to face a public trial on 13 ethics charges are sending regrets and suddenly remembering some oh-so-important previous engagements like a family trip to Virginia (Rep. Carolyn Maloney), a fundraiser in Connecticut (Rep. Ed Towns) and a firefighters parade in his district (Rep. John Hall).
UPDATE: Maloney’s campaign asked that I add this statement from the congresswoman: “I’m for Charlie Rangel whether I’m at a party for him or not.”
Even Aretha Franklin, who was supposed to headline Rangel’s big bash, isn’t going to be able to make it, although she has a viable excuse.
Others, like AG Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer, are hedging, with aides refusing to say one way or another whether their respective bosses will be attending. Mayor Bloomberg, after a brief memory lapse about his plans to serve as one of the event’s hosts, has apparently agreed to attend.