The Flipping of NY-26

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Oh those family values Tea Partying Republicans. Last February newly elected US House Rep. Christopher Lee (R NY-26) posted bare chested photos of himself on Craig’s List and claimed to  be a 39 year old divorced lobbyist. A couple of problems emerged for him since he is in his 40’s and married with a child, so he tendered his immediate resignation from the House on Feb.9, leaving the seat open for a special election. Historically, the district in Western New York has been solidly Republican but, as fortune would have it, that may just that, history.

Since the vote in this House on straight party lines for the Ryan budget plan that would scrap Medicare and decimate Medicaid, the district may now flip to blue. There is a three way race that has pretty much become a two way with the Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis, siphoning votes from the Republican, Jane Corwin, which has given the edge to the Democrat, Kathy Hochul. Despite the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee flooding the district with money, advertising and big name supporters, Corwin can’t shake the spectrum of the “grandma off the bridge” image of killing Medicare. Hochul has been on the offensive hitting all the hot buttons, like foreign aid which many voters think is much higher than it is while Corwin is back pedaling making blatantly false claims about Hochul in her latest campaign ad.

And where, you ask, is Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis? “Spoiler” Davis, who is running on the Tea Party line, has caused a split in among the regional and national Tea Party groups with the national group backing Corwin. He wasn’t at last night’s final debate but has been lurking on the sidelines since gaining national attention last week after a video of a scuffle with Corwin’s youthful chief-of-staff, Mike Mallia. The confrontation between Davis, 78, and the much younger man started out as a verbal confrontation that ended when Davis shoved backed. A short clip of the video was released by the Republicans but Davis claimed that he only pushed the camera out of his face and charged he was being harassed. It has gotten even more amusing when Corwin was confronted and disclaimed any knowledge of her aide’s activities. The aid has since resigned, making claims on the internet that he is being “hunted by militiamen” and fears for his life since the incident with Davis who is a veteran. Needless to say this backfired badly for Corwin and pushed Hochul ahead in the polls.

David Weigel of Slate has been following this race closely reported today that independent spending on this campaign has past seven figures with $1.5 million being poured into TV ads from unions and PAC’s. The election is May 24, so expect things to get hot and heavy as the Republicans struggle to hold the district.


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    • TMC on May 20, 2011 at 07:41
  1. You gotta love it when you see a Democrat actually working for justice, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Probing Banks’ Role In Mortgage Crisis.

    I don’t usually read letters from roll over and die Democrats but when I get one from a real progressive like Eric Schneiderman, I’m likely to respond.

    Dear Friend,

    I just returned from Erie County, and change is on the way.

    There are just five days to go  until the special election in New York’s 26th Congressional district – and we have an opportunity to beat the odds and elect Kathy Hochul, a real fighter who will protect our tax dollars, restore  public trust in the government, and help get Western New York’s economy back on track.

    Kathy is tough  and she will stand up for our values in Congress. She’s been an  outstanding Clerk in Erie County with a long record of ensuring there is not one  set of rules for the powerful, and another for everyone else. I have no doubt  she will bring the same energy, commitment and resolve to Washington. The Buffalo News, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, and the Greece Post have all endorsed Kathy, and her support continues to grow every day.

    I hope you’ll join  me in supporting Kathy Hochul for  Congress.

    If you live in the 26th Congressional District, contact the campaign and volunteer to help knock on doors and get out the vote this final weekend. If  you aren’t able to knock on doors, click here and make 26 phone calls to help turn the 26th Congressional District  blue.

    This is a close race, and your help will make a real  difference. By helping elect Kathy Hochul, we can send a  message – and a smart, tough and effective Congresswoman – to Washington.


    Eric Schneiderman

    And that’s not all, a nice letter from an old friend.

    Edward –

    We’re in the final week of an exciting special election for Congress in upstate New York!

    Remember Chris Lee, the incumbent Republican in New York’s 26th District who had to resign after his shirtless photo ended up on Craig’s List? Next Tuesday, May 24th, we can replace him with Democrat Kathy Hochul. Kathy is running against a Republican who supports Paul Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare as we know it and a Tea Party-supported 3rd candidate.

    Volunteers in New York City, including DFNYC members, are joining phone banks and making dials from home for Kathy Hochul. Victory will depend on progressives getting involved in GOTV, and we need your help!

    Phone banks are happening NOW in NYC – click here for details.

    Tonight, Thursday, May 19: UWS and near Union Square.

    Saturday, May 21st: near Union Square from 12-4pm.

    Monday, May 23rd: UWS and near Union Square

    Tuesday, May 24th: Election Day – all day! Near Union Square.

    Click here to join one of these phone banks

    We are teaming up with our friends at Greater NYC for Change and other progressive groups to organize and recruit volunteers for these phone banks so that we can send a strong message onto our representatives in Washington: Progressives are galvanized and poised for attack in 2012!

    Kathy Hochul’s race is gaining national attention as Republicans pour in outside money for negative ads. HuffPo reports on the implications for Medicare and Social Secuirty in this race.

    Kathy still has a slight lead in the polls, and the Republican Party is worried. Karl Rove’s group American Crossroads has put $650K into this race, and John Boehner visited the district to campaign for Kathy’s opponent.

    Progressive Democrats are rallying to support Kathy. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a DFA-endorsed candidate in 2010, sent out an email today encouraging people to volunteer for Kathy.

    Every day counts. The election is in less than a week. Get active now and send a message to Washington. Progressives will not be silenced.

    Thanks for all you do,

    Josh Silverstein, President
    Democracy for NYC

    It turns out that Paul Ryan is proving to be pretty useful in The Battle for Western New York. Pretty long drive for me but I think I’ll get on the phone.

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