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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!