Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bill-O's Day in the 23rd

I wanted to provide an update on Bill-O's Saturday on the trail.....but I couldn't find anything. UPDATE- The WDT reports the candidate was in Crown Point on the eastern side of the district.

Why You Don't Pick a Fight With Folks Who Buy Ink by the Barrel

The Hoffman campaign sought to push back after a shoving match broke out this week with the Watertown Daily Times.....It started with a frothy editorial board meeting that escalated to an editorial that Hoffman is a know-nothing on local issues.....The stakes got higher this AM with a front page above the fold story suggesting Hoffman's disdain for earmarks (pork) would cost Fort Drum, as many projects there appeared in previous budgets as earmarks.
In a release, Hoffman sought to draw the distinction between use of line items in the budget for true projects at federal facilities like Drum and the use of earmarks for projects like Yo-Yo Museums.
I hear Mr. Hoffman will be on Glenn Beck this Monday. Local media spooked him into cancelling an appearance last week to attend a small gathering in Wanakena. The Beck show is an avenue towards Internet fundraising which is driving the Hoffman campaign.
Also there is word Fred and Jeri Thompson will be coming North.....
Hoffman: I'll Continue to Fight for Important Project at Fort Drum

Hear Me Roar !

The Scozzafava campaign hit the ground this weekend with an appeal to women....perhaps her most important constituency in this spirited race against two men in NY23....
The nasty and demeaning commercials run by the Democrats featuring unflattering photos any woman would cringe at may be seen as less than appropriate. At least that's one hope of her campaign. Today Ms. Scozzafava stumped with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a noted moderate in the GOP.
Scozzafava hits trail with GOP women - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room####

Right Candidate...Wrong Year ?

When the decision was made over the summer to designate Diedre Scozzafava as the Republican candidate for Congress, it seemed by all measures of conventional wisdom to be an acceptable choice.
Pretty well known, long-time lawmaker, female, moderate to liberal on social issues but still a business background and an affinity for guns, and conversant in the issues that swirl in this area. With Darrel Aubertine out, the Dems didn't seem able to find someone who could climb the steep curve to recognition and legitimacy in the sprawling 23rd district.
In retrospect, the GOP jumped the gun in rushing a designation and didn't have a view on what the mood is out there. Of course, at the time it was unclear when the election would occur, and the Democrats controlled the timeline.
Now they are trying to fend off a well-funded , Ross Perot type campaign that has gone viral. This week's endorsement of Doug Hoffman by Sarah Palin seems to have resulted in a banner day of on-line fund raising yesterday. Liz reports $114K for Hoffman. Since when did candidates up here do that ?.
The national cable news nets are talking about the Palin move and the divide between factions on the right. Celebrities and interest groups are flooding the region and there are more to come. It's Tea Party America, and the local media establishment can't see the forest for the trees.
Those following the race in local media see same-old, same-old bland coverage.. No one is following the campaigns and the largest newspaper in the region has only one talented, but overworked scribe on the beat. We don't see video or photos of candidates on the trail, and if they venture to Plattsburgh.....Well, they may as well be in Mongolia.
On the Internet, its a different world....All sorts of people talking about NY23 and all sorts of influences being brought to bear. It's like watching two different races.
As the campaign ends, the GOP trots out the arguments for voting against Hoffman.
-He doesn't live in the district....Well, neither did your candidate in NY 20 and at this point the village limits sign in Lake Placid is not a game changer.
-Hoffman reneged on an email pledge to support DeDe- Hey, its politics. Things change.
-He opposes ear marks and that's how Fort Drum gets a lot of money- Hoffman will learn that absolutes seldom are pratical but people really are sick of spending.
-He's a lousy speaker...well there's no debates anyway..Bill Owens saw to that.
-DeDe's been a diligent fixture in local affairs for years...yes, but nine months of Obama has left moderates and conservative reeling over the fiscal state of America. Serving in the State Legislature is not a badge of honor.
-She is endorsed by a list of unions longer than your arm...Lot of those Republicans are executives and small businessmen...They can overlook gay marriage but they dont like "card check."
-But there's real issues and Hoffman and Owens are painfully ill-informed.....Yes, but they are offering platitudes in a year when people see their nation caving in around them.

Despite all the less than flattering commercials, and misrepresentations, Diedre Scozzafava is a decent person who wants to take a stab at representing her region in Washington.
For her, that doesn't seem to be what many people want.
Ironically, it was Darrel Aubertine who early in the summer realized that a career politician larded with Albany credentials and a long voting record would likely find this race a bridge too far. Senator Aubertine made a wise move. He gets to spend the fall kicking back and getting ready for hunting season.

The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

While the Air War Rages, The Ground Battle Begins

Look for lots of campaign operatives to flood the 23rd CD this week as the three candidates make their last push.
Democrat Bill Owens, who has the most to spend, has been using paid workers, while Republican Diedre Scozzafava and Conserviative Doug Hoffman are depending on volunteers. Owens also has the services of the Working Families Party and Service Employees International Union, both of which have significant ground forces.
For Hoffman, this has been a labor of love for so called Tea Party activists anxious to make their disdain for Washington shown somewhere.
For Scozzafava, look for staffers from the office of GOP Members of Congress to drop in for the final push. Recruiting local volunteers has been difficult. Local GOP leaders have complained the DeDe campaign has not kept them in the loop and the schism in the GOP has likely eroded the volunteer base.
Phone banks, literature drops and a last minute sign push will be part of the effort to get out the vote.
We presume the Democrats will have the best effort to recruit absentee voters as they did in the recent NY20 race. That means, if say, Scozzafava was leading by 1000 votes on election night, you could look for absentees to swing it to Owens.
The Hoffman vote has been surging in private polls, but the resistance to him is growing as the major parties and entrenched media institutions try to slow the movement.
As the campaign shifts to the ground game, public interest will likely center on the one public poll published throughout the race, the one from Sienna College. Whether accurate for not, it's the only one that has been quoted and where it shows Hoffman in this weeks final survey will be important for momentum going into November 3.

O-burg Journal Backs DeDe

The first newspaper endorsement we are aware of is no surprise. The Ogdensburg Journal backs Diedre Scozzafava. The Journal is owned by the Johnson family which also owns the Watertown Daily Times. The WDT will endorse Scozzafava within a few days.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why This Race is Still Too Close Too Call

The work week is over and there are a scant ten days left in the off-year Congressional race in NY 23.....Both FOX and MSNBC were chattering about the race today....So are all the political bloggers and geeks coast to coast.
Everyone I talk to here in Watertown is either Hoffman or Scozzafava....Even the Dems who are not allowed to say so....There is a lot of regional loyalty here and DeDe is well liked despite a brutal and crude video assault on our airwaves by the guy from not-quite Vermont.
I think turnout here will be on average higher than anywhere in the sprawling 23rd and for that reason, I don't count Scozzafava out, despite ads and commentary that are in some cases , not all, over the top. A lot of people don't like to see one of their own bludgeoned from sea to shining sea.
Political IV gave straight F's in grading the GOP effort. I won't attempt to grade their effort.
Nonetheless, NNY'ers don't always like outsiders telling them what to do. In the end that likely is DeDe's last best hope.

The Message Behind the Endorsement

Last night's endorsement of Doug Hoffman by Sarah Palin attracted national attention although there was little interest in local media. Indeed the endorsement may or may not help Hoffman.
Yes, she carries a following and can help generate national money and volunteers. But Ms. Palin is also a frequent target of rage and hatred among a chunk of the electorate who may right-off Hoffman because of it. Granted most of those people would not vote for him anyway...
I think on balance it helps him for the aforementioned money and logistical reasons. I also think a read of Palin's post reveals what this GOP schism is all about.
The MSM would have you believe its all about abortion or gay marriage. Yet Ms.Palin mentioned neither. It was about spending and the bloat of government. Taxes, regulation, deficits, generational theft........The traditional conservative issues that drive the so-called Tea Party movement, formerly known as the Reform Party movement of Ross Perot.
The Palin announcement didn't criticise or slam the Republican candidate. It merely said the GOP candidate blurs the distinction between the parties.
That's important.
Some would have you believe a two-party system requires two versions of the Democratic party and disagreement is racism, extremism, or downright craziness.
DeDe Scozzafava is caught in the vortex of a national movement.....a fervent "I'm mad as Hell" sentiment at the prospect of higher taxes and a sense all we work for is for naught in the new egalitarian world of Barack.
People who like Mr. Hoffman are part of the popular rage...For the most part they will never acquiesce to the least not now..not this year.
That's the mood Sarah Palin caught in her endorsement post......The conventional Republican candidate who ignores the movement does so at their peril.

Liz Gets the Scoop on Cash....Dems Pray GOP Schism Continues

Democrat Bill Owens leads in raising money for his march to Congress..... Republican Diedre Scozzafava is trailing. Meanwhile the DCCC was desperately hoping GOP old guard support for Scozzafava stays with her and doesn't bolt like some national figures. Dems are said to be confident they can beat her but are fearful a meltdown by the Republican candidate could allow Hoffman to win.
Scozzafava her self remains confident. Brisk turnout in her home turf area combined with skittishness over other candidates from so far away, could carry her to a win. Remember, this district was not anchored in Plattsburgh all these years for a reason.
Scozzafava's Cash Crunch, Hoffman's Tax Avoidance, Owens' Big Take »

I Guess Anybody Can Run for Congress

Panic time for the local establishment as they are realizing there is a chance....a good chance....they will no longer have a Member of Congress at their beckon call.
The WDT editorial this AM blasted Conservative Doug Hoffman for not knowing enough about specific issues. This resulted from an editorial board meeting yesterday that was tense and confrontational according to WDT's Jude Seymour, who was there.
Sowing the seeds of doubt about Hoffman is essential to moving wobbly GOP voters back into the fold. The Times suppports Republican Diedre Scozzafava, a longtime legislator and familiar commodity in the western end of NY23.
Yesterday, TV 7 reporter Alexandra Field made a big fuss about Mr. Hoffman's plans to ditch a forum in Wanakena in favor of a satellite interview on the popular Glenn Beck show. In this case, the Hoffman campaign, rattled after their blasting at the Times, cancelled Beck to attend an obscure forum in Wanakena the media never even covered.
The day before it was the Scozzafava campaign that went wobbly with the Lowville Police incident and a visually foolish press conference at Hoffman HQ.
Meanwhile Democrat Owens gets a pass. Carefully controlled appearances, no tough questions, little scrutiny and now the chance to go from unknown tax attorney in a remote corner of the state to a Member of Congress....All with a whopping 36% of the vote in this oh-so-special election.
Here's some questions.
-Who will run the Watertown district office ?
-What in your career given you a real affinity for the greater Watertown area ?
- What experience do you have on base closure issues other than dealing with
the aftermath of one in Plattsburgh ?
-Do you favor a public option health care plan ?
-Is the President dithering in formulating policy in Afghanistan where so '
many of our Watertown natives are in harm's way ?
- Do you really believe elected officials "create" jobs, even "green" ones ?
-Is disparity between the US and Canadian dollar good or bad for us ?
- Do you know what "Save the River" is and for what do they advocate ?

There are lots of questions you could ask a man you didn't know existed prior to July of this year. The MSM isn't asking and yesterday's Hoffman/Johnson dust-up at the Times is symptomatic of how vacuous this campaign has been.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Palin Backs Hoffman for Congress

Will NNY Go Rogue ?
Sarah Palin has broken ranks with some in her party by endorsing Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the 23rd CD. In her Facebook post, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate says Hoffman best adheres to what she sees as the often lost ideals of the GOP.
Ms. Palin cites runaway spending as her prime issue of concern and called for support of the nation's armed forces. She also praised Hoffman for not being the candidate of any political machine.
Along with the endorsement comes a contribution from SarahPAC. It is not known if Ms. Palin will appear in person, but she is getting ready for the release of her new book and an appearance on Oprah on November 16.
Palin did not mention Diedre Scozzafava by name but did say the GOP nominee has blurred the differences between the parties.
There was no mention of social issues, as the Hoffman campaign seems to have made a strategic decision not to emphasize signature issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
Sarah Palin: Support Doug Hoffman Facebook

Selling Posies is Not the Same as Getting Elected to Congress, Is It ?

Meanwhile never let it be said the GOP can't critique itself....Political IV gives a florist's perspective to the miscues in the Scozzafava campaign. Hard to win with so much internal festering....but the good news is that few people listen to all this inside baseball.
Political IV

Tail Wags Dog....Team Hoffman Makes a Blunder

Doug Hoffman was booked on the Glenn Beck show today with a live interview via satellite from Syracuse. He cancelled after being bamboozled by the Watertown media to attend a candidate forum in Wanakena...a hamlet at the end of a dirt road somewhere near Star Lake.
The WDT's Jude writes:
The credit for this reversal should go to the media, but WWNY-TV 7 in particular. Mr. Hoffman told us this morning he was skipping the event because Alex Field asked him about it
With all due respect the two person (Owens absent) forum is not the kind of mass exposure to the candidates we need. I doubt the media will even go to Wanakena.
The 700,000 people of the 23rd have been denied time after time the chance to see and hear these three....The Watertown press along with the Scozzafava campaign shamed Hoffman into attending foregoing a chance to reach not just a national audience but a local one. I was waiting to hear what he has to say.
Mr. Hoffman got beat up at the newspaper today and allowed the experience to persuade him to make a bad decision......
For a campaign so far very smooth and efficient, this was the wrong move.

The Trip to the Second Floor

I could see this coming like snow in January....
Doug Hoffman going to meet the publisher of the WDT who had just written an editorial this AM about how vacuous the race is.
According to Jude an icy blast wafted from John Junior's second floor office.
John wanted answers to questions about the Seaway, windmills, NYPA power, etc.
Damn, Glenn Beck wouldnt ask this stuff....
The Times is endorsing Scozzafava....She is a Rockefeller Republican and is local. A known commodity.
I would say that before going to see a publisher....even just for courtesy....a little prep is in order.
Gotta go....Beck is almost on.

National Figures Continue to Offer Their 2 Cents

- Former House Speaker and Republcan national leader Newt Gingrich has restated his support for Diedre Scozzafava for NY-23. Speaker Gingrich says support for Ms. Scozzafava is a means to an end and that is a GOP/conservative majority in the House.
Gingrich has come under criticism from conservatives for supporting Scozzafava, who was referred to by one talker as Arlen Specter in drag. The heated debate on the right over principle vs. practical continues and has left the race a toss up at best with Democrat Bill Owens with a chance to win.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Dick Armey....Hotline Listener for a Day !

During a visit to Watertown today, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey had occasion to listen to the HOTLINE on AM-1240, according to local Conservative Chair Ken Parks.
Its always tough on the road to know where to find the best talk radio and we are pleased Mr. Armey passed on Rush to listen to Us !
Dick Armey Endorses Hoffman

Decisions are Pretty Much Made.....Now What ?

- Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey is in town this morning and after the rally at Hoffman HQ , Armey and Mr. Hoffman will make the trek to the Times to chat up the publisher and his editorial board. The paper is certain to endorse Diedre Scozzafava, but the visit might get some more coverage which is always needed for a third party candidate. So far Hoffman has done well in that regard.
-Doug Hoffman is slated to be on the Glenn Beck show this afternoon at five. The big challenge up here is finding a satellite uplink. I think he is doing it in Syracuse.
-Bill Owens is in Lewis County today and attends a Dem dinner tonight in Watertown.
-Diedre Scozzafava is at TV 7 today, presumably doing commercials. Wonder if she follows my advice on simple look-into-the-camera personal request for your vote commercials.
-The focus shifts from convincing voters.....which is pretty much getting your people to the polls.GOTV or get out the vote, is important.
Our area is the only part of the 23rd with its media market wholly contained in the district. For those counties in Syracuse, Utica, Albany, or Burlington markets, the race is only one story among many.
Here in Watertown it is THE story. Turnout models could be higher here than say in Madison County. That happened in Aubertine-Barclay where the voters with Central NY allegiances voted in lower numbers and the result was the local Jefferson County candidate prospered. Turnout disparity is one factor that could work in Scozzafava's favor.
-The WDT City Editor blogged today that those not supporting DeDe are divided between Democrats and a "cadre of right wingnuts.". And they wonder why we call them the Obama-mania Media.
-Oh...State Senate Republicans used their anti-Aubertine email account to send out another Patty Ritchie piece today. This one touts Patty Plate as leading the fight against what is called Darrel's plan to require the purchase of new license plates on ten-million vehicles in NY. Ms. Ritchie is a likely challenger to Senator Aubertine next year as the GOP tries to take back the body from 32-30 Democratic control.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Will it be GOP.....RIP ?

With reports she is running third, an ugly and damaging dust up with a reporter in Lowville, a presser in front of Hoffman HQ that was visually disastrous, rival Doug Hoffman a darling of national conservatives and a guest on national radio and TV, a Democrat nobody knows but is the designee of a popular president, a shortage of money and a beat up 2004 RV as the symbol of her now long-shot effort at Congress, Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava today had to endure her party's county chairs, in this case Oneida County's George Joseph, starting to gnaw on the anticipated carcass:
“ I wasn’t sold on Dede from the beginning. That race represents 8% of Oneida County. Throughout the nomination process, I would have thought there would have been more sensitivity, in light of what happened with Tedisco in NY 20, who was the annointed front runner. [Republican Tedisco was defeated in a special election for an open Congresssional seat earlier this year]. Just with [Dede] coming out of Albany — any legislator in Albany is so tarnished why would we nominate them ? We acted very tone deaf in how we selected this nominee.”Joseph also took a shot at Clinton County Chairman and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, who threw the nomination to Scozzafava despite the fact that the majority of the Clinton County committee members who attended a candidate forum voted for the ideologically conservative Paul Maroun, and not for the ideologically liberal Scozzafava.

Now to be fair, Scozzafava does have many friends and will draw many Democratic votes in the western end of the district away from Bill Owens.
It's just hard to see how see wins, when GOP insiders are telling yours truly she is done....One called it a "train wreck."
I think anything can happen in this election, but the big MO at the moment is with Doug Hoffman.
I tried to help by catching in the discourse Mr. Owens dubious 2000-job creation claims versus what is now said by his own campaign. Even that was undermined by a Scozzafava commercial that claims she "created" 1000 jobs.
I see this woman at events with no phalanx of GOP faithful and more than one Republican saying, let Owens win and we will get it back next year.
Where's the party of Clint Marsh, or my late uncle Ed Redder ?
Remember when there was a Holy Trinity of Dave Martin, John McHugh and Bob Nortz......
In 12 days the good old days could be gone, with what's left of the GOP looking at a Democratic Holy Trinity of Bill Owens, Darrel Aubertine and Addie Russell.
The times they are a changin'.

What Bill Owens Needs to Explain to Convince Us He is Suited for the Congress

It is fair to say that prior to this summer, virtually no one in Jefferson County knew a man named Bill Owens. Now he is on the verge of being our Member of Congress, responsible for protecting Fort Drum and providing constituent liason.
For all but Democratic insiders our first impression of Mr. Owens was in a television commercial. A man standing on the runway in Plattsburgh and telling us about how he created 2,000 jobs. In fact his whole campaign has been about how is how he will create employment. That's a common promise among politicians who believe government creates jobs.
What bothers me is the press release from Mr Owens issued yesterday on the occasion of Mr. Owens meeting President Obama.
In the recap section of the release, I read the following:

When the base was closed he helped create the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation to ensure the land was used to create jobs, and currently there are more than 500 jobs based there as a result of his leadership.

There never were 2,000 jobs and he now claims his leadership with a public authority resulted in 500 jobs.
This means his calling card earlier this year was not true.
When a man you don't know tries to introduce himself as something he is not, that's a problem.
For those who only want a Democrat in the post to bolster that party's control of Washington, such a misrepresentation is of little consequence.
For those concerned about integrity in office, there is some explaining in order.

Scozzafava Assails Phantom "Opponents"

Early word from the Scozzafava presser this AM (from Newzjunky) is that the candidate assailed the unwillingness of her two opponents to appear at joint forums and debates.
Bill Owens and Doug Hoffman have steered clear of public appearances, and are unlikely to do anything different in the coming 12 days.
As for Owens, why should he ? His dairy cow commercial is running...people like the imagery and he has the endorsement of a popular President.
Owens will only do the faux debate behind closed doors next week at WSYR-TV in Syracuse.
As for Hoffman, his public speaking skills are not well known, although GOP insiders routinely deride him as having finished tenth in a field of nine candidates competing for the Republican nomination.
Surely, he is not that bad, but he has not done very much on camera or microphone.
If Scozzafava is attempting to appeal to people's sense of fair play, there may be something to that approach. However, the public may be pretty much locked in on their choices, so the plan is to motivate her base and get out the vote in the western counties of the 23rd.
Conventional wisdom says this race is a win for Owens, but beyond his commercials and trips to Manhattan, he is still a cipher to many voters who have come to know DeDe for years.
As for Hoffman, he has the idealogical heart of many Republicans who have to decide if he can win.
I'd say it's still advantage Owens, but definately too close to call for sure.

POSTSCRIPT-Last Friday , Ms. Scozzafava asked me for an appearance on the HOTLINE and the Hoffman camp told me their candidate would appear. So far no bookings. They ask me. I didn't ask them.
Also I just saw a news Dem attack ad on DeDe....Scary Halloween music in background.

Aubertine Lauded for Proposed Deal to Help Hospice

Who would have thought the establishment types who so long opposed Senator Darrel Aubertine's ascendancy are now praising his help for Hospice as "remarkable piece of work."
Such is the case in this Watertown Daily Times story on a tentative $3 million dollar funding deal to help Hospice of Jefferson County build a facility on Gotham Street in the City of Watertown. Obviously this is a needed and valued proposal to help families during the most difficult of times.
Despite talk to the contrary, Senator Aubertine is now well established in the Senate seat and despite the difficulties his party has in Albany, Aubertine seems likely to continue to be a political phenomenon who can survive and prosper despite outside influences.
Watertown Daily Times Hospice to receive funding for center

Morning Presser to Be Held

The Scozzafava Congressional campaign has called an 8:30 news conference in front of the Watertown campaign headquarters of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. A second presser is slated for this afternoon at a diner in Oneida.
The campaign has become increasingly challenging for Ms. Scozzafava with heavy and pointed advertising launched against her not just by her opponents but also by conservative political action committees like Club for Growth and Phyllis Schlafly.
The presence of two GOP candidates in the race has given a slight edge to Democrat Bill Owens, who was in New York City yesterday raising money with the help of President Obama.
The GOP conundrum was Ms Scozzafava's views on some issues were a bridge too far for conservatives to embrace.
While much has been said of abortion and gay marriage, the real difficult issue among mainstream Republicans was her support for card check, a measure supported by Big Labor.
An ugly incident Tuesday night in Lowville between Scozzafava's campaign and a reporter from the Weekly Standard resulted in bad press nationally and increasing uneasiness among GOP regulars.
Conservative Doug Hoffman has become more bold and some in media have suggested internal polling shows Scozzafava slipping to third place.
On the other hand the Scozzafava effort has found its sea legs on the airwaves with new commercials on the air and an increasing public awareness that it is her opponents who have been ducking public appearances with only one closed door debate slated for the final days of the campaign.
What's next ? Hard to say, but it sounds like candidate Scozzafava will put her self out front and take charge of the message at a time when her opponents , especially Mr. Owens, are not visible.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poll: Giuliani would beat Paterson, Gillibrand

This is interesting.........Not the Paterson numbers...we know where he is.....But Gillibrand. She was selected as an upstate alternative with moderate to conservative views on some issues. She promptly was beat up by the left and forced to kow-tow to the NYC crowd. In the process she lost here upstate chops. Now Kirsten Gillibrand faces a tough fight.
Poll: Giuliani would beat Paterson, Gillibrand

Finally ....A Reason to Watch Oprah !

OK... Enough of this Congressional race.......Palin on Oprah. Enough said.....
TV - Newsday - Entertainment News, TV Show Reviews, & Celebrities

McHugh's War Chest Will Stay Put | The New York Observer

John's war chest is chump change by today's standards....Since he will never run again, I wonder where it goes ?......Is is just used up paying someone to file reports ?....What happens to deceased politicians war chests ? Too bad he couldn't give it to the Thompson Park Zoo or Hospice.
McHugh's War Chest Will Stay Put The New York Observer

Owens Breaks News in His Own Press Release...I Noticed It

Congratulations to Bill Owens on having the President host a reception for him. Politics aside, it is a great honor.
The attached press release has some breaking news in it.....The 2000 jobs have become 500......Did 1500 people lose their jobs or was the claim specious to begin with.
There is nothing wrong with saying that you have built a successful law practice that employes X number of people. That is an accomplishment. Most folks I know would be thrilled if their children had such a career. The false and hyperbolic claims in campaigns sometimes mask a persons real value.
Bill Owens Statement on Event with President Obama

The Fix - NY-23: Can Doug Hoffman Win?

The Washington Post is now reporting that internal polling from both parties shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in second place in the race to succeed John McHugh in NY-23. Public polling has been limited with the week old Sienna Poll placing Hoffman in third place..
The Fix - NY-23: Can Doug Hoffman Win?

Time to Fire the Messenger and Take Charge of Your Destiny

OUCH ! I watched the Neil Cavuto segment on the Scozzafava-Weekly Standard dust-up in Lowville. Pretty bad when Fox News is calling the Republican candidate's campaign "weird." Had some customers from Lewis County watching at the time....Much shaking of heads...
At a time like this, after more than one miscue, but still time to pull out a win, I would do what Steinbrenner would....Fire Billy Martin.
I don't wish unemployment on anyone, but there are only two weeks left.
Can the spokesman, and announce from this day forward only one person speaks for the campaign....the candidate.
Time to take charge, if you want to win.
On a more positive note....US Senator Susan Collins of Maine is campaigning with Scozzafava on Saturday in St. Lawrence County.

Hoffman Offers Owens Some Advice

Hoffman goes after ACORN.....Always a popular target of the right.....And as the nominee of the Working Families Party, Bill Owens does have an ACORN tie. If I were questioning the WFP tie I would go after that party's authorship of the farm labor bill. Nice counterpoint to those got milk ads. For some reason the bill in question has been off limits, but I know its unpopular in AG circles.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

The Weekly Standard

Bill Kristol's response to the Scozzafava campaign.
UPDATE- Fox's Neil Cavuto does segment with the Weekly Standard reporter........
The Weekly Standard

Take That Bill Kristol !

Now DeDe's Campaign spokesperson is mixing it up with Bill Kristol.....Yes the Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Fox News Sunday. This isn't the kind of story you want to tempt fate on......If the local media decides to cover it, its the kind of water cooler story people yak about. And it could become one of those ugly turning points in a close race. Like when Al D'Amato called Chuck Schumer a "putz" or when Rick Lazio shoved that paper in Hillary's face. There is also a credibility issue here since somebody is shading the truth.
Bill Owens must be smiling today, standing next to the President while reading about this incident. When you are campaigning in Manhattan for a seat in the North Country, you don't have to worry about running into the press. We will see if the media gets feisty Thursday in Watertown when Mr. Owens attends a party dinner at the North Side League.
By the way, when was the last time the Weekly Standard had a reporter in Lowville ?
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Calling the Cops on the Press Sparks Furor on the Right

It's getting hotter on the right as some of the icons of national conservatism rally behind Doug Hoffman's insurgent campaign for Congress. Mr. Hoffman is on Laura Ingraham's radio show today. The NY 23 race has been featured twice on Cavuto. Dick Armey is coming from Texas. And Michell Malkin latched on to today's call-the-cops-on-the-press story in Lowville to lambaste Diedre Scozzafava.
Meanwhile her Democratic opponent, Bill Owens, is on Mount Olympus today standing beside President Barack Obama in Manhattan while NYC's wealthy hand checks to a candidate they have never heard of. This is a great country.
Hoffman is opening another HQ, this one in Canastota......Where is that ? Oh, yeah its in the part of the North Country District that's not in the North Country.
DeDe is meeting today with the publisher of the Watertown Daily Times. They are already endorsing her, so I am sure there will be no 911 calls.
For a while I thought this race boring, but thanks to the national press and the Internet, its getting interesting to watch.
Michelle Malkin » Radical leftist Dede Scozzafava can’t stand the heat

Tuesday Morning

- Funny how many people have asked me of late if I have driven on the new road running from Wal-Mart on Arsenal Street to out Coffeen Street. No I haven't. It would be hypocritical because I had dubbed county route 202, a road to no where. But some friends of mine in Brownville says he can now get to Wal-Mart quicker than I can get there from Pearl Street. That is a laudable goal achieved by our friends at the County Legislature.

-That fellow who got beat up in Potsdam. Things like that are always disturbing because it appears linked to his appearance or lifestyle. The gentleman is wall-to-wall tattoos and while I am no fan of such body art, youths jumping a guy because of how he looks is not a good thing.

-The Weekly Standard says its reporter had the police called on him in Lowville last night. Seems the scribe was covering a GOP dinner and claims he was quizzing Diedre Scozzafava on card check when confronted by campaign staffers and moments later a cop showed up.

-Bill Owens is in town this week for the first time since he was designated the nominee over the summer. What he has to say is important. The Owens campaign has been light on substance and heavy on hoping the GOP feud achieves critical mass. Will anyone pin him down on his dubious job creation claims or whether he has any affinity for the western half of the district ?

I think he gets a pass. Really its simple..If you want another Dem in Congress, you vote for him....If you don't, you don't vote for him. Oh, by the way. Out on-line poll shows nearly three of four of you think the candidates are ducking.

-City Council last night spent quite a while discussing ornamental streetlights that National Grid is replacing at too slow a pace for their liking. I stayed out because I have never had one of the green poles on my street.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Club for Growth Drops $300K on Hoffman

The hope in the GOP, or what's left of it, is that Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman will wither on the vine and Dierdre Scozzafava will edge out Bill Owens for the NY-23 Seat.
Trouble for DeDe is Hoffman is not going away and has gained support from former House majority leader Dick Armey and a $300K TV Ad buy from the Club for Growth.
So while Scozzafava's campaign is showing more focus and is on air, her best hope is that the candidacy of Owens has peaked.
It's a strange race. Every day I talk to prominent Dems who are backing many Republicans as well. But there are lots of Republicans who have bolted. Its tough to know who is voting for whom. From talking to folks I have noticed some questioning of Mr. Owens, particularly over his lack of presence. Today and tomorrow he is in NYC shaking the money tree. He is slated for a dinner in Watertown later this week.
The lineup for debates and forums is hard to pin down, but Owens doesn't have much presence there either.
Bill Owens is still the favorite to win based on the GOP split and his clear money advantage. But a lot can happen in two weeks and I call the race a toss-up with the three candidates bunched within five or six points.
The Club For Growth -

Got Milk ? Better Get a Lawyer

You'd think a lawyer would be more sensitive to the issue of trademark infringement. Oh wait, he's not responsible for what's in this ad.
Congressional Candidate In Hot Water Over "Got Milk?" Usage WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Creationism Touted by Major Party Hopefuls

Got your attention with the headline all you secular humanists.
This is not about God creating Heaven and Earth or the Lord Jesus turning water in wine.
The creationism in NY-23 is the odd notion that political candidates "created" jobs.
Bill Owens claims to have created 2000 jobs...DeDe's lastest ad says she created 1,000.
If you accept the theory that jobs are created through innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and the risk of capital, our political creationists are charlatans.
Mr. Owens is a successful attorney and as such is a businessman. His law office employs other lawyers and staffers. His stewardship may have made for a successful firm and he can in my mind take credit for creating the jobs in his company. Since I doubt 2,000 people work there, Mr. Owens did not create or even help create those jobs.
As for Ms. Scozzafava's thousand jobs, I haven't heard the backup for the claim.
As president of the Watertown Local Development Corporation (Watertown Trust), I am involved in the loaning of money (not mine) to local companies who in many cases do hire people. Let's says in a year all the companies in the portfolio hire 50 people and retain 500 others.
Would it be honest to run for reelection on the mantra that I created 50 jobs and saved 500 jobs ? Let me help with the answer. NO.
These specious claims of job creation by Presidents, Governors , Mayors and now lawyers are the worst kind of political hucksterism.

Big Bucks for TV....Radio Gets Acorns

Little bit of good news for local radio stations as the Service Employees International Union drops $100K for a radio buy for their candidate for Congress, Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburgh. The ads are to be in rotation this week. SEIU is closely allied to the Working Families Party and the community organizing group known as ACORN.
NY-23: 1199 $100k ad buy for Owens - Capitol Confidential - New York Politics - - Albany NY###

Is Fort Drum on the Tip of the Surge ?

Has President Obama already decided to ramp up US presence in Afghanistan? There is a lot of debate in DC about Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for an additional 40,000 troops in the war the President has said is the "right war." Since a surge doesn't happen overnight in a military stretched thin already, the President would have to start rearranging existing forces and the cancellation of a tour in Iraq for 3500 10th Mountain Division Troops may be a sign that the President is positioning for a surge.
So while on the surface, seeing our local troops getting a break from incessant deployments is great , it is likely they will end up elsewhere and not here at home.
The President is getting a lot of resistance to a surge and American's are split in the Afghan expedition, but there is also pressure not to cut and run and troops from the 10th already there may get more from Fort Drum joining them.
Wouldn't it be nice though if the most deployed division could get a break from the grueling cycle?
Pentagon cancels deployment of 3,500 U.S. troops to Iraq -

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sham Debates, as Best I Can Tell

Much is being made about whether Doug Hoffman will particpate in the October 29 debate at the studios of WSYR TV in Syracuse. Why should he bother ?
My understanding is the "debate" is far from Lincoln-Douglas. It is a closed session according to media I have talked to.....As in no media allowed in and the session will be taped to be played days later.....Two days before the election. If its something other than that, please correct me.
This is a serious sham in which a media outlet anxious for prestige was sucked in by the Democratic candidate who wants to participate in a free-wheeling session. This is a way to say you debated without really doing so.
First, the session should be live....its news at the moment it ocurrs. Reporters should be there to on what happens....
It should not be some kind of copyrighted, proprietary studio session.
I have been in various races and all the debates were open to all and live to anyone wanting to see it now. In the 2000 US Senate race, the debates I was not allowed to take part in were at least live and I got to be on the sidewalk outside studios in Buffalo and Manhattan.
The media is sitting by while this faux debate is being shopped as legitimate.
It is not. I will say it here, even if the media mandarins will not.

TV Death Panels, U Betcha !

Well, I guess you can get a TV fixed, but its not worth it. I went to Best Buy where I had bought the set and the Geek in Charge told me the replacement of a circuit board would approach the cost of a new I bought one.....I am an easy mark.
I have to have two TV's set tuned to MSNBC to allow me to claim to be a fair and balanced person.....The other one is on FOX unless there is a sporting event.
So I said go ahead and toss the set in the trash as I didn't want to take it home. Geek told me I could for just $10 have the set recycled and I would get a $10 gift certificate good for a future purchase.....
I ask, what happens if I don't pay you $10 to recycle it. He said they toss it in the trash, which is what I would have done. Why do I think the recycling pitch is a way to net ten bucks off the good intentions of a society berated by Al Gore ?
Its obvious either way they throw it in the trash.
So the new TV is in place, just in time for DeDe's new spots.
I long for the days when you take your tubes down to Kinney's and put 'em on the tester. Or if it was real serious you call the repairman who like the doctor of his day came to your home.
Today, health care is rationed.....even for televisions.

Sunday Morning-Quiet Day Ahead

-Does anyone fix anything anymore ?. I have a flat screen Westinghouse TV less than two years old and the screen has been going black and now its that way all the time.
Not too many years ago, I could take it to the TV shop around the corner and get it fixed. Now I don't know if its worth it, even if there is a place to take it.
I know electronics are disposable and somewhere there are piles of printers, CPU's, monitors, VCRs, etc.
Probably just have to throw it in the dumpster and get a new one.
-Just saw a new Scozzafava commercial on FOX. Good looking commercial and if there are enough of them, the momentum to Owens and Hoffman could be reversed. At this point, its the get out the vote effort that means a lot.
-The pending cuts in state aid to some cities, including Watertown, underscores the wisdom in cutting spending throughout the fiscal year by deferring purchases and leaving positions vacant. However, this is a bit of kicking the can down the road. What's worse are the kneejerk statements by some that every dollar less from Albany necessarily has to translate to higher property taxes. This is particularly true in school districts and counties where spending continues unabated.
-The good news for us is our unemployment rate continues to run two points below the national average. Remember in the 80s when NNY jobless rates were always above state and national averages ?
-For the first time in my memory there was not one candidate forum for City Council candidates or any other office. I have read and heard little. The media senses this and that's probably why they don't cover such things much. The perception among media managers is that this kind of news doesn't sell the product.....Too bad....