Dec 2nd - 4:09 pm
A Republican town committee chairman is urging GOP candidate George Demos to leave the race for the first Congressional District in Suffolk County in order to leave state Sen. Lee Zeldin without a primary challenger next year.
A statement Monday from Brookhaven Chairman Jesse Garcia also questions whether Demos — a former SEC prosecutor — lives in the district.
He also refers to Demos as a “two-time loser” though he dropped his second bid in 2012 before the June primary in order to plan his upcoming wedding.
This time, Demos has $1 million in the bank, though the local and state party infrastructure has closed ranks around Zeldin, who also sought the seat one time before in 2008.
Demos released the first TV ad of the campaign earlier Monday morning, a 30-second spot that compares incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop to President Obama and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Here’s the full statement:
“It’s simply a mistake and wrong for George Demos to run for Congress in New York’s First Congressional District for a third time. He is already a two-time loser for the seat and a quitter in 2012 when he saw the writing on the wall.
“Republicans will no doubt be very interested and disappointed to learn that the money he’s planning on spending on this campaign comes from his wife’s father: Nancy Pelosi’s and Hillary Clinton’s top West Coast fundraiser.
“Demos was also cited in an SEC IG report for violating SEC rules when he was an SEC staff attorney. These are not things that Republicans can get behind.
“And the cherry on top of the whole Demos candidacy is that it’s unclear if he even lives in the district – you can tell it’s campaign season on Long Island when Demos returns to the district. The only place I’ve seen him in the First Congressional District since the last campaign was maybe on a milk carton. I call on George Demos to drop his quixotic third bid for this seat.”
Nov 19th - 8:12 am
Republican Congressional hopeful George Demos is sending a direct mail fundraising letter to potential donors as he seeks the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop next year.
At the same time, a fundraising letter is also going out from former Gov. George Pataki, who endorsed him in the race.
In the letter signed by Demos, the former SEC prosecutor takes direct aim at the investigation surrounding Bishop, who is the subject of a House Ethics review over receiving a donation from a constituent who received a fireworks permit thanks to the congressman’s office.
“A true partisan politician, Tim Bishop has voted time and again to raise taxes and for wasteful spending,” Demos writes in the letter. “He is clearly a politician who does the bidding of Washington insiders and special interests with little or no regard for his constituents (except the ones who stuff cash into his congressional tip jar).”
Demos in the letter also knocks President Obama’s economic record, which in combination with policies in Albany, have hurt the Suffolk County Congressional district, he writes.
“Long Island was once the envy of the world — until Albany and Washington politicians destroyed that with their tidal wave of high taxes that killed 25,000 jobs here just this past year,” he writes.
The Pataki letter, also hitting mailboxes on Monday, has a similar tone. The letter praises Demos and knocks Bishop for having “gone Washington in every sense of the word.”
“He’s a left-wing tax and spend liberal who has gotten so close to Washington insiders and special interests that he is presently under investigation by a House ethics committee,” Pataki writes of Bishop.
Demos began his run for the district — his second since 2010 after dropping out of the race in 2012 — with a $1 million personal loan to the campaign.
Also running in the NY-1 is state Sen. Lee Zeldin, a second-term GOP state lawmaker who has the support of most of the Republican establishment in eastern Long Island, as well as the state party.
Nov 7th - 12:57 pm
Long Island Rep. Peter King may have an irascible relationship these days with his own party, especially on the national level.
But today King endorsed fellow Republican and fellow Long Islander Lee Zeldin, one of two GOP candidates who is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in the NY-1.
“Senator Lee Zeldin is a veteran, former federal prosecutor and dedicated public servant who we need fighting for Long Islanders in Congress. Lee’s character is one of integrity, action and intellect,” said Congressman King. “In Albany, Lee has proven to be in-touch with the people he represents, fighting hard for what matters most to them. While the repeal of the MTA Payroll Tax for eighty percent of the employers in our area was one of his first accomplishments, the creation of the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of his proudest.”
Zeldin has been racking up a series of endorsements from the GOP establishment locally and even nationally, including U.S. Sen. John McCain.
Republican George Demos, who doesn’t have the support from the local and state party apparatus, did get a boost from an endorsement made by former Gov. George Pataki.
Oct 30th - 1:42 pm
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee, today endorsed state Sen. Lee Zeldin for the first Congressionl District.
In a statement released by the Zeldin campaign, McCain — who is identified as a “U.S. Senator and former POW” — said the second-term state lawmaker has the “integrity, work ethic and sense of duty” to be elected.
“Lee’s service in the military, as a federal prosecutor and in state government demonstrate his deep commitment to advancing causes greater than his own self-interest. Now more than ever, we need solution-oriented leaders like Lee to help break the dysfunction in Congress and address the great economic and security challenges facing our nation. I am proud to endorse Lee Zeldin for New York’s First Congressional District.”
Zeldin is competing for the Republican nomination with former SEC prosecutor George Demos, who has already contributed $1 million to the campaign.
Zeldin has racked up most of the Republican establishment support in the state, though former Gov. George Pataki is backing Demos.
“I am honored to be endorsed by a true American patriot, Senator John McCain, who has served our country most admirably and has risked so much to protect our Constitution, freedoms and liberties,” Zeldin said in the statement. “He has left a permanent positive impact on the fabric of American democracy and his legacy of service will be long remembered for generations to come.”
McCain lost the old, pre-2012 redistricting NY-1 in 2008 by four percentage points. In 2012, Romney lost Suffolk County by 2 percentage points.
Oct 28th - 1:42 pm
Republican House candidate Lee Zeldin is calling for a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare, calling the 2010 health care law “fundamentally flawed.”
In a statement this afternoon, Zeldin notes that some Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Senate have even called for a delay in implementing certain features of the law.
“In the weeks following the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, one thing has been clear: the Act is fundamentally flawed. Since day one, the implementation has been plagued by problems that will have very real consequences for the very people it’s supposed to help,” Zeldin said. “Members of Congress must take action to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for a period of no less than one year. As I have said before with other government initiatives, it is important to lean forward in life, but not so much that you fall on your face.”
The federal government’s health care exchange has come under fire for its botched website and technical glitches.
In New York, the state-based exchange has received some better reivews and garnered less controversy after a bumpy day one.
It’s worth noting that Republicans in the state Senate balked at approving the state-based health exchange after some lawmakers questioned whether they want to give the OK to a key feature of Obamacare. In the end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo created the exchange through an executive order.
Zeldin is running for the NY-1. Republican George Demos is the other declared candidate in the race hoping to unseat Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.
Oct 22nd - 12:08 pm
Former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato today endorsed Republican House candidate Lee Zeldin, his campaign announced.
Zeldin, a state senator, is running in the first Congressional district for a seat held by Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.
Also running for the GOP nomination is George Demos, a former SEC prosecutor.
“Lee Zeldin’s military experience along with his time as a federal prosecutor uniquely suits him to take on the status quo and fight against the partisan politics and fiscal dysfunction that plagues our nation’s capital,” D’Amato said in a statement. “The people of the First Congressional District deserve someone with a record of fighting for the issues that are important to them. Senator Zeldin led the fight to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax for eighty percent of employers, and has shown an unwavering commitment to our seniors and veterans. It is time for a new voice and a fresh perspective and that’s exactly what Lee Zeldin will bring to Washington, D.C.”
D’Amato, of course, was propelled to office in part thanks to his power base in Nassau County. He is now a high-powered lobbyist with ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and contributor to NY1′s Wise Guys segment.
Zeldin has lined up the support of most of the Republican establishment in New York, save for ex-Gov. George Pataki who has endorsed Demos.
Oct 21st - 4:25 pm
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today wasted little time in knocking Republican state Sen. Lee Zeldin’s signing of Grover Norquist’s anti-tax hike pledge as he gears up for a Congressional run next year.
“Lee Zeldin wasted no time pledging his allegiance to the reckless Washington, DC special interests that forced the irresponsible shutdown and hurt New York’s economy,” said Marc Brumer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “By pledging his loyalty to Grover Norquist and joining his radical mission to protect tax breaks for companies that ship New York jobs overseas, Lee Zeldin has proven just how out of touch he is with Long Islanders. Long Island voters are sick and tired of candidates who don’t respect American workers, and they won’t be fooled by Lee Zeldin and George Demos’s irresponsible agenda.”
Zeldin is running for the Suffolk County seat held by Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.
Zeldin is the second Republican lawmaker in the chamber to have taken the pledge from Americans for Tax Reform.
As we noted earlier, it will be interesting to see how the tax-increase issue plays out in Albany next year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has convened a tax commission that will examine the state’s property, business and estate taxes, which will be led by former Gov. George Pataki and former Comptroller Carl McCall.
The commission comes as Bill de Blasio, the odds-on favorite to win next month’s New York City race for mayor, is pushing for a tax increase on high-income earners in order to expand pre-Kindergarten.
Update: Ian Prior, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, sent along a statement in response.
“The only thing that Long Island voters are tired of is having a representative like Tim Bishop under federal investigation for shaking down a constituent for a campaign donation in a pay-for-play scheme. Bishop has proven time and time again that he has no plans to reign in government spending and will continue to raise taxes on New York’s middle class and small businesses in order to fund his reckless tax and waste agenda.”
Oct 21st - 12:35 pm
Republican Congressional candidate Lee Zeldin has signed anti-tax activist Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge, his campaign today announced.
The pledge requires that signatories oppose any tax hike, which includes voting for measures that result in raising revenues (that would include the tax code rejiggering of December 2011 that led to $1.9 billion to help close the coming budget deficit).
Zeldin, a state senator, is only the second Senate Republican to have signed on to the Norquist pledge after Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo.
Three Assembly Republican lawmakers, including Minority Leader Brian Kolb, have also backed the pledge.
“I proudly sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today to show voters just how serious I am about bringing change to Washington,” Zeldin said in a statement. “Hardworking taxpayers, especially hardworking Long Island Taxpayers, cannot afford any increase in our already onerous tax rates. With rates like these, it’s clear that Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. The size and reach of our government has ballooned and it’s absolutely unsustainable. Congress and the President must put our nation’s fiscal house in order. They haven’t even passed a single federal budget since 2007, which is totally unacceptable. As your Congressman, I will be committed to ending the fiscal insanity that has consumed D.C. It’s time for meaningful reform to our budget process without raising taxes.”
Zeldin is running in the first Congressional district, a seat held by Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop. Former SEC prosecutor George Demos is the other declared Republican candidate in the race.
It will be interesting to see how the pledge holds pat next year should Bill de Blasio became mayor and seek a tax increase from Albany on the city’s wealthy.
Oct 15th - 10:23 am
Former Republican mayoral candidate and supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis endorsed Sen. Lee Zeldin for Congress today in the NY-1, a seat his son-in-law controversially sought in 2010.
“As a military officer and former federal prosecutor, Lee Zeldin has proven to be a leader who clearly understands the meaning of integrity, duty and hard work,” Catsimatidis said in a statement. “As a State Senator, Lee Zeldin has worked tirelessly for the taxpayers of Suffolk County; fulfilling his campaign promises to cut taxes, create jobs and fight for our nation’s veterans.”
Christopher Nixon Cox, the son of Republican Chairman Ed Cox, failed in his 2010 bid to challenge Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in the Suffolk County seat, losing to Randy Altschuler in a primary.
This time around, Republicans are trying to avoid an intraparty feud as much as possible in order to defeat Bishop, who they believe is vulnerable after being hobbled by a political donation scandal.
But George Demos, a former SEC prosecutor who is self-funding his campaign with a $1 million loan, was endorsed earlier by former Gov. George Pataki.
Pataki endorsed Catsimatidis in his mayoral primary over the eventual nominee, former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota.
“Given his success, philanthropy and reputation, I am proud to receive the endorsement of John Catsimatidis,” Zeldin said in his statement. “John has long been an influential community leader and I am confident that his support will send a message to D.C. that we’re ready to put an end to the dysfunction and move America forward.”
Oct 11th - 1:08 pm
In another example of the institutional powers-that-be lining up behind Sen. Lee Zeldin’s congressional run in NY-1, state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long – UPDATE: and state GOP Chairman Ed Cox – have issued statements in support of the Republican Long Island senator’s effort to oust Demcoratic Rep. Tim Bishop.
“The First Congressional District could not ask for a better representative than Senator Lee Zeldin,” Long said. “He not only embodies the values of New York’s Conservative Party, both personally and professionally, he has an acute understanding of the importance of preserving the rights and traditions laid out by our nation’s founding fathers.”
“And not only does he understand them, he actually put his money where his mouth is and fought for them in the U.S. Army. The fact that he was raised in the Congressional District, coupled with his experience as a military officer, former federal prosecutor and State Senator makes him uniquely-suited for the position.”
“Senator Zeldin is an independent thinker who’s not afraid to make the tough decisions that are so lacking in DC right now. With Lee as our candidate, we have the opportunity to open new dialogue and shape policy. He is exactly the sort of new blood and fresh perspective we need to put an end to the D.C. chaos.”
The Zeldin campaign’s press release on Long was quickly followed by one announcing the senator had also landed the support of state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, which is particularly interesting, since Cox sat out the 2010 GOP primary because his son, Chris, was one of the contenders. (He finished last).
“As chairman of the New York State Republican Party, I look for the candidate that I know will be unwavering in representing our Party’s values to advance communities across New York,” Cox said. “Lee Zeldin is, without a doubt, that candidate.”
“An honorable and dedicated public servant with an impressive background as a military officer and former federal prosecutor, Lee has an invaluable understanding of and dedication to our nation’s Constitutional values. As a state senator, Lee has proven himself to be a man of his word, fighting tirelessly to uphold those values and fulfill his campaign promises—cutting onerous taxes and fees, creating jobs and protecting our veterans.”
“I am confident that Lee knows what it takes to make the tough decisions, to shrink government and put a stop to the economic insanity that is plaguing Washington. I am proud to endorse Lee Zeldin as our candidate for New York’s First Congressional District.”
This doesn’t bode terribly well for George Demos, who is making his third attempt at landing the GOP line to challenge Bishop.
So far, his only significant endorsement has come from former Gov. George Pataki, who used to be his boss.