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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Schumer's Advice for Obama

by Bill Claydon

A liberal commenter on another blog suggested that I salute Chuck Schumer for making sure the middle class can keep a tax credit for college tuition. And while I am not a class warrior and would prefer such a tax credit go to anyone paying for college, I can say that even if it’s got some income limit it’s still a good start. Considering the enormous expense of college what with all the six figure salary bureaucrats, some six figure salary professors, and a handful of departments offering majors that are politically correct but provide no serious job prospects (except maybe “community organizer” jobs —- which in modern times have been known to qualify at least one person for a part time US Senate position and even president) all who seem to want MORE money, poor college students are in a deep financial hole. Indeed they ought to get a tax credit for all the funding they’re giving these bureaucrats. If not for students, imagine the unemployment numbers! Besides, if the students become productive citizens who make money as college graduates, they can be demonized as part of the “evil rich” later on.

But I think it’s more important to thank Chucky for something else: being himself. He recently got some sort of new position within the Democrat Senate hierarchy (likely with a bonus of additional tax money in salary while a number of Americans don’t know where their next meal, mortgage payment, or property tax payment is coming from). This was basically a consolation prize to avoid running against a weakened Harry Reid for the position of Majority Leader. It’s something to do with communications. We know Chucky is great at communications as demonstrated with a flight attendant. Schumer likes regulations for others, but evidently didn’t react as well when a flight attendant was doing her job enforcing safety regulations that happened to inconvenience him.

But seriously, as the third ranking Democrat Senator, his um, uh, communications skills have a potential impact on other Democrat Senators facing tough reelections in red states. That ObamaCare vote did them no favors. And Schumer’s loud mouth won’t do them any either.

Still, I have to hand it to Schumer. He says what he means and means what he says. You know what you’re getting. And he’s willing to stand up and defend his views. His minime, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, started out being like that (outspoken, defended her views, meant what she said, etc.) even if a little to the right of Schumer. Now she’s a virtual clone of Schumer (albeit a bit younger) and really doesn’t get around for too many candid conversations with either her constituents or the media. Hey, if she’s going to vote almost exactly like Schumer, she ought to fulfill the rest of the picture.

But back to Schumer. He just cruised to reelection in New York. He won’t be up again until 2016, a few political epochs into the future. Besides, being in New York, anyone with a “D” after their name automatically wins in a Senate race. So, he can be as candid as he wants.

Recently, Schumer was candid about Obama, saying Congressional Democrats are “joined at the hip” with Obama. That sure sounds like a ringing endorsement of Obama’s recent (triangulating) behavior.

Schumer’s advice to Obama is not to give up his “core fundamental principles.” This is a perspective issue. See, Chucky can get away with that being a Senator from New York. He is guaranteed reelection for as long as he wants the job. He can be further left than Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, etc. and still win 60% of the vote in New York. Obama has a totally different political landscape to deal with. While Obama may personally be ultra leftwing, that stuff is no longer in. It never was, even during the end of the Bush era. What was in at that point? Bush fatigue. Bush as a Republican president doomed most Republican candidates in 2008. But that didn’t mean people embraced Schumer/Obama extreme leftwing ideals. They just bought into the vapid “hope and change” rhetoric read from a teleprompter because they were burned out.

Still, as a conservative, I wouldn’t mind seeing Obama take Schumer’s advice. It’s far better for him to stick to the hardcore left. The country can endure it for a couple of years. Then November, 2012 can come around. The “wealth” of a good shellacking should be spread around. Pelosi got it big time. Reid got it a little bit, and Obama needs to enjoy it too. I’d like to see Obama up there with other one-term wonders like Franklin Pierce, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Jimmy Carter, and George HW Bush. Wait, forget that. Hayes voluntarily announced he would be a one termer. As to the others besides listed Carter, the rest are forgotten (HW Bush is basically remembered by virtue of being the father of #43). And Obama is making Jimmy Carter’s presidency look good by comparison.

So, I salute Schumer for his advice to Obama. Keep it coming. And if Obama could take that advice it would be great. But don’t let Republicans get complacent either. We want REAL change you can believe in, starting at noon on January 20, 2013.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ann Marie Buerkle of NY-25 has the kind of tax issues one wants to see in a politician

By Sam Foster


One of the three best campaign blogs careening through the vast blogiverse has a story up on Ann Marie Buerkle's latest tax problems:

The problem began when Video King, a former tenant in a strip shopping center Buerkle owns on Kasson Road in Camillus, incorrectly reported how it paid its rent for the property, Buerkle said.

Video King filled out an IRS form showing it paid Buerkle "non-employee compensation" instead of correctly listing the payments as rent, according to Buerkle's accountant, Ken Cardarelli, of Onondaga Hill.

The mistake prompted the IRS to seek additional income tax from Buerkle. The IRS shared its information under a reciprocity agreement with New York state, which also sought additional income tax, Cardarelli said. He said Buerkle's efforts to clear her tax record were complicated because Video King was bankrupt and shut down its operations.

"Unfortunately, no one was available at Video King to remedy their error," Cardarelli said. "It took so long to get all cleared up. But the IRS eventually cleared the tax and any interest and paid her back some interest." He said the issue with the IRS was settled in the first quarter of this year, and the information was shared with New York state.

Cardarelli said he was surprised to hear about the tax warrant filed Dec. 3 in the Onondaga County clerk's office. "The state said it was on hold, and they are reviewing the matter," Cardarelli said of his last contact with state tax officials. "It could take up to 90 days."

Apparently, the DCCC is looking to capitalize on Buerkle's supposed tax error despite the fact that this has already been tried and failed.

However, it is interesting to compare Ann Marie Buerkle's situation to those of prominent Democrats.  Where Democrats are concerned, tax issues involve fraud of the creative accounting variety.  Yet, these aren't the only kind of tax issues that can arise.

Ann Marie Buerkle has the other kind of tax issues; the kind that one actually wants to see in a Washington politician.  Buerkle's supposed "tax problems" are really nothing more than a result of a business woman being in business.  It is nothing less than proof positive that she knows what small businesses are up against.

Ann Marie's Buerkle's first blush with tax issues occurred as a result of a triple-net lease agreement she'd established with a tenant.  This particular agreement assigns responsibility of tax payments to the tenant.  However, Ann Marie Buerkle's name is what pops up on the tax role.  So, while this arrangement may sound risky, it's actually common practice with commercial leases and they are often, widely lucrative. 

Flash forward to today and Buerkle faces a separate issue relating to incorrect tax preparation from a tenant.  The issue is easily resolved and probably more common for small business owners than you think which is why this latest ploy against Buerkle by the DCCC isn't likely to gain any political capital.

Because, you can try and convict Ann Marie Buerkle of being a small business owner with small business problems, but you also can't concoct a better argument for her reelection.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NY-1’s close race gets closer as ballot challenges lowers Tim Bishop’s lead over Randy Altschuler to 221

By Sam Foster

Amid evidence of voter fraud discovered by Fox News yesterday, both Bishop and Altschuler camps took to the piles of roughly 2,000 challenged absentee ballots yesterday.  Amid bipartisan agreement, some of the challenges were dropped thus diminishing Tim Bishop's lead slightly.

Sag Harbor Express reports:

This comes after the incumbent Congressman picked up a 235-vote lead against Altschuler after a rollercoaster of election results since election day when unofficial results gave Bishop a 3,500 vote lead, only to have Altschuler claim a 383-vote advantage after the county's new electronic voting machines were reread.

At the close of counting some 11,500 absentee and affidavit ballots, Bishop led the race last week 97,050 to 96,815, but according to both campaigns Altschuler has picked up a handful of votes in the counting of 71 military ballots, narrowing Bishop's lead to 221.

However, this rollercoaster ride of an election is far from over according to Randy Altschuler's spokesperson, who hinted yesterday that they expected to bring up more instances of fraud not yet reported.  Perhaps, a taste of what the Altschuler camp has up their sleeves:

"This is exactly what we have been talking about," said Ryan on Tuesday. "These are the exact things we are taking a closer look at."

While Ryan acknowledged it is legal to vote in Suffolk County while maintaining a residence in New York, he questioned the legality of casting a ballot in a district outside of where one registers their car, or files for their New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) exemptions.

"They found people registered in both places and they have one person who voted twice, and I think they will have a couple of other interesting things to put out there before this is over," said Ryan of the FOX news report."

For now, we'll have to wait to see how this pans out, but please stop back often as I'll be covering this race up until the bitter, court pronounced end.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NY-1 absentee count seesaw: Tim Bishop leads by 14, then down by 10 to Randy Altschuler, now up by 17 and it’ll be different by the end of the day

By Sam Foster

The race in NY-1 is so close, that the leader has been changing back and forth all day and never above a double digit margin.

Tim Bishop started the day with a 14 vote lead as officials resumed counting the remaining precincts in Brookhaven, NY this morning.  By 10:30 am, NRO was reporting that Randy Altschuler had retaken the lead with 10 votes.  At noon, Time Beacon Record had Tim Bishop over Altschuler by 17.

I'll keep with the coverage and hopefully be able to provide you with the final situation at the end of the day.  

There are of course several other factors to consider:

First of all, Randy Altschuler has challenged far more ballots than Tim Bishop.  The Bishop campaign claims that most, if not all, these challenges will be overturned in court.

More significant than the slim lead is the growing disparity in the number of ballots challenged, said Schneider, who Monday noon put those numbers at 797 challenges by Altschuler and 567 challenges by Bishop. Schneider expects most of the challenges to be dismissed eventually and the ballots added to the candidates' respective totals.

Randy Altschuler claims that he carried 91% of the Brookhaven precincts on Election Day.  Thus the final precincts to be counted could be Altschuler votes.

Finally, there is supposed to be a bit of recanvassing completed today and could send some votes one way or another.

Check back for more updates…

Friday, November 19, 2010

Buerkle holds lead in NY-25 after Onondaga County Absentee Count will likely emerge victorious

By Sam Foster
Cross-posted at Left Coast Rebel
Via Memeorandum

It's nearly a "mathematical certainty" according to a spokeperson associated with Ann Marie Buerkle's campaign. Thanks to a recanvass of Wayne County and the final absentee count in Onondaga County. Dan Maffei has little chance in erroding Ann Marie Buerkle's lead.

According to CNY, Dan Maffei did win Onondaga County, the portion of NY-25 with the largest number of absentee votes (about 6,300). According to reports, Dan Maffei picked up 557 votes against Ann Marie, but Buerkle's lead was too much. She had 824 votes over Dan Maffei going into the count today and a recanvass of Wayne County moved an additional 144 votes into Buerkles column. She now leads by 411.

The counting is not complete however, Wayne County still needs to finish their absentee count. However, the area is a Buerkle strong hold that she carried by a 25 point margin on election night. Dan Maffei would need to win by 83% of the vote.

Burkle hasn't yet claimed victory, but its pretty much a formality at this point given the deficit Maffei is facing. In short, Ann Marie Buerkle has just emerged victorious in NY-25.

Update x1:

Headline from Buerkle's Campaing? "Buerkle's Lead Can't Be Beat"

Update x2:

Expert Blogger and political writer
Buerkle's win makes "most Republican congress since 1949"

Election Related:
Judge to halt Murkowski certification?

Rent is Too Damn High Jimmy McMillan sues NY Board of Elections $350 million for omitting “Damn”…Again!

By Sam Foster


Looks like Rent is Too Damn High mogul Jimmy McMillan is fixing to sue the Board of Elections for omitting the "Damn" from Rent is too Damn High" during two previous elections.  The board claims that the name was too [Damn] long to fit on the ballots.


Jimmy McMillan isn't buyong it and last year when the issue arose McMillan offered the following curse laced statement:


"I would love to put on my website that the Board of Elections can suck my dick, I would love to do that, but I got little children going to my website, I can't do it, the motherfuckers. I would love to, before every one of them go to bed at night, suckin' my damn dick. That's what I'd love to put on my website. Every fuckin' one of them, you know."


A judge threw out an earlier $50 million lawsuit and my guess is that Jimmy thought it was because the suit wasn't "too damn high" enough.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Courts rule on disputed ballots in NY-25; Ann Marie picks up another 95 votes and now leads Dan Maffei by 824 votes

By Sam Foster

I've been keeping a keen eye on this race.  I hope to hear what the total count is in Wayne County's absentee count that started yesterday.  I suspect we won't hear anything until tomorrow though.  Onondaga County also started counting absentees today.  The results will likely take many days to emerge.

However, Ann Marie Buerkle and Dan Maffei did battle it out in court over some 200 absentee's that Dan Maffei disputed from Monroe County.  The judge has aloud many of them to be counted boosting Ann Marie Buerkle's lead to 824 votes.

Via Democrat and Chronicle:

Ann Marie Buerkle widedned her lead by an additional 95 votes today after Monroe County absentee ballots were opened.

The ballots were opened in a courthouse in Onondaga County after a judge ruled that because the ballots did not have specific objections, he had nothing to rule on.

Buerkle is now 824 votes ahead of her opponent Rep. Dan Maffei, a Democrat.

State Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph in Syracuse ordered today that about 230 absentee ballot envelopes objected to in Monroe County be opened.

The ballots are part of the ongoing count in the tight race in the 25th Congressional District between Maffei, D-DeWitt, Onondaga County, and Buerkle of Onondaga Hill, Onondaga County.

Until Wayne County is counted, it is difficult to speculate.  However, with every vote gain by Buerkle sends the potential for a Dan Maffei come back further out of reach.  At over 820 votes Dan Maffei will need to win Onondaga County by about 15%, despite the ballots leaning Republican.

Friday, November 12, 2010

NY-25 Update for Nov 12: Ann Marie Buerkle picks up 24 votes and now leads Dan Maffei by 711 as Cayuga County finishes absentee count

By Sam Foster

Today, Cayuga County officially finished their absentee vote count, the first county in NY-25 to do so.  According to the Post-Standard, she picked up an additional 24 votes:

Republican Ann Marie Buerkle picked up 24 votes today in the undecided race against Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, after Cayuga County finished counting its absentee ballots.

When the counting finished this afternoon, Maffei had received 35 absentee votes and Buerkle 59 absentee votes, according to Cayuga County Election Commissioner Kate Lacey.

The difference means that Buerkle has now widened her overall lead in the four-county district to 711 votes, according to unofficial election returns.

Cayuga County had the fewest number of absentee votes to count, around 123.  Monroe County started their count today.  The other two remaining counties will begin on the 17th.  Given the lead Ann Marie Buerkle has acquired, incumbent Dan Maffei will be hard pressed to emerge victorious.  Despite an winning Onondaga County by 8 points on election night, by the number Buerkle has put up so far, he will need to go better than a 10 point margin just to pull even.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let the voter fraud begin in NY-25: Dan Maffei campaign actively trying to disenfranchise absentee voters prior to vote count

By Sam Foster

We all knew it was bound to happen, but it looks like NY-25 is degrading into a whole new level of nasty.  

Democrat Incumbent Dan Maffei is down 700 votes to Ann Marie Buerkle, so naturally, it's time for the Democrats to get down in the muck.  YNN is reporting that Dan Maffei is actively contacting absentee voters in an effort to create a tally of how people voted ahead of the actual count.  Bill Carey of YNN was astounded by the effort, reporting that he'd never heard of a campaign using such tactics.  

Ann Marie Buerkle points out that the purpose of this tactic could be used to disenfranchise absentee voters by disqualifying eligible ballots before they are even counted.  Buerkle's campaign writes:

"While the reasons for this effort are unclear – many agree it could be an attempt by some to identify who each person voted for in an effort to disqualify certain eligible ballots from being counted. I would like the public to know that my campaign is not connected to this current effort."

"Further, no American – in Upstate New York or anywhere – is in anyway under obligation to provide information to anyone on how he or she voted in any election, including my own."

"If anyone is contacted in this effort please know that your vote is privileged, and under no circumstances should an individual be pressured in to revealing how their vote was cast. If you are contacted, ask them to provide their full name, for whom they work, why they are seeking this information and if you are required to provide this information."
However, instead of being ashamed at the audacity of contacting voters and in effect, intimidating residents into revealing how they voted on a secret ballot, the Maffei campaign defends its disregard for voter rights.

"In an election as close as this, it is more important than ever to ensure the integrity of the process. As we continue to gather information, we have discovered some possible inconsistencies in the election night reporting in addition to some absentee voters who may have been deceased."
"We will turn over any information we discover to the Board of Elections for further review and our efforts are ongoing."
There are a number of issues here.  Let's begin with the obvious.  It is completely out of line for a congressman to be asking people how they voted before their ballots are even counted.  While it may be a form of soft intimidation, Maffei is using an office of power to disenfranchise voters.  What YNN missed in all their reporting was point of all of this is chicanery, which is to create an atmosphere of uncertainty so that Maffei can through legal fiat, create as many possible objections to the election results as possible thereby increasing his likelihood of stealing the election through judicial activism.

This reeks of desperation on Maffei's part and that could be positive or negative.  Clearly, Maffei is very uncertain that he can prevail in the absentee vote count, which is a highly unlikely outcome since he needs to beat Ann Marie Buerkle by more than a 10% margin district-wide just to erase her lead.  This makes a win via judicial decision the most likely strategy Maffei has left.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reid, Murray, Boxer, Schumer, and Gillibrand

by Bill Claydon

Would I have been happy if any or all of the first three had been defeated on Tuesday? Of course. Obviously the last two were totally out of reach with them being Democrats from New York. If Jimmy McMillan with his useless platform (which accomplished precisely what it was designed for….to launch his entertainment career) had been the Democrat nominee for either US Senate seat in New York, he’d have won by a million vote margin too.

But is it really that bad that all five of these extreme leftists managed to be reelected? Not at all. Actually, let me correct myself. The first four are leftists and the last is a rubber stamp for leftist #4. The rubber stamp was independent during her days as a Congresswoman and is now mostly a puppet.

So why is it not so bad? Boxer (CA) and Schumer (NY) are utterly obnoxious. Reid (NV) might be less obnoxious than either of these two, but he still has his own level of obnoxiousness. Being the Senate Majority Leader, he has high visibility. Murray (WA) is fairly quiet but definitely extreme, and has high seniority within the Senate. Gillibrand is quiet too, because she generally just votes with Schumer. In that sense, he may as well be speaking for both of them.

So why should we not mind obnoxious and extremist types in the Senate? With the exception of Reid, these come from states that consistently elect these types. So, it’s a given that the Senate is going to have someone like Boxer from California or Schumer from New York. Washington is also fairly liberal too. The bulk of Democrats in the Senate are holdovers from the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Both Barack AND Michelle Obama campaigned for Harry Reid. Barack Obama campaigned for Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer as well. He’s associated with them. They’re his problem. Obama is up for reelection in 2012 (unless enough people “convince” Hillary to change her mind about not running in 2012). Any attempts to seem more centrist or reasonable as we get closer to the election can easily be matched with statements from the likes of Reid, Boxer, and Murray, who personally don’t have to worry about another election for six years. Boxer, after beating back a challenge from Fiorina where the polls occasionally put Fiorina ahead, may come out with another entertaining gaffe like “Call me Senator; I worked hard for that title.” In reality, she happened to be a Democrat and get nominated for US Senator from California. It’s California. So, whenever Barbara “Call me Senator” Boxer wants to be reelected, she will be. Maybe she had to “work hard” to push her way through other Democrats to get the nod way back in 1992. But after that, Boxer will continue to retain her job for as long as she wants it. Afterall, she has a “D” after her name.

Defeat would have meant that these people would step into history and eventually be forgotten. But now they will continue to be in the spotlight. Further, had Angle and O’Donnell been elected, they could have been lightning rods for Obama to play against in his reelection campaign. (Note: I did not include Coons in my title only because he is not an incumbent. But Obama campaigned for him too and I’m sure he will provide gaffes with which Obama can be associated.)

But let’s shift focus to the US Senate for the moment. In 2012, there are several Democrat Senators from centrist or right-leaning states (or states which just elected a Republican governor and/or Senator) who will be up for reelection including:

- Claire McCaskill (Missouri)
- Bill Nelson (Florida)
- Ben Nelson (Nebraska)
- Bob Casey, Jr. (Pennsylvania)
- Jim Webb (Virginia)
- Debbie Stabenow (Michigan)
- Jon Tester (Montana)
- Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
- Kent Conrad (North Dakota)
- Joe Manchin (West Virginia)
- Herb Kohl (Wisconsin)

Barring new scandals, Republicans have potential liabilities in the following:
- Scott Brown (Massachusetts) — likely will flip since it’s Massachusetts
- Olympia Snowe (Maine)
- John Ensign (Nevada)

The eleven Democrats can be tied to Obama and Reid. Just a few turnovers among them, even if Massachusetts and Maine are lost, could amount to narrow Republican control of the Senate. I’d suggest that Ben Nelson, Jon Tester, Sherrod Brown, Kent Conrad, Jim Webb, and possibly Claire McCaskill and Bob Casey, are ripe for defeat under current circumstances. Should Republicans keep their current seats, lose Massachusetts and Maine, and flip six of these Democrat held seats, they get narrow control of the Senate. Obviously if they keep Maine, they only need to flip five.

Reid, Boxer, Schumer, and other obnoxious Democrat Senators like Kerry, Durbin and Harkin, could be useful in this effort. They (especially Reid as Majority Leader) can be tied to these vulnerable Senators. If Al Franken wants to be loud too, that would make it even more fun. And if Coons mixes things up a bit, even better. In fact, one of the presumed “safe” Democrat seats up in 2012 could flip.

The eleven named Democrats will need to be more centrist and some would even need to be “fake conservative” to meet the leanings of their states. They will not be able to just march in lock step with the likes of Reid, Boxer, and Schumer, all of whom won reelection and don’t have to worry about another election for six years. None of these eleven want to be the next Russ Feingold (WI). And if they start to see the handwriting on the wall, they could be the next Byron Dorgan, meaning that the Democrat running in their place would likely face defeat.

But if the obnoxious colleagues of these eleven were not enough, then there is Obama. He’s not popular in most of the states represented by these eleven Senators. His name will more than likely be on the ballot in 2012….along with these Senators. He could be problematic for down ballot candidates. 2012 could indeed be another year of “change we can believe in.”

Friday, November 5, 2010

Paging lawyers to NY-25: Republican Ann Marie Buerkle leads the vote count so naturally Democrat Dan Maffei is fundraising for a legal team

By Sam Foster

On Wednesday, I broke the news that Ann Marie Buerkle had assumed the lead in NY-25 after the final vote count was completed.  There are still a large number of absentee ballots to be counted and Ann Marie Buerkle is leading by a slim 700 votes, but that certainly hasn't stopped Dan Maffei from flailing desperately for a legal team.

Dan Maffei has sent out the following conspiracy laden fundraising plea.  Via Capital Tonight:

It's been a long few days, but I wanted to give you an update on my race," Maffei wrote.
"While it still has not been called, we are neck and neck, with thousands of absentee ballots to be counted. National Republicans are already starting to send folks up to my district – and as Florida in 2000 showed us, they will do anything to win."
"We need to make sure that every vote is counted. Can you contribute today?"
"We need your help right now. We are in the process of assembling our team to help ensure that every vote is counted, but this is a costly process. We need to raise $25,000 by Monday to make sure that we have the strongest team possible."
"Your generous support has gotten us to this point – but we need your help to ensure Republicans can't steal this election…This process could take days, possibly weeks, but I have every confidence that we will come out victorious."

Apparently, Maffei is part of the "George Bush stole the election" conspiracy crowd, but his charges that Ann Marie is trying to steal the election is capricious and more than a little unhinged.  However, it is clear that Dan Maffei is not confident that he will come out victorious and is hoping to accomplish through legal teams what he failed so egregiously on the campaign trail.  Please consider donating to Ann Marie Buerkle's post election fund so that she can fight off Dan's legal election team.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Belated Congratulations to Chris Gibson!

by Bill Claydon

With this blog entry, I would like to offer a belated but heartfelt congratulations to Chris Gibson for winning the congressional election for New York’s 20th Congressional District! This was an amazing double digit point win. Gibson will enter Congress with a mandate. The people have clearly spoken and said they want real change.

This was a hard fought battle as is any battle where an incumbent is involved. An incumbent has name recognition and the ability to continuously generate publicity via his/her office’s press releases and mailings to constituents. The act of doing one’s duties in office creates media exposure. The opponent must work harder to get his or her name out there and get people excited about supporting them. This is a tough hill to climb.

Some might dismiss this victory as merely being from a district with an advantage in terms of Republican registrations. I think that assessment is plain wrong. For three elections in a row, the district went to a Democrat candidate. The shift in the 2006 election is understandable because John Sweeney was the incumbent at the time. But based on 2008 and 2009, this district could hardly be classified as a “safe Republican district” regardless of registrations. Colonel Gibson beat an incumbent with roughly three times as much money in campaign funds who had support of major political celebrities like Bill Clinton and Andrew Cuomo.

Having spoken with Chris Gibson a number of times, he struck me as fresh, personable, genuine and someone with whom I could trust to mean what he says and say what he means. I firmly believe he will truly represent the people. Kinderhook is his hometown. And, as one who did not simply enter the district as a millionaire and run for Congress a short time thereafter, he understands the concerns of the ordinary people he will represent. He held numerous campaign events with the people (not just the politically connected) and was willing to take questions and engage with those who do not necessarily share his positions. He will represent both those who voted for him and those who did not.

Listening to Colonel Gibson at length about his solid in-depth knowledge of the history of our nation’s founding and deep understanding of the meaning of our founding documents, I was greatly impressed. Unlike various other campaigns in this country, this was not someone who just cherry picked certain favorite amendments of the Constitution and zeroed in on those. He spoke from the perspective of being totally immersed in the full picture and rich history of the founding era and early years of the republic. As a student of history myself (though with a major focus more on the years of 1820-1860), I am especially looking forward to seeing that perspective in action in Washington, DC.

But above all, there was one thing that I felt was most important. In one of his appearances that I attended (and I’ll bet he said this at many others I did not happen to attend), Colonel Gibson asked us to hold him accountable. He asked us to hold his feet to the fire and vote accordingly should he not stay on the straight and narrow. This is precisely the kind of attitude we need from our elected representatives. This is the attitude of someone who does not feel he “deserves” office or “owns” the office. He recognizes that it is the people’s seat. He realizes that the people can and will give it to someone else if the people lose trust in the seat’s officeholder.

Obviously, the ground game was most important. Gibson had an excited group of supporters. While I did not have as much time to attend all of the rallies, I did go to a small number. The energy was fantastic, most especially during the Gibson rally when Bill Clinton unsuccessfully campaigned for Scott Murphy. While there were many sign waves for Gibson throughout the district, election day was certainly THE day of sign waves. Spending a little bit of time participating myself, I was heartened at the enthusiasm from drivers and the very limited negative reactions. I drove near Scott Murphy’s campaign office expecting to see at least a few people waving signs for him. There were none. Murphy simply did not seem to have an enthusiastic group of volunteers, despite the claims of a limited number district residents who said they supported his votes. Where were they when it came to trying to keep Murphy in office?

While I agree with many of Chris Gibson’s views, as most people know, I am pro-life and do not agree with his views on abortion. As the Declaration of Independence states, we are endowed by our Creator with the right to life. However, I voted for him. I will pray for him for all areas of his work but especially this. His position is far better than that of Scott Murphy’s. Further, as Gibson has said he would promote efforts for adoption and vote against taxpayer funding of abortion, I can support that. During Scott Murphy’s partial term in office, a vote came up to remove taxpayer funding (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year) of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. Murphy voted against this. Forcing taxpayers to subsidize domestic abortion businesses, or to fund organizations overseas that promote or provide abortions, is hardly “pro-choice.” As our nation continues to pile up debt for future generations and we need to examine ways to reduce spending, this seems like a logical item to cut. Nothing stops individual abortion supporters and big corporations from continuing to donate to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.

In addition to congratulating Chris, I want to congratulate the campaign staff and volunteers for running/supporting an excellent campaign! But I’d like to particularly recognize Patrick Ziegler, Kate Better, Dan Odescalchi, Brad Littlefield, Steve Bulger, and Brandon Myers. Each of them did a tremendous amount of work.

Some have laughed off this victory, gleefully suggesting New York’s 20th congressional district will be axed when redistricting happens. My response? The best idea is to take things one step at a time. We can debate what the future may hold when it becomes more clear. Starting in January, we will have Congressman Gibson. We will watch his time in office. THAT is what is certain now, and THAT should be the focus.

Once again, congratulations Chris!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ann Marie Buerkle claims lead in NY-25

By Sam Foster

I regret for the short post here, however there are a number of stories I'm covering and I've been posting my coverage at Left Coast Rebel.

Let me cut to the chase. After Wayne County was finally counted this afternoon, Ann Marie holds less then a 700 vote lead. I have full coverage at Left Coast Rebel and will be doing up a larger post, which will be cross posted here.

Please read my NY-25 Too Close to Call coverage HERE!

Update on NY-25 Election Gridlock between Ann Marie Buerkle and Dan Maffei

By Sam Foster

Karen, at Lonely Conservative , and I have been going back and forth about where NY-25 is going to fall when all is said and done. We eagerly await the Wayne County results.

I'm continuing to look for coverage and results from Wayne County's uncounted precints. According to reports, the count was suppose to be finished today at 4, but with all the big election news, I'm not surprised that I cannot yet find the results. Unfortunatly, we are beholden to the media gods to report what may already be history.

I suggest keeping an eye on Jim Kenyon of CNY, he seems to be keeping an eye on the developments. But, it may be another night before we find out how much Maffei's lead is cut by the remaining votes.

Speaking of how many votes may be at stake, there were 42,000 votes cast for NY-25th district in 2008 and 27,000 for 2006. I'll suggest that turnout was somewhere inbetween but closer to 27,000. That leaves, at a guess, about 10,000-15,000. If Buerkle can acheive the 8 point lead she had in Cuyuga County, Maffei's lead would be cut in half.

This does not seem to be an unreasonable guesstimate, since Wayne County swung more for Paladino than did Cuyuga County did (so far). We may be looking at an even smaller lead for Maffei.

However, large or small it may be, my prediction is that Maffei will hold a vote count lead going into the absentee count. Also, I think recanvassing is more likely to find missing Maffei votes than Ann Marie Buerkle. Regardless, this is going to come down to the wire and I think Ann Marie Buerkle has a great chance of emerging victorious.

NY-1 too close to call: Tim Bishop leads Randy Altschuler by a little more than 3,000

By Sam Foster

I'm closely watching NY-25 unfold where Ann Marie Buerkle may in fact emerge victorious over Dan Maffei as Wayne County finishes the remaining 40% of ballots.  Another race in NY is still being contested.  The race fell off the radar when AP called the election for incumbent Tim Bishop late last night.  However, Republican Randy Altschuler has not capitulated.  He's waiting out the absentee ballot count of which some nearly 9,000 votes remain uncounted.

Via The Jewish Week:

Altschuler would be the second Jewish Republican in Congress and has built ties with Rep. Eric Cantor, who is now likely to be House Majority Leader.

As of Wednesday morning Alstchuler was down about 3,000 votes but had yet to concede to Bishop as absentee ballots are being counted. The tally as of noon was 92,252 for Bishop and 88,791 for Altschuler.

At a ballroom at the Watermill Inn in Smithtown, Altschuler's supporters gathered around a TV set watching for Election Night coverage of his attempt to unseat Democratic Rep. Timothy Bishop in the First Congressional District on Long Island East End.

As other supporters in an adjacent room noshed on a spread of pasta, hero sandwiches, salad and fruit, the crowd in the main ballroom began thinning because returns were only trickling in and Bishop, 60, was maintaining a steady 3 or 4 percent lead.

"They haven't counted the votes in Smithtown yet," supporters of Alschuler, 39, kept saying, referring to the candidates base of support.

By 11:30, only about 40 percent of the vote had been counted.

Robert Ryan, Altschuler's press secretary, said the candidate was home with his family in St. James and would make the 10-minute drive to the restaurant as soon as the race was decided.

But later it became clear that the race was too close to call and would depend on the counting of more than 9,000 absentee ballots. With all 460 election districts reporting, the incumbent, had 3,461 more votes than Altschuler of the 181,043 votes cast. Bishop declined to declare victory and Altschuler did not concede.

Altschuler has a shot, although only a very minute one, at upsetting Tim Bishop.  However, the bigger story might be that regardless of whether the GOP win NY-25 or NY-1, there certainly is a much bigger story to NY's congressional elections last night than the 5 seats picked up last night.  

Updated: Too close to call: NY-25 race between Dan Maffei and Ann Marie Buerkle

By Sam Foster

Last night, I was live on the scene at Ann Marie Buerkle's campaign party only to leave with that undecided feeling.  As the morning hours emerged, Dan Maffei held roughly a 2,000 vote lead with 96% precincts reporting.  In some elections, it might be enough to call the election for a candidate, but in NY-25, the game is far from over.

Wayne County is the area holding up the show.  Only 60% of the precincts have reported so far.  This is by far the most Republican portion of the district and no doubt, voters will be leaning towards Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle.  The question is, by how much.

Republicans faired well in a tough congressional atmosphere.  The state-wide candidates performed poorly even in the more conservative Upstate NY.  So far, Andrew Cuomo is leading Wayne County by 8 points.  Republican Joe DioGuardi, running in a special election for US Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand has a small 1% lead.  Clearly, Ann Marie will get no help from the top of the ticket.

If nearby districts are indications for NY-25, then Ann Marie Buerkle has a good shot.  Both NY-29 and NY-24 switched their blue colors for red and despite poor top of the ticket performance in those districts.  

Personally, I think this one is going to be up to the lawyers.  I think it is likely Ann Marie will close the gap, the initial count may even put her ahead, but it is unlikely she will lead by enough votes to be declared winner.  Absentee ballots also will likely favor Ann Marie, but I haven't found any news as to the number of them outstanding.  

While the rest of the country wakes up to Republican control of the House, NY-25 will be waiting, probably for several days, to find out who they will be sending to represent them.


Karen at Lonely Conservative has the absentee ballot count at about 10,000. She also reports on a rumor that Wayne County voting machines were malfunctioning. It may be an indication on why the reporting is lagging.

Update x2:

Jill Terreri at the D&C sheds a little more detail on Wayne County's significance:

But Wayne County, which has about 12 percent of the voters in the district, had only reported about half of its election districts.

Those returns showed that Buerkle had reduced Maffei's lead but still trailed. Absentee ballots could also be a factor.

Update x3:

Some info from the Wayne Post on slow reporting:

Election officials received reports of election results from 40 of the 67 districts in Wayne County before stopping for the night after working 24 straight hours. Wayne County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the Board of Elections office on Montezuma Street in Lyons to impound all the results still being tabulated. Counts will resume Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

Districts were slow to report voting numbers due to problems reading the tapes, some of which were physically brought to the Board of Elections office.

Update x4: has reported that Wayne County returns will be released by 4pm today. Also, they provided specific absentee ballot figures, although no specifics from the counties the ballots are from.

More than likely, the final outcome will be decided by absentee ballots which will be counted later this month. The Boards of Election in the four counties encompassed in the 25th District, Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne and Monroe Counties, have sent out a total of 11,645 absentee ballots, of which 8,344 have been sent back.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What to expect from NY on Election Day

By Sam Foster

Finally, it is Election Day.  A day I've been waiting for since stimulus one of seventeen hundred was passed back in February 2010 (also, the day I started blogging).  To commemorate this momentous rejection of Obamanism, I will be assisting Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection for his all-day live blog of the elections coast to coast.  Prof. Jacobson has a snazzy setup and some excellent bloggers contributing.  Please, please stop by throughout the day, you will not be sorry.  Also, tonight I'll be live blogging the NY election returns at LCR and Legal Insurrection from Ann Marie Buerkle's (NY-25) location.

So if you are a NY outsider and you are wondering where NY stands in the midst of the largest Red Election Wave in history, below is a look at the close races, the polling data, the unanswered questions, and a few predictions for you.

The biggest story for NY tonight will be the congressional races.  There are no Republicans that are competitive in the state-wide contests.  Siena polling in Upstate NY is showing a trend across the 10 district region, where undecided likely voters are swinging heavily Republican.  Conservatively, NY will produce roughly 5 seats that will change hands from Republican to Democrat, while easily retaining the two seats currently held by Pete King and Chris Lee.  Below is a list of the races by difficulty for Republicans.


Republican Tom Reed is expected to win an easy race against Democrat Matt Zeller for disgraced Eric Massa's old seat.  The only polling conducted is nearly a month old and projected Tom Reed in the lead by 14 points.  That's a long-time to go without polling, but it seems unlikely that Matt Zeller will win.  Both Zeller and Reed were wildly unknown, but the DCCC threw in the towel early on Zeller and Matt hasn't received any support and had poor media relations (aka he didn't bother sending out press releases and frequently failed to respond to media requests).  Overcoming the ghost of Massa will be a seemingly impossible task.

Outstanding Question:

Massa had one the seat with an outstanding GOTV operation.  Will the pieces of the Massa movement pick themselves up and vote Zeller?  I doubt it.

Prediction: Tom Reed by 10 points.


Scott Murphy barely squeaked by Jim Tedisco in a special election for Kirsten Gillibrand's seat.  Now former Army Colonel Chris Gibson is promising to retire Murphy after little more than a year.  Gibson has a strong story; two tours, a PhD from Cornell, and lots of ground support as evidenced by strong single donor fundraising.  Recent polling put him up 9 points on Scott Murphy and it is not moving anywhere.

No outstanding questions in this race.  Chris Gibson, game, set, match!  

Prediction: Chris Gibson by 6 points


Now we move into some of the stickier races.  Polling put Democrat John Hall ahead by one point in the final days, but Nan Hayworth has held the lead by three points in the past.  However, the history of elections, according to Nate Silver, gives Hayworth a 69% chance of claiming the seat based on her earlier three point lead and I think she can pull it off.  This race is John Hall's Orleans rocker image against well-liked Dr. Nan Hayworth and I'm sorry John Hall, this is a serious election this year and the voters will choose the Dr.  

The fact that John Hall has been disengaged with his district isn't going to help either.  He utilized OFA for ground operations over leading a grassroots campaign, ducked a debate sending someone else to stand in for him, and had other politicians stand in for him at town halls as well.

Prediction:  Nan Hayworth by 3 points


This is going to be an interesting race.  Bill Owens is not well-liked in the district and has not been able to pull above 40% in the polls.  However, instead of backing and helping conservative Doug Hoffman, the area Republicans introduced a potential spoiler in Matt Doheny.  Matt Doheny emerged victorious in a close primary contest and Doug Hoffman did the honorable thing, dropping a third party run and backing Doheny.  Although Tea Party leader Mark Barie has decided to back Doheny, many other Hoffman supporters are not convinced.  I know, because I frequently get emails from the disaffected.  The polls bear this story as well, as Matt Doheny has made some headway, but struggled to bring Hoffman supporters into the fold.  He's moved from 35% to 37% in the last weeks, but there is still a large number of Hoffman supporters still backing Hoffman (about 10%), Hoffman's name is on the ballot though he dropped out, and no one can predict where those votes will swing.

Outstanding Question:

Will Doug Hoffman supporters back Matt Doheny?  My guess is yes.  Enough Hoffman supporters will see the possibility of sending a message to Obama as too enticing to pass up.

Prediction:  Matt Doheny by 2 points

If you haven't noticed a trend in the Siena polling above, but Upstate NY undecided voters are leaning Republican as Election Day neared.  NY-20 swung 26 points, NY-23 by two and the last poll on NY-24 had Richard Hanna surge by 5.  I would strongly suggest that this momentum will continue into today and Richard Hanna will emerge victorious in a close contest.

Outstanding Question:

How much have undecided voters swung toward Republicans?


Richard Hanna by 2 points


With the five top seats covered, we move into the districts where there are too many questions to make a prediction, but there are clear reasons why these seats could swing in the Republican's favor and NY-1 is such a district.

Early January Republican polling showed Democrat Tim Bishop in danger and a nasty primary contest produced Randy Altschuler as Bishop's challenger.  A poll from nearly a month ago showed Bishop with a 12 point lead.  However, a very recent internal poll from Randy Altschuler is showing only a 2 points lead going into Election Day.

Outstanding Question:

Can Randy Altschuler rise above the messy three-way primary battle that he won?  Are undecided voters leaning Republican on Long Island (no polling to evidence)?


Most political analysts did not envision Democrat Dan Maffei as a seat in jeopardy and a month old poll showed Maffei with a 12 point lead.  However, Buerkle's pollster had the race as close as one point, the seat has traditionally swung Republican and had an even split voter registration between Democrats and Republicans.  Also, the seat is located in the heart of Upstate and as I pointed out, undecided voters are moving toward the Republican column.

This race has all the anecdotal evidence of an upset election, just no data.


NY-13 encompasses Staten Island and the seat has swung Republican in the past.  Democrat Mike McMahon is only a single term incumbent and McMahon had an earlier scandal on his hands, when the press found a list of voting demographics likely to vote Grimm.  The list detailed how the Jew Vote was leaning for Grimm.  It might be just enough to catapult Grimm into the lead.


You known that Democrat Maurice Hinchey is in a safe district because he really shouldn't be anywhere near winning this race.  At a recent debate event he assaulted a reporter.  He didn't debate very well either, acknowledging that he didn't know what deficit reduction was and going on a tirade of a conspiracy on how George Bush had let Osama Bin Laden escape so he could invade Iraq.

George Phillips on the other hand is an excellent, articulate candidate.  He should be winning this race in a blow-out, but gerrymandering may have its way.

Outstanding Question:

Will NY-22 finally realize that Maurice Hinchey is off his rocker?  Will George Phillips benefit from the Upstate undecided swing that we are seeing in other races?


Most expect Democrat Steve Israel to win re-election against John Gomez.  There has been no polling to tout how the landscape of the race is swinging.  However, Long Island had a surprise Republican victory during the November 2009 elections and so political watchers expect a possible upset this election cycle too.  The money is on Randy Altschuler, but John Gomez is also a strong candidate.

Outstanding Question:

Will there be another November surprise from Long Island voters?


I'm probably the only person in the world that would add NY-27 to their list of potential Republican victories.  Democrat Brian Higgins is well known and insulated, while Leonard Roberto has been largely under funded and unknown.  However, Cook Political Report has NY-27's PVI at only D+4 and Roberto could get a huge top of the ticket bump from Carl Paladino who is leading Cuomo in Erie County by 20 points.  If there is going to be a left-field, no one saw this coming victory, it could be NY-27.

Outstanding Question:

How big can Paladino bump?

Big Outstanding Questions for Tonight

Republicans aren't really close on the state-wide races, will this hurt congressional candidates in close races?

However, Democrats cakewalk statewide elections may not deliver voters to the polls?

Will Long Island produce a November surprise?

How much will undecided voters lean Republican?

Will Paladino help or hurt Republicans and which races?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chris Gibson Rally at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga County

by Bill Claydon

While Bill Clinton spent his time on a last ditch effort to bail out Scott Murphy’s (D-NY 20) sinking fortunes at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga County, 250-300 supporters of Colonel Chris Gibson braved cold temperatures in the mid 30s to stand up for the kind of change New York’s 20th district needs. Rather than a Pelosi puppet who serves as her representative to New York’s 20th district, we support a man who will actually represent us in the US House of Representatives.

Let’s make it clear there were far more than the “couple of dozen” Gibson supporters as claimed by WGY radio. I was personally there. If anyone wonders why tea party people don’t take the mainstream media seriously anymore, this is a great example. When the mainstream media learns about such things as accuracy in reporting about events related to non-leftist candidates, we may again take their reporting with something more than a grain of salt.

Police cordoned off an area close to the entrance so we could rally for Gibson. Gibson supporters were enthusiastic and energetic despite being out early morning in the cold. While Democrat politicians and others went in, Gibson supporters chanted his name, asked where the jobs are, reminded people there is just one more day, etc. After the attendees went inside, we said he pledge of allegiance and sang various patriotic songs.

Clinton was late to the event, likely messing up schedules for his subsequent appearances all the way down the line. Regardless of the extended time, most of the Gibson supporters were able to stay until Democrat politicians and the other guests left. We greeted them with Gibson signs and chants for the man who will hopefully be our new representative in January.

In chatting with one Gibson supporter, he noted that the fact that Clinton was doing this one early did not seem so good for Murphy. We felt Clinton was basically checking this one off his list. For a candidate who might have some promise, a more appropriate time would be lunch time or the afternoon when more people could show up. The bigger the crowd, the better it looks. But Clinton had other candidates to try to bail out later in the day…

Highlights included a Gibson supporter wearing a Clinton mask, riding a bicycle around with Gibson signs. Another gentleman announced that he became an American citizen in August and his first vote would be for Gibson. The crowd cheered. He pointed out that he escaped Canadian “health care.”

Many of the Clinton event attendees came out with Murphy signs. What might have been interesting is to see how many of these people might have attended the event if Bill Clinton wasn’t present. (I’m guessing it would be double digits or maybe even a single digit number.) Many waved their Murphy signs at us. Some laughed along and showed some enthusiasm for the guy whose poll numbers were bad enough to warrant Clinton taking time away from other candidates who seriously need his help. Other attendees were visibly disturbed that people might actually support a candidate other than the one they were supporting. At one point, a particular supporter turned around with a sour look on her face and started angrily questioning one of the Gibson supporters. She seemed like she might be ready to get in his face. Thankfully, a park police officer was right there to ask her to move along. People need to understand that freedom of speech is not a one way street.

But I really cannot understand why anyone would be sour or upset. They should just laugh the 250-300 Gibson supporters off. Afterall, Murphy has voted for most of the legislation Pelosi has rammed through Congress. Pelosi knows what’s best for all Americans, doesn’t she? And Murphy has rubber stamped almost 90% of Pelosi’s big government whims. So shouldn’t Scott Murphy have a lock on reelection, likely coming out with a 20 to 30 point lead? But then, if he was doing so well, there would be no need for Bill Clinton to take time away from his busy schedule to appear with Murphy…

NY-28 Republican candidate Jill Rowland threatened by man with knife

By Sam Foster

Whoa, how did I miss this one?  According to Dr. Jill Rowland's FB page (she's the Republican candidate for NY's 28th Congressional District), she was threatened last week by a man with a knife:

Rochester, NY – Wednesday evening, Jill Rowland, the 28th congressional district candidate, was attending a question and answer round table discussion at the Radisson hotel in downtown Rochester. Dr. Rowland was an invited guest of the Turkish American Business and Development Council. At around 10 PM, a man clad in sunglasses and of questionable attire entered the hotel lobby and headed directly toward the sizeable group. A campaign staff volunteer approached the man and asked him if he needed any help. The man did not respond and appeared to retreat momentarily. He then darted to the opposite side of the group where he promptly positioned himself in a threatening pose directly across from Dr. Rowland and the representative from the Turkish consulate. The Rowland Campaign volunteer, alarmed by the irregular behavior, immediately approached the man once again. The man did not respond or move initially, but upon further prompting by the campaign staffer, the man walked away visibly agitated. The man then raised his hands in a threatening manner toward Dr. Rowland and the businessmen and assumed confrontational stances, so the campaign staffer summoned the hotel security immediately.. The man seemed to be familiar with the hotel and was able to expeditiously exit by way of an unconventional path and was now holding what appeared to be a weapon in his hand.

911 was called and the man was followed up East Main Street to the Hyatt parking lot and was subsequently arrested on South Avenue. After a thorough search of the man,an open utility knife was found hidden on his person.

No one was injured in this incident. The businessmen and campaign staff were extremely pleased and appreciative to the hotel security and the fast acting and professionalism of the Rochester police department.

I checked the news releases and no one has covered the story, except for Gateway Pundit!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why is the left so angry?

by Bill Claydon

I really don’t understand this. We have the Joy Behar meltdown which resulted in Sharron Angle getting $150,000 in donations. We have Bill Maher calling people who disagree with his far left extreme views “ignorant” and later going into a profanity laced rant. Finally, we have rank and file liberals having such angry tones in various blogs online.

Relax. Haven’t liberals lectured the tea party that anger is not the answer? So, why are their icons like Joy Behar going into hysterics and causing people like Sharron Angle to get so much money? And why are the rank and file liberals getting so frustrated? Don’t they take their own advice?

Liberals, don’t get so upset. Look at New York. Polls show that Status Cuomo is way up there. Rest easy. You’ll get more of the same. Big, bloated government, higher costs, more people who can afford it moving out of New York because of the out of control government waste. There are few businesses moving into New York unless they get corporate welfare, which means few reasonable private sector jobs. And now, Governor Paterson has announced a layoff of almost 900 state workers. The battle with the unions over that layoff will go beyond the end of Paterson’s time in office, so the mess will be dumped onto Cuomo. Cuomo likely has presidential ambitions. So, he’s probably going to push through on the layoffs so as to at least make it look like he tried to do something with New York’s fiscal mess. The attorney general’s office was a mere stepping stone, and Cuomo has places to go. It’s not like he would just stop at the governor’s office. That too will be a stepping stone. In fact, he’ll actually need to run for and win a second term in 2014 (not hard with those brass knuckles Eliot “the Steamroller” Spitzer says Cuomo has) so it’s not like he’s just going to do what he did in the attorney general’s seat. But then he could try for the White House in 2016.

Now, if you are concerned about state layoffs, there are two candidates that would probably stand against such things. They are Howie Hawkins of the Green Party and Charles Barron of the Freedom Party. Their solution is to just “tax the rich” and “cut tax cuts” even though “the rich” are in the best position to leave the state. I can’t tell you where Jimmy McMillan stands on this issue because his major issue is that “Rent. Is. Too. Damn. High.” And, McMillan has parlayed that into being parodied on Saturday Night Live and having a doll that looks like him. Mission accomplished for Jimmy McMillan’s “gubernatorial campaign” aka attempt at getting notoriety. Anyway, for those who want to tell Cuomo not to step all over state workers on his road to a possible future Democrat presidential nomination, I would think Hawkins or Barron would be your best bet.

Then there are the Senate races. Speaking of Joy Behar, there is another guy who likes to throw around the word she used. Unlike Behar who used it against a public figure (Sharron Angle), Schumer likes to use it on common, ordinary people such as flight attendants. See, Schumer likes big government regulation for other people, but not when it must also apply to him. He’s an elite Senator, you see. But liberals shouldn’t be too upset. Polls show New Yorkers want more of the same so they will likely be sending Schumer back. In fact, if Harry Reid does not win his seat (Nevada is not as “enlightened” as New York), Schumer could be the Democrats’ leader in the Senate.

Next we have Schumer’s rubber stamp who is great at letting Schumer do most of her thinking for her, Kirsten Gillibrand. He’s a lucky guy to get two votes in the US Senate. Polls show New Yorkers like Schumer so much that they will likely be sending his second vote back to the Senate for another two years. It’s funny how someone can change so much when they get a promotion. Kirsten Gillibrand as 20th district Congresswoman would hardly recognize Kirsten Gillibrand as Senator. People in the district she formerly represented seem to notice the difference. I’m not sure if she was a phony then or if she’s a phony now.

So, I just don’t get the level of anger from liberals, especially in New York. They’re going to get the same old. Then they can complain about the costs here in New York. They should be happy with the big government waste for which they will be voting. Better yet, they’re just going to vote for the boring nonsense Democrat candidates. But if they really want some new and seriously left leaning ideas, they have a plethora of third party candidates for whom they could vote.

Since liberals suggest that their policies have been good for America (such as the FAILED “stimulus” that was supposed to keep unemployment at or below 8%), they should have nothing to be worried about. All Democrat candidates should be running 20% ahead of their nearest opponent as the populace chants “hope and change” and “yes we can.” Oh, wait, we already had that. It was called 2008. Now the fad is over.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Scott Murphy Supporters Don't Care About the Law

by Bill Claydon

Scott Murphy's (D NY-20) campaign seems to be in a freefall as we head towards election day. From the campaign releasing an advertisement showing a digitized version of his opponent, Colonel Chris Gibson, riding an alligator and accusing Gibson of "feeding on the middle class" to supporters sending our mailers with ludicrous accusations, the stench of desperation is huge.

But a recent accusation on a mailer takes the cake. It accuses Gibson of being against tax cuts for small businesses. If that's not bad enough, the mailer gives absolutely no indication of what entity or organization paid for the ad. The law requires that mailers indicate the group responsible for the mailers. The Gibson campaign will be turning these over for investigation. Of course, this is an easy risk for Murphy supporters as they can make this accusation at the end of campaign season and deal with the consequences later --- when authorities will likely have to sort through numerous complaints from many campaigns. After a bruising election season, such things will not be covered by the media and with the results decided, the general public will not care after November 2nd.

Scott Murphy needs to denounce such tactics. He championed the so-called DISCLOSE Act, claiming he is for openness and transparency. It's truly sad that he does not seem to be so concerned about such things from his supporters now that he is running behind in polls.

But then, this is nothing new. Murphy claims he wants to help small businesses, get the government out of the way, etc. But he votes almost 90% with Nancy Pelosi's agenda.....which grows government and gets it involved with more and more of our lives, creating a terrible environment for small businesses.

Let's hope enough voters see through the Scott Murphy smoke and mirrors on November 2nd.

NY Election Projections Do Not Impact Larger Tea Party Movement

by Bill Claydon

Regardless of what is said below, tea party members and others concerned about the direction of our country must get out to vote. We have some promising congressional elections even if not such good polling in statewide elections.We might be a minority in New York, but we should show ourselves to be as large of a minority as possible.

New York is a deep blue state. The majority of people continue to vote in status quo big government politicians, and there seems to be little outrage when things like the VLT scandal are revealed. Despite the loss of 1.5 million people (according to a print only article in the Albany Times Union a few Sundays back) for states with lower costs, the majority of voters seem to just want more of the same in mediocrity, high property taxes, and an environment where chosen businesses will only relocate to the state if they get enough corporate welfare. Of course, that corporate welfare ultimately costs the middle and lower classes in higher land taxes to pay for more government services, but people don’t care. As to the 1.5 million who left for less expensive states, as New York is one of the best states for welfare and Medicaid, they can be replaced by people who will continue to vote in the status quo. The burden to pay for this will of course fall on a smaller and smaller group of people who cannot afford to move out.

There was never a question that Andrew Cuomo was going to win the governor’s race as polls show. This is New York. New Yorkers seem to want the status quo(mo). A nobody with a “D” after their name could win. Yet for some reason, due to the frustration people are feeling, Cuomo’s statements in the 90 Minute Comedy Variety Show Starring Jimmy McMillan (aka the 2010 New York Gubernatorial Debate), occasionally seemed to reflect tea party ideals. Of course, they were packaged in a polished career politician style presentation. I doubt Cuomo will actually stick to these ideals once he takes over. What will be more interesting is to see the share of the vote given to Paladino. The self-proclaimed “steamroller” won nearly 70% of the vote against John Faso in 2006. Had the uninspiring and boring Rick Lazio remained on the ticket, I suspect he would have been lucky to get 25% of the vote. Paladino could win a higher share of the votes.

In one of the US Senate races, a majority of New Yorkers will likely choose Chuck Schumer, a man who likes big government regulations but does not agree with personally following them. When he was told to turn off his cell phone by a flight attendant, he called her a filthy name. Schumer’s rubber stamp, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, was sitting next to him when he did that and did not seem to have a problem with it. But then, she defers to Schumer most of the time anyway. Despite the Democrats protecting Gillibrand from any serious primary challenge, and despite her near total change in position from her days as Congresswoman from the 20th District, a majority of New Yorkers will likely vote to give Schumer what is basically his “second vote” (the only US Senator to have one) for two more years.

In the attorney general and comptroller races, it is likely that the candidate with a “D” after their name will win.

As an uber liberal state, the tea party in New York is small compared to other states. But let’s look at what the tea party has done in NY. The favored candidates by the dysfunctional New York State Republican Party to run for the governor’s race and the Gillibrand Senate seat were beaten by tea party favored outsiders who had to gather signatures to get into the primary. At least for a time, Cuomo did not have smooth sailing to the governor’s mansion. This is a step.

While other states which are more centrist or conservative leaning may see the status quo changed in the 2010 election, things will be far more gradual in New York. We can’t expect serious change in one election cycle. Change will take several election cycles here. Some might point to Massachusetts where Scott Brown won and ask why the same can’t happen in NY. First, Brown is a RINO. Second, he won in a special election where people from all over the country could concentrate their efforts. In 2010, New York is competing with almost every other state. Even some in New York may be helping candidates who are from states where they have a better chance to win. Certainly there is very little outside help coming in.

So, while liberals might be quick to use tunnel vision and focus on New York as some sort of barometer of tea party success, it’s just wishful thinking on their part. Rather than being discouraged, we can look at what is happening in other states. Clearly, not enough people have woken up in New York. But don’t worry. Just give the projected winners time to wake more people up. Conditions in New York will get worse. Whether people become part of the “tea party” movement or not, more and more will see that there is a problem as time goes on. A few more election cycles will be needed before New York catches up to much of the rest of the country.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scott Murphy making same mistakes as Tedisco Campaign did in 2009

by Bill Claydon

New York's 20th congressional district has a huge Republican advantage in party registrations compared to Democrats. The 2006 election season was largely a Democrat year. Combined with the fact that all sorts of negative news came out about sleazy ex-Congressman John Sweeney, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was able to take the seat. In 2008, Gillibrand easily won reelection. In early 2009, then New York Senator Hillary Clinton was given the consolation prize of Secretary of State since she lost the Democrat primary to the so-called "hope and change" candidate. While Caroline "y'know" Kennedy was assumed to be the frontrunner to replace Hillary, ultimately the seat went to Kirsten Gillibrand. With the departure of Hillary, Chuck Schumer then TRULY became New York's senior Senator, even though he had held that title on paper since 2001. Gillibrand provided him with an extra perk in my view: she has basically given in to him for at least 90% of her voting decisions.

Anyway, in the race to fill Gillibrand's seat via special election, the Republicans nominated then New York State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco. The Democrats had to pick through a bunch of no-name candidates. It was expected that Tedisco would handily win, and a Democrat had to run as the sacrificial lamb.

Scott Murphy, who had lived in Glens Falls for around three years by the 2009 race, happened to have a lot of money. He was chosen over nearly three dozen other candidates --- many of whom likely lived in the district far longer --- because of money.

While Tedisco spent years in the NYS Assembly and had a long record of accomplishments, the Republican National Committee came along and basically ran ads simply bashing Scott Murphy. Murphy was a nobody in the area....until the RNC gave him all sorts of free publicity. They created sympathy for the man with their attack ads. Even among conservatives, there was disappointment with these kinds of ads.

When Tedisco finally asserted control over his campaign and ran some positive ads, it was too late. The damage was done. Murphy had been given name recognition by the other side and generated sympathy.

What should have been a landslide victory in a heavily Republican district turned out to be too close to call. After seesawing for weeks, Murphy won by a few hundred votes and Tedisco conceded.

Fast forward to 2010. Despite Murphy's claims that he is a business man, cares about small business, wants to get the government out of the way, blah blah blah, he has established a record of voting nearly 90% with Nancy Pelosi to expand the federal government. District residents have felt he ignored them and instead listened to his union DC Democrat masters. His campaign war chest is loaded with donations from "safe" Democrats, Wall Street, big unions, trial lawyers, etc.

Murphy started releasing ads. Some ads were positive about himself, though they did not talk specifics about his extensive DC record supporting Pelosi's agenda. Other groups released ads touting the fact that Murphy has Sunday dinners with 52 family members as some sort of reason why he belongs in Congress. (Maybe if he is retired from Congress he could eat with those 52 family members every night of the week?) Another one touted the jobs he created, except they forgot to mention that many were in India.

But then Murphy started releasing attack ads against his opponent, Colonel Chris Gibson. One ad has a wild accusation about Gibson cutting Medicare by 75% when the Colonel has never been in Congress! Another one showed Gibson riding an alligator, gobbling things up. Murphy's ads tend to mention Gibson's name. Even in the "I approve this message" part of the ad, Murphy has been shown mentioning Gibson's name. He should have been saying "My opponent" if he had to reference Gibson at all. Strategically, it is just foolish for the incumbent to provide free publicity for the challenger.

Did Murphy learn anything from the 2009 campaign which greatly benefitted him?

Evidently not. Murphy's poll numbers are down into the final week of election season. Murphy needs to be "rescued" by Bill Clinton on the day before election day. (Bad idea to have such a high profile candidate this late into the race.) It just doesn't look good.

Should Murphy be toppled, some of this will be due to his advertising mistakes, along with ignoring many in his constituency and false statements about Colonel Gibson such as the Medicare accusation.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Has Scott Murphy jumped the shark, er, gator?

by Bill Claydon

Incumbent Democrat Scott Murphy (D-NY 20), one of the eight flip floppers on ObamaCare, released a rather entertaining ad this week, full of the standard Democrat class warfare fear inducing rhetoric. The ad reeks of desperation.

First it was announced that in the last days of election season, Bill Clinton has to take precious time to campaign for Murphy rather than spending it with other desperate Democrats. The next day, a Siena poll was released showing Scott Murphy’s opponent Colonel Chris Gibson nine points ahead of Murphy. In between these two announcements, Murphy released the following ad:

Murphy’s campaign press release presents this as if it’s something serious. The fast pace combined with the comical nature of the ad leave the viewer questioning whether the campaign really took any of these issues seriously when giving their okay for this ad. A slower pace with depressing music might have done a slightly better job delivering these tired old Democrat talking points.

The graphics were creative and the ad was likely expensive to produce. Of course, when one’s campaign gets all sorts of money from Democrats in “safe” districts, as well as Wall Street, trial lawyers, big business, big unions, and other liberal groups, he has money to throw around. And why wouldn’t he get this money? Afterall, Murphy was a good Pelosi lapdog, voting with her almost 90% of the time. He served as an excellent representative of Nancy Pelosi to New York’s 20th Congressional District.

The ad could basically be a template. It’s just standard talking points from the left, hoping to reach those who don’t bother to study the issues. Insert any Republican in there, make a couple of minor adjustments, and it could be used for any desperate Democrat’s campaign.

So let’s look at the ad. Colonel Gibson, a man who put his life on the line for our country, is shown riding an alligator, being accused of getting ready to “feed on the middle class.” Ridiculous, silly, and shameful, all at the same time. The first point is whining about Gibson wanting “tax cuts for the wealthy” and claims it will “add $700 billion to the deficit.” Excuse me? Supporting the extension of the Bush tax cuts across the board does not add $700 billion to the deficit. There is no guarantee that the government is actually going to take in an extra $700 billion in tax revenue as a result of letting the Bush tax cuts expire. In fact, with the Obama Recession and continued uncertainty from employers about the mess that is ObamaCare, tax revenue will continue to remain low. Employers aren’t sure about hiring and that means less production. Less money because of lack of employment means less business revenue, which ultimately means less tax revenue. But the government could actually reduce its spending and stop adding to the deficit. However, that will never happen with the likes of the Pelosi/Reid Congress that is addicted to spending.

To borrow an Obama phrase (and remember, I don’t have a teleprompter), let me be clear. The one who has actually added (over) $700 billion to the deficit is none other than Scott Murphy’s boss, Nancy Pelosi, and her buddy Barack Obama, when they rammed the FAILED “stimulus” through.

Then the ad accuses Gibson of putting “more tax burdens on the middle class,” as Gibson rides an alligator which gobbles up a family. Mr. Murphy was the one who put more tax burdens on the middle class. He claimed he wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. But then he voted with Speaker Pelosi and a majority of Democrats to adjourn Congress before helping the middle class. I can only conclude that getting home early to work on his campaign was truly more important to Mr. Murphy than helping the middle class. The vote was 210-209. Had he voted the other way, it could have been a tie and this may have prevented adjournment from happening.

Next it shows the gator gobbling up a building, accusing Gibson of wanting to eliminate the Department of Education. It follows by claiming this will raise property taxes by $800 per year. What? Eliminating mandates from faceless bureaucrats in DC will raise property taxes? Oh please. Maybe if the schools would get the salaries of their administrators (not to mention the sheer number of administrators and assistants) under control as well as other costs, New York would no longer have a reputation of having some of the worst property taxes in the nation. (Let’s not forget the costs of bureaucrat salaries, office space, supplies, equipment, energy, building maintenance, etc. saved with the elimination of a bloated federal department. That too could reduce additional deficit spending.)

As Gibson is accused of raising property taxes, the gator gobbles up a house, revealing scenery that just does not look like it belongs in Upstate NY. Well, that’s understandable. What can we expect from the gentleman from Missouri? Scott Murphy spent a great deal of time in Missouri. Having lived less than three years in Glens Falls, he then decided to run for Congress from New York’s 20th district. Therefore, with such little time in the area, I can fully understand how Murphy would approve an ad showing scenery that simply does not belong in Upstate NY.

Scott Murphy could have taken this final week to make the “closing argument” on a positive note. He should have touted his support for the “stimulus,” the second “stimulus,” ObamaCare, the Disclose Act, and all the rest of the Obama/Pelosi agenda he supported, which has added to the deficit and kicked the costs on to future generations. He could have explained why he felt this would be good for New York’s 20th district. He should have gone on a positive note. No, having dinner with 52 relatives is not a reason to send someone to Congress. But he should have been able to use his record to demonstrate why he feels he deserves another term. Instead, he chose to release a desperate ad full of standard Democrat fearmongering talking points. What a shameful and pathetic way to end the campaign season.

But at the same time, in my opinion it’s a very entertaining way to expose desperation…