Saturday, November 11, 2017

Is The DCCC Pepared To Help Turn Long Island Blue Again? Or Not?


I was born in Brooklyn and I went to high school there but in between (and afterwards) I lived on Long Island, first in Nassau County and later in Suffolk County. I have Long Island in my DNA-- and God knows I want to see Peter King out of office in my old neighborhoods. The Lovin' Spoonful may have been a NYC band but no one on the Island in the mid-'60s thought so. Their music was our music and I was so happy to share that music in the clip above for the Blue America DuWayne Gregory billboard truck last cycle. And you can't imagine how badly I want that truck out on the roads again-- from Massapequa, Amityville, Lindenhurst, Babylon, Bay Shore, Islip, all the way to Nicholas Road where I once shared a house with 6 women and entertained the Jefferson Airplane before their first East Coast concert. Last year it really would have been magic for DuWayne to beat Peter King-- especially with the DCCC abandoning him completely. Although Obama won it both times he ran, King beat Hillary in King's blue-trending district by nearly 10 points-- 53.0% to 43.9%. Was she ever the wrong candidate for that Nassau-Suffolk district! King was reelected 181,506 (62.1%) to 110,938 (37.9%). He spent $1,307,660 to DuWayne's $372,792. This cycle King already has $2,703,782 cash on hand. But in wave elections huge cash advantages by incumbents are largely meaningless.

Blue America has been begging DuWayne to run again. Last week he was reelected to his county legislative seat with an eye-popping 72% of the vote-- and against Chris Madden, a Republican recruited and heavily backed by King. His legislative district encompasses almost the whole eastern half of NY-02 and DuWayne won 52 out of the 55 election districts including even deep red parts ofAmityville and Copiague. DuWayne is known outside of his own part of the district because he's the presiding officer of the Suffolk County legislature. 

This cycle the DCCC claims it isn't going to ignore NY-02 like it did in 2016. Writing for Newsday, Emily Ngo reported that "The seat held by 13-term Republican Rep. Peter King was added Thursday to the Democratic list of districts the party views as vulnerable enough to flip in the 2018 midterm election. New York’s 2nd Congressional District is considered safely GOP in major race rating systems such as the Cook Political Report, but its designation by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as in-play comes on the heels of Democratic victories Tuesday in the Nassau County executive and Hempstead Town supervisor races." And, don't forget that last May progressive activist and Berniecrat Christine Pellegrino won a red legislative district right in the heart of King's district (Massapequa, Babylon, West Islip and West Bay Shore). Romney had beaten Obama in that Assembly district and last year Trump eviscerated Hillary with a 23 point margin there. But Pellegrino beat conservative sociopath and Trumpist Tom Gargiulo 5,590 (57.89%) to 4,049 (41.93%). She ran on an unadulterated progressive platform-- none of the Republican-lite bullshit the DCCC tells all of its candidates to run on.

In the past DCCC chairman-- and King crony-- Steve Israel has done everything he could to protect King's seat. Israel is finally gone from Congress, but-- alas-- still influential at the DCCC. He's already dug up a horrifying candidate for the Democrats who would never be able to beat King, tsunami or no tsunami, Tim Gomes. This guy doesn't know if he wants to be a Democrat or Republican and keeps switching his party registration back and forth. This year he's trying the Democrat label. He doesn't have any policy positions on his website, usually a good indication of a bad candidate. But he loaned his campaign $1 million in the first quarter. (He's raised another $39,750 from real people since then.) There's also some self-entitled carpetbagger from the City-- Liuba Grechen Shirley-- in the race. No one in the district knows anything about her or Gomes. And neither would be a good bet to beat King.

DuWayne still seems interested. I think if he gets any kind of a signal that the DCCC won't undercut him by supporting the Republican self-funder pretending to be a Democrat, he'll run-- and win, both the primary and the general.

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At 11:45 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

They're gonna ignore this seat again but i'm pretty sure this go around DSA & Our Revolution will not ignore this seat & put up their best progressive candidates to challenge Peter.

At 4:57 AM, Blogger cynthia kouril said...

Liuba is not self-entitled. She is a grassroots candidate. She has built up a facebook group of over 2,000 members and is already campaigning. She is a progressive and is running a bottom up campaign.
BTW, Christine Pelligrino is already walking with her. Dwayne does not generate excitement and all but ignores the Nassau part of the district. His moment, if he ever had one, has come and gone.
Howie, take the time to get to know Liuba before you get too entrenched in your position.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Dennis said...

Liuba is not a carpetbagger; nor is she an unknown. She was born and raised in Amityville, and she moved back there a few years ago to raise her family. She's built a remarkable grassroots campaign, and she's been generating a lot of excitement and donations. She has progressive credentials and support from the Democratic base. No disrespect to DuWayne, but he had his chance and it didn't go very well. Liuba is the only candidate who can defeat King next year.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Kenny said...

Howie, Liuba is a real progressive candidate with grassroots support and is originally from Amityville. Trash Gomes all you want because he's a fake Democrat but Liuba is the real deal. You should retract your comments about her and get to know her and you will see she is the best candidate to unseat King.


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