Congress

NRCC Launches 4th Anti-Bishop Ad in NY-1

And speaking of NY-1, residents in the congressional district at the tip of Long Island have been subjected to a veritable barrage of ads this campaign season, and the hits just keep on coming.

The NRCC has released its fourth ad attacking Long Island Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, who is facing off against GOP state Sen. Lee Zeldin next month. Bishop is among the Republicans’ top targets this cycle, and the race may well be tightening, given the Democrats’ calling in of former President Clinton to headline a rally for Bishop tomorrow.

Here’s the script of the new ad:

Announcer: “Congressman Tim Bishop is still under investigation. Watchdogs name him one of Congress’ most corrupt. But what’s even worse?

Bishop spent twelve years backing higher taxes and reckless spending. Voting with Obama and Pelosi on every major piece of legislation. Even voting to give rights to foreign terrorists.

Congressman Tim Bishop, he’s made things worse.

We have a better choice. Lee Zeldin. The change we need.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

Bill Clinton to Campaign for Rep. Bishop

The Democrats are bringing out the biggest gun they’ve got – former President Bill Clinton – to shore up veteran Long Island Rep. Tim Bishop as Election Day looms.

Clinton will headline a rally for Bishop at 5 p.m. tomorrow at The Staller Center at Stony Brook University along with DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, who has a lot riding on this race, since it’s taking place in his backyard.

The Republicans have been trying to dislodge Bishop for several cycles now, and haven’t yet managed to oust him, despite the fact that his fundraising remains under investigation by the House ethics committee. The congressman is again a top target this fall, and he’s facing a challenge from GOP state Sen. Lee Zeldin.

A Siena poll released early last month found Bishop leading Zeldin by 10 percentage points – a spread the senator’s campaign disputed. The race must be tightening according to the Democrats’ internal numbers, however, or they wouldn’t bother deploying Clinton this far out from the Nov. 4 election.

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg Center poll found that of all the big name Democrats, a nod from Bill Clinton moves voters like no one else – and even he can’t influence a race that much.

An endorsement from the former president makes 38 percent of voters think more favorably about a candidate, the poll found, and 24 percent of voters think less favorably. Former First Lady/Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton was right behind her husband, with 34 percent saying they would view a candidate more favorably if she bestowed her endorsement upon him or her.

A number of big names on both sides of the aisle have been making appearances on behalf of statewide and congressional candidates in recent weeks.

Just yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden headlined a rally at the airport in Syracuse in support of Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, who faces a tough challenge from Republican John Katko in NY-24. Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has received in-person support from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, along with statements and/or email appears from former Massachusetts Governor/presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US Senator/former presidential candidate John McCain.

NRCC Invests In Hayworth (Updated)

As the closely watched NY-18 race enters its final weeks and continues to tighten, the NRCC is entering the fray on behalf of Republican former Rep. Nan Hayworth, who is trying to win back the seat she lost to Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney two years ago.

The NRCC is out with what I believe its its first TV ad on Hayworth’s behalf. It’s a positive spot (no word yet on how long it will run or the size of the buy), that features a Democrat who crossed party lines to back the former GOP congresswoman.

Democratic Dutchess County Legislator Gwen Johnson, of Poughkeepsie, narrates the ad and is prominently featured in it. She calls Hayworth “loving,” “kind” and “not a typical politician,” making no mention of Maloney.

Maloney has been touting his support from local Republicans in NY-18, including state Sen. Bill Larkin, who appeared in a web video calling the congressman a “decent, honest gentleman” and lauding his work on behalf of the district’s veterans.

A September Siena poll found Maloney leading Hayworth by 8 percentage points.

But an internal poll conducted for the Hayworth campaign earlier this month – the results of which have not been disputed by Team Maloney – showed the race as a statistical dead heat, with just four percentage points separating the two candidates.

The DCCC recently reallocated resources from other races in the state to assist Maloney in an attempt to prevent his ouster next month.

UPDATE: The NRCC makes clear that this isn’t an independent expenditure, but rather coordinated funds (of about $93,000, and usually coming in the form of TV ads) that has been made available to a variety of GOP House candidates, including: John Katko (NY-24), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Chris Gibson (NY-19) and Sen. Lee Zeldin (NY-1).

Here’s the NRCC ad script:

Johnson: “Nan is not a typical politician. She is loving. She is kind. She is supportive. Nan is a public servant. She’s always responsive; she’s only a phone call away.

Nan is a genuine person, and she actually really does care for our seniors, the working families. She’s always here. That’s why I’m supporting her.

I’m a Democrat, I’m supporting Nan Hayworth because we have to cross party lines for the best person.

Hayworth: I’m Nan Hayworth, and I approve this message.”

Internal Hayworth Poll: NY-18 Race Is A Statistical Tie (Updated)

From the Morning Memo:

According to an internal poll conducted for Nan Hayworth’s campaign, the former congresswoman is closing fast on her Democratic opponent, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, and now trails him by just 4 percentage points.

The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, shows Maloney leading Hayworth 39-43, with a third party candidate, Scott Smith, receiving 2 percent of the vote.

The margin of error for this poll of 400 likely voters is 4.9 percent, which means this race is a statistical dead heat.

A Siena poll released last month showed Hayworth trailing Maloney by 8 percentage points.

Hayworth’s campaign shared just the top lines of the poll with SoP, providing no additional details or crosstabs. (Federal election rules, unlike state requirements, do not mandate that candidates release entire poll results if they make just some information public).

The poll memo warns, however, that this situation is “eerily similar” to the 2012 election, when Hayworth was up 7 percentage points in an October Siena poll, only to see her lead slip away come November.

“Bottom line – if the Hayworth campaign is able to appropriately fund paid media for the final push to get Nan’s message out to voters in the district, she can win back this congressional seat on November 4th,” the memo concludes.

The DCCC is clearly worried about Maloney’s chances of holding onto his seat next month.

The national Democats recently pulled funding for TV airtime from two flailing upstate congressional campaigns in NY-21 (Aaron Woolf) and NY-23 (Martha Robertson), and shifted the cash to NY-18.

Using that money, the DCCC recently launched its first attack ad against Hayworth, echoing Maloney’s main campaign theme that she is too conservative to represent the evenly divided district.

Update: Stephanie Formas of the Maloney campaign weighs in on the poll.

“This self-serving release of selectively hand-picked poll results is a Hail Mary attempt to save the campaign of a self proclaimed radical who supports a Tea Party agenda to privatize Social Security and defund Planned Parenthood to give more tax breaks for multimillionaires like herself,” she said. “There’s a reason even Republican elected officials are supporting Sean’s results-driven, bi-partisan approach.”

NY-18 internal poll for GOP former Rep. Nan Hayworth's campaign. by liz_benjamin6490

House Majority PAC Sticks With Robertson In NY-23

The DCCC may have abandoned Democratic Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson in her quest to unseat Republican Rep. Tom Reed next month, but she isn’t completely going it alone.

The House Majority PAC just announced it is releasing new TV ads in 10 congressional districts across the country – including NY-23, where the House Democrats’ political arm, led by Long Island Rep. Steve Israel, recently cancelled two weeks worth of reserved air time so it could rededicate resources to protect incumbent Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is in a tight re-election battle with his 2012 opponent, former GOP Rep. Nan Hayworth, in NY-18.

The ad, which appears below, is airing in the Elmira market only starting tomorrow. And the buy isn’t terribly large – $49,138 – although that goes a lot further in the Southern Tier than, say, the NYC media market.

And, something is definitely better than nothing, from Robertson’s perspective – especially when you consider the fact that another Democratic House candidate recently abandoned by the DCCC, Aaron Woolf, didn’t make the House Majority PAC cut. In fact, the PAC cancelled $300,000 worth of air time it had reserved on Woolf’s behalf just before the national Democrats also decided to pull the plug on his.

The House Majority PAC has also purchased $58,472 worth of air time in Central New York’s NY-24 to benefit Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei. The ad, which can be seen below underneath the anti-Reed spot, slams Maffei’s Republican opponent, former prosecutor John Katko, for being “too conservative” for New York - particularly when it comes to women’s issues.

A GOP source insisted that these buys are not new and have been reserved for some time now. But considering the fact that money is being shifted around all over the place, it’s a safe bet these candidates consider it a win to have managed to hold on to their planned time slots.

Gibson’s Latest Validator: His Mom

Rep. Chris Gibson’s latest TV ad features a variety of people – including his own mother – praising him for “keeping his word” when it comes to protecting seniors and veterans.

The spot, which will air in all four media markets of NY-19 – Albany, Binghamton, New York City and Utica – mainly stars Chatham resident Anne Marie Mink. She tells the story of her father, local World War II veteran Tom Spierto, and her family’s quest to get him the medals he earned while serving in the military 60 years ago.

There’s also a photo of the congressman in fatigues, highliting his own 29-year military service. The ad closes with the Gibson’s mother, Barbara Gibson, who says her son “kept his word” to protect Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits. Barbara Gibson also appeared in a 2012 ad with much the same message – that Gibson would protect federal services for his elderly constituents.

Two years ago, Gibson defeated his Democratic challenger, former prosecutior and ex-Ulster County Democratic CHairman Julian Schreibman, winning about 53 percent of the vote in the redrawn NY-19, which had been altered in redistricting to include more Democrats and independent voters.

This year, Gibson is facing off against another Democratic newcomer, Sean Eldridge. A recent Siena poll showed Gibson leading by 24 percentage points.

Here’s the script for the new ad…no word on the size of the buy, or how long it will run:

“Anne Marie Mink: I have a 91-year old Dad, he’s a World War II veteran. Chris and his office worked really hard to get him his medals that he never had. When he sees my Dad – any of the veterans, World War II, Korea, Vietnam – he gives them the respect they deserve. And he gets the respect from all of us.

Announcer: In Congress, Chris Gibson always protects Social Security and Medicare for our seniors.

Barbara Gibson: He kept his word, like I knew he would.”

Loss for Robertson & Woolf is Rep. Maloney’s Gain

The DCCC is charging to the rescue for Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, launching its first TV ad against the congressman’s GOP opponent, former Rep. Nan Hayworth, as the NY-18 race tightens.

The ad, which appears below, picks up on Maloney’s main campaign theme – that Hayworth is a Tea Party extremist.

It uses her own words against her, employing footage of Hayworth declaring: “I’m proud to be a radical” at a Tri-State Sons of Liberty rally when she first ran for Congress in 2010.

The ad goes on to slam Hayworth for opposing abortion rights, noting she voted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and also in support of privatizing Social Security while serving in the House.

The ad hits the airwaves today, and will run on cable stations through Election Day. The buy is about $750,000.

The DCCC is increasing its efforts to protect a handful of incumbents across the nation – including Maloney – who are in competitive races, and the investment is coming at the expense of several candidates who were underperforming.

That includes two Democratic challengers in upstate New York – Martha Robertson, who is trying to unseat GOP Rep. Tom Reed in NY-23; and Aaron Woolf, who’s running for the North Country seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens in NY-21.

In an act of “triage”, the DCCC has cancelled TV air time that it had planned to run in these two districts – and 10 others elsewhere in the nation – during the last two weeks of the campaign.

This comes on the heels of a decision by the House Majority PAC to pull some $300,000 worth of air time reserved for Woolf.

The House Democrats need 17 seats to win back the majority next month. But at this point, it looks like they’re likely to lose seats – even here in Democrat-dominated New York. During a CapTon interview last night, DCC Chairman Steve Israel, a Long Island congressman, was reluctant to discuss the lack of support for Woolf, though he admitted the Democrats’ battle in the traditional GOP district is a tough slog.

The Republican candidate, Elise Stefanik, had a 13-point lead over Woolf in a September Siena poll, and just posted what her campaign said was an historic fundraising quarter.

Woolf’s campaign said he had his “strongest quarter,” too, bringing in some $800,000. But Stefanik accused her opponent of lending himself the bulk of that money, and his campaign admitted some of the cash is indeed the candidate’s own.

Details won’t be available until the candidates file their latest fundraising reports with the FEC, which aren’t due until Oct. 15.

Sen. Larkin Crosses Party Lines in NY-18 (Updated)

From today’s Morning Memo:

Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has picked up the support of two more local GOP elected officials as he battles his 2012 nemesis, former Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, in a re-match in NY-18.

Sen. Bill Larkin appears in one of two web videos being released today by Maloney’s campaign.

In it, Larkin touts his military service – “a retired Army Colonel with 23 years of service of combat in New Guinea, Philippines and Korea” – and says the congressman “has been a staunch supporter of veterans and doing what’s best for veterans.”

Veteran’s issues has been a sticking point in this campaign, with Hayworth attacking Maloney in a TV ad over what she says was his less-than-adequate support of veterans, which caused him to respond with a veterans ad of his own.

Larkin also says Maloney was the first Democrat in his 36 years as a legislator who ever called to congratulate him on an electoral victory.

“He has taken a position of on how we can better work together for the people we represent,” Larkin says of the congressman.

“He’s a very decent honest gentleman. I think he’s been an individual who’s committed himself to the district that he represents…He’s there.”

Larkin is the second GOP senator to endorse Maloney over Hayworth.

However, the first to break ranks and cross party lines – retiring Sen. Greg Ball – has a long history of animosity with Hayworth, and even contemplated challenging her.

The senator, who is not seeking re-election and has been spending a lot of time in Texas these days, is now chairing “Veterans for Maloney.” (He chairs the Veterans Committee in the Senate).

During a recent interview on WAMC, Maloney refused to take sides in the battle for control of the state Senate – a top priority for his fellow Democrats in Albany, not to mention Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Maloney instead touted his ties to Larkin, though it’s unclear if he’s returning the favor and endorsing the senator for re-election.

UPDATE: Maloney did appear at Larkin’s campaign HQ last month to support him, which caused the senator’s Democratic opponent, Newburgh City Councilwoman Gay Lee, to chide the congressman, saying:

“I get the whole concept of crossing the aisle, but damn, Sean, couldn’t you have picked somebody else to cross the aisle with? Senator Larkin is a staunch conservative Republican who would not cross the aisle to do anything.”

Also at that event, Larkin’s fellow Republicans made an effort not to appear in photos with Maloney, and reiterated their support of Hayworth.

Larkin is the Senate’s oldest member. When he turned 84 in 2012, he said that election would be his “last hurrah,” but apparently he has decided to give it another go.

Maloney also released a video featuring Republican New Windsor Supervisor George Green, who said the congressman is a “genuine person” who “doesn’t care what party you’re from.”

“He’s one of the few Congressmen that I’ve ever experienced that will call me back personally, Green says.

“…When he says he’s going to do something, I know he’s going to do it. I think it’s very important that we keep Congressman Maloney, and coming from a Republican…!”

‘It’s A Neighborhood Thing’ For Domenic Recchia

Here’s a positive new ad from Democratic NY-11 candidate Domenic Recchia in a race that has becoming increasingly tense as the November election approaches.

“I was born and raised in this district and now I’m bringing up my own daughters here,” Recchia said in a statement. “I want my three girls and every other child in this community to have a representative that will fight for them, and that’s what this ad is about.”

“This is personal to me. This is my neighborhood, my family and friends and colleagues, who deserve a congressman who will put them first and fight for middle class tax cuts, raise the minimum wage, and support commonsense legislation like equal pay for equal work. I’m in this race because this Congress is broken and it’s time our community had a leader in Washington who won’t play party politics to make the situation worse, and is willing to sit down with officials on both sides of the aisle to fix it.”

A recent Siena poll found Recchia and his GOP opponent, Rep. Michael Grimm, separated by 4 percentage points. Grimm, who has been indicted on federal fraud and tax charges and remains under investigation for his campaign fundraising, is a top target for the Democrats, who believe the congressman’s legal problems make this a seat they have a good chance at picking up.

Attack ads and mailers have become the norm in this race, and just yesterday both candidates participated in a rather raucus forum at a senior center in Brooklyn.

“It’s a neighborhood thing. It’s not just standing up, it’s not backing down. That’s how I saved 4,000 city teacher jobs as City Finance Chair. Fought to put more cops on the street, and keep firehouses from closing. And I won’t back down on getting you the middle-class tax relief we deserve. And the Sandy relief and decent transportation system we’ve been promised, and promised and promised. It’s personal. And I’ll stand up to Republicans or Democrats if it means standing up for you. I’m Domenic Recchia, and I approve this message.”

Farmer Woolf

NY-21 Democratic candidate Aaron Wolf is out with a new TV ad in which he touts his proposal to create jobs in the North Country by supporting and promoting farmers, as opposed to providing tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations – the plan he says his GOP opponent, Elise Stefanik, is pushing.

The ad does double duty by featuring Woolf dressed in a Carhart jacket and standing on a farm (not his), while speaking straight to the camera. This is clearly an attempt by the documentary filmmaker to subtly address the storyline being pushed by the Republicans that he’s a wealthy downstate interloper who’s not in touch with the needs of North Country residents.

In fact, just this morning, the Super PAC created by former Assembly Minority Leader and 2006 GOP gubernatorial nominee John Faso released a new ad that slammed Woolf for selling overpriced pickles at his fancy Brooklyn food store and also failing to pay his taxes.

According to Woolf’s campaign, there is a “substantial” buy for this ad, which is running on broadcast and cable stations. Here’s the script (I’m unable to post the ad itself because the Woolf campaign has disabled the embed code):

“I’m Aaron Woolf and I approve this message because Elise Stefanik and I disagree on how to create good jobs in the North Country.

I think we can do it ourselves if they let us keep our money here.

One example: Our farms aren’t even supplying our own schools when they could be supplying the whole Northeast if we had good infrastructure.

Elise Stefanik thinks the best way to create jobs is to cut taxes for the wealthy. Again. And place more of the burden on the middle class. Look it up. That’s the difference.”