Oct 25th - 5:42 pm
A national Republican committee headed by former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and former Rep. Tom Reynolds is has so far spent $873,623 to help the Senate GOP in its quest to take back the majority.
According to its first report filed by the Republican State Leadership Committee, the cash breaks down as follows:
– $139,603 on TV and radio ads in opposition to Democratic Sen. Brian Foley – one of the minority’s top targets who is running neck and neck in the 3rd SD with his opponent, Lee Zeldin.
- $279,979 on TV ads opposing Democratic Sen. Dave Valesky in the 49th SD. According to the Siena poll, Valesky has a comfortable lead over his GOP challenger, Andrew Russo.
- $333,136 on TV ads in the 48th SD opposing Democratic Sen. Darrel Aubertine, who, when Siena last checked, was trailing Republican Patricia Ritchie by three percentage points.
- $120,880 on TV ads in the 58th SD opposing Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kennedy, who defeated Sen. Bill Stachowski in the Sept. 14 primary and, according to Siena, trails GOP Assemblyman Jack Quinn , 42-39, with Stachowski receiving 12 percent of the vote on the WFP and Independence Party lines.
I reported back in the beginning of the month (second item) that the RSLC would be dropping close to $1 million to help the GOP in three upstate districts and in one Long Island district.
There’s more interest at the national level than usual in the battle for control of the Senate due to the redistricting angle. If the Republicans win back the majority, they will have the upper hand in not only drawing their own lines, but also deciding which of the two congressional seats the state stands to lose will be erased.
Oct 25th - 4:32 pm
…Democratic nominee Gustavo Rivera might be able to make it on Broadway.
Apparently, he really brought down the house at a recent Latino Heritage Celebration hosted at the HQ of Teamsters Local 237.
Rivera, who defeated Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. in the Sept. 14 primary, referred to his vanquished foe as “Mr. Past Tense” during a radio interview with the union’s president, Greg Floyd.
Oct 25th - 4:01 pm
RNC Chairman Michael Steele and state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, who haven’t always seen eye-to-eye throughout this election season, will put whatever differences they may have (assuming they still have any) and unite tomorrow behind the Rev. Michael Faulkner, who is challenging Rep. Charlie Rangel.
The two chairmen will bring their respective bus tours to Harlem for a rally for Faulkner, which will be followed by a fundraiser at the Uptown Grand Restaurant on 7th Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets.
Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Saul will also be in attendance.
Faulkner, a former NY Jet, has been receiving a lot of positive press lately. But he’s a long shot to defeat Rangel, who held off multiple Democratic challengers in the Sept. 14 primary despite the fact that he’s facing 13 ethics charges (the trial is scheduled to start after the general election).
I’ve been hearing a lot of speculation of late about how long Rangel might last if and when he’s re-elected – particularly if the Democrats lose control of the House. He also lost his Ways and Means chairmanship. Returning to the minority would be something I imagine he would not at all relish.
Many observers believe Rangel refused to heed calls for him to step aside this fall because he wanted to go out on his own terms (and maybe have a hand in selecting his successor, too). Of course, what his district ends up looking like after the next round of redistricting – especially if the GOP wins back the state Senate majority – is anyone’s guess.
Oct 25th - 3:28 pm
A reader, who I would describe as fairly conservative, forwarded this flyer that was being handed out over the weekend outside a church in Queens and said he was a bit taken aback by the fairly explosive language it employs.
The piece, paid for by 9th CD GOP congressional candidate Bob Turner, accuses his Democratic target, Rep. Anthony Weiner, of voting no on “Judeo-Christian moral values,” citing the Brooklyn congressman’s record on everything from abortion to cloning to the Pledge of Allegiance.
Turner has adopted not shied away from controversial topics throughout his campaign. He seized on the mosque/Islamic center controversy back in September, hosting a rally that purported to be in support of the 9/11 families who opposed the project.
Weiner was muted on the subject, defending his one-time rival Mayor Bloomberg for his defense of Park51, but also declaring that to weigh in himself would be a violation of the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
My astute reader had this to say about Turner’s strategy here:
“In addition to ginning up the conservative blue-collar/white ethnic/Tea Party sympathizers in the district (you dont get a much more “American” name than Bob Turner), Turner might be trying to draw a wedge between Anthony and his traditional Jewish base.”
The flyer also could be read to not-so-subtly be trying to remind voters who might care about this sort of thing that Weiner, who is Jewish, recently married Huma Abedin, a Muslim.
Oct 25th - 2:38 pm
An Orthodox Jewish blog reports that Assemblyman Dov Hikind met with Gov. David Paterson this morning and was told there will be a post-Election Day special session and a TAP program for yeshivas that the governor vetoed last summer will be on the agenda.
“He is determined to get it done. He is committed to it, the Brooklyn Democrat told Vos Iz Neias.
“I am very, very happy. We hope with Hashem’s help that this will be a historic moment, something I have been waiting for for years. We are at the bottom of the ninth, two outs and with G-d’s help, this is going to be it.”
“…Governor Paterson is the one who originally put the TAP bill into the budget. I didn’t have to convince him. As soon as I raised the issue he told me, ‘We are getting it done.’”
I’ve got a call in to Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook, who said he’ll be getting back to me.
One thing we do know – at least as far as we can know anything where Paterson is concerned – is that the property tax cap probably won’t be on the lame duck session agenda.
Paterson said he’s willing to let that be handled by the next governor, presumably Andrew Cuomo, if Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants it that way.
Oct 25th - 2:08 pm
The Senate Democrats have run through their campaign cash at warp speed and now have just $227,989 on hand, according to the most recent – and final – post-general election filing with the state Board of Elections.
The DSCC (which, it should be noted, was implicated in the AEG scandal by the IG for directing campaign contributions from the would-be racino operator to certain senators) raised $934,482 over the most recent two-week filing period, and had $826,725 transferred into its coffers by rank-and-file members (most of it from Deputy Senate Majority Leader Jeff Klein, interestingly, who is often named as a potential successor for Conference Leader John Sampson.
The Dems also have $750,000 line loan out from their preferred bank, the National Bank of NYC, for which I assume members are all on the hook (as per usual).
The Democrats spent $5.37 million, $4.26 million of which went to help specific candidates and incumbents. Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer appears to be the biggest beneficiary of the majority’s largesse, getting $460,901 to defend her seat.
The DSCC also spent more than $360,000 each on two challengers – Susan Savage and David Carlucci (he’s running for an open, previously GOP-held seat).
The Republicans, by contrast, have $2.5 million on hand. They raised $1.79 million and had $933,800 transferred in by various senators and candidates. (NOTE: The $100,000 transfer came from Sen. John Bonacic, not Sen. Neil Breslin’s challenger, Bob Domenici; I read that line wrong. Mea culpa).
The SRCC spent $2.35 million, $1.72 million of which was spent for 23 candidates and incumbents.
The Republicans apparently filed slightly earlier than the Democrats, which means some of their expenses (recall that the last week of an election tends to be the most expensive) aren’t showing up on this report, making their bottom line look bigger.
UPDATE: Also, SRCC spokesman Scott Reif says: “The cut-off date for expenses is the same, so even though we filed early it had no affect on bottom line…That’s just spin.”
That said, DSCC spokesman Austin Shafran admitted that the majority is going all out in its effort to retain control of the chamber, explaining:
“Money is raised to be spent. Money does no good for you in the bank. It only wins elections if it’s put into the field.
“We’re giving our campaigns every resource possible to win on Election Day. We’re all in. We’re leaving it all out on the field, and we’re going to give the campaigns every resource possible to win.”
Oct 25th - 12:59 pm
Another day, another star urging Working Families Supporters in a Web video to vote Row E on Nov. 2 to keep the labor-based party alive for another four years.
The video is pretty self-explanatory, except for one thing…Matt Damon is 40?! When did that happen? Man, I am seriously old.
UPDATE: A reader who is a baseball fan (which I clearly am not) notes what a big deal it is for Damon – a major Red Sox fan and Boston native – to offer to don a Yankees cap if the WFP hits the 20,000-vote mark.
Oct 25th - 12:51 pm
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is now hitting his GOP/Conservative opponent, Harry Wilson, through the mail, with a piece – his first of the campaign – that employs his “Wall Street wizard” line and accuses him of wanting to put his financial industry “cronies” in charge of the state pension fund.
An interesting choice of words, given that Wilson himself accused his Democratic target of “cronyism” in this morning’s DN.
UPDATE: The Wilson campaign released this “fact sheet” refuting the claims in DiNapol’s mailer and also sent along a link to an editorial from the DN (which endorsed Wilson), accusing the comptroller of running a “weasel campaign” against the former hedge fund manager.
DiNapoli’s second lit drop is coming on Wednesday. He has been husbanding his admittedly meager (compared to the largely self-funding Wilson anyway) resources until the very end of the campaign.
Also, I missed it in “Here and Now” this morning, but DiNapoli was endorsed by his hometown newspaper, Newsday, which had very nice things to say about Wilson, but ultimately concluded:
“Right after his appointment, we called DiNapoli “Mr. Clean and Mr. Consensus.” Still true. If he wins a second term, the comptroller must now become Mr. Change, the catalyst in the urgent need to make our pension system and our state’s finances sustainable. Newsday endorses DiNapoli.”
Oct 25th - 12:39 pm
Last night’s debate had several contentious moments, including a fight over economic policies that evolved from a completely unrelated question.
Moderator Pat Kiernan asked Sen. Schumer how he has changed since he was first elected into the senate in 1998. Schumer said he had pretty good times for the first 10 years but seeing what has happened has been tough. He then went on to tell a story about a woman named “Dorothy” who lost her high paying job 2 years ago, and spent last Christmas looking for a job instead of being with family.
Townsend took the response as an opportunity to hammer Schumer for failing to prevent the loss of jobs and fleeing population in upstate New York. Townsend asked the senior Senator, “How can you say the first 10 years of your tenure was good times when this was happening under your nose?”
Schumer fired back, delivering one of his better lines of the night.
“I listen to my opponent, he says he wouldn’t be for the stimulus, he wouldn’t be for TARP, he wouldn’t be for financial reform. The last time we had a leader who did that, was Herbert Hoover. The idea of saying I will be against everything, and not trying to improve conditions when things are tough, I don’t think that gets us anywhere. Come up with some constructive conclusions,” Schumer said.
After that, it quickly devolved into a fight over what was in the stimulus. Townsend slammed Schumer for spending billions to save public sector jobs without spurring the economy. Schumer fired back, pointing out that 40% of the stimulus was tax cuts.
Oct 25th - 12:22 pm
The Obama administration is selectively deploying the president in the run-up to the general election to barnstorm for candidates in states where his popularity remains high.
Obama is not coming to New York, where, according to the most recent Siena poll, his favorable/unfavorable rating is 56-41 with 3 percent undecided (and this is in a Democrat-dominated state).
Instead, we’re seeing a lot of former President Bill Clinton, one of the Democrats most popular surrogates. And we also got word today that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will phonebank Organizing for America volunteers in NYC tonight to make midterm elections calls.
The bank is part of the Democratic National Committee and OFA’s $50 million “VOTE 2010″ campaign to engage voters in hopes of reversing what appears to be a pro-GOP trend that appears to be poised to sweep the Democrats out of the majority next Tuesday.