NY-11

Grimm’s Democratic Opponent Fundraises Off Threats

Not surprisingly, the Democratic opponent to Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm is fundraising off the incident between the Republican lawmaker and Time Warner Cable News reporter Michael Scotto.

Grimm apologized on Wednesday for his outburst of threats aimed at Scotto following an attempt to question him about the arrest of one of his campaign fundraisers.

But the political fallout is only beginning, and Democrat Dominic Recchia is taking advantage of that in a fundraising appeal this afternoon.

In the fundraising email with the subject line “deplorable” Recchia’s campaign says “we deserve better.”

“The next 72 hours are critical to making sure we have the resources to send Michael Grimm packing… But it gets worse. Instead of apologizing right away, Grimm released a statement that took the reporter to task saying he was being “disrespectful.”

Earlier in the day New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on the House leadership to sanction Grimm.

A statement from Speaker John Boehner’s office called Grimm’s apology to Scotto “appropriate.”

Here is the full email:

BREAKING: Last night, Michael Grimm threatened physical violence to intimidate a reporter for asking a question about a new Grimm scandal. This is not the type of leader we need in Washington. It’s time for Grimm to go. Click here to contribute:

Friend – I’m just going to say it. We deserve better. Last night, Michael Grimm threatened physical violence to intimidate a reporter from doing his job. This is deplorable behavior and unbefitting of a United States Congressman.
We shouldn’t have a Congressman who resorts to bullying, threats and even more extreme tactics to get what he wants. We need someone who can lead and be a leader for our community. Which is why Michael Grimm has to go.

The next 72 hours are critical to making sure we have the resources to send Michael Grimm packing. Rush a contribution here >>
But it gets worse. Instead of apologizing right away, Grimm released a statement that took the reporter to task saying he was being “disrespectful.”

It’s time for Michael Grimm to go. He continues to be an embarrassment to his district and to his constituents. Click here to rush a contribution and let’s show Michael Grimm we won’t stand for his behavior!

DCCC to Hit Gibson, Grimm and Reed on Possible Government Shutdown (Updated)

As the government inches closer to shutting down at the end of the month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is trying to put some pressure on Republicans.

This week the DCCC will pay for robo calls in the districts of Republican Reps. Chris Gibson, Michael Grimm and Tom Reed – all of whom represent swing districts Democrats are trying to take in the 2014 elections.

Conservative House and Senate Republicans have said they are willing to shut down the government on October 1st if the Affordable Care Act, better known these days as Obamacare, isn’t defunded.

Gibson, Grimm and Reed have repeatedly said that they don’t support their colleagues’ efforts to shut down the government, but the DCCC is hoping voters lump all Republicans together.

Here’s a peak at the script voters in Grimm’s district will hear when they pick up the phone this week:

“Hi, I’m calling on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with a Voter Information Alert. Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down the government unless they can eliminate your rights and consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act. You heard that right: take away healthcare or shut down the government. That’s the choice.  It’s appalling.

 “And if Congressman Michael Grimm doesn’t make it stop, seniors’ Social Security checks would be up in the air and our military families couldn’t count on getting paid.  It would have a devastating impact on families around the country.

 “And what does this mean for you?  It means Republicans are trying to take away your right to health insurance – even if you have a preexisting condition – and let the insurance companies start charging outrageous rates again.  And if they can’t get it done, they are going to close the doors of our government.   

 “Press 1 to be connected with Congressman Grimm and tell him to stop the nonsense and focus on common sense solutions that protect our health care and grow our economy.”

UPDATE: Rep. Gibson released a statement in response to the DCCC’s planned robo calls:

“The American people chose divided, not dysfunctional government, and I will not advocate for solutions that shutdown our government.  I believe that, working together, we can come to a resolution that will ultimately fund the government, replace the sequester, and restore fiscal responsibility.  That being said, I believe the Affordable Care Act is the wrong solution to reform our healthcare system, as evidenced by the President choosing to delay significant portions of his signature law.  I will continue to support policies that repeal or delay the law.”

Add the National Republican Congressional Committee to the fight. It’s spokesperson, Ian Prior, released the following statement:

“Perhaps the folks at the DCCC aren’t particularly good at looking up facts on Google. It is far more likely, however, that they are just wasting more money on these scary fictions in an attempt to trick people into thinking that Congressmen Grimm, Gibson, and Reed want to shut down the government, something that all three have repeatedly said that they will not do.”

Recchia, DCCC Slam Grimm for Syria Flip Flop (Updated)

It didn’t take long for Democrats to hit Rep. Michael Grimm for switching his position on Syria.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Domenic Recchia, Grimm’s likely Democratic opponent next year, are out with statements calling Grimm a flip flopper.

This morning, Grimm stunned Capitol Hill when he announced through a statement that he would no longer support a resolution authorizing military force in Syria. Just days ago, Grimm became one of the first New York lawmakers to announce that he would support the President’s call for military action.

Recchia, a New York City Councilman running for Congress in 2014, called Grimm “erratic.”

“I’ve been consistent in getting all the information any time I make a decision, while Congressman Michael Grimm goes headlong in support of something and then flip flops 72 hours later,” said Recchia. “Voters want someone looking for new ideas and willing to work with both parties, not someone who is erratic, and inconsistent, especially when it comes to something this important.  Syria’s use of chemical weapons on innocent people is troubling and needs to be addressed.  The judgment to use military force, however, is the most serious call that the President and Congress can make and the implications for our nation need to be thoughtfully considered and that’s why I think at this time it’s important to learn more about the situation and listen to constituents.”

The DCCC soon followed with its own statement.

“Once again, Congressman Michael Grimm has reminded voters that you can’t trust anything he says – especially on these most critical issues” said DCCC spokesman Marc Brumer. “Seventy-two hours ago, it was critically important to our national security that he support President Obama and now he’s just another flip flopper who voters can’t believe or trust. Congressman Michael Grimm has given new meaning to the idea that he would have voted for it before he voted against it.”

How would Recchia vote if he were in Congress? He doesn’t say. The statement only says he would learn about the issue and talk to his constituents.

Update: The National Republican Congressional Committee is hitting back at Recchia this morning, criticizing the Congressional candidate for failing to take a position on Syria.

“The Brooklyn Dodgers may have left town over 50 years ago, but professional politician Domenic Recchia sure did dodge the issue of how he would vote on Syria if he were in Congress,” said NRCC Spokesman Ian Prior. “If Recchia can’t muster up the courage to say where he stands on an issue as important as this, he has no business running for Congress.”

Grimm v. Recchia

The race for Congress is on, and Rep. Michael Grimm and his likely democratic challenger, New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia, are already going at it.

We sat down with Grimm and Recchia last Wednesday to talk about Congressional gridlock, the economy, budget cuts, immigration, Obamacare and, of course, the upcoming campaign.

Here are some extended quotes from those interviews.

Video is available if you’re a Time Warner Cable subscriber.

Watch Michael Grimm Interview Here >> (TWC ID required)

YNN.com Video

Watch Domenic Recchia Interview Here >> (TWC ID required)

YNN.com Video

Grimm on the August Recess:

“Normally if I’m home during a normal work week in the middle of September or any month where I’m in Washington three weeks and one week back in the district – the district work week – I’ll hear things about what’s going on with immigration, what’s going on with taxes, why can’t you guys get anything done. I think people are so frustrated that Washington has been so broken and we’ve not been able to accomplish nearly as much as we should have, that during the summer they don’t even want to talk about it.”

More >

Furloughs Hit Congressional Offices

Rep. Michael Grimm says the automatic spending cuts that went into effect earlier this year have forced him to furlough the vast majority of his staff.

I spoke to Grimm yesterday for a story I’m working on about the August recess – which is why I’m bombarding you with posts on the Congressman who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

Grimm said some staff members are being asked to take two unpaid days off per month for six months, while others are taking weeks off at a time.

Case in point: Grimm’s special assistant on Staten Island is on unpaid leave for the entire month of August. Grimm says the staffer receives a pension from an old job, making the time off without a paycheck bearable.

The furloughs, according to Grimm, have put stress on staff members, who are still dealing with constituents needing help rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.

“We’ve staggered it in a way that it doesn’t affect the constituents,” said Grimm

Political bickering between Republicans and Democrats prevented Congress and the President from striking a deal earlier this year to stop the so-called sequester, and based on the current state of Washington, it’s likely this self-inflicted pain will continue for the foreseeable future.

Grimm Racks Up Legal Fees, Attracts Opponents

Republican Rep. Michael Grimm may have easily defeated his Democratic opponent, Mark Murphy, this past November, but he may be facing troubled times ahead.

The Staten Island congressman’s latest filing with the FEC indicates his camapign committee spent another $100,000 on legal fees with the Washington, D.C. firm Patton Boggs. This filing covers the period from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31, 2012, so that’s a pretty hefty bill.

Last month, Grimm’s committee reported it had incurred $677,966 in legal fees from Patton Boggs. And that was on top of the $321,000 debt to the firm that was reported in June.

Taking into account the latest filing, Grimm’s legal bill now tops $1 million.

Patton Boggs is representing Grimm in the ongoing FBI probe into his fundraising.

An Israeli national, Ofer Biton, is at the center of the inquiry by the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn into whether Biton and Grimm collected contributions for Grimm’s 2010 campaign that exceeded contribution limits, were given in cash or came from foreigners without green cards.

Biton was charged last August with immigration fraud.

A House ethics panel has said it voted to investigate Grimm in November, but decided to defer to the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation of the fundraising activities. Grimm has denied being engaged in any illegal activities.

Also today, the House Majority PAC announced Grimm is one of ten “extreme” Republican members of Congress on its target list for 2014. He’s the only New Yorker on the list. The others are: Michele Bachmann (MN-06), Mike Coffman (CO-06), Gary Miller (CA-31), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08), Joe Heck (NV-03), David Joyce (OH-14), John Kline (MN-02) and Steve Southerland (FL-02).

“In 2012, House Majority PAC built a strong record of success and in 2013 we are ready to hit the ground running to hold these Republicans accountable and communicate with swing voters about their extreme records and backwards priorities,” said the committee’s Executive Director Alixandria Lapp.

“Whether it’s supporting the end of Medicare as we know it, backing tax cuts for the wealthy, working to roll back the clock on women’s rights or opposing stem cell research, these Republicans are simply out of step with the districts they represent. House Majority PAC will work to ensure voters know the truth.”

During the 2012 cycle, House Majority PAC spent approximately $36 million. Democratic candidates won in eight of the 10 races in which the committee spent the monst cash.

So far, two Democrats have expressed an interest in potentially challenging Grimm in 2014 – former Rep. Mike McMahon, who was ousted by Grimm in 2010; and Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia, who was pushed out of the NYC comptroller’s race by Manhattan BP Scott Stringer and the Brooklyn BP race by frontrunner/Sen. Eric Adams.

In Lead Up To Veep Debate, Murphy Ties Grimm To Ryan

Staten Island Democrat Mark Murphy, running to unseat GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, is tying the incumbent to vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his controversail budget proposal.

Both Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden are due to face off in their only debate tomorrow.

“As the Vice Presidential debate nears, it’s important to remember that Congressman Grimm has been a staunch defender of Paul Ryan. Like Ryan, Congressman Grimm has the wrong set of priorities: he takes direct orders from wealthiest special interests and votes for policies that weaken middle class families and jeopardize the health of seniors,” Murphy said in a statement.

“While in office, Congressman Grimm has been aggressively challenged by his constituents for supporting Ryan’s policies, and voting to end Medicare. But he has not changed his position one bit, because he rejects the values and views of the people he represents. Grimm has refused to address their concerns. His refusal to admit he is wrong shows he is out of touch shows and incapable of honest leadership,” Murphy said.

The stakes are high for Biden following President Obama’s performance in his first debate with GOP nominee Mitt Romney, which was widely considered poor.