Feb 1st - 12:30 pm
Sean Eldridge, an investor and political activist, is poised to file paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential 2014 challenge to Republican Rep. Chris Gibson in NY-19, according to a source familiar with his plans.
The source said Eldridge will also file a statement of candidacy and is “seriously looking at a run” in two years.
Not long ago, Eldridge was perhaps best known for being the partner – and now husband – of co-founder Chris Hughes, with whom he lives in Shokan, Ulster County.
But in recent years, he has struck out on his own, founding a small business investment fund called Hudson River Ventures that focuses on the region’s burgeoning artisanal food and beverage industry, and also getting involved in the push for statewide campaign finance reform.
Hudson River Ventures, located in Kingston, has so far invested in the following businesses: Bread Alone (Boiceville), the Peekskill Brewery (Peekskill), RiverMarket (Tarrytown) and Hudson Chocolates (Poughkeepsie).
Last year, Eldridge created a political action committee called Protect Our Democracy, which he and Hughes seeded with $250,000 of their own money.
The PAC’s goal was to get the “big money” out of politics by pushing for a publicly funded campaign finance system.
Since Tkaczyk’s come-from-behind win, advocates have argued there is momentum and a mandate for establishing a publicly funded system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly said he supports the idea as part of a broader campaign finance package, but he hasn’t yet put forth any legislation.
Gibson, who casts himself as a pragmatist and moderate in his right-of-center House GOP conference, is going to be difficult to beat – particularly in a non-presidential election year that won’t see the surge of Democratic turnout seen this past fall.
Although he was running in a dramatically altered – and Democrat dominated – new district last year, Gibson managed to handily defeat his Democrat opponent, attorney and former Ulster County Democratic Party Chairman Julian Schreibman.
Eldridge certainly is getting a jump on things by launching his campaign this early.
He presumably won’t have much trouble with funding. This effort is in a very nascent stage, according to my source, but Eldridge has signed up a well-connected consulting firm – SKDKnickerbocker – to assist with his campaign.
Nov 29th - 11:54 am
Now that he’s representing a (mostly) new area, Rep. Chris Gibson says he won’t be bound by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist’s pledge not to support any tax increases.
The decision to go this way is significant, on a number of fronts, more immediately since Congress and President Obama are working to avert the fiscal cliff’s timed tax increases and spending cuts.
The pledge requires signatories to oppose any efforts to “increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses” and also oppose a new reduction or end to deductions and credits unless there is a dollar-for-dollar match in reducing tax rates.
The Norquist pledge’s critics have derided it for having out-sized influence over mostly Republican members of Congress and state Legislatures, though its namesake has enforced adherence to the pledge with zeal.
In statement, Gibson’s spokeswoman Stephanie Valle says the newly re-elected congressman remains opposed to increasing marginal rates for individuals and business, but he will consider “all comprehensive packages brought forward” during the fiscal cliff negotiations.
The Congressman signed the pledge as a candidate in 2010 for the 20th Congressional District. As a 24-year veteran of the United States Army, without a legislative record, the pledge was his commitment to the district he was running to represent that he would fight for Upstate families, small businesses, and farmers in Congress, recognizing that high taxes are an impediment to growth in New York and result in less discretionary income for NY families. Since being elected, he has fought for these pro-growth policies that include reforming the tax code to close loopholes that don’t grow the economy so that we can lower rates for families, small businesses, and farms in New York.
Regarding the pledge moving forward, Congressman Gibson doesn’t plan to resign it for the 19th Congressional District, which he now represents (the pledge is to your constituents of a numbered district). Those voters have just evaluated the Congressman on his record and his record is the same as his position now – again, that he’ll fight for tax policy that helps those he represents.
He is opposed to increasing the marginal rates for individuals and businesses and has voted against this as a standalone measure; however, he will consider all comprehensive packages brought forward as a result of bipartisan negotiations.
Gibson’s old district (once represented by now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand) stretched around the Albany area and included parts of the Hudson Valley and the more conservative North Country. Now he is in the newly drawn 19th district that lies within the slightly more Democratic Hudson Valley.
Nov 2nd - 12:32 pm
On the heels of this week’s Siena poll, which found him trailing his Republican opponent, Rep. Chris Gibson, by just five percentage points, NY-19 Democratic hopeful Julian Schreibman has enlisted the assistance of outgoing Rep. Maurice Hinchey to help him make his closing argument to Hudson Valley voters.
Hinchey recorded a robocall for Schreibman that will be sent to voters in the southern part of the district, which the retiring Democratic congressman currently represents.
The newly drawn NY-19 contains about 37 percent of Hinchey’s district – the old NY-22, which was one of two districts eliminated in the court-drawn congressional redistricting plan. (The other was retiring Republica Rep. Bob Turner’s Brooklyn/Queens district, NY-9).
According to Siena, Schreibman is doing quite well in the southern part of the district, which is his base. (He used to be the Ulster County Democratic chairman). Gibson is performing well in the northern part of the district, which he currently represents.
Here’s the script of the Hinchey robocall:
“Hi, I’m Congressman Maurice Hinchey. It’s been an honor and privilege to serve you for the past twenty years in the US House of Representatives. I thank you for your trust and support over these past two decades.”
“As I prepare to leave Congress, I’m asking you to support a good friend of mine and vote for Julian Schreibman to take my place in Congress.”
“Julian grew up here in the Hudson Valley, shares our values and understands the struggles of the middle class. Julian will fight to preserve Medicare, to protect a woman’s right to choose and will help carry on my legacy of defending our environment.”
“Julian will be relentless in making sure that the middle class has a voice in Washington, and that the big corporations and powerful interests are held accountable. On November 6th I hope you’ll join me in voting for Julian Schreibman.”
You can listen to the call here:
Oct 30th - 6:00 am
The race for the Hudson Valley Congressional district between GOP Rep. Chris Gibson and Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman tightened in a Siena College poll released this morning showing the incumbent leading by 5 percentage points.
A survey last month found Gibson leading Schreibman by 16 percentage points. Now, Gibson leads Schreibman 48 percent to 43 percent.
Among independents, Gibson once had a 16 point lead. Now he is in a virtual tie with unaffiliated voters, leading 44 percent to 42 percent.
He maintains a 25-percent lead in the counties surrounding Albany, which is part of the old pre-redistricting seat Gibson has represented for the last two years.
But now Schreibman is gaining ground in virtually every part of the NY-19.
In the new parts of the district, Schreibman has made large gains in Sullivan, Broome, Delaware and Otsego counties, where he now is in a virtual tie with Gibson.
Importantly for Schrebiman, he now holds a 2-point edge with women voters.
President Obama, meanwhile, has made strong gains in the district as wwell. His lead in September was four points over Mitt Romney; it is now 8 points, leading the Republican challenger 50 percent to 42 percent.
Still, Gibson remains popular in the district and voters by a 2-to-1 margin believe Schreibman has run a more negative campaign.
“Two years ago, then challenger Gibson saw an early double digit deficit turn into a comfortable 10-point win. Now, incumbent Gibson has seen an early double digit lead turn into a narrow five-point lead, and he’s fallen below the magic 50 percent mark, with still one week of campaigning to go,” Siena College spokesman Steve Greenberg said. “On one side of the equation, the question is whether Schreibman can build upon the momentum of the last few weeks and continue to close the gap or reverse it, with Obama running strong in the district. Schreibman has also made significant gains with female voters.”
Oct 24th - 10:54 am
GOP Rep. Chris Gibson released a new TV ad this morning that accuses his Democratic opponent, Julian Schreibman, of running a “misleading” campaign, especially when it comes to a key issue in this election cycle: Medicare.
The ad cites the TU and its Capitol Confidential blog four times, pulling a word or phrase like “Mediscare” or “politics of fear” from otherwise lengthy reports.
That is not, however, how Gibson’s campaign sees it. Said spokeswoman Stephanie Valle:
“Julian Schreibman has run a campaign that is at its core misleading, with some of his attacks being downright lies.”
“Aside from raising taxes, he has offered no concrete solutions or plans on what he would do if elected. That is not the kind of leadership or vision that Upstate New Yorkers want as their representative in Congress.”
The NY-19 is getting increasingly heated – not to mention nasty.
A September Siena poll found Gibson had a comfortable double-digit lead over Schreibman, though the numbers were closer in the new part of the district to the south, which is Schreibman’s base.
Earlier this month, Schreibman was touting a Democrat-based Grove Insight poll that found him within striking distance of Gibson.
The true numbers are likely somewhere in the middle of these two polls at this point; no doubt the race has tightened in recent weeks.
Here’s the script from the Gibson ad, titled “Misleading”:
“(Announcers, female and male): “They’re calling Julian Schreibman’s campaign ‘misleading.’ And his economic plan is simple: Raise taxes. That’s not leadership we can trust.
“(Business owners, voiceover): Chris Gibson. He knows the importance of every one of us small businesses.”
“(Gibson): We need pro-growth comprehensive tax reform and regulatory reform. Come together to drive down healthcare costs and energy costs.”
“(Male business owner): He’s there to help and get results.”
“(Gibson): Job creation, number one priority, put Americans back to work. I’m Chris Gibson, and I approve this message.”
Update: The Schreibman camp responds, claiming Gibons is “desperate.”
“Congressman Gibson’s latest ad show’s how bad things have gotten for his campaign. He has now resorted to pulling words at random from articles that even Capital Tonight has said ‘is really taking some liberties,’” Jonathan Levy, campaign manager for Congressional candidate Julian Schreibman, said. “It is a sign that Congressman Gibson doesn’t have a message or a plan, and is desperate to run from his record. Just this morning his campaign, after claiming his vote to criminalize abortion even is cases of rape and incest was a lie, has admitted that he voted for the bill because ‘there is currently no law limiting when a woman can receive an abortion in Washington D.C.’ This is one instance were Congressman Gibson’s rhetoric actually matches his Tea Party record.”
Oct 12th - 11:55 am
Despite the political hay being made over his 2011 vote for the Paul Ryan budget, Rep. Chris Gibson told me in an interview last night on Capital Tonight that he doesn’t regret his “yes” vote.
“No — and what he (opponent Julian Schreibman) said last night that it ended Medicare — Politifact determined that to be the lie of the year,” he said.
While Schreibman has sought to portray the freshman incumbent as a tea party-backed candidate, Gibson has tracked strongly to the center.
Still, Schreibman is hammering Gibson for his 2011 vote, though the GOP congressman this year says he’s pushing for a bipartisan budget approach that smooths out spending increases and rejiggers the tax code.
The crticism is part of a larger effort by Democrats to tie vulnerable Republicans to Ryan, the GOP’s vice-presidential nomniee. As we noted earlier, the DCCC is comnig out of the gate from last night’s debate between Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden to knock Republican candidates here in New York.
But in the interview, Gibson says he’s trying to emphasize bread-and-butter local issues.
“The folks on our district understand that I’m focused on constituent issues and local issues — storm relief, broadband, Lyme disease, broadband and growing the economy. These are the issues that regardless of party, the folks want us to be working on,” Gibson said.
He also decried what he saw as the Democratic candidate wage “a very nasty and deceptive campaign” — though he didn’t directly acknowledge when I pointed out that the NRCC on his behalf ran a spot criticizing a past client of Schreibman, which the committee later yanked and several stations refused to air.
Gibson this morning also released an internal poll that shows him at 50 percent and with a double-digit lead over Schreibman, an attorney from Ulster County.
Gibson noted that the poll is in line with what Siena College put out a few weeks ago.
But Schreibman’s campaign pounced on the poll, claiming that Mitt Romney couldn’t possibly being doing so well in the district over President Obama.
“It seems that Congressman Gibson’s pollsters are as out of step with the district as Congressman Gibson is on his voting record,” Schreibman campaign manager Jonathan Levy said in a statement.
Oct 5th - 8:23 am
SEIU 1199, the powerful health care workers union, has entered the fray in NY-19 with an ad that tries to portray GOP Rep. Chris Gibson as a Tea Party extremist.
This approach is one that has been employed throughout the campaign by Gibson’s Democratic opponent, Julian Schreibman.
Schreibman argues the Republican congressman’s effort to cast himself as a pragmatic centrist is undercut by his voting record, in which he generally – but not always – sides with the House leadership, whose agenda is driven by the more conservative members of the conference.
This ad is half a hit on Gibson, slamming him on some traditional Democratic themes – Medicare, Social Security and tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs – and half a pitch for Schreibman, described as someone who will “fight for the middle class.”
“This November there is a choice for more of the same or for Julian Schreibman,” said Kevin Finnegan, 1199′s political director.
“Julian has shown that he has real plans to move America forward and that he will work for everyone in the district so we all share in America’s prosperity and have a secure future.”
The ad, titled “Steps”, hits the airwaves today and will remain up in the Albany-Schenectady–Troy media market for a week. The buy is somewhere in the neighborhood of $170,000.
This isn’t 1199′s first independent expenditure on behalf of a Democratic congressional candidate.
The union also collaborated with AFSCME to launch a pair of ads against Rep. Nan Hayworth in NY-18. (The spots are identical, with the exception of the tagline that indicates who’s responsible for footing the bill).
The text for 1199′s NY-19 ad is as follows:
“When Congressman Chris Gibson climbed these steps and voted in step with the Tea Party agenda.”
“To end Medicare as we know it. Cut Social Security. And to protect tax breaks that help companies outsource American jobs.”
“Gibson showed how out-of-step with us he really is. Not Julian Schreibman.”
“A former prosecutor, Schreibman will fight for the middle class. He’ll protect Medicare and Social Security. And stand up to Tea Party extremists.”
“Julian Schreibman. For middle class New York.”
Sep 21st - 6:07 am
Siena’s sixth congressional poll finds GOP freshman Rep. Chris Gibson with a comfortable 52-36 lead over his Democratic challenger, Julian Schreibman, among likely voters.
But the race is considerably closer in the new, Hudson Valley portion of the newly drawn 19th congressional district.
Schreibman, a former Ulster County Democratic chairman, is within two percentage points of Gibson in the Ulster and Dutchess county portions of NY-19 that were added in the court-mandated House redistricting plan.
Gibson’s current district, NY-20, skews further to the North, but that part of the district is now represented by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, who is being challenged by Republican Matt Doheny.
The congressman is doing quite well in the old part of the district, which he has represented since he defeated Scott Murphy in 2010.
(Murphy succeeded former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand when she was tapped by ex-Gov. David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton’s remaining term in the US Senate).
Gibson has what Siena pollster Steve Greenberg called a “commanding” 35-point lead in the counties surrounding Albany, and a 14-point lead in the western section of the district.
Overall, Gibson has nearly a two-to-one lead in the portion of NY-19 that he currently represents, and leads by five points in the new portion of the district.
Greenberg said Gibson has solidified his base, garnering the support of 83 percent of Republicans. He leads by 16 points with independents.
Schreibman is ahead 69-21 among Democrats, but it will take a better showing than that for him to defeat Gibson in November.
Schreibman’s biggest problem is name recognition, of which he has very little. He’s unknown to nearly two-thirds of NY-19 residents, including more than half of those who say they plan to vote for him.
Those who do have an opinion about Schreibman are evenly divided between viewing him favorably and unfavorably.
Gibson, on the other hand, has a 15-point net positive favorability rating, including 56-29 percent favorability in the portion of the district he now represents.
By margins of between 13 and 22 points, voters say Gibson will do a better job in Washington representing them on all issues.
President Obama has a narrow 49-45 lead over Mitt Romney. Likely voters side with Obama over Romney on most issues, although they favor repeal of “Obamacare” (formally known as the Affordable Care Act), 50-46.
Jul 10th - 11:50 am
Sean Patrick Maloney this morning announced the formation of his general election campaign staff, with the media strategy being led by veteran consultant Jennifer Cunningham.
And naturally, Maloney, a Democrat who hopes to unseat Rep. Nan Hayworth, can’t resist some name-dropping in his news release announcement.
“When I worked for President Clinton, we were able to create jobs and balance the budget because the President knew how to build a team he could count on,” Maloney said in a statement. “With the Primary behind us, I am excited to follow the President’s example by putting together a great team that will win in November.”
Cunningham is a well-known figure here at the Capitol, having worked for Andrew Cuomo’s 2006 rehabilitation effort as attorney general and later moving over to SKDKnickerbocker and has worked on AG Eric Schneiderman’s campaign as well as Rochester Mayor Tom Richard’s successful effort for a full term.
Cunningham is a big gun for what’s expected to be a pretty extended general election battle. Democrats feel confident they can unseat Hayworth in a redrawn Congressional district that may be more amendable to electing a Democrat in a presidential election year.
A full list of the Maloney campaign staff is after the jump. More >
May 30th - 11:01 am
The Communications Workers of America later today will announce their endorsement of Democratic House hopeful Julian Schreibman in the NY-19.
The endorsement comes as Schreibman, a Hudson Valley lawyer, faces off against fellow Democrat Joel Tyner in a June 26 primary.
But the focus has been on incumbent Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who is running for re-election in a far more Democratic district than the pre-redistricting seat he currently holds, which includes parts of the Republican-heavy North Country.
CWA counts roughly 150,000 members in New York, New Jersey and parts of New England.
While praising Schreibman in a news release (they call him a “pro-labor, progressive” candidate), CWA takes issue with Gibson’s record in the House.
Unlike current Congressional representative Chris Gibson, Schreibman supports bringing jobs back to the United States. For example, Representative Gibson refuses to support call center legislation (HR 3596), which takes away taxpayer subsidies from corporations that ship jobs overseas, and grants consumers the right to transfer back to the U.S. for customer service work.
The full release is after the jump. More >