Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mayor Stuff on a Saturday

Had a great time today at a couple of events that are typical of what a mayor does on a Saturday.
This morning, I joined former Mayor Walker, Councilman Butler, City TreeMeister Mike Lumbis and other volunteers in planting some trees at North Elementary School. These folks do this several times a year and its one of those unmentioned things that good people do.
Later I attended a 100th birthday party at Centennial Apartments.
Caroline of our Fire Chief Milt Sayre rolled the odometer this month and her neighbors threw quite a party.
Caroline enjoyed the day and has a sharp sense of humor.
When I presented her a First Citizen Award I commented to the crowd that I hope I look that good when I am 100.
Caroline quickly chimed in, "you have to look good to begin with."
They do a nice job at Centennial and it looks like Caroline will be helping celebrate her neighbors birthdays for some time to come.
Happy Birthday Caroline !
Later tonight I plan to attend calling hours for David Lane in Dexter. That story is so sad and I am sure the lines will be long today and tomorrow.
Today the General Brown Lions won the Class C football championship in a game dedicated to the memory of Trooper Lane, who died Wednesday in a traffic mishap.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Coon Rips Scozzafava in Politico Piece on Coming Recriminations

Local and state GOP leaders are blasting their party's Congressional candidate who in the end threw the race to the Democrat after realizing she was likely to finish a distant third. Jefferson Chair Don Coon says he had held his nose when campaigning for her and state chair Ed Cox says Scozzafava listened to her labor boss husband instead of friends in the party. This Politico piece tells the tale that will likely lead to sanctions on Monday.
GOP mulls stripping Dede of top post - Andy Barr -

Governor David A. Paterson in remembrance of Trooper David Lane - WIVT/WBGH Newschannel34

Funeral services will be Monday for NYS Trooper David Lane, son of Jefferson County Clerk-elect Cheryl Lane. Flags at state buildings will be at half staff Monday for Trooper Lane who was killed Wednesday in a motor vehicle accident on duty near Middletown. Governor David Paterson issued a statement on the loss and ordered the flags lowered. The funeral will be in Dexter.
Governor David A. Paterson in remembrance of Trooper David Lane - WIVT/WBGH Newschannel34

Congressman Owens Addresses House Floor Following Swearing-In

Here is the text of remarks offered by our new Member of Congress following his swearing in today in Washington.
Congressman Owens Addresses House Floor Following Swearing-In

Big Day for Bill Owens

North Country Congressman Bill Owens has an exciting day what with meeting the President and the Speaker as he is sworn in as the successor to John McHugh. Mr. Owens will get to take action right away as the House Democratic version of the health care reform law is expected to be voted on over the weekend.
Mr. Owens is expected to be a dependable vote for Speaker Pelosi on this one as she struggles to get the 218 votes needed for passage. Democrats have 258 members but an estimated 52 of them are called Blue Dog Democrats, more moderate members from marginal districts. Some of them are expected to vote no.
Rep. Owens was elected with a push from labor in particular the SEIU and unions allied with the husband of Owens' former opponent, Diedre Scozzafava.
Its a tough first vote, but most believe Mr. Owens will support the measure, as he said as much on the campaign trail.
Mr. Owens made a brief stop in Watertown yesterday to thank supporters before he headed off to the nation's capital.
A big day for Bill Owens: President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to meet new congressman | News from The Post-Standard -

Mr. Peepers for NY23

If there was a movie about Doug Hoffman, could the title role be played by the late Wally Cox, aka Mr.Peepers.....
Dailymotion - Mister Peepers #1 Wally Cox - a College video

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Three GOP Names in Hopper for NY23 Swan Song Election

Political IV has put out the first draft of who is running for what in 2010....

For the remaining two years of the current 23rd district, IV lists Franklin County Legislator Paul Maroun and Jefferson County businessman Matt Doheny.
Mr. Maroun, I am told is a well spoken attorney with experience working for Senator Betty Little. But I hear he is in his 60s and while for many 60 is the new 40, its not a look to the future to elect someone that age and why would anyone want to take on freshman status at that age.
Matt Doheny is a quarter century younger and is a self made man which means another round of class warfare commercials. He is well read and is informed on the issues and an expert in finance. He has access to large amounts of money and understands how a Congressional campaign works. He has never held office and like Mr.Owens this year, has no record to ridicule.
Someone like Mr. Maroun has the advantage of years of community involvement and respectability. Mr. Doheny has been trying to establish himself since moving back to the area. He is an Alex Bay native, who owns a house on Paddock Street in Watertown.
While IV doesn't mention him, I don't think Doug Hoffman is out of the running. He needs a house in the district and some pizzaz lessons...but he did accomplish a lot this year till he was outfoxed in the final week of the campaign by the old master, June O'Neill.
Tacky as it may seem to start running so soon after this raucus election, it is essential to announce soon and line up supporters, money, and Mike Long.
Congressman Owens will build relationships soon because people want those kind of relationships. He will have pork to distribute and will continue in campaign mode into 2010. He will be tough to beat.

DeDe Becomes a Metaphor in Pink

Looks like Diedre Scozzafava will be a household name for 2010, anytime a conservative challenges a liberal Republican. As Liz reports the Democrats gleefully are referring to anyone taking fire from the right as being "Scozzafava'ed" So the lady known for her ubiquitous pink suit will now be a symbol of the evil that conservatism is to some.
The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

MacKay to DeDe: Come Follow Me.

- The WDT reports that NYS Indy Chair Frank MacKay has invited estranged Republican Diedre Scozzafava to re-register as a member of the Independence Party.
Frank seldom misses a public relations opportunity and if she did this it would mean a second IP registered Member oh the Assembly.
For Scozzafava, it puts her out of range for expected GOP retribution and allows her to recreate herself as one who cannot walk in lockstep with either party and is willing to chart her own course. She also could create a mini-power base in St. Lawrence County where there is no IP organization.
I am sure DeDe would be a star in the party and would be able to influence Indy nominations for multi-county races in the North Country.
As for the other minor parties...I don't think Mike Long would be very welcoming, but there is always the ACORN based Working Families Party...

Owens Savors Win, Will Head To Washington - News Story - WPTZ Plattsburgh

The North Country's new Congressman is anxious to get going in his new job, according to Plattsburgh media.

Owens Savors Win, Will Head To Washington - News Story - WPTZ Plattsburgh

Former opponent's last-minute endorsement was key to Bill Owens' victory | News from The Post-Standard -

Late breaking voters in the election Tuesday certainly seemed to break in favor of Democrat Bill Owens, according to pollsters at Siena College.
The endorsement was part of it, but so was a well orchestrated series of news stories suggesting not so subtly that Conseravtive candidate Doug Hoffman was not conversant on issues and that his election would threaten the area's economic mainstay, Fort Drum.
A shift in television ads by Democrats began trashing Hoffman and depicting him in slow motion videos as funny looking...actually kind of weird. A veteran newspaperman even referred to his "bug eyes" and talked about a leg twitch that he found unsettling.
There may have been a little blow back by Scozzafava supporters over her treatment in some of the national right wing media.
Hoffman, the quintissential non-candidate, was a less than impressive public speaker attempting to land a job at a deliberative body. His performance in the one television debate was lacking compared to Scozzafava and so those supporting her were unlikely to flow to Hoffman. Last minute ground game effots by unions also made a differnce, it would seem. The Dems also used extensive "field canvassing" from the beginning which involves identifying voter loyalties and following up with personal visits.
Juxtapose this to Mr. Owens, who ran a tightly scripted campaign, and let's face it, physically looked like a Congressman.
For those ten percent of voters not idealogically tied to one side or another, Bill Owens seemed a safer, more reasonable choice. So they voted for him.
Doug Hoffman had a heck of a surge underway, but couldn't close the deal.
And one-time front runner Scozzafava can kick back in Gouverneur and say while her campaign was an abject failure, she did influence the end result.

Former opponent's last-minute endorsement was key to Bill Owens' victory | News from The Post-Standard -

Setting Up Begins as a New Staff Will Be Providing Consituent Services

Representative-elect Bill Owens made his first hire....a chief of staff.
Now he must staff offices throughout the district and he has promised to keep an office in Watertown. There will be some interuption in constituent services, as offices like the one in Watertown are now vacant and the files are gone. I am sure the offices will be up to speed quickly as Congressional changeovers happen all the time.
Don't look for the office to remain in the Key Bank building, as it is owned by local GOP chair Don Coon.....
As for who staffs the office, there is no doubt a long list of Democratic operatives and others looking for an appointment from the new Congressman.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sarah Palin: NY 23 Isn't Over

Why wouldn't I check Sarah Palin's view of the NY23 results ? Palin says the race is not over and that the fight continues in 2010. I think it will be difficult for anyone to mobilize against the new Congressman. We will see.
Sarah Palin: A Victory for Common Sense and Fiscal Sanity | Facebook

Son of Clerk-Elect Killed in Auto Wreck

This story is so tragic on many levels. The son of the woman elected Jefferson County Clerk was killed in a motor vehicle accident near Middletown. David Lane was on duty as a state trooper when the accident occured. He was 29 years old.
Yesterday, Cheryl Lane was elected Jefferson County Clerk. Ms. Lane and her husband live in Dexter.
I had the pleasure of meeting the Lanes as a result of the election. Words cannot express the sympathy we all feel for this them following this tragedy.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

More Postscript on Yesterday

When you think about it, this election was seriously weird by any standard of politics.
In the end, voters had to choose between Unknown A or Unknown B , after the known candidate careened off Route 3 into a very deep ravine.
In the case of one unknown, he was a major party nominee who looked the part and ran a textbook campaign based on adherence to talking points like jobs and health care. If you like Obama policies and many do, then you like this man. A safe choice based on the optics.
The other unknown did not look the part and was painfully unaware of some key issues. The first unknown was as well, but had the sense to avoid things like editorial board meetings at papers enraged over what you were doing to the candidate who is in the ravine.
The second unknown did tap into a rage over spending and taxes and an America not as it used to be. That allowed the marketers of the first unknown to label the second an extremist.
The second unknown actually seemed a rather meek, and accountant-like typical Bob Taft style Republican. But this isn't 1950 and people want more out of government than just the national defense and a few national parks.
The surge of "Taft" was interesting and the campaign was on balance well run, but the candidate was learning along the way, and a bit of a risk, especially since you had to vote for him on a line on the ballot you have never been to before, the Conservative line.
A Republican candidate was toppled and the replacement did well, but in the end the old bromides of politics held firm.
It is a two party system; ground games matter; and when faced with the unknown, voters scamper to the center, or what they perceive as the center.
Also, Republicans need to remember the North Country is a place that depends on big government for its sustinence. It makes no sense for many to vote for a man who laments the growth of government.
There is a lot of bluster about who will compete for the GOP nod next year when there is a primary to lend legitimacy to the process.
I suspect it won't matter. By then, Rep. Owens will have established personal relationships he didn't have this year. He will be embraced by local leaders because he is the Congressman and he will get a pass because he is new.
National trends aside, it is hard to imagine a competitive race next year. And after that it's redistricting in 2012 and we can get ready to meet Rep. Maffei or Rep. Arcuri.
In all, a good nuts and bolts effort by both sides, and a terrible performance by GOP chairs in setting up the scenario that created this fascinating political theater.
Time to move on.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bill Owens Defeats Doug Hoffman in Wild Race in NY23

Plattsburgh attorney William Owens will represent NNY in Congress after winning a special election today over Lake Placid businessman and Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman. The victory by some four thousand votes was aided in large part by Mr. Owens strong showings in Jefferson and St.Lawrence Counties.
It appears the effort to drive down Hoffman numbers in Greater Watertown and the withdrawal of DeDe Scozzafava and her enthusiastic backing of Owens made a big difference. Credit veteran political operative June O'Neill for brokering the deal that brought Scozzafava's core vote to Owens. Another factor is once Scozzafava bailed, it would take upper 40s to win and getting a third party candidate to that level is not easy.
A third factor, to some Scozzafava became the victim and Hoffman was the bad guy.
For Watertown, an awakening as for years we have had our own Congressman who grew up on South Hamilton Street and worked in City Hall. With John McHugh gone, it now appears a man few know will represent us, and the Democrats gain another vote in the House of Representitive.
Also,it must be said, the Republican party in New York is as close to death as you can get holding only two of 29 Congressional seats and all statewide offices held by Democrats, who also hold both houses of the Legislature.
After redistricting, it could be a 50 year lock for the Dems.
As for Doug Hoffman, his rise this year was impressive and his campaign generally flawless.
They were outfoxed at the end with what turned out to be a successful gambit between Scozzafava and the Democratic party.
As for Mr. Owens...he stayed on message and didn't make mistakes.
I congratulate Mr. Owens on his impressive win and wish him the best in this new duties. I am sure the residents of the district will join me in offering whatever help is needed to our new Congressman as he seeks to learn more about the many people who now depend on him for representation.

Press Folks Say Owens Appears to Have Race in Hand, But Too Close to Officially Call

The press room folks including Liz are saying their numbers point to an Owens victory....but no media organization has made an official call.
It appears the withdrawal of Diedre Scozzafava had the intended result in freeeing up liberal and labor voters who were largely herded to Mr. Owens.
Hoffman margins in the suburban Syracuse counties does not seem as large as he had hoped.
In the end, when it became a two way race, it was tough to get to the upper 40's on a third party line.
Hoffman came along way from being an unknown last spring....but in the end, the traditional political machines seemed to have prevailed.
All of this sets the stage for 2010.

Latest Stuff

In local results...Bob Ferris leads by 18 over Paul Simmong on County LD #11...All districts in.
Gino Zando reelected in LD 6
St. Croix wins another term.
Smith and Macaluso on Council.

Congressional numbers continue to favor Owens as we await returns from key counties.

Still Too Close to Call...But Owens Is Strong.

Big bulge for Owens in St. Lawrence County...Race looks like it favors Owens by a narrow margin, but without knowledge of Oswego County, I am hesitant to speculate further.....Owens continues to lead in Jefferson Franklin and Clinton Counties.

Early Returns Favor Owens...But Still Too Close to Call

Looks like Smith and Macaluso the apparent winners for City Council...Lane for Clerk...Martusewicz for Judge and Jim St. Croix relected in district 15.
Bill Owens appears to be running stronger than expected and while the race is too close to call, the county numbers are troublesome for the Hoffman campaign.....A bare margin in Madison County for Hoffman is not good news...But there are still are no available numbers from Oswego County and only a few votes in in Lewis.
The strong Owens showing in Jefferson is a problem, for Team by their own admission Jefferson was the bellweather.

The Early Early Read

Early returns show encouraging signs for Democrat Bill Owens as he leads in Jefferson County with partial returns in. He is holding his needed 60% in Clinton....Ahead slightly in Franklin. Way too early to tell.
Looks good for Macaluso and Smith in early council returns and Cheryl Lane wins County Clerk over Gertude Karris. Judge Kim Marusewicz reelected to another ten year term.

Returns Mixed Bag for Both

Early numbers show Bill Owens leading in the eastern counties of Franklin and Clinton......Hoffman leads in Jefferson but early returns have Owens strong......Madison shows Hoffman.
Looks like it will take a while.

Guessing Begins

I heard MSNBCis talking about the Palin sticker on my car....They must be cruising the lot.
Experts say Owens needs 60+% in St.Lawrence , Franklin and Clinton counties to have a chance at offsetting an expected Hoffman bulge in the western and southern counties.
I guess the campaigns were right...the end game was Watertown and that will tell the tale

Getting Ready for the Big Show as the Race Ends in Minutes

The crowd is building at Hotel Saranac in what is a perfect North Country setting for such an event. The historic building is in beautiful shape and the woodwork in the ballroom is exquisite. Worth a visit when not so much going on.
Rob Krone from TV 7 is here with Alex.
Lots of laptops...Lucky they have good system here to handle the volume of traffic. Not a lot happening, but I suspect things will move quickly about 9:30.
Look for a brisk turnout in the western counties and if Hoffman takes a good lead in Jefferson that's likely a sign its over. If Jefferson is close....A long night.
Owens will likely take the eastern counties and Hoffman those near Syracuse.
Jefferson and Oswego have been labled the bellweather counties.

In Saranac Lake...Ready for some Excitement

I am here at the beautiful and historic Hotel Saranac awaiting the results of the election.
Like a kid meeting Jeter for the first time at Yankee Stadium, I just met Liz Benjamin of the Daily News. She is very friendly.
I went upstairs to the Ball Room here there is a stage and press facilities. At least 4 satellite trucks outside..FOX and CNN plus Watertown and Plattsburgh media.
Weather is about 36 degrees with a flurry or two.
I think JR found the bar.
Haven't seen too many people from our area, but I expect the Dunks from Adams Center.
Will keep you posted.

Liz Takes a Look at the Rise of Doug Hoffman From Footnote to Frontrunner

The most improbable of candidates....short of Watertown's Bart Bonner is Doug Hoffman. Yet his anti-DC rage propelled him to toppling the annointed GOP candidate and he stands poised to win the 23rd Congressional District as the nominee of the tiny Conservative Party. Ace political reporter Liz Benjamin takes a look at the meek and mild mannered phenom from the Adirondacks.
The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

Plattsburgh Perspective on Final Hours

News from the other side of the mountain...The P/R gives their summation on the final sprint to the finish line.

The Press Republican - Article: Owens, Hoffman sprint to the finish

New Technology the Story as Voters Cast Ballots a New Way

Now it's up to all of you. Some 150,000 people scattered across eleven counties.
I voted this morning at Midtown Tower and was voter number 15 at 8:10AM.
The new paper ballots are being used and while this system is good in many ways, there are some caveats.
You must fill in , no checks or "X" the SQUARE next to the candidates name. Don't be confused by the party symbol, which looks like a voting mark due to the small print.
Take your time and review your votes. Remember there are propositions on the back side.
If you make a mistake, don't be embarrased. Ask for another ballot or for help.
If the vote reader machine says you erred....just take your time for a do-over.
It's easy to do, but it is different.
Oh, don't forget your reading glasses...the print is small.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Conservative Party Leader Demands Investigation of Pelosi-Owens Deal

Sometimes just making the charge does the deed...but in the heat of a race, who knows what could have happened. Mike Long has proven himself a shrewd man this year and todays charges are further proof of that.
Conservative Party Leader Demands Investigation of Pelosi-Owens Deal

Voters Will Decide if DeDe Collaboration With Rahm Swings the Race.

On the night before NY23 is decided, the momentum continues with Conservative nominee Doug Hoffman, despite an appearance in Watertown Monday by Vice President Joe Biden.
Watertown Times Editor Bob Gorman, whose paper hates Hoffman, reported that the Dems had a poor showing and were unable to fill the North Side Improvement League.
Meanwhile an enthusiastic crowd packed the Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall to capacity for a Hoffman rally Monday night featuring country star John Rich and Senator and Mrs. Fred Thompson.
After his morning rally, Democrat Bill Owens retreated to his Plattsburgh redoubt where tomorrow he hopes to become the next Congressman. for the North Country
Hoffman will await the returns tomorrow night in Saranac Lake.
Meanwhile controversy swirls around the West Wing plan to use a DeDe Scozzafava withdrawal and endorsement to Big Foot the Hoffman effort.
I sense negative vibes about what came down when June O'Neill and Rep. Steve Israel huddled with Scozzafava Saturday at Jumbo's Diner in Gouverneur.
Now it appears the overtures to quit the race were coming from Rahm and Company days earlier.
Whatever happened the whole affair has a bad aroma and the clincher the Dems expected from Scozzafava may not materialize.
The latest polls show a move to Hoffman as NNY warms to the soft-spoken CPA who is the definitive non-politican running against the smooth attorney from Clinton County.
Its just about over now. Tuesday will tell what happens.
And you can follow my friend at for the returns, as I doubt they have WiFi at the Hotel Saranac.
Please vote Tuesday.

Poly Sci Majors...Write Your Thesis About This Donnybrook

The latest Siena Poll shows Doug Hoffman ahead 41-36, seemingly the beneficiary of Assemblywoman Scozzafava's sudden withdrawal from the race in NY23.
To no one' surprise, Democrat Bill Owens does best in the eastern end of the district where he lives. Mr. Hoffman does best in the central New York section, where no candidate is native and many conservatives live.
The two are about even in Greater Watertown, and that is why we are the final battleground.
The effect of Scozzafava's withdrawal is hard to guage and her behavior clearly is bitter and petulant.
While some consider her action courageous, others view it as unsavory and I do not believe her actions or endorsement accrue to the benefit of Mr. Owens.
I am not in a major party because I find it difficult to toe the line. But if you have been in a career as a partisan legislator and accrued the considerable personal and financial gain that adherence to party gives, it is just plain erratic and wrong to do what happened this weekend.
To seek and accept the nomination of a major party, collect and spend large amounts of money on your behalf....then quit in a pique and endorse the party at odds with the one you are the nominee of.....Way out there if you ask me.
Again, registration doesn't dictate who you vote for....But when you reap the benefits of party politics, don't do a Judas at such a moment.
I suspect both Sean Hennesey and Don Coon would agree.
As for the race, the pundits say advantage Hoffman...I think its still too close to say for sure.

For Republicans, Pulling This One Out of the Fire Provides an Opportunity

The other day I told you about the local Republican who said he would vote for a turnip if it was on the GOP line. This man wanted Doug Hoffman expelled from the party for disloyalty because he took the nomination of another party after losing out on the rather undemocratic special election selection process.
Well, where does my GOP friend stand today?
Over the weekend, the local GOP suffered what has been brewing for some time as they kept losing local offices, Assembly seats and Senate seats.
Some say there really is not a Republican party locally anymore. I won't go that far, but events of this year and the past few years mean people like Jefferson GOP Chair Don Coon need to reboot the local effort and decide what they stand for.
North Country Republicans had gotten to the point where in order to win they were essentially Democrats. Voters caught up with the scam and said if we are going to elect Democrats, lets elect real ones.

The Survivors Wrap it Up in Watertown.....The Wounded Seek the Comfort of Nurse O'Neill

The final day and an exciting one it is as the two remaining candidates focus on ground zero for NY23....That is Watertown and vicinity, where former candidate Diedre Scozzafava was polling at 34% on Friday and now many of those folks are looking for a home.
Vice President Joe Biden is in town to make a pitch to blue collar NNY at one of the most blue collar of venues....The North Side Improvement League on Mill Street. Mr. Biden will argue Bill Owens embraces the agenda of President Obama..will create jobs and lower health care costs. And of course the opponent, Doug Hoffman, will be painted as a knuckle-dragging right-wing nut.
Meanwhile on the other side of town later in the day, Mr. Hoffman will return the favor with war hero pilot Scott O'Grady, former Senator Fred Thompson and his wife Jeri, and country music star John Rich.
Over the weekend Republican nominee Diedre Scozzafava abandoned the party she told me last Tuesday she would be with till the day she dies. Four days later she sat in a Gouverneur eatery, cutting the deal to do what many thought was already a reality and that is become a Democrat.
To have been a fly on the wall as Uber-Dem June O'Neill and Rep. Steve Israel comforted the wounded and said what she she did was courageous and virtuous.....God help a Democrat who pulled a stunt like what happened this weekend. Anyway, she gave them the endorsement and likely goes on to finish her Assembly career as a Democrat before joining the Cuomo administration as perhaps Commissioner of Labor or something like that.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


In the winter, we in Northern New York are fond of saying, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a will all change."

So it is with the race for the 23rd Congressional District, as Republican Diedre Scozzafava stood down in the face of a campaign gone awry and fading in the polls.

Rather than ride the GOP ticket to a third place finish, she has freed up her voters to support Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

With all the hype of a liberal-conservative schism, Scozzafava and Hoffman did agree on some principles.

Opposition to government run health care...opposition to the onerous cap and trade policy....a committment to private sector job creation and a strong support of the military and in particular Fort Drum.

These are all things I heard DeDe articulate in the last two weeks and they are in sync with Doug Hoffman.

Peering through the fog of attack ads, the central issue of the Hoffman campaign is fiscal responsibility. America is on the verge of an economic calamity.

Doug Hoffman wants to advocate for less spending and an end to the insane policies of stimulus and bailout that are the equivalent of generational theft we will live with for years to come.

I know many of the people who are supporting Doug Hoffman. They are people of substance , some from here in Jefferson County who will help maintain the quality constituent work we have come to expect. I am confident the Congressional staff will be consistent with what we have received in the past.

Doug Hoffman's surging campaign is the result of a free people's desire to preserve the America they grew up with....A land of immense opportunity that allows people like Doug Hoffman to live the American Dream.

There is a misguided attempt to label him an idealogue. I have met and talked to all three candidates. None of them are extremists. Doug Hoffman has stressed the issue of fiscal responsibility, and has not attempted to make hay over issues he would never have to vote on.

The other option in this race is a surrogate candidate for the current House and Senate leadership and their policies of spend and tax and borrow and then spend some more. This I feel is a wrong course for my country.

What was most reassuring about the Scozzafava candidacy was her knowledge of our area. I am convinced Doug Hoffman will learn about and care about us.

He will represent us well in Congress and I will support him on Tuesday.

I ask you consider doing the same.


Any Candidate Worthy of the Job Would Be Talking to This Guy First

Here is advice to our new Member of Congress from longtime Congressional aide Cary Brick who now lives in Clayton.
Cary and I have spoken frequently of late about the race as he is an avid reader of this blog. His counsel has no doubt played an important role in the race and he has much to offer a new Representitive from our region.
I will have my thoughts on the Congressional race shortly.
Watertown Daily Times From a D.C. insider, advice for our new congressperson-to-be

June O'Neil Delivers the Gut Punch She Always Wanted to Send the GOP

June O'Neil and Andrew Cuomo put the arm on Scozzafava. They have to take care of her and an appointment is in order after the election.
Scozzafava endorses Owens - The Scorecard -

Actions Have Consequences in Partisan Politics

The recriminations will be quick in the the small but loyal GOP minority caucus in the NYS Assembly.
In a pique, Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava threw it all away this weekend by abandoning her party's Congressional nomination and endorsing the Democrat in the race.
If you are going to have parties, this will not stand. Her leadership roles in the Assembly will be stripped, and she will live out her final year in silence. Of course she could switch parties and join Speaker Silver.
There is also a rumor she may leave the area.

Jefferson County GOP to Voters: Vote Hoffman

Jefferson County's newly minted GOP chair sure didn't expect this mess when he took office. His Congressional candidate is seeking the Judas award by dropping her race four days before balloting and now endorsing Democrat Bill Owens. Chairman Donald Coon, who is hosting the party's election night party at the Paddock Arcade, now says local Republicans need to reboot and support Conservative Douglas Hoffman.
Jefferson County GOP to Voters: Vote Hoffman


-The spinoff of the Scozzafava withdrawal could affect other GOP candidates. With the marquis race on the ballot now toxic on line B and C, good candidates like Cheryl Lane and Jim Tormey, or John Hallett may be more than a little troubled at seeing their party's Congressional candidate urging her supporters to migrate to Line E, or less likely Line B to vote for Bill Owens.
For Scozzafava, this event is like leaving a spouse after a tiff and torching the house on the way out the door.
I am not a party type, but for those who believe in the Republican Party and what it purports to stand for, the actions taken yesterday are an abomination.

-Having voted for Democrats more often than not in recent years, I came into the summer of '09 looking at the national scene and wanting a check and balance on a liberal Congress that has merely doubled-down on the egregious spending and taxing of the Bush years.
Ms. Scozzafava was the GOP nominee and the means to that end. Fine. As her campaign unraveled, and the campaign of Doug Hoffman became the real deal, it was certainly worth rethinking. A lot of people did as Siena demonstrates.
I believe the main issue is fiscal restraint and didn't like all the fester over the social issues. Infact, the Hoffman campaign did indeed stress finance over the other issues.
The effort to paint this fellow as an idealogue (WDT) is ridiculous once you have met him. He strikes me as a common sense conservative.

- The Siena College poll showed Scozzafava at 12% in the southern and eastern portions of the district and 34% in our area. That means the most available votes are here in greater Watertown.
That's why the VP is coming and why all of those looking to influence the result are concentrating efforts here.

McDougall Key to DeDe's Owens Endorse

Liz and I have the same story....Like thinkers
The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

WDT: Scozzafava Backing Owens

For local Republicans, their suspicions have been validated as the Watertown Daily Times reports in an editorial that GOP Congressional nominee Diedre Scozzafava is now backing Democrat Bill Owens for Congress.

"During the day Saturday, she began to quietly and thoughtfully encourage her supporters to vote for Democrat William L. Owens," read the text in this mornings Times endorsement of Mr. Owens.

Yesterday, Ms. Scozzafava suspended her campaign after being given a sneak preview of the Siena College poll numbers showing her desperately behind Owens and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
Many GOP regulars have been critical of Scozzafava's liberal views on some issues and her dalliances with the far-left Working Families Party. That is what led to the conservative insurrection upon her designation as the nominee by four county chairs at a meeting over the summer in Potsdam.
Her reported backing of Mr. Owens no doubt is also due to the bitter pill she swallowed in withdrawing from race four days before the election, a move that approaches the definition of "unprecedented."
Ms.Scozzafava considered Hoffman a Judas for not backing her after they both competed for the Republican nod. If todays Times editorial is to be believed, she is returning the favor.