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October 20, 2009

Awesome: Super-Liberal "Republican" Dede Scozzaflava Calls Cops on Weekly Standard Reporter for... Asking Questions

John McCormack is a respectable, professional sort of guy. Not like all those fashionably-dressed Town Hall Terrorists the media is always so very, very worried about. The scariest thing about him is the nagging sense he might have gone to a better school than you.

He asked her three questions. This "startled" her, according to the cop who then interviewed McCormack.

I spotted Scozzafava later as she was walking to the parking lot, and asked her: " Assemblywoman, do you believe that the health-care bill should exclude coverage for abortion?" She didn't reply. I asked her twice more. Silence.

After she got into her car, I went to my car and fired up my laptop to report the evening's events.

Minutes later a police car drove into the parking lot with its lights flashing. Officer Grolman informed me that she was called because "there was a little bit of an uncomfortable situation" and then took down my name, date of birth, and address.

"Maybe we do things a little differently here, but you know, persistence in that area, you scared the candidate a little bit," Officer Grolman told me.

"[Scozzafava] got startled, that's all," Officer Grolman added. "It's not like you're in any trouble."

That was good to hear.

Ah, well. Good to know that despite being liberal, at least she's also "scared" by reporters in suits.

In case you've missed this (I missed it, but you probably didn't) Scozzafava is a ludicrously liberal candidate the Brain Trust at the RNCC decided was just the perfect candidate for NY's 23rd district (a vacancy was caused by the retirement of a Republican, who left the seat to become Army secratary).

She supported Obama's spendulus, is supportive of higher income taxes, supports card check, supports gay marriage, and is very pro-abortion.

I know, I know: You're wondering, "How did we luck out into this super-awesome candidate? It's like I've died and gone to Heaven and I finally get to cast a vote for George Washington!"

She was picked by 11 county Republican chairman who thought she "could win."

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."

As Allah points out, the previous Republican won with 60% of the vote in this district. Now, if this were a case of attempting to play on the Democrats' field, attempting to steal a seat from them, I might be tepidly supportive of this candidate. (Tepidly.) Even if she'd be an awful Republican, at least the Democrats would have to spend money to oppose her and take the seat back.

But this does not seem to be a liberal district. For example, the man she would replace, John McHugh, seems strongly pro-life, which is to say, he's a more or less conventional conservative on this issue.

So what, exactly, is the thinking here? If McHugh could manage 60% wins on a strong pro-life platform, why is it that we need a strongly pro-abortion candidate to woo the district?

On issue after issue, she's not merely moderate or squishy. She's outright liberal. Card-check is unpopular with any but the most liberal representatives in the safest liberal districts. But to win this seat, we, the Republican Party, need to embrace the end of the secret ballot in union balloting?

Um... why?

Fortunately a conservative has entered the race -- Doug Hoffman, who appeals for help on Michelle Malkin's blog.

There is a small problem with supporting Doug Hoffman, but it's not really a problem at all. By splitting the party, we've allowed the little-regarded Democratic candidate to pull into a small lead.

But so what? Scozzaflava would be no better than any Democrat -- in fact, she may even be more liberal that the Democrat running.

Furthermore, all of the candidates are now in the 20s and 30s, so Hoffman has a fairly good chance of winning -- especially after Scozzaflava's supporters, who mostly support her on Rep. Peter King's theory that we need to be "united" as a party, realize that she's actually doomed to lose and switch support to the much-better candidate Hoffman.

And lastly -- this is actually great for us, because it allows us to repudiate this style of sell-out thinking before the actual big election in 2010. By demonstrating to the party now we're supportive of conservative candidates, and in fact would rather lose a race than have a liberal inflicted on us, we can teach them a lesson about candidate recruitment in the upcoming elections.

A lot of elections you'd kinda hate to lose. This loss would be nothing but win. We can afford this loss, if it gets us more conservative candidates for 2010.

And besides -- I still think Hoffman has a good chance of winning.

His donation page is here.

Again, I have to repeat: I'm not really against tactical nominations. If this were a swing district, I wouldn't oppose a moderate candidate. If this were a Democratic district, I wouldn't oppose a fairly liberal candidate. Based on the demographics, those would be cases where "the most conservative candidate possible" might not be a very conservative candidate at all.

But here, we have a decade's worth of elections proving that conservative candidates not only win NY23, but win by comfortable margins.

So why the supposedly "tactical" choice of a liberal here?

The Club for Growth, by the way, is buying ads in favor of Hoffman.

Honestly, there's no downside for us here in supporting Hoffman. If he wins -- which he just might; Scozzaflava's supporters apparently animated by the notion that she "can win" will abandon her when it's clear she can't -- awesome.

And even if he doesn't win, and the Democrat wins -- still good. Still sends a message about the candidates we're willing to support and the ones we'd rather actively work against. It's the right message to send, win or lose.


Another Point: Although I don't need to be sold on the idea that supporting Hoffman is win-win, Mallamutt adds:

Since its a special election, why not support Hoffman? 1) its not like this district holds the balance of power for the House 2) the winner will only have 13 months in office and 3) even if Hoffman loses, he builds up name recognition for the 2nd shot, has an organization in place to survive the primary (which will occur in what, 7 months?).

That too.


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posted by Ace at 08:49 AM

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