Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Molinari: Most Republicans "Would Rather Vote For A Democrat Than" Than The Only Republican Who Wants To Run For Fossella's Seat


GOP stuck with Bob Straniere, a Manhattan hot dog peddler

Like we hinted over the weekend, the NRCC has adopted a Stalinist system for picking their congressional candidates. John Boehner and Tom Cole are slugging it out over the new policy, though both essentially agree that if you leave it to the crazed lunatic fringe that the GOP has become, they will keep picking extremist losers like the ones defeated in overwhelmingly Republican districts in Mississippi, Louisiana and Illinois. Boehner's solution is to just back corporatists like himself and let the base grouse about not having bigots, racists and religionist nuts to vote for.

But, as John Steinbeck once mentioned, "the best-laid plan or mice, men and boners, go oft awry." These days, for poor Boehner, the key word there is "oft." And as our pals at the Albany Project pointed out today, Boehner's hopes for instituting his new Stalinist policy in Staten Island hit a brick wall: none of his top choices to replace two-families Fossella are eager to play the roll of sacrificial lamb in a year shaping up to be the worst for the Republican Party since the 1930s.
The GOP recruiting meltdown in NY-13 continues. It's becoming increasingly obvious that there just isn't any top line Republican in the district that is willing to run for this seat. After their best bet, Staten Island DA Dan Donovan took a pass, we learned that their Plan B, state Senator Andrew Lanza might want the job, but his Senate majority is under siege and needs all hands on deck this fall for what is shaping up to be an epic battle for control of that chamber. (And, let's face it, they can't recruit for crap for the state Senate this year either.) Their Plan C, County Clerk Stephen Fiala, decided better of a run over the weekend and now the only Republican making overt noises about running (again) is a guy the Staten Island GOP absolutely despises, former Assemblyman Robert Straniere.

Today's NY Times agrees: "Finding a candidate to replace Representative Vito J. Fossella, who will step down at the end of the year, is proving much harder than Republican Party leaders ever imagined... 'We’re hurting,' said Guy V. Molinari, the former Staten Island borough president and dean of the island’s Republicans. 'I think that the Congressional seat is probably the most coveted seat locally. And yet, with the vacancy approaching, those that we thought would be the leading candidates in this case, particularly the incumbent elected officials, are taking a pass.'”

So let's see how Stalinism is working out for the GOP on Staten Island. Boehner's dream candidate, D.A. Daniel Donovan Jr thanked him and said "no thanks." He was quickly followed by Stephen Fiala, the Staten Island county clerk, James Oddo, Republican leader in the City Council, James Simpson, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, and Jamshad Wyne, someone's rich doctor. So the one guy who does want the gig is the loony Robert Straniere, who was defeated in both his most recent GOP primaries.
Republican leaders seemed cool if not hostile to the idea of Mr. Straniere as a candidate. They pointed out that he had long feuded with other party officials, particularly with Congressman Fossella and Mr. Molinari.

In fact, Mr. Molinari described Mr. Straniere’s chances of being supported by the Republican leadership as “impossible.” He said that Mr. Straniere “would not be at all acceptable to the Republican Party. I would speculate that 98 percent of the Republican County Committee would say, ‘No dice.’ They would rather vote for a Democrat than for Straniere.”

Maybe Boehner and Cole can ask Jim Oberweis or Woody KKK-pecker to move to Staten Island and try there.

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At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear there's a guy named Vito who will be looking for a job about that time. Maybe they could get him.


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