Jack Davis

Hochul Considers The Davis Effect

Earlier today, I sat down with Congresswoman-elect Kathy Hochul for her first extended sit down interview since her upset victory in NY-26 last night.

The Republicans are downplaying the Democrats’ Medicare referendum message by insisting this race was merely an anomaly – a freak occurrence in which the results were skewed by a well-funded third party “spoiler”, Jack Davis.

I put that question to Hochul. While she believes she could have defeated Assemblywoman Jane Corwin in a head-to-head competition, she also thinks Davis posed just as much of a problem for her campaign as he did for her GOP opponent.

“When you start looking at what was happening in this election, again the polls were always tight…from the very beginning,” Hochul told me. “Jack Davis started going down, and I think the Corwin people thought those votes were going to come back to them.”

“They came over my way. That was not expected. And also, we had to deal with the people voting for Jack Davis. He ran three times as the Democratic candidate and he had a very strong message that appealed to labor on trade issues.”

“So, say what you will, but Jack Davis was also a factor in our race as well,” Hochul continued. “…People knew it was Jack Davis and they’d say: ‘Well, Democrats have pulled the lever for him three times’, and he came very close last time he ran. So, it’s all very fluid and and a lot of chaos was involved.”

“I don’t know if you can just point to one factor and say with or without Jack Davis the outcome would have been different.”

My full interview with Hochul will air this evening at 8 p.m. and re-air at 11:30 p.m.

Davis Ad Dramatizes Overseas Trade

Independent Jack Davis is out with a new TV spot that focuses on one of his signature issues: Trade.

The spot features a “family” in the kitchen. Dad comes home to announce he no longer has a job because the company is moving to China. Mom, looking haggard, says: “How can we pay for my chemotherapy without health insurance.” Dad looks down, grim-faced as worried young daughter asks: “Will Mom be OK?”

Listen hard, and you can even hear the family dog barking in the background.

Cue male announcer, who says: “Both parties support trade deals that ship our jobs overseas. Jack Davis will fight to keep jobs in America.” Followed by the required candidate stamp-of-approval.

The press release announcing this ad, titled “What’s at Stake”, calls trade “the real issue both parties are ignoring.” I get it. But this spot seems a bit overwrought. It’s unclear if the family members are real or being portrayed by actors.

Davis is being attacked by both the Democrats and the Republicans now and portrayed as a potential spoiler in what was supposed to be a walk for Assemblywoman Jane Corwin. He hasn’t spoken to the media – at least not to my knowledge – since last week’s assaultgate.

He was supposed to show up at a meet-the-candidates event in Batavia yesterday (both Kathy Hochul and Corwin attended), but was called away due to an “emergency” at his factory, according to his campaign.

Rothenberg On NY-26: Hochul ‘Well-Positioned’ For ‘Significant Upset’

The Rothenberg Report has moved the NY-26 contest from “leans Republican” to the “toss-up/tilts Democrat” column, suggesting Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul could be headed toward a big upset in the GOP-dominated district with just over a week remaining in the special election campaign.

“Both parties agree that the race remains close – ‘within the margin of error’ is the phrase most often used – and Republican Jane Corwin certainly has a chance to energize and turnout GOP voters in this Republican-leaning district,” Rothenberg writes. “But Democrats seem more enthusiastic right now.”

“After a series of focused attacks in the paid and earned media, Republicans apparently have succeeded in bringing down self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate Jack Davis’s numbers to a place where the race should be winnable for Corwin.”

“But those one-time Davis voters are not going immediately to Corwin, raising new doubts about the Republican’s ability to grow her support in the final week. More importantly, Hochul appears to have solidified her image and even increased her share of the vote.”

Davis Camp: GOP Video Is Blair Witch-style Setup

While Jack Davis remained on the lam today, Curtis Ellis, campaign manager for the NY-26 third party candidate went on the defensive in his absence–saying the video shot by Jane Corwin’s chief of staff was a setup to discredit Davis.

“They want to talk about what we don’t see in the Blair Witch Project-style video,” said Ellis.

“Shaky camera, some little boy squealing like an 8-year-old girl, which is exactly how old Jane Corwin was when she claims to be a successful businesswoman. They need to talk about what they’re going to do for the people of New York.”

Langworthy On The ‘Temperament’ Question

Erie County Chairman Nick Langworthy today made a Carl Paladino reference while insisting NY-26 hopeful Jack Davis’ treatment of a GOP tracker demonstrates he lacks the “temperament” to be a congressman.

“I really question a candidate’s temperament and his ability to serve in the Congress if he can’t answer the question: Why didn’t you participate in the debate,” the chairman said.

“…I don’t believe Kathy Hochul would have acted in the same way, and Jane Corwin certainly would not have behaved that way.”

“The media made much of Carl Paladino making a comment to a reporter saying he was going to take someone out. It dominated the airwaves for days. This is a candidate actually getting physcial with an operative asking a question. I think the temperament question is what really needs to be on the table.”

This is pretty interesting, coming from Langworthy. He was, as you’ll recall, one of Paladino’s strongest supporters during the 2010 governor’s race.

Paladino threatened to “take out” Post State Editor Fred Dicker during an altercation at a state Business Council meeting in Bolton Landing. (He was upset over the Post’s coverage of the daughter he had fathered out of wedlock). The Buffalo businessman got up in Dicker’s face, but didn’t touch him – thanks in no small part to the intervention of his campaign manager, Michael Caputo.

More >

Davis Pulls Out Of NY-26 Debates

Independent Jack Davis, who is the object of attacks from all sides in NY-26, just announced he will not participate in any debates, opting instead to hold an eletronic town hall this Saturday “where voters can ask me any question they want and get an honest answer.”

A debate hosted by Channel 2 WGRZ was supposed to take place tomorrow night.

In a statement released by his campaign, Davis slammed both his major party opponents – Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican Jane Corwin – calling them “professional politicians” who are “lying about me and my record” – not to mention their own respective records, “taking credit for work done by others.”

“In the real world, any employer would fire both of them for dishonesty,” Davis continued. “Sadly, their behavior is considered politics as usual. I refuse to accept it.”

“My morality and upbringing require me to tell the truth. My opponents have no such loyalty to the truth. We have seen politicians from both parties say one thing in campaigns and do another when elected. Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul fit that mold.”

“My honesty and my reputation have enabled me to build a successful business in Western New York. They are also my qualifications for serving the people of the 26th district in the U.S. Congress. I will not lend my integrity and my reputation for honesty to a forum with two politicians who will say anything to get elected.”

“After thinking about this long and hard, I have come to a decision that I will not participate in the alleged debates. Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul can use the television time to explain how both political parties have sent our jobs overseas and spent our nation into debt.”

More >

NRCC Knocks Davis For Obama, Pelosi Support

The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee has a new web-only video out today knocking independent candidate Jack Davis for his endorsement of President Obama and for his support of a Democratic House majority.

“The most important thing voters should know about Jack Davis is that he is a Democrat,” said NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay. “He’s attempting to fool Western New York, but it’s clear that Democrat Jack Davis is a true Nancy Pelosi liberal who wants to make government bigger, taxes higher and our crushing debt more massive.”

The video comes as Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul is running uncomfortably close to GOP nominee Jane Corwin in the heavily Republican 26th congressional district. Polls show Davis playing a possible spoiler role to Corwin and Republican Party leaders, including Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy, are trying to portray the independent Davis as a Democratic also-ran.

Earlier today, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino released a scathing email blasting Davis. Paladino, who lost to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year, carried western New York counties and remains a popular figure among the Republican base.

Paladino Still ‘Mad As Hell’, This Time Over NY-26

Failed GOP/Conservative gubernatorial contender Carl Paladino is inserting himself into the NY-26 race, slamming independent candidate Jack Davis for “claiming to be a Tea Party candidate, while supporting Nancy Pelosi, endorsing Barack Obama and supporting radical liberal policies like partial birth abortion.”

The Buffalo businessman sent out an email blast this morning with the subject line “I’m Mad as Hell”, which is not only the iconic “Network” catchphrase, but also the slogan for Paladino’s 2010 campaign.

“I’m still mad as hell, but this time it’s because Jack Davis is lying,” Paladino wrote. “He flew in a company from California to get voters’ signatures and create a fake Tea Party line on the ballot for the May 24 Special Election for New York’s 26th Congressional District, despite being told that the Tea Party represents a movement, not a political party.”

“Jack Davis supported partial birth abortion. Like Nancy Pelosi, he believes taxpayers like you should fund abortions, even if you don’t agree with it. Jack Davis spent nearly $9 MILLION of HIS OWN MONEY to run as a Democrat for Congress THREE TIMES before.

“Democrat Jack Davis also said he “couldn’t be happier” that he had a hand in creating Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat majority in Congress in 2006, which gave us trillions of dollars in new debt and millions of lost jobs.”

“Democrat Jack Davis also endorsed Barack Obama for President and took $6,000 from him during one of Davis’ runs as a Democrat. Jack Davis also took $7,000 from the disgraced Democrat Rep. Charlie Rangel. He may be running as a Tea Party candidate, but don’t be fooled – JACK DAVIS IS A DEMOCRAT.”

Paladino goes on to tout the GOP candidate, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, lauding her for coming from the private sector – “like me” – and for spending 36 years to help grow her family’s business, Talking Phone Book. (Corwin’s credentials have come under fire this week, with the Buffalo News pointing out her 36-years-in-business line means she would have had to start work at age 8, but she has stood by that claim).

Paladino may be a polarizing figure, but it’s hard to deny his strong base of support in WNY. (Just as former Rep. Rick Lazio about that). Also, I’m not even going to try to parse the internal battle going on in the Buffalo area Tea Party movement, which has been roiling over NY-26 for some time now, thanks to the GOP’s rejection of Iraq War vet David Bellavia’s candidacy.

Bellavia is poised to announce his support for a NY-26 candidate and has made it clear his choice won’t be Corwin. It’s a safe bet he won’t be backing Democrat Kahty Hochul, either, so the smart money is on Davis.

Gillibrand: ‘We Can Win’ In NY-26

ICYMI: Here’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand making a plea on behalf of Democratic NY-26 candidate Kathy Hochul at a reception in Manhattan yesterday at which the junior senator received NARAL’s annual Champion of Choice award.

While other high-profile Democrats (like, say, Gov. Andrew Cuomo) are keeping their distance from this race, Gillibrand is all in for Hochul. She recently endorsed the Erie County clerk, and sent her supporters a fundraising appeal on Hochul’s behalf and said yesterday that she will be in WNY the weekend before the May 24 special election to do some in-person campaigning.

Gillibrand invoked what some are calling the NY-23 theory – that a Tea Party candidate (in this case, Jack Davis) will siphon votes from the Republican favorite, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, providing a path to victory for Hochul. If you believe the polls, it appears that’s exactly what’s happening.

“There are so many candidates that need your help,” Gillibrand told the NARAL audience yesterday. “Kathy Hocuhl’s election is this month….Let me tell you about this candidate. She’s running in Chris Lee’s seat. Do you know who Chris Lee is? He’s the guy who emailed that photo of himself, no shirt.”

“So, she’s running in that district. Its a very Republican district. Its been Republican for a long time. But it’s a three-way race and there is a Tea Party guy in the race that’s going to take the votes away from the Republican. So, if you want to get a House seat and you want to take back this House, get involved in that race. It’s just in a couple weeks. We can win that race.”

“And so if you get involved, if you send money, if you literally go up there and campaign on the weekend before the election- I’m going to be there, will you join me there? Please join me there. Those are things we can do, together.”

WFP Raising For Hochul Off Internal Poll

The labor-backed Working Families Party has seized on a leaked internal poll that shows Democrat Kathy Hochul statistically tied with Republican Jane Corwin as a fundraising tool, sending out an email that urges supporters to contribute to the Erie County clerk’s congressional campaign.

The WFP’s Bill Lipton fired off the missive that appears below after POLITICO reported a Global Strategy Group poll conducted for Hochul’s campaign showed she’s trailing the GOP assemblywoman by just one percentage point, 31-30, while independent Jack Davis netted 26 percent of the vote.

The internal poll was conducted May 2-4, which is about two weeks after Siena was in the field. The Siena poll showed Hochul 5 percentage points behind Corwin, with Davis at 23 percent.

Dear XXXX,

One percent – that’s how far behind Kathy Hochul is right now in her campaign in NY’s 26th Congressional District, according to the latest poll.

We already told you why this race matters: it’s become a referendum on Paul Ryan’s Republican budget proposal to kill Medicare. We knew it would be a close race, but we had no idea how close. That’s why we’re going to do everything we can to put Kathy over the top.

Will you help us? If you already chipped in $15, please give another $10 today. What’s another $10 in the fight to save Medicare? The Working Families Party is going all in and we need you with us.