by Mary Ziegler
Mary has been an organizer for the local liberty movement since April of 2009 and is currently the organizer for Renewing the Republic, a group that encourages grassroots involvement in the political process. http://www.meetup.com/RenewingtheRepublic/
Part of me can’t help but feel sorry for Congressman Scott Murphy, to be so completely out of touch and overwhelmed by Chris Gibson. I believe Murphy labored under the delusion that his re-election was inevitable. Chris Gibson is a political neophyte, along with many on his staff. He also doesn’t have the millions of dollars Murphy has amassed from Wall Street donations and the leadership PACs of House members like Speaker Nancy Pelosi. However, Colonel Gibson is no stranger to battle after serving in the military for 24 years, deployed seven times, including four tours in Iraq. Gibson considers this a mission for which failure is not an option. Indeed the fate of the country depends on this race and others like it throughout the country.
This past week has been very bad for Congressman Murphy. A flawed Siena Poll released in August showed Murphy with a comfortable lead, yet his campaign still resorted to tired old political tactics. After a number of negative ads with false allegations (including Chris Gibson wants to ship jobs to China and privatize social security) two separate polls showed Murphy had blundered and Gibson now holds a lead of at least 2-3 points. Additionally momentum is clearly on Gibson’s side and voter turnout is a factor these polls can’t accurately predict.
Then there was the disastrous debate in Glens Falls on Tuesday night. Gibson supporters far outnumbered Murphy’s in his own backyard and the enthusiasm for Gibson is palpable. Not so much for Murphy. The Congressman stuck to the usual Democratic talking points and made the mistake of publicly declaring Gibson intends to ship jobs to China. In response the retired Colonel gave the best line of the campaign, “The only thing I’ve shipped overseas in the last decade has been myself and my paratroopers to fight for your freedom!” Murphy was floored and I believe the smug presumption that he would roll to victory was destroyed. Murphy’s red faced disdain contrasted sharply with the calm gravitas of Chris Gibson.
Thursday’s debate at WMHT didn’t go any better for Murphy. Unlike Tuesday night he managed to keep his cool, but the tension and nervousness on his face was obvious to all in the audience. Both men did fine in a field of the usual questions, but there was not the crushing blow Murphy needed to stop the momentum that continues to avalanche for Gibson or will convince voters that his record can be defended.
Perhaps the worst blow for Congressman Murphy this week came when Chris Gibson received the endorsement of the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses), and Murphy received a disastrous “F” rating (with a score of 42%) for his Congressional votes that negatively impact small businesses. Murphy has based his campaign around his experience as a successful businessman who will create jobs and fight for the livelihood of other small businesspeople struggling throughout the district. In reality there is little the multi-millionaire venture capitalist− who owns a company that has outsourced jobs to India− has in common with the hurting small businesspeople of the 20th. The NFIB agreed and reminded Congressman Murphy that his votes will have a devastating impact on small businesses and the people throughout the 20th Congressional District. They gladly endorsed Gibson.
I almost feel bad for Congressman Murphy being so overwhelmed by Chris Gibson, but then I remember that for over a year many of us had rallied, called, written emails, spoken to his staff, and done anything we could to make the Congressman listen to our concerns. This was to no avail. Congressman Murphy voted with Pelosi 91% of the time and on bills that will be devastating to the future of my children and the country, including Cap and Trade, the Stimulus Package, and the Health Care abomination.
For Congressman Murphy on November 2 the people will speak again and this time he will have to listen.