Hoffman vs. Scozzafava; Update: Whom to blame?

posted at 2:45 pm on October 17, 2009 by Allahpundit

The NY-23 special election has been off our radar screen but the boss is blogging up a storm about it, seeing it — as, increasingly, many prominent conservatives do — as a bellwether for the party’s approach to the midterms. The RNC, NRCC, and even Gingrich are all in for liberal Republican Scozzafava; Michelle, Fred Thompson, and the Club for Growth support the upstart fiscal conservative Doug Hoffman. The question: How big should the big tent be? Evidently, per the party leadership, pretty darned big:

Scozzafava is an abortion rights advocate who favors gay marriage.
It would be one thing if Scozzafava balanced that social liberalism with fiscal conservatism. But as a state assemblywoman, she voted for massive tax increases, Democratic budgets and a $180 million state bank bailout. She also supported the trillion-dollar federal stimulus package — which every House Republican voted against.

More troubling, Scozzafava in past elections has embraced the ballot line of the Working Families Party — a socialist outfit whose political DNA is intertwined with scandal-ridden ACORN. ACORN and the WFP have shared office space in New York City, Arkansas and Illinois. ACORN head Bertha Lewis, a close Scozzafava friend and political supporter, wears a second hat as vice chairman of the WFP. The WFP has been listed in ACORN documents dating back to 2000 as an “affiliate.”…

Scozzafava’s husband is a leading upstate New York union organizer. She supports the federal “card-check” legislation that would massively boost union rolls — and Democratic voting rolls — at the expense of rank-and-file workers’ free choice. And for that matter, at the expense of Republican electoral prospects. Card check is the key to a Democratic majority in perpetuity. Big Labor bosses have said as much.

I’m mystified as to how Scozzafava came to be the party’s candidate. Republicans have held the seat with 60+ percent of the vote for more than a decade; they could have named any generic right-winger to succeed John McHugh as rep and he/she would have won in a waltz. Either Scozzafava must have pulled some strings within the state party or the national leadership decided to make this a grand “big tent” gesture by deliberately picking a liberal woman, but the predictable result is an insurgency by a more traditional conservative that’s picking up steam. In fact, Hoffman’s now peeled away enough support from Scozzafava that the Democrat’s in the lead — which I’d normally consider disastrous but, given her record, might not be the worst possible outcome.

If all this reminds you of the Liberman/Lamont showdown three years ago, it should. In fact, a la Special Ned, Hoffman’s taken his campaign to the blogosphere via a new guest-posting on the boss’s site:

With her numbers plummeting – and mine rising – and only three weeks left until the election in NY-23, Dede Scozzafava has decided she needs to change her stripes to get conservative votes…

I don’t think conservatives will be fooled. The more they learn about Dede Scozzafava, the worse she does in the polls. And the more they learn about my campaign, the better we do.

We can win this thing, but we’re up against limited time and an awful RNC and NRCC decision to support a liberal candidate…

If you want to join my fight, I need you. We need money and we need volunteers – boots on the ground. If you can help, go to my website and sign up. Then show up.

Here’s his donation page. Exit question one: Which imbecilic party boss or bosses are responsible for provoking this entirely needless fight? Exit question two: If they were dead set on a big-tent gesture, couldn’t they have found a social liberal who’s at least in favor of small government?

Update: If we’re going to dump on the GOP for its amazing incompetence, we might as well have a laugh.


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Update: Via Karl, an answer to exit question one.

The next month, the district’s 11 Republican county chairmen gathered at a pizzeria in Potsdam to pick a nominee. They were looking for someone with name recognition who could prevail in a shortened campaign when the economy was voters’ top concern. Ms. Scozzafava, a former small-town mayor who has served for a decade in the state legislature, seemed the right choice.

Ms. Scozzafava spent 20 years as a stockbroker. Her family has owned the same auto-parts store in Gouverneur, N.Y., for decades. In March 2008, upset at the sex scandals surrounding former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his successor, David Paterson, Ms. Scozzafava sent a letter to her colleagues blasting an Albany social life “that is somewhere between ‘Girls & Boys Gone Wild’ and a sorority-fraternity style mixer.”

She appealed to the Republican chairmen. “We asked, is it possible to put in place a Republican candidate that uniformly stands for all the conservative values of the far right, but is unelectable?” says William Farber, the Hamilton County chairman. “I would much rather have a candidate like Dede Scozzafava that I don’t agree with 100% of the time, but always has been honest and forthright.”


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And besides Scazzofava is not that much of a squishy moderate. She’s moderate to conservative. If she was a Liberal Republican, along the lines of Geraldo Rivera, Jim Jeffords, Lincoln Chaffee or Arlent Specter, than you all would have an argument. But she’s well within the John McCain/Lindsay Graham certainly Susan Collins/Charlie Crist wing of the GOP.

The prosecution rests!

Chris_Balsz on October 17, 2009 at 10:27 PM

The prosecution rests!

Chris_Balsz on October 17, 2009 at 10:27 PM

I’m with you on this. He appears to be new to the blog, or at least the comment section or he would have known that most here wouldn’t accept McCain or Graham as conservative. I suddenly don’t feel as bad for not supporting his candidate.

DFCtomm on October 17, 2009 at 10:50 PM

Exactly the wing I want nothing to do with.

ORconservative on October 17, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Yes, GOP, putting up a squishy moderate like McShame worked out so well, let’s do it again!

/IDIOTS

Wanderlust on October 17, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Can the GOP suck even more?

Newt’s an opportunist… I was on the initial Newt bandwagon in early 2007… but his liaisons with Hillary and his occasional “admiration” of the left sickened me.

He was on Hannity around the time Pelosi blurted out the “500 million jobs a month” line… this idiocy of Nancy’s accomplished two things… unfortunately, it gave Hannity a line he could use ad nasuseum for weeks on radio and TV… but it also revealed how out-of-touch Newt is… he hadn’t heard the tape and gave Hannity major kudos for “finding” it (of course, Vannity took the credit Newt was giving him). Newt wants to sell books. His cause is himself.

mankai on October 17, 2009 at 10:57 PM

I just made a donation to Hoffman. Earlier today I completed a questionnaire for the RNC, once more wrapping it up with a statement that I am not giving them any more money; all of my contributions go directly to the candidates of my choice.

Lately I’ve been tossing their silly letters in the trash, sometimes without reading them. Fortunately I did open one a few weeks ago – in it was a one dollar bill. This was supposed to encourage me to return it with “interest.” Idiots. How many people DID toss that envelope in the trash without opening it? Can the RNC afford to throw money away nowadays?

disa on October 17, 2009 at 11:03 PM

Lately I’ve been tossing their silly letters in the trash, sometimes without reading them.

Same here

How many people DID toss that envelope in the trash without opening it?

Uh oh….

beachgirlusa on October 17, 2009 at 11:23 PM

Remember ladies and gentlemen, this is NEW YORK-23, not Pennsylvania-23 or Ohio-23, or Florida-23. While I think we could do better than this Scazzabuffalo, remember that a candidate who’d do great in Texas would drive away New Yorkers by the droves.

And everything we could gain by having the absolute purest conservative win we could lose if Blue Dogs get the signal that we’ll run Jasper Cletus McFundie against them in their bluish-purple districts in ’10.

Sekhmet on October 17, 2009 at 11:27 PM

Honestly, when I first looked at her picture, I thought Scuzziface was actually Michael Moore. Truth.

bloggless on October 18, 2009 at 12:02 AM

I’m getting of hearing this big tent cr@p. Rinos don’t want a big tent. They want conservatives to vote for whoever they nominate and keep their mouths shut. Rinos disrespect conservatives as much as Dems and the MSM do. And they do not share power or pay attention to the values of anyone to their right.
If a message is not sent to Newt and his ilk with this election it is only delaying the inevitable.

snaggletoothie on October 18, 2009 at 1:50 AM

And besides Scazzofava is not that much of a squishy moderate. She’s moderate to conservative. If she was a Liberal Republican, along the lines of Geraldo Rivera, Jim Jeffords, Lincoln Chaffee or Arlent Specter, than you all would have an argument. But she’s well within the John McCain/Lindsay Graham certainly Susan Collins/Charlie Crist wing of the GOP.

ericdondero on October 17, 2009 at 10:20 PM

Umm. Yeah. Right. “Moderate to conservative”. That’s why she’s been endorsed by ACORN and Kos. Sure. Would you perhaps be interested in some really nice oceanfront real estate outside Des Moines?

mcassill on October 18, 2009 at 2:23 AM

I’m mystified as to how Scozzafava came to be the party’s candidate.

Hoffman explained that in response to my question during a conference call Wednesday:

Political insiders now view Scozzafava as a certain loser. Her liberal GOP candidacy has not attracted either voter support or campaign contributions and she is being outspent 12-to-1 in TV ads by Democrat Bill Owens. Hoffman suggested favoritism as the most likely explanation why the New York state GOP picked Scozzafava out of nine candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the Nov. 3 special election.
It was an anointment . . . The party bosses, the lords of the backroom, made this selection,” Hoffman said.

Also I did 1,200 words about the NY23 campaign Friday at the American Spectator (including an interview with Hoffman himself).

But don’t link me. Go with the Wall Street Journal. Because the MSM know everything . . .

The Other McCain on October 18, 2009 at 5:24 AM

“We asked, is it possible to put in place a Republican candidate that uniformly stands for all the conservative values of the far right, but is unelectable?” says William Farber, the Hamilton County chairman. “I would much rather have a candidate like Dede Scozzafava that I don’t agree with 100% of the time, but always has been honest and forthright.”

Dang! That is one moron, there.

Scozzafava should show some integrity and withdraw from the race. If not, better that she just not get in. It’s worse having a traitor, like Snowe, who the Dems put on poster boards and lie about showing their “bipartisanship”, than just having a moron lib in the seat who votes the same way on the most important issues, anyhow.

The Vichy need to be rejected. Let the GOP get the message loud and clear, right now. Maybe they can get their heads out of their a$$es, finally.

progressoverpeace on October 18, 2009 at 6:17 AM

I just learned Scazzofava got the NRA endorsement. Please explain Conservative hard-liners, how that’s “Liberal” Republican??

And Hip Hop Republican blog did an extensive analysis of her New York Assembly voting record, and found her mostly conservative on tax issues.

Look, I live in Texas. This woman would be a flaming Liberal down here (except for nutty Austin).

But this is New York we’re talking about here. We gotta take what we can get.

Unless you all are honest and support making the GOP a truly Regional Party (Mountain West, South, and parts of the Mid-West).

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 10:49 AM

BTW, a poster above asked if I was “new” to this Blog. Ummm, I think I go back about 4 years here, before that I was a regular with Ed’s Captain Quarters blog.

Eric Dondero, Publisher
Libertarian Republican

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM

I just learned Scazzofava got the NRA endorsement. Please explain Conservative hard-liners, how that’s “Liberal” Republican??

And Hip Hop Republican blog did an extensive analysis of her New York Assembly voting record, and found her mostly conservative on tax issues.

Look, I live in Texas. This woman would be a flaming Liberal down here (except for nutty Austin).

But this is New York we’re talking about here. We gotta take what we can get.

Unless you all are honest and support making the GOP a truly Regional Party (Mountain West, South, and parts of the Mid-West).

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 10:49 AM

This is about the third time someone has used this argument, while disregard the fact that we have a much more conservative candidate that is polling very close to Ms. Scazzafava without the support of the RNCC. Why aren’t you supporting a more conservative candidate who could win if given support.

DFCtomm on October 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM

They say generals always fight the last war, and I guess so does the Republican establishment.

Too bad. It is going to be a long time in the wilderness for us.

archer52 on October 18, 2009 at 11:58 AM

This is about the third time someone has used this argument, while disregard disregarding the fact that we have a much more conservative candidate that is polling very close to Ms. Scazzafava without the support of the RNCC. Why aren’t you supporting a more conservative candidate who could win if given support.

DFCtomm on October 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM

No edit function FTW!

DFCtomm on October 18, 2009 at 12:01 PM

If we’re going to dump on the GOP for its amazing incompetence, we might as well have a laugh.

In the constant struggle of attempting to figure out wtf is up with Allahpundit, maybe it’s as simple as this. Maybe it’s just too hard to trust a guy, no matter how talented, who shares the same sense of humor with 19 year old liberals.

Stewart is a liar and a douche, and I find nothing funny about him. He’s just another angry pansy liberal.

Jaibones on October 18, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Needless to say, the most constructive and responsible action available to all good conservatives would be to send repeated emails to RNC and RNCC assuring them that you no longer consider yourself a Republican, and will only support, contribute to and vote for conservatives.

Profanity is welcome. Have all of your friends and family join in.

Jaibones on October 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM

AP or Ed how about an update? This story appeared here and on MM’s site and several people donated, so how about an update detailing the uptick in donations, or lack there of if that’s the case? I’m curious to know how much clout your boss can throw around.

DFCtomm on October 18, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Sent my $ to Hoffman. He may lose and his ‘GOP’ rival may lose. But if my $ is used only to spread more information about conservative values then it’s OK with me. All politics are local and if we’re going to roll over at the local level and never champion any issues, we’re done. (PS. Murtha has very high ratings with the NRA – do NOT equate that standing with conservatism.)

Everybody’s homework assignment: do not toss your GOP pre-metered envelopes. Each of those is an opportunity to tell NRSC, the GOP, etc. WHERE your $ is going and WHY.

on fire on October 18, 2009 at 12:34 PM

But this is New York we’re talking about here. We gotta take what we can get.
Unless you all are honest and support making the GOP a truly Regional Party (Mountain West, South, and parts of the Mid-West).
ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 10:49 AM

I’m not interested in a socially liberal, fiscally moderate permanent majority.

I don’t accept the “professional” guess that the “far right” can’t do it. It comes from people who wouldn’t want to live under the “far right” like AnninCA. And these same professionals got behind McCain.

Chris_Balsz on October 18, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Everybody’s homework assignment: do not toss your GOP pre-metered envelopes. Each of those is an opportunity to tell NRSC, the GOP, etc. WHERE your $ is going and WHY.

on fire on October 18, 2009 at 12:34 PM

That’s another great idea – and I’ll start doing it. I get them all the time from the days I USED TO CONTRIBUTE to the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC.

HondaV65 on October 18, 2009 at 12:53 PM

The time to fight for conservatism is in the primary!

Go Hoffman!

- The Cat

MirCat on October 18, 2009 at 12:57 PM

But this is New York we’re talking about here. We gotta take what we can get.
Unless you all are honest and support making the GOP a truly Regional Party (Mountain West, South, and parts of the Mid-West).
ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 10:49 AM

If the GOP had picked Hoffman – he’d be a shoe-in. He’s within 7 points of “The Scozz” right now and there’s no doubt most of her support is coming from loyal Republicans – without her – he’d be winning in a cakewalk over the dem.

The Ayatollah’s picked the wrong candidate … period.

Also – I’d like to know what’s “regional” about fiscal conservatism? What’s “regional” behind behind some of the social conservative principles? Are we saying here that only Southerners value life?

LOL – what does that say about the rest of the country. It’s sounds like a slam to me!

HondaV65 on October 18, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Ummm, why aren’t I supporting the “Conservative” candidate in the race???

Perhaps it has a little something to do with the fact that…

I’M NOT A CONSERVATIVE!!!!

I’m a damned Proud Libertarian Republican. And while we Libertarians align with you Conservatives about 80% of the time, we are not one in the same.

For example, you all are all upset about her Pro-Life stance. Well fine. I’m Pro-Choice. So, that obviously doesn’t bother me much.

I agree with you all, she could be a lot better on taxes and spending. But this is friggin’ New York we’re talking about. We gotta take what we can get.

Again, we Libertarian Repubicans luv our Conservative cousins. We’re your best allies in politics, and we have a long history of working together. Plus, we’re much more aligned with you all Conservatives than with Moderate. But every once in a while, we Libertarians side with the Moderates. And this is one of those times.

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Again, we Libertarian Repubicans luv our Conservative cousins. We’re your best allies in politics, and we have a long history of working together. Plus, we’re much more aligned with you all Conservatives than with Moderate. But every once in a while, we Libertarians side with the Moderates. And this is one of those times.

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 1:01 PM

You set up a “Her or nothing scenario” and that isn’t the case. He’s within a few percentage points of her, even though he doesn’t have party support. Your scenario is invalid. Neither him nor her is a libertarian, so why aren’t you supporting him? Is it just the abortion issue?

DFCtomm on October 18, 2009 at 1:07 PM

I think this woman is a complete phony. She’s obviously more philosophically comfortable with the Democrats, but she ran as a Republican for the state legislature because she’s from a Republican area. The only republican issue she supports is gun rights. So does Gillibrand. Should the RNC support her senate candidacy in New York?

The Republican party establishment has damaged itself immensely from this stupidity. Heads need to roll.

chris999 on October 18, 2009 at 1:18 PM

There’s a certain sizeable chappelle that sees 2004-2006 as the Golden Age of Republican rule, tarnished only by the shrieking fringe of the far right, and is looking to build a Republican majority unentangled by policy commitments.

They don’t want me, and I don’t want them.

Chris_Balsz on October 18, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Fine, I’ll tell you what. If Hoffman pulls ahead in the polls, and more importantly, IF NATIONAL CONSERVATIVES ISSUE A SINCERE APOLOGY TO US LIBERTARIANS FOR THE 2006 BOB SMITHER VS. SHELLY SEKULA GIBBS FIASCO, than I’ll reconsider, and I’ll urge all my fellow Libertarian Republicans to reconsider.

Honsetly, hear me loud and clear on this. You all Conservatives have no eartly idea, how much that betrayal in 2006 on Smither absolutely hit deep, very, very deep with us Libertarian Republicans. You all Conservatives knifed us in the back BIGTIME!!! And none of you all, with the possible exception of Stacy McCain has ever stepped forward to apologize for that incident.

Eric Dondero, Publisher
Libertarian Republican
Fmr. Senior Aide, US Congressman Ron Paul 1997-2003
Founder, Republican Liberty Caucus
Fmr. Libertarian National Committeeman
25+ Year Libertarian Party member

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 1:42 PM

DFCtom, you’re right, neither Hoffman nor Scazzofava are “libertarians.” However, as Tom Knapp points out at Knappster blogspot, Scazzofava leans more libertarian than Hoffman.

Plus, it’s payback time. We Libertarians would probably care less about this race, if it weren’t for the fact that Conservatives are being so hypocritical; having failed to back our Libertarian 3rd party candidate in 2006 here in Texas when there was an extremely special circumstance, and now asking for us to back them with a 3rd party campaign in another special circumstance.

As they say, “Payback’s a…”

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Who is to blame? I am not sure myself, but I saw this at Riehl World View and thought it was worth a cut and paste:

In trying to understand how the NY-23 fiasco came about, I’m more interested in trying to understand what’s going on at the local and state levels, than I am in jumping on every bandwagon being driven by another top down special interest group. I heard Andy Roth of the Club for Growth blame the national leadership for Scozzafava on the radio this morning. That’s either dumb, or simply manipulative in yet another top down approach to reforming the Republican Party.

Real reform has to come from the ground up. I’m not going to blame the RNC, or NRCC, or anyone else in DC for acquiescing to the local party. I thought that’s what we wanted them to do, as opposed to dictating any top down approach to our politics?

Maybe the problem is the locals, just like it is in California.

Terrye on October 18, 2009 at 1:47 PM

DFCtom, you’re right, neither Hoffman nor Scazzofava are “libertarians.” However, as Tom Knapp points out at Knappster blogspot, Scazzofava leans more libertarian than Hoffman.

Plus, it’s payback time. We Libertarians would probably care less about this race, if it weren’t for the fact that Conservatives are being so hypocritical; having failed to back our Libertarian 3rd party candidate in 2006 here in Texas when there was an extremely special circumstance, and now asking for us to back them with a 3rd party campaign in another special circumstance.

As they say, “Payback’s a…”

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

You’re asking us to apologize for something the GOP did, and if you haven’t noticed there isn’t much support for the GOP establishment around here lately. I don’t know I would have supported your candidate, but if I would have then I apologize for not being aware. However, you seem much more interested in saying “na-nana-nana” than fixing the problems we are currently facing.

DFCtomm on October 18, 2009 at 2:17 PM

You’re asking us to apologize for something the GOP did, and if you haven’t noticed there isn’t much support for the GOP establishment around here lately. I don’t know I would have supported your candidate, but if I would have then I apologize for not being aware. However, you seem much more interested in saying “na-nana-nana” than fixing the problems we are currently facing.

DFCtomm on October 18, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Yeah, it seems like in TX and NY the local GOP tried to screw conservatives by agreeing to back a liberal-leaning candidate. Good for the conservatives for refusing to have their votes and our agenda stipulated away over a table.

Chris_Balsz on October 18, 2009 at 2:57 PM

I’m not in the least bit surprised by the endorsement of a liberal baby killer-gun grabber. They nominated John McCain after all. Why would they stop at a liberal who takes the liberal line on morals and fiscal. What we need is a viable 3rd party. It may take a couple of election cycles, but we could get a majority eventually. It’s better than sticking with these morons who continue to try to win by moving to the left. That nevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver works! Did they not learn anything from the last election?

flytier on October 18, 2009 at 4:08 PM

For example, you all are all upset about her Pro-Life stance. Well fine. I’m Pro-Choice. So, that obviously doesn’t bother me much.

I agree with you all, she could be a lot better on taxes and spending. But this is friggin’ New York we’re talking about. We gotta take what we can get.

ericdondero on October 18, 2009 at 1:01 PM

I think the reason the libertarian party never got off the ground is attitudes like this.

The fact is, the district in question has been in Republican hands and a Pro-Choice candidate would have won handily.

Also – I never quite understood why libertarians aren’t Pro-Life. It would seem to me that you can’t have liberty without a rigt to life.

HondaV65 on October 18, 2009 at 5:18 PM

I don’t know what to think with Newt. Other than he’s put a lot of cash into green companies ala Al Gore and will support anything or anyone who will make that payoff.

Rocks on October 18, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Maybe if the Libertarians would stop being such kooks, they would deserve an apology. Every liberterian that I have ever heard speak, choses to sound like they are UFO enthusiasts.

Sporty1946 on October 19, 2009 at 8:57 AM

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