Saturday, October 31, 2009

Official GOP Nominee Backs Out Of Congressional Race In NY-23-- Shockwaves Across America


The Republicans haven't lost a congressional race in the northeastern corner of New York State since around the time of the Civil War. But after polling showed their mainstream candidate, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, coming in third after conservative Democrat Bill Owens and the teabagger candidate, ultra right extremist Doug Hoffman, Scozzafava pulled out 3 days before election day! A Siena poll released this morning shows her campaign sinking rapidly-- with the support of only 20% of the voters.

In "suspending" her campaign, she pointedly did not endorse the right-wing extremist who has thwarted her bid to win a congressional seat. Democrats are reaching out to her to endorse Owens. The NRCC has now officially jumped on the Hoffman bandwagon but Scozzafava's name will still be on the ballot Tuesday and many of her most ardent supporters will vote for her as a protest against Hoffman's extremism and against the party being taken over by deranged, hate-filled radicals. Her complete statement is here. Many observers saw this coming when ostensible mainstream Republican ex-Governor George Pataki endorsed the teabagger candidate last night. His vicious blast must have felt like a ton of bricks falling on the head of the faltering Scozzafava:
“Simply put, we cannot afford to give another vote to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, we cannot afford another vote for higher taxes, we cannot afford another vote for government-run health care, and we absolutely cannot afford another vote to take away from hard-working men and women the right to secret ballot.”

It was more significant than, say, the meaningless switch of a parade of extremist congressional clowns like Darrell Issa (R-CA), who have in recent days run to the microphones to kick their own party's candidate to the curb while endorsing the teabagger.

Interestingly, more than a few Republicans fear that the teabagger surge could swamp them as well. Already several extreme right candidates with teabagger support are dooming establishment Republicans. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, with a once insurmountable lead of a little known extremist pip-squeak, Marco Rubio, is now-- despite all the Establishment support and all the big money-- an underdog in the race for the GOP Senate nomination. Teabaggers in South Carolina are in the process of taking over the party from mainstream conservatives and look likely to defeat regular Republican incumbents. Yesterday The Hill started talking about the Hoffman Effect in terms of primaries in other states:
In Virginia’s 5th district, state Sen. Robert Hurt’s entry into the GOP primary has spurred little-known candidate Bradley Rees to switch to the Virginia Conservative Party. And in Ohio, another GOP primary contender said this week that he’ll run as a Constitution Party candidate.

Both will go at the GOP nominees from their right flanks and try to expose some unhappiness in conservative ranks. They might not be as well-funded as Hoffman or be filling quite as big a vacuum as the one left by Republican Dede Scozzafava’s left-leaning politics, but they could steal valuable votes.

Rees isn’t afraid of playing spoiler to the establishment-favorite Hurt. He even suggested his third-party candidacy could help freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) stay in Congress.

“It may amount to only drawing enough votes from the Republican candidate to ensure Tom Perriello a second term,” Rees told the Lynchburg News and Advance.

“If so, so be it. Maybe then the party will understand that we are trying to save the GOP from its worst enemy-- not the Democrats, but themselves.”

A similar situation occurred in Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy’s (D-Ohio) district last year, when Republican Steve Stivers lost enough of the vote to conservative third-party candidates to allow Kilroy to win.

And now Stivers, who supports abortion rights, could again be ceding support to his right, in the form of Ron Paul supporter David Ryon. Ryon switched from the GOP to the Constitution Party this week.

Bill Owens isn't even a Democrat-- he registered as one a few weeks ago when the DCCC said they would back him despite having been a GOP financial donor for years-- and he's far too conservative for progressives to support. But Perriello and Kilroy are real Democrats who will be heavily supported by the Democratic grassroots. That isn't the case in Alabama, where one of the most reactionary and hated faux-Democrats in Congress, Blue Dog Bobby Bright is going to watch as teabagger Rob John battles it out with official GOP nominee, Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby. Progressives will be rooting for either to defeat the Blue Dog, a Boehner Boy who has voted far more frequently with the Republicans on substantive matters than with the Democrats and routinely opposes the Democrats on the most fundamental issues. Glenn Beck takes it a step further: Palin will run as a third party teabagger candidate in 2012. Rahm Emanuel must have all his fingers-- all 9 of them-- and toes crossed!

This sad, last minute, disjointed plea to Republicans didn't save Dede Scozzafava:

UPDATE: Scozzafava Pressured To Withdraw But She Refuses To Endorse Teabagger

Elizabeth Benjamin at the NY Daily News interviewed Scozzafava, who refuses to endorse Hoffman. It doesn't sound like she's going to dump the party that dumped on her either though. Watch the video.

Another late development: one of Scozzafava's key backers, the New York State Independence Party chairman has switched... to Owens! Frank MacKay says he wishes he had endorsed the quasi-Democrat from day one. Meanwhile, the NRCC changed it's mind and has now endorsed Hoffman, the teabagger. I guess they decided to overlook the small differences like when they said he "lacked the integrity and qualities needed to be elected to anything-- let alone Congress."

SUNDAY UPDATE: Bad News For Teabagger

The Watertown Times has now switched its endorsement from Scozzafava to Owens and Scozzafava is urging her supporters to vote for Owens as well. Last night her husband, Ron McDougall, president of the Jefferson/Lewis/St. Lawrence Central Labor Council issued a statement through the AFL-CIO that he is endorsing Owens against teabagger Hoffman.
"This has been a difficult day for my family. But the needs and concerns of the men and women of the 23rd Congressional District remain paramount," McDougall said. "As such, I wholeheartedly and without reservation endorse the candidacy of Bill Owens."

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At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

hilarious, couldn't have happened to a nicer group of dinosaurs.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Jerry Critter said...

Good for the wingnuts. It will only make the Democrats stronger. Wingnuts cannot win on the national stage. The 23rd district has always been republican so it is no loss to the Democrats.

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous OM said...

From the comments on the original nutcase blog: "This is a great rebuke to the misguided pragmatists who turned the Party of Reagan into the Party of Bush." -- Where were these idealists for eight years? They didn't call Bush a false pragmatist--he was a hero of conservatives, fighting the evil of gay marriage and giving out trickle-down tax cuts. Good luck, GOP. Carry on fighting those windmills.

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Whomever gets in, now, we get a conservative Republican. It's not the labels that matter. It never has been. It's all about record.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger anwaya said...

That's an extraordinary swan-song of a campaign video. The haunting piano trailing off to nothing at the end, the repetition of talking points and images. What does the bagger have? And what's the DINO running?

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Jack Jodell said...

The wingnut Sarah Palin-Rush Limbaugh far-right anschluss has successfully annexed NY's 23rd District. We can only hope that their candidate goes down to defeat, for if he somehow gets elected, there will be no shutting those blowhards up!

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Frank Wilhoit said...

Taken in combination with Connecticut fiasco of 2006, what this really means is that primaries are meaningless, or at least that they no longer serve their intended purpose. It is now entirely possible to lose a primary and remain a viable candidate. Soon enough we will see candidates running to lose in primaries and then going on to win the general under some different or even adventitious party label (cf. "Connecticut For Lieberman"). This could get very weird, because the assumption that there are exactly two parties is deeply (if mostly tacitly) baked into the structure of our politics.

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

"We can only hope that their candidate goes down to defeat, for if he somehow gets elected, there will be no shutting those blowhards up!"
No offense, Jack, but why? If the Democrat gets in, we get a conservative Republican. If the Conservative party candidate gets in, we get a fringe loony Republican. Everything considered, you know their votes are going to be the same--the only difference is that the Conservative party candidate will provide more entertainment value by sponsoring weird things or saying strange things on the House floor. So why should we hope we get the Conservative Republican disguised as a Democrat?

I figure, fuck 'em. I hope Rahm's little joy goes down in flaming disaster. If it happens more often, maybe the Democratic leadership will understand that we won't just walk in lockstep for them if they put up stealth Republicans. Just my opinion, you understand.

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Hoffman is a "deranged right wing extremist", and his republican opponent is "mainstream", how come people are planning to vote two to one in favor of Hoffman?

Looks to me that these results define Hoffman and Sarah Palin as the respectable mainstream of moderate conservatism, and the rest of the field as the lunatic commie lefties, who want to save the earth by destroying technological civilization, and liberate the proletariat by sending them to work on the collective farm.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous me said...

I watched Scuzzy's campaign ad. To think that the wingnuts consider her insufficiently conservative!

Buckley, Kristol, Reagan, Murdoch, et al. have ruined this country.


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