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

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

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Activists vs. Institutional candidates, partIII

I have written previously about how this race is shaping up to be one of the activist candidate versus the institutional candidate.

Domenic Recchia through limited media coverage has become the institutional candidate through his backing by Rep. Jerry Nadler, Councilman Mike McMahon and State Senator Diane Savino. On the contrary a potentially interesting juxtaposition is Harrison's support which seemingly for now is the activists and what is shaping up to be the political club membership.

You could update that quote now to say Harrison has the support of not just the political club membership but the club endorsements as well. In Tom's latest piece about what may become the endorsement race Harrison comments the he is bracketing the Democratic Party from the activist left, with PDA and SIDA to the party centrists with the Democratic Organization of Richmond County. Here is Recchia's response;

"He had everybody's support last time and he got 43 percent of the vote," Recchia said, referring to Harrison's failed bid against Fossella in 2006. "This time, he's not going to have everybody's support. In the end, the Democratic Party is going to be standing united behind Domenic Recchia."

Let me be clear that I want to see Fossella out of Congress, whether he is forced to resign, retires or his constituents fire him. That is my objective. In doing so I try very hard to keep from engaging in party politics of the Democratic primary and refuse to spread any nonesense. I don't believe attacking each other in order to win the nomination is a strategy that can defeat Fossella this November.

With Recchia's statement he has now clearly defined the lines of this primary. He is the institutional candidate. His comments show he believes he is entitled to be our nominee. There is absolutely nothing to gain by putting down Harrison or his achievements of 2006. We fail when we are blinded into believing our opponent is the Democrats on the other side of the primary instead of Fossella.

I wonder if Recchia had won any of these past endorsements if the story would be any different. Had he won the club endorsements would we not have heard that the party is backing Recchia and Harrison needs to drop out? But in not winning them he downplays and tries to marginalize their influence. We can see this story playing out nationally in the presidential primaries. One candidate is winning over what otherwise would be considered "red" parts of the country on their message and the challenger is downplaying their importance, since they are states the Democrat most likely will not carry in November. That story is not gaining much support across the party and in particular is alienating portions of the party who are energetic about November. This simply is not acceptable here or there.

Right now it is safe to say Harrison has become the activist favored candidate and Recchia has solidified his role as the institutional candidate. The only part of the story that matters though is that this is a fight against Fossella and not against ourselves.

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At 10:27 PM, Blogger Rosalie907 said...

Excellent and right on the mark.

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not really sure what an institutional candidate means..someone with a political background running for office? I think party politics are okay as long as they're not dirty and factually incorrect. Discussion is great for politics, especially local politics!

I look for a candidate who focuses on education, gets money for arts and sciences and other local services that benefit the community.

It's impossible to find anything online about Recchia, but what I found about Harrison was a little disappointing. He doesn't say anything about education aside from getting rid of 'No Child Left Behind'. He wants to make sure the tax revenue is shared equally..and... that's about it. What about class sizes? Teacher wages? teacher unions and working with them to avoid future strikes? keeping qualified, excellent teachers in the community?

He talks about removing the tolls from the bridge. He doesn't say anything about the subways that the brooklyn residents take every single day.

He talks about overdevelopment around the bridge..but neglects to offer his opinion on the coney island development, which seems to be headed for huge condo development, creating even more congestion on the subways. While the area he would represent in Brooklyn isn't big, we need fair representation too, it would help a brooklyn democrat to consider him seriously if his local issues weren't staten island centralized.

Foreign politics, national politics.. who cares? Fossella ignores his people enough, we need a guy who is local-minded. Harrison has 6 foreign bullet points, 8 domestic bullet points, and 4 local bullet points on his website. Where is his primary interest?

At 8:14 PM, Blogger me said...

first things first, Coney Island is in Rep. Jerry Nadler's district, NY-08 not the district Domenic or Steve are running for.

At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I definitely have assumed a lot about the NY 13 area. Please forgive my ignorance, I use your blog as a reminder that I'm not completely surrounded by Republicans, so I should've looked into where the area fully encompasses. Why isn't staten island it's only district? If i'm in brooklyn and it's not the same district as CI, i must be in a pretty tiny sliver of brooklyn, representation-wise. How do those things happen?

At 10:26 AM, Blogger me said...

Here is a map of the district;

There is only a small portion of Brooklyn in the Congressional District, connected by the VN bridge, which is why that is such a hot topic. Staten Island makes up 3/4 of the Congressional District. Congressional Districts are comprised of about 600,000 people. Staten Island has around 475,000 making it too small to be its own district so in drawing the boundaries for this district NY had to either add a portion of Manhattan or Brooklyn. After the 2010 Census Congressional districts will be redrawn to account for population increases or decreases and chances are this district boundaries will once again change.

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the resource. the person who wins should probably be from staten island in that sense.. it seems unfortunately a small percentage of folks might lose out. I wonder why nobody has tried to get an exception to the rule, population-wise.. you'd think a staten island only representative would be able to better serve their community..the way it is, staten islanders and brooklynites are both losing out as the representation is inaccurately distributed..

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Rosalie907 said...

Anonymous, none of the politicians on SI want to run for this seat for their own reasons. Savino is high up in the NY Senate, Cusick would have to give up his Assembly seat to run and McMahon doesn't want to travel to DC.
You are right, SI should be it's own CD but they don't have enough residents for that. The next census probably still would not increase their population to give them that. Other areas split a Congressman and accept it and so do more than 1 town in upstate NY. Part of the problem is that Staten Island IS AN ISLAND and they feel cut off from the rest of the City. Of the 5 boroughs it's the only one where the residents have to pay a toll to travel to another borough.

At 12:03 AM, Blogger me said...

here is info on the census for Richmond County (Staten Island). The population has increased 7%, but it looks like it will only increase to about 500,000 by the time they redistrict which will not be enough for their own district. Also it is a federal law that sets the size of a Congressional district allowing equal representation for all citizens so you would not be able to petition for a smaller district.


At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since anonymous can't find Mr. Recchia's record in the Council district he represents. I live in his district, both ion his first term & second term in office. He fails in stopping over development/ he has a dismal record in creating affordable housing/ He wants to convert the only open park( Asser Levy park) in a concrete amphitheater/ His record on keeping Brighton Beach/Coney island Beaches clean is a failure/ Nonexistence of creating jobs in Coney Island/ He did receive the Daily News Knucklehead Award in 2006 for giving himself a $12,500 raise when he makes over $450,000 a year/He supports the Mcain /Bush Iraq war. This is just a few of mr. Recchjia's accomplishments. You make the choice mr. Recchia or Mr. Harrison.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger me said...

I don't know enough about the various Recchia issues you stated, but he has come out and said he will go after Fossella on the Iraq war so your comment that he supports the McCain/Bush War seems dubious at best. Please provide a source or link showing his support.


At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Att: Me: If you go to Room Eight blog ( I don't know how to link you there) at look at the Harrison post..by Richard Reichard who is a member of the SIDA who endorsed Harrison, they had a debate & that question was asked...and Recchia said he was in favor of permanent bases in Iraq. This debate took place in January. Case closed.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger me said...

That is quite different from saying "He supports the Mcain /Bush Iraq war". Below is a quote from Recchia I came across and I believe the quote from Richard that you mention;

“The Republicans gave us this war in Iraq and this is not what New Yorkers deserve,” Recchia told The Brooklyn Paper this week. “The Bush-Fossella team got us into this war and we need to get us out.”
Brooklyn Paper, 9/29/07

"I had asked Councilman Recchia to respond to a posting in the Daily Gothan were he said that we should get out of Iraq when the Iraqis are ready to stand up and that he would support permanent bases in Iraq. When I pointed out that these were the positions of George Bush and John McCain and not the positions of the Democratic candidates, he did not back away from the ready to stand up comment and defended the permanent bases comment."
Richard Reichard, R8NY 2/23/08


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