Exclusive: Ed Koch endorsing George Phillips in NY-22 race

posted at 8:45 am on October 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Maurice Hinchey had to get Bill Clinton out to Binghamton to try to rescue his re-election bid and save his House seat.  Today, Republican challenger George Phillips trumps Hinchey with a surprise endorsement from former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who has a track record of backing common-sense Republicans.  Hot Air reports exclusively this morning that Koch will deliver a speech tomorrow afternoon in Kingston announcing his endorsement of Phillips.

Why is Koch opposing the Democratic incumbent?  Koch is apparently unhappy with Hinchey over the nine-term Congressman’s hostility towards Israel.  In his speech, Koch will hit Hinchey over his 2002 meeting with Yasser Arafat at the PLO leader’s headquarters, one of only three members of the House that met with Arafat there.  Hinchey also “voted against the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism act, designed to promote the development of democratic institutions in areas under the administrative control of the Palestinian Authority,” and refused to sign either the Poe-Peters or Hoyer-Cantor letters which supported Israel’s right to control access to Gaza to prevent armaments to flow into the Hamas-controlled territory.

It’s not just Israel, either.  Hinchey voted against tougher sanctions on Iran as well, which Koch will mention in his announcement.  Koch will also hail Phillips for his work while on the staff of Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on foreign policy, especially on legislative efforts to force UN reform by purging support for terrorism and antisemitism at Turtle Bay.

This not only gives Phillips high-profile bipartisan support for his challenge to Hinchey, it also gives Phillips the kind of policy heft that most challengers usually lack in Congressional races.  It gives voters in NY-22 a reason to feel comfortable in following their anti-incumbent impulse.  It’s a big win for Phillips, and even more reason for Hinchey to be looking over his shoulder the next three weeks.


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common-sense Republicans

Definition?

Aren’t most Republicans inclined towards “common sense”? And has Koch ever met a “common sense Democrat”?

mankai on October 12, 2010 at 8:52 AM

It’s not just Israel, either. Hinchey voted against tougher sanctions on Iran as well, which Koch will mention in his announcement. Koch will also hail Phillips for his work while on the staff of Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on foreign policy, especially on legislative efforts to force UN reform by purging support for terrorism and antisemitism at Turtle Bay.

Yeah, but where does he stand on gay marriage, witchcraft and corporate big wig greed!

/lefty core issues

mankai on October 12, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Outstanding. I hope all my buddies in Middletown are paying attention. This is great news!

BetseyRoss on October 12, 2010 at 8:57 AM

The old Koch line while running for mayor in 1977 was that he was an idiot for voting for some of the big government programs he did while a Congressman from 1966-77, which (along with his death penalty support), is how he took out the great love of the mid-70s liberal media’s lives, Bella Abzug.

However, while the idiocy has just grown and mutated since then, Koch for the most part won’t abandon his Greenwich Village reform Democratic roots from half a century ago. That makes a lot of his actions disappointing in a “He knows better than that” kind of way (Ed had to know with the people surrounding him that Obama was going to be a national version of David Dinkins when he endorsed him for president). The only mitigating circumstance is the fact that he won’t abandon the Democrats no matter how stupidly they act gives endorsements like today’s for Phillips more force, since Hinchey can’t say Koch has completely abandoned his party.

jon1979 on October 12, 2010 at 9:03 AM

It’s not just Israel, either. Hinchey voted against tougher sanctions on Iran as well…

It’s in the same basket of issues: Israel bad, all their enemies good. Hinchey is despicable and I hope his rear end gets kicked out of Congress.

jwolf on October 12, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Koch is a ‘hit and miss’ politician.

He’s got it right on Israel, and isn’t Alan Grayson (dogmatic demogogue).

And he comes across as a likeable guy.

Thanks Ed.

PappyD61 on October 12, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Well, you have to admire Koch, if only, and not only, for his endurance.

Would be nice if he endorsed Dioguardi for NY Senate. Rudy’s endorsement would also be great. About 10-14 days before would be perfect.

ParisParamus on October 12, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Narutoboy hardest hit!

abobo on October 12, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Koch is apparently unhappy with Hinchey over the nine-term Congressman’s hostility towards Israel. In his speech, Koch will hit Hinchey over his 2002 meeting with Yasser Arafat at the PLO leader’s headquarters, one of only three members of the House that met with Arafat there.

there has to be consequences for your actions. If this guys is on the wrong side of right with regards to Israel, then it should follow that he loses support in places where he could’ve had it to begin with.

ted c on October 12, 2010 at 9:25 AM

This anti-Israel stance is nothing unusual coming from liberals who blame the presence of radical Islam on them and the West.

But even this move is beyond the usual appeasement policies of the democrats:

Hinchey voted against tougher sanctions on Iran as well,

Usually a democrat will jump at a chance to at least “appear” to take a hawkish stand on National security issues.
This guy is so out of touch with the threats that face America that he votes against massively popular policies that are supposed to help stop the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism from getting a nuclear weapon.

No wonder NY is such a mess.

Baxter Greene on October 12, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Wow…that’s really big.

SouthernGent on October 12, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Koch will hit Hinchey over his 2002 meeting with Yasser Arafat at the PLO leader’s headquarters, one of only three members of the House that met with Arafat there.

there has to be consequences for your actions. If this guys is on the wrong side of right with regards to Israel, then it should follow that he loses support in places where he could’ve had it to begin with.

ted c on October 12, 2010 at 9:25 AM

And this is only months after the Palestinians were dancing in the streets watching the Twin Towers falling to the ground.

Baxter Greene on October 12, 2010 at 9:33 AM

I don’t remember much about his tenure as mayor but Mr. Koch seems like a nice sensible man.

Cindy Munford on October 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Well done Mayor Koch for, in this instance, putting principle over party.

Go George Go!

p.s. Hey Maurice, it’s referred to as funemployment now – enjoy!

Branch Rickey on October 12, 2010 at 9:56 AM

George is an excellent guy. After graduating from college with honors, he returned to his hometown high school to teach. George is smart, sensible and solid. He was recently a guest on my local TV show. Here’s a link to the webcast.

Mark

markfnkl on October 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Even when I disagreed with him politically (which was often) I still always liked Koch. This is a big deal and glad to see the endorsement.

DrAllecon on October 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

I’d hardly call this an “exclusive”, Ed. Koch has been a pretty good soldier and not afraid to cross party lines with his opinions:

http://www.thevillager.com/villager_22/whatshedoin.html

Sadly, the lib wing-nuts will categorize him as some senile old man and not give the endorsement much weight..

..said The War Planner, channeling Allahpundit.

The War Planner on October 12, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I’m not a New Yorker so I don’t know how much weight Koch’s endorsement would carry these days. But it does seem that all the momentum is in Phillips’ favor.

If Hinchey loses then Dems will lose at least 70-80 seats, because it means the wave is just that big.

Missy on October 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Koch is an uneven as the lunar landscape, but once in a while he comes through. This is an important endorsement to moderate Dems and to Indies.

paul1149 on October 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Something else just occurred to me. In a year like this an endorsement like this can serve to depress the Dem vote. If Dems feel more safe with Phillips, or their loyalties are more conflicted, they may succumb to the Dem dearth of enthusiasm and just stay home, saying “que sera, sera”. Looking at the Gallop generic ballot numbers, the fewer people that show up on election day, the better the Pubs do. So while this endorsement hopefully will convince Indies to vote for Phillips, it doesn’t have to convince Dems to do so. It only has to convince them to stay home in a midterm election.

paul1149 on October 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM

It’s always surprised me that the Binghamton area has re-elected such a far left Democrat for so many years. It certainly isn’t in a liberal part of the state. Perhaps it’s just the inertia effect an incumbent usually benefits from. Given a strong alternative in a year with high anti-incumbent sentiment, voters may now have the motivation to make a change.

In terms of voter enthusiasm, Republican voters in the western region of NY seem really fired up. One polling station in Niagara County ran out of ballots on Primary Day, which has apparently never happened before. My husband and I used to live in that district, and it definitely is predominantly conservative.

Erie County voters went 93% for Paladino, IIRC. Granted he’s from Buffalo, but that seems a pretty good indication that local voters are deeply invested in changing the status quo.

Whether or not Paladino can win state-wide is another matter, but I think Republican turnout in the general election is going to be at never before seen numbers, based on this level of strong sentiment. That can only help the Republicans in the down ticket races.

mcc4 on October 12, 2010 at 12:41 PM

My inner eeyore continues to check RealClearPolitics.com, which hasn’t even moved NY22 from the unreported “Safe Dem” lump to “Likely Dem”.

If they do that, I might even refrain (momentarily) from snarking about Jazz Shaw’s bass fishing skills.

eeyore on October 12, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Jazz is a great bass fisherman!

RCP just moved NY22 from “Safe Dem” oblivion to “Likely Dem”!

Nice work Mr. Shaw!

eeyore on October 12, 2010 at 3:43 PM

As Joe would say, “this is a BIG F#*@%ing Deal”

IowaWoman on October 12, 2010 at 6:18 PM

common-sense Republicans

Definition?

Aren’t most Republicans inclined towards “common sense”? And has Koch ever met a “common sense Democrat”?

mankai on October 12, 2010 at 8:52 AM

As apposed to RINOs.

Slowburn on October 13, 2010 at 12:19 AM