Saturday, August 11, 2018

Crooked Republican Chris Collins Is Suddenly Retiring After All


Early this morning, pre-dawn, NBC News predicted that Chris Collins' political career is unlikely to survive his indictment. "In vowing to remain on the ballot for his re-election race this fall-- despite facing insider trading charges-- New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins joins a not-so-exclusive club of lawmakers who have refused to resign even after being indicted," they wrote. "Unfortunately for Collins, members of that club almost always meet an unhappy fate. Most lawmakers in a similar situation initially vowed to fight, but wound up quickly caving in to bad press and resigning. A handful managed to win re-election only to have to give up the seat later after being convicted."

It was only a matter of a couple of hours before Collins posted the tweet up top. He starts out with a typically deranged Collinsesque statement blaming everyone but himself for his troubles-- the Democrats, Pelosi, a desire to impeach Trump, even on Nate McMurray, his mild-mannered electoral opponent. "Democrats are laser focused on taking back the House, electing Nancy Pelosi Speaker and then launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump. They would like nothing more than to elect an 'Impeach Trump' Democrat in this District, which is something that neither our country or my party can afford."

But then... exactly what NBC had predicted: "After extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress.  I will fill out the remaining few months of my term to assure that our community maintains its vote in Congress to support President Trump’s agenda to create jobs, eliminate regulations, reduce the size of government, address immigration and lower taxes. I will also continue to fight the meritless charges brought against me and I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing." Bye-bye, asshole. And, of course, Ryan should force him to step down now.

Technically, it's too late for Collins to withdraw from the race and the state laws to get his name off the ballot and replace him with some candidate party bosses will pick are very complex. Think back to what happened in Florida when Mark Foley was caught molesting young boys and tried-- and failed-- to get his name off the ballot. The Republican candidate had to run with Foley's name. He lost. According to The Hill there has been a great deal of pressure on Collins to step down.
While Ryan and his GOP leadership team did not publicly call for Collins to step down, GOP sources said there was a “behind-the-scenes” effort in both Washington and New York to convince the defiant congressman that resignation was the best thing for the party three months before the crucial midterm elections.

In the days since Collins’s indictment and arrest Wednesday, there were a flurry of text messages and phone calls between Republican lawmakers, Capitol Hill aides, strategists and lobbyists concerned that the Collins corruption case could put his ruby-red seat at risk and harm other vulnerable Republicans on the ballot, GOP sources said.

Some of these Republicans in Washington had been urging New York Republicans to personally appeal to Collins to resign, the sources said, making the case to him that he’s in an “untenable position.”

The pressure campaign took place mostly out of public view. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) have been silent on the matter.

“No one is above the law, but Chris deserves his day in court and we will wait to see what unfolds,” said New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox.

But one former Collins supporter, David Gunner, the highway superintendent of East Aurora in Collins’s district, circulated a public letter to his fellow New York Republicans on Friday calling on the former Erie County executive to quit Congress.

“I believe Collins has done good things for Erie County and our Congressional District. Many times, he’s made us proud. But this insider trading scandal has put our district in real peril,” Gunner wrote. “If he runs, I don’t think he can win. I don’t care how much money he has, he can’t buy this seat-- the good people of NY-27 won’t stand for it.”

In his open letter, Gunner argued that if Collins continued to remain on the Nov. 6 ballot, he would be a drag on GOP candidates down ballot, including state Assemblyman Ray Walter and local office holders. Nationally, the Collins controversy could cause Republicans to lose control of the House majority, Gunner said.

The charges against Collins’s son were considered important leverage to convincing the congressman to relinquish his seat, said one New York Republican source. Collins could strike a deal with prosecutors, offering to plead guilty in exchange for his son and Zarsky avoiding jail time.

“A natural conversation between the U.S. attorney and Collins’s attorneys is to go easy on the son and father in law if Collins resigns,” the New York source said. “I’m sure that’s a conversation that is going on right now.”
NY-27 wasn't a district the Democrats were counting on as a pick-up opportunity. The PVI is a daunting R+11 and Trump beat Hillary here, 59.7% to 35.2%. Because it wasn't on their radar, the DCCC didn't bother contesting Nate McMurray's campaign with a Republican-lite candidate as they did in other upstate New York primaries. McMurray, a town supervisor from Grand Island, is also the Working Families Party candidate and boasts a strong progressive issues page on his website that includes support for Medicare-for-All, marijuana legalization, bold action on Climate Change, women's Choice, DACA, "increased restrictions on assault weapons," etc.

The corrupt Democratic establishment has not been interested in a progressive reformer like McMurray. The DCCC has refused to take his calls and Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged him to step down and make way for his very right-of-center lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul. On Wednesday, McMurray said more contributions flowed into his campaign than in the entire cycle.


Apparently, fringe lunatic racist and millionaire vanity candidate, Carl Paladino, is going to mount a write-in campaign and some other right-wing guy, Stefan Mychajliw, also wants to run. More Republicans are expected to jump into the fray.

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At 11:03 AM, Blogger RJ the paragon said...

Mildly off topic, but I was hoping you might do a run down of the primary today in Hawaii. Neither of the major Dem candidates for Governor excite me.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My take on this is Collins was drawing too much attention to Big Money at a time when the general public is mildly inflamed over their excess. Granted, the amount of energy being generated isn't all that great, but these men believe in acting as quickly as a problem makes itself evident. Collins refusing to go quietly was exacerbating the problem.Thus he was "convinced" to "agree" to retire and dampen the enthusiasm among the peasantry to roll the tumbrels.


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