Aug 30th - 7:52 am
Two of the Republican NY-1 candidates, Randy Altschuler and Chris Cox, are trading barbs over a pledge required by the state Conservative Party that its chosen contender remain in the race all the way through the general election.
Cox, who is battling in court to mount a long-shot OTB challenge for the Conservative line to Altschuler, the party’s nominee, slammed his opponent in a press release last week for refusing to say he would support the winner of the Sept. 14 GOP primary – regardless of the outcome of that race.
Asked at a Smithtown Republican Committee meeting whether back the primary winner if that person is not him, Cox said he replied: “I will support the Republican candidate. I always have and I always will.”
Altschuler, according to Cox, replied that he is in a “bit of a different situation here,” having signed a pledge to the Conservative Party that he would stick out the race through November.
Aug 28th - 9:41 am
A reader kindly forwarded an invite to a Sept. 3 rally for Rep. Mike McMahon that will be headlined by former President Bill Clinton and hosted by the Democratic chairs of the two boroughs included in NY-13 – Brooklyn (Assemblyman Vito Lopez) and Staten Island (John Gulino).
Here’s the information:
“Please join President Bill Clinton for a rally supporting the re-election campaign of
Congressman Michael McMahon
13th Congressional District, New York
Building Bridges to a Better Tomorrow
for Staten Island and Brooklyn
Hon. John Gulino, Chair, Democratic Committee of Richmond County
Hon. Vito Lopez, Chair, Democratic Committee of Kings County
Friday, September 3, 2010
Doors Open at 10:30 AM
Program Begins at 12:30 PM
631 Howard Avenue, Staten Island NY 10301
Parking will be available at Wagner’s Stadium Lot
Aug 27th - 10:00 am
Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei (NY-25) hit the airwaves this week with his first TV ads of the campaign – one that’s fairly standard and focuses on jobs and another, more interesting, spot in which the incumbent congressman seeks to establish himself as a hometown guy and NOT a Washington insider.
This sort of disassociation from the powers-that-be on Capitol Hill is fast becoming a trend as the midterm elections approach and voter disgust with the status quo reaches new heights. One Indiana Democratic congressman has even taken the unusual step of running against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Maffei isn’t going that far, but he’s clearly trying to distinguish himself as something other than your typical Washington insider.
Maffei, a former aide to Rep. Charlie Rangel who was first elected in 2008 (his second attempt at the seat), is being challenged by Republican newcomer Ann Marie Buerkle, who has been endorsed by Sarah Palin. (Incidentally, the Indiana congressman, Joe Donnelly, is backed by Palin, too).
The ad script appears after the jump.
Aug 25th - 3:00 pm
Rep. Bill Owens broke his silence on the mosque/Islamic center proposed for construction near Ground Zero, telling me during a “Capital Tonight” interview set to air this evening that he agrees the project should be relocated to a less controversial site.
“Well, um, I think a day or so ago the imam’s wife indicated that they were amenable to the idea of moving the mosque to a new location,” the NY-23 Democratic congressman told me.
“I think that’s an excellent outcome here. But I also want to indicate that we are a country based on the consitution, and they do have a constitutional right, after the local authorities have determined that they have permission to do this we have to be very careful that we make sure that we be sure to abide by the constitution.”
“That said, when someone exercises rights they have responsibilities, and I would prefer to see this built in another location.”
Aug 25th - 2:19 pm
Three past NRCC chairs have endorsed Republican Matt Doheny’s bid to oust Democratic Rep. Bill Owens in NY-23.
Former congressmen Bill Paxon, his successor in the House, Bill Reynolds and Tom Davis (of Virginia) all announced their support of Dohney today – another blow to Doug Hoffman, whom Doheny, a businessman-turned-neophyte candidate, is battling in the September primary to challenge Owens on Row B in November.
“Matt is the kind of political newcomer we need in Washington today,” Paxon said in a statement released by the Doheny campaign.
“He’s a fiscal conservative who can apply both business and common sense to our nation’s current economic crisis. Matt can win the 23rd back for Republicans, and become a key vote against the failed policies of Obama and Pelosi.”
Aug 23rd - 1:38 pm
Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV is rejecting attemps by his primary opponent, Rep. Charlie Rangel, and Rangel supporters to suggest race is a factor in the ethics charges brought against the Harlem Democrat and his House colleague, California Rep. Maxine Waters.
“He’s just appealing to some people who may fall for that,” Powell told Curtia Sliwa during an interview on AM 970 The Apple this morning. “The fact is that having four rent-controlled apartments has nothing to do with race.”
“I mean, the fact that he lost his chairmanship of Ways and Means. He’s 80 years old. What’s the point?Facing 13 criminal charges, ethical violations, I mean, I don’t get it. What’s the point of another two years? It’s beyond me, beyond many people.”
“Even the president, Barack Obama, has asked him to resign with some level of dignity.”
Actually, the president did not pointedly ask Rangel to resign, but did suggest during a “CBS Evening News” interview last month that the congressman is “somebody who’s at the end of his career,” adding: “I’m sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity.”
Aug 23rd - 7:42 am
The fight for the right continues in NY-1 with one of the three Republican congressional contenders, George Demos, releasing a new ad that proclaims him the lone conservative in the primary field.
The release makes no mention of where the ad is running, when it will go on the air or (as is standard) how big of a buy this is. In the meantime, here’s the script:
“(Voiceover): One Candidate for Congress is pro-life: George Demos. The other candidates – Chris Cox and Randy Altschuler – are pro-choice. Chris Cox, country club Republican who never voted in the district. Randy Altschuler, made millions outsourcing American jobs to India. In Suffolk County there’s only one Conservative candidate. George Demos, the pro-life, Conservative prosecutor. He’s one of us.”
As proof of his claim about Altschuler’s position on abortion rights, Demos is relying on a story pushed by Cox’s campaign in which a former New Jersey GOP chairwoman claims the Long Island businessman told her he was pro-choice when he sought to run for congress in the Garden State a number of years ago.
Altschuler’s campaign and his Conservative Party backers, who awarded him their ballot line, rejected that story.
Aug 21st - 8:14 am
NY-13 GOP candidate Michael Grimm has cut an ad featuring former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who makes a 9/11 reference in the spot, saying the congressional hopeful was a first responder on the day of the attacks and so “knows first-hand the destruction caused by terrorists.”
Giulinai has always been very popular on Staten Island, the most GOP dominant of all the boroughs, and he’s close to former Staten Island BP Guy Molinari, who is chairing Grimm’s campaign.
The former mayor is one of three heavyweight endorsements Grimm garnered to date in this race, along with Sarah Palin and Sen. John McCain.
The spot includes stills of Grimm in combat fatigues and flashing his FBI badge – both of which have gotten him into trouble in the past, although there is a disclaimed that flashes briefly at the bottom of the screen in the case of the former photo that says it doesn’t indicate the endorsement of the Department of Defense.
This ad comes after Grimm’s GOP opponent, Michael Allegretti, released his second campaign spot. Here’s the Grimm ad script:
“I’m Rudy Giuliani and I’m supporting Michael Grimm because he’ll fight for Staten Island and Brooklyn families. A combat veteran and former FBI and small businessman, Michael Grimm has the kind of experience and the background that will make a difference for our families. As a 9/11 first responder Michael Grimm knows first-hand the destruction caused by terrorists. When it comes to and fixing our economy and providing security for our families, Michael Grimm will be our voice in Congress.”
Aug 20th - 12:23 pm
Here’s the latest from the state Democratic Party, which is keeping the heat on GOP congressional candidates Ann Marie Beurkle (NY-25) and Chris Gibson (NY-20) for appearing at fundraisers over the next two days with House Minority Leader John Boehner.
Boehner, who is scheduled to headline an event for Gibson tonight at the track in Saratoga and will be with Beurkle in the Syracuse area tomorrow, is being cast by the Dems as wanting to “let Wall Street Gamble with our hard-earned Social Security benefits.”
Boehner has been in the Democratic crosshairs this summer since he said he would support raising the Social Security retirement age to 70 for those who won’t retire for another 20 years and also raised the specter of the GOP possibly bringing back its privatization plan.
To be fair, it should be noted that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party isn’t thrilled with the president’s bipartisan deficit commission which is expected to recommend scaling back Social Security and Medicare.
Aug 20th - 9:28 am
A reader forwarded this “save the date” announcement for a fundraising being hosted by Democratic donor and 2002 LG contender Dennis Mehiel next month that will feature House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Sept. 27 event, which will be held at the home of Mehiel and his wife, Karen, to benefit the DCCC, costs a whopping $50,000-per couple for hosts, $34,000 per-couple for a category being touted as “speaker’s cabinet” and $5,000 for an individual just to get in the door.
The shindig is just over three weeks before the midterm elections in which observers now agree the Democrats are very much in danger of losing control of the House – even though that would require the GOP to flip more than three dozen seats around the country.
Here in New York, eight congressional races are viewed as in play: NY-1, NY-13, NY-19, NY-20, NY-24, NY-25, NY-29 and NY-23.
Just this week, Pelosi made headlines in New York by wading into the mosque debate. She initially said the decision about how to “go forward in New York is up to New York. But then called for an investigation into where the funding for those opposing the mosque is coming from.
This was an attempt to turn the tables on opponents who want the developers’ funding probed. But it backfired, opening up a new line of attack for Republican candidates, who immediately put House Democrats on the hot seat as to whether they agreed with their leader’s request.