Troubling sign for 2010? GOP whiffs on NY candidate

Much of the attention for the off-year election next month is being paid to gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, where Republicans stand a chance of winning offices that have been held by Democrats lately. But a special race in New York’s 23rd congressional district may tell us more about how the GOP will — or should — approach next year’s mid-term contests.

The seat, vacated by Republican John McHugh when he was named secretary of the Army, is in a solidly conservative district in far northern New York state. But the GOP’s candidate is a state legislator named Dede Scozzafava with a distinctly liberal voting record. As The Wall Street Journal pointed out in an editorial today:

[Scozzafava] has voted for so many tax increases that the Democrat [in the race] is attacking her as a tax raiser. She supported the Obama stimulus, and she favors “card check” to make union organizing easier, or at least she did until a recent flip-flop. She has run more than once on the line of the Working Families Party, which is aligned with Acorn. Her voting record in Albany puts her to the left of nearly half of the Democrats in the assembly. She also favors gay marriage, which is to the left of [President] Obama.

A Weekly Standard reporter trying to ask her about this record ended up being confronted by police called to the scene by the Scozzafava campaign, which initially claimed that the reporter had been yelling at her but later retracted that accusation. The National Review has editorialized that the “case for rallying around Dede Scozzafava…eludes us.”

Whatever reasons the Republican Party originally had for backing Scozzafava, it needs to learn an important lesson from this episode. Nominating candidates in New England whose more moderate conservatism might not necessarily play well in the South is one thing. But the party so badly missed with the liberal and apparently ill-tempered Scozzafava that it risks losing a seat held by Republicans since the Civil War, according to this article.

GOP candidate recruitment, led in part by Georgia’s Lynn Westmoreland, will have to be vastly better than this if Republicans are to capitalize on anti-Democrat momentum. Otherwise, as the WSJ wrote, “they deserve to wander in the minority for another generation or two.”

38 comments Add your comment

Shananeeeeeeee Fananeeeeeeeee

October 21st, 2009
12:49 pm

Change in 2010 and 2012, Change we are looking forward to.


October 21st, 2009
1:04 pm

Boy, the GOP sure has done a fine job here in GA, if it weren’t for the bailout where would we be? Just say no, yeah right.


October 21st, 2009
1:05 pm

Watch PBS’s Frontline expose “The Warning” and it will make you sick to your stomach that the voting public doesn’t have a chance in heck about our futures when both parties support the greed perpetrated by the modern day ‘money changers’ that have infiltrated our systems.
From the architects of the Iraq War to the architects of the financial meltdown there is a common identifier and it is a culture of GREED!

Chris Broe

October 21st, 2009
1:30 pm

Wasn’t it the Geiko Gecko who once said, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good! Greed works. Greed motivates. Greed… GOOD!

Actual transcript of the amphibion’s historic speech: “The point is, ladies and gentlemen,
greed is good. Greed works, greed
is right. Greed clarifies, cuts
through, and captures the essence
of the evolutionary spirit. Greed
in all its forms, greed for life,
money, love, knowledge, has marked
the upward surge of mankind — and
greed, mark my words — will save
not only Geico but that
other malfunctioning corporation
called the USA…Thank you.

Think of the money you’ll save, greedy America!!!

Churchill's MOM

October 21st, 2009
1:31 pm

Wingboy, Why do you hate women?

***Habdel 2010***Palin McCain 2012***

Churchill's MOM

October 21st, 2009
1:32 pm

I need to spell better.

***Handel 2010***Palin McCain 2012***

Chris Broe

October 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

FOX NEWS just reported that Jon and Kate have called 911 and frantically reported that eight helium balloons have just lifted off from their backyard. They cant find any of the eight escapees anywhere.

Oh, the Hume-Hannity!!


October 21st, 2009
1:54 pm


October 21st, 2009
1:04 pm
What bailout? Did you get some bailout? Can you give me a reference on that GA bailout. Oh yeah Ga got 8b and california got 47b. Yeah I get it. How much did NY get Jeffy?

Ray Pugh

October 21st, 2009
2:06 pm


WHAT “anti-Democrat momentum??”


October 21st, 2009
2:40 pm

With all due respect, if Westmoreland is involved that explains a lot.

The Republicans should pick up a lot of House seats & some Senate seats in 2010 just based on historical trends. “Throw the bums out” & right now the “bums” are the Democrats.

If I was a Republican I would be worried about 2012. Look at the 2008 presidential election. McCain received 28 electoral votes from states he carried by 60% of the vote. Obama received 146 electoral votes from states he carried by 60% of the vote. That is a lot of ground to try to make up.

I would recommend to the RNC that they quit worrying about Obama & his policies & really concentrate time & money on organizations in those states carried by Bush in 2004.


October 21st, 2009
2:42 pm

Citizen, good references to the bogus “two” party system. The DNC & GOP “leadership” are puppets of the Globalist Elite & their Central Banking Cartel. If on principle’s sake alone, I’d advise looking to a 3rd party (Libertarian or Constitution), and don’t “settle for” the lesser of “2 evils” (which is a control mechanism to itself).


October 21st, 2009
2:45 pm

It is interesting to see how overblown this focus on 2010 is. Lets say (very unlikely) that the GOP comes roaring back and takes over the House and/or Senate. What then? A return to the hard-right policies of Bush/Cheney? Didnt the voters already reject that? Does the GOP really think America wants to go back to the Bush years?

Spending all your time and energy trashing Obama and the Demcrats should not be mistaken for leadership no matter how successful it is in the short term. If the GOP wants to take us backwards then they should be prepared to write off any gains as short term.

Frankly I have no idea what the GOP stands for except for what I hear from Limbaugh and Beck.


October 21st, 2009
2:55 pm

Where is the tax on welfare ?
Nevermind, just a drug test would please me.


October 21st, 2009
3:14 pm


I think the Reupblicans need to worry about 2010….yes some Democrats in conservative districts will lose their seats just as Joseph Gao will likely lose his seat in a very liberal New Orleans congressional district. But the simple fact is that if the economy begins to make any improvement next year then that argument will be lost. The best hope if that happens is to hope that independents are disenchanted with government spending and neither party can really claim fiscal responsibility. In addition if a public option actually passes the Congress, then that’s another hurdle that will be difficult to clear.

Ga Values

October 21st, 2009
3:18 pm

I am worried that there is not a Republican running in Georgia for the US Senate in 1010. Johnny is a bigger spender than John Lewis. Our party needs to get back to small government, balanced budget and a foreign policy that is for the USA.


October 21st, 2009
3:21 pm

I bet you won’t endorse someone to primary him Ga Values


October 21st, 2009
3:27 pm

Less than one in five voters (19 percent) expressed confidence in Republicans’ ability to make the right decisions for America’s future while a whopping 79 percent lacked that confidence.


October 21st, 2009
3:30 pm

This is surprising? We’re talking about NY here.

I’d be willing to bet that there are many GOP politicians on the Left Coast that are just as far left as any Democrat. Ditto for most states north of the Mason-Dixon line. Just because they have an (R) by their name doesn’t mean they are conservative.

We used to have many conservative Democrats here…now there are very few left. Most have either seen the writing on the wall and jumped ship or were forced out by the so-called “free thinkers” who profess their “tolerance” of other points of view.


October 21st, 2009
3:55 pm

Dear Kyle,
Was there no nominating convention or primary to select Dede?
Is there some reason why upstate New York cannot decide who should represent them in Congress?
A little paternalistic for conservatives to want to micro-manage GOP candidates don’t you think?
The GOP won everyone of their post WW-II presidential elections prior to the Bush dynasty with a big tent that included a liberal New England faction; if they want to win again they might consider dropping the deep-south, anti-RINO, no Jews allowed positions that have turned their promised permanent majority to a joke similar to Hitler’s 100-year Reich.

Limbaugh Voted For Hillary

October 21st, 2009
4:00 pm

The only place where conservative politics works is when it is vomited out of the mouths of the self-serving talking heads on FOX. Conservative values is a codeword for greed and discrimination. It makes American society irrelevant and aggrandizes the will of the individual. Without a societal blanket, there would BE no chance for an individual to prosper. Conservatism is a device to keep the rich richer and all the rest of us at bay. The mega-rich have so many of you fools doing their bidding, and they must laugh at you everyday for your oh-so-patriotic support. You are the brainwashed.


October 21st, 2009
4:11 pm

BW at 3:14. I basically agree with your point. My thought is that 2010 will probably take care of itself as it usually does in an off year. If I were a Republican charged with success at the ballot box I would concentrate on 2012. And yeah the target is the independent voter as always.


October 21st, 2009
4:22 pm

sorry, left a zero off, thousand year…

Kyle Wingfield

October 21st, 2009
4:40 pm

Ray Pugh: Here’s one example of what I’m talking about:

findog: My understanding is that she was selected by the GOP county chairs in the district and has received significant financial backing from the national Republican Party.


October 21st, 2009
4:48 pm

Your congressman King seems to be confused about “local” monies and government stimulus monies. He seems to be taking credit for monies to help you guys in Georgia…isn’t that hypocritical of him? In my opinion, of course.


October 21st, 2009
4:59 pm

1. “The mega-rich have so many of you fools doing their bidding…”
Need a job? Ask a poor person to hire you.

2. “Conservatism is a device to keep the rich richer and all the rest of us at bay.”
Just the latest example of fixed pie liberalism. In order for Bob to get richer, he must take it from Sally–or vice versa. No way they could BOTH get richer–that’s rocket science.

3. “Without a societal blanket, there would BE no chance for an individual to prosper. ”
If true, we all should be better off than we ever have been because the government blanket is bigger, thicker, and heavier than ever before. It’s smothering the economy. Grab a copy of the Wall Street Journal.

4. “Conservative values is a codeword for greed and discrimination.”
Actually, “conservative values” is 2 words. Conservatism has as its basic tenets limited government, recognition of people as individuals, and a strong national defense.

In contrast, liberalism has as its core “values” a large and growing government (central planning, government ownership of industry, etc.), recognition of groups of people (gays, blacks, environmentalists, prisoners, illegal aliens, etc.) who are portrayed as victims, and a weak national defense (Iran, N. Korea, launch a missile on us, please).

Am more than happy to correct your mischaracterizations. Also, too bad you think patriotic people are dupes. You are part of the problem.

F-105 Thunderchief

October 21st, 2009
5:00 pm

And she’s not even remotely hot. What gives, GOP?

Churchill's MOM

October 21st, 2009
5:00 pm

Where did the comments go?

IC Atlanta

October 21st, 2009
5:10 pm

Kind of the like the geniuses at GOP supporting Democrat Arlen Specter over Conservative Republican Pat Toomey for the Senate Race in PA a few years ago.

Never doubt the National GOP to screw up somehow and some way. Remember 2000-2006 when they spent like there was no tomorrow? Their poor leadership gave us President Obama, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid.

Sunshine and Thunder

October 21st, 2009
5:20 pm

Why are conservatives so concerned about electing Republicans? They are nothing more than Democrat Lite.

Finn McCool

October 21st, 2009
5:35 pm

Ohohoh, for the joy! If only Georgia could have that problem – that a wingnut has to worry about losing to a god-fearing democrat.

The Republicans are sooooo crooked and sicko.

Limbaugh Voted For Hillary

October 21st, 2009
5:54 pm


You think your conservative talking points discount my criticism of the faux “values” you purport to support?

Fat chance. Rich people would not be rich would it not be for a middle class to pay their bills.


October 21st, 2009
6:02 pm

To GaValues@3:18pm and RGB@4:59pm. The Republican Patry has never been about small government, balanced budgets or a strong national defense. If you look at the past 3 Republican presidents, the budget deficits they left have been enourmous. Ronald Reagan’s last budget (Fiscal year 1989) contained a 152 billion dollar budget deficit. President Bush I’s last budget (FY 1993) contained a 255 billion dollar budget deficit. President Bush II’s last budget (FY 2009) contained a 1.4 trillion dollar budget deficit. The last President to have budget surpluses was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, and he did it in his last 4 budgets (FY 1998-2001), ending with a 128 billion dollar budget surplus when he left office. The Republicans have also never been about a strong national defense. I can personally remember incidents like the Marine barracks that was bombed in Beirut in 1983 that killed almost 300 Marines. I also remember that same year the Korean Air jet that was shot down off the Pacific Coast of the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan was President then, and he didn’t respond or retaliate to either incident. But most of all, there was September 11, 2001, and we know who was President then. We’ve spent most of our time and money over the last 6 years waging war in a country that had nothing to do with September 11, 2001. These are the facts. If conservatives want to dispute them, do your research, instead of spouting rhetoric and generalities.


October 21st, 2009
6:45 pm

I don’t know, Kyle…one can never tell about these politicians, but if we’re gonna take a hit in NY’s 23rd, we could do worse than Owen.

Owens took a decidedly moderate line on health care restructuring, saying he does not support a public option available to anyone–the crux of the restructuring put forward by President Obama. He said some health plans in Congress not longer include the idea of a public option. This stance is gaining some traction in the Senate.

“It changes every day, the various iterations,” Owens told me. “The bill that I would vote for would have a couple of elements to it. It would cover the uninsured, it would eliminate the ability to exclude for a pre-existing condition, and also that focuses on cost-reduction.”

If the last special election in upstate New York was largely about the federal stimulus package, this one takes place in the shadow of the healthcare debate. While Representative Scott Murphy, a Democratic venture capitalist, squeaked to victory over Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco largely by wrapping himself in the cloak of a popular Obama, Owens is not looking to do the same. Obama’s poll numbers, of course, have since fallen and Owens did not mention his name once.

Of the final three prospective Democratic candidates–a dozen were interviewed at the Minnowbrook Conference Center–Owens is the only one who does not support a public option.

On the wedge issue of same-sex marriage, Owens is to the right of his Republican opponent Scozzafava. He does not support full marriage–he opposes any federal action on the “states rights issue”–telling me, “I fully support equal rights for everybody, and certainly civil unions are in that mix. For religious reasons, I have difficulty with the use of the word marriage in that process.”

His biggest drawback for me, is that he’s a lawyer BUT, he’s was also a business major and has never held public office.

You’re right about one thing. The RNC needs to give the RINO ringers the finger.


October 21st, 2009
7:31 pm

You people who are confident that the 2010 elections will be a big turn around for the republic party due to Obama’s “failures”, are the same people who were confident that McCain would win the presidency in 2008 riding the wave of W’s “successes”. There aren’t very many of you, but you are VERY loud and don’t leave the echo chamber of your protective little world view very often, if ever. It is understandable, therefore, that you mistake the concentrated din of your limited number of cohorts as emanating from a far greater number of like-minded people than actually exist in the real word, outside your sheltered microcosm. The shock and dismay, and the utter disbelief you will feel after the 2010 elections is all too predictable, but the resulting wailing and gnashing of teeth from the right will still taste as sweet to progressives as it did last November. I’m looking forward to it!

Roberta Higginbotham

October 21st, 2009
9:49 pm

The Wall Street Journal is becoming more like that ultra-conservative rag the New York Post every day. How the mighty hath fallen.


October 24th, 2009
9:32 am

As with virtually every republican candidate, they will get the votes of the moronic sheep that call themselves republicans, simply because they are a republican. Liberal voting records don’t matter. All that matters is the “R” after their name. Just look at Bush. Just look at McCain. Just look at Guliani. Just look at virtually every other republican who has ever run for office (except Ron Paul of course).

There will be no hope for the republican party until the folks who call themselves republicans stand for more principles that just their undying, fawning, blood-dripping, allegiance to anything republican just for republican sake.

Think for yourselves for a change. You were given brains for a reason.

And by the way, this is no endorcement of the socialist democratic party either. Their voters have exactly the same problems. That is essentially how both parties came to stand for exactly the same things – oppressing the electorate and claiming that the other party is worse.


October 29th, 2009
11:18 am

The nominee was chosen by district GOP Chairs in New York. How the heck is this Westmoreland’s fault?


January 5th, 2010
9:05 am

Samual. lmao. You’re whining about REagan’s 155B deficit? YOu must hate Obama and his 2 T Deficit. Clinton left Bush with a 133B deficit. Not a surplus. Even if it was a surplus, it would entail that Government is making a profit which is illegal as the Government is a non profit organization.