NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dems may be in for a surprise

via the NY Daily News;

Snubbed by state and national party leaders, Harrison picked up this year's Democratic script and ran with it on his own, raising a shoestring budget of just over $100,000 compared to Fossella's $1.3 million.

Building on the 2004 campaign by ex-Assemblyman Frank Barbaro, who won 40% of the vote against Fossella, Harrison has been hammering away at Fossella's connection to President Bush's least popular positions - notably, the Iraq war, the privatization of Social Security and the weakening of gun control laws.


Although Democratic leaders left Harrison to press these issues alone, all indications suggest the challenger's barbs have Fossella worried. Weeks after ignoring Harrison's demands to debate, Fossella abruptly reversed course and agreed to five debates - at which Harrison, a trial lawyer, turned in devastatingly strong performances and posted video highlights on his campaign Web site.


In other words, Harrison the long shot has put a once-secure GOP seat in play.

Dems who slighted this aggressive long-shot candidate may be in for a surprise next week.

Shortly after Rep. Anthony Weiner got involved in the race, he stated "I just hope this isn't one of those things where the day after we're kicking ourselves that we didn't do more to help him." This seems precisely to be what is happening. I have to go back and look over the FEC filings but I don't believe Weiner even maxed out his own contribution abilities for Harrison. City Council member de Blasio has not stepped up at all for this campaign to date, and neither has Rep. Rangel who initially was seen as supporting de Blasio should he have gotten into the race. The sad part of all of this as Mr. Louis points out is that Harrison is scaring Fossella on just a fraction of his budget. If he was up against Harrison with Barbaro's warchest this race would probably be followed nationally as a toss up at worst.


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