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

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

Monday, May 12, 2008

Why there won't be a special election here

Tomorrow (really today at this point) we will have a great picture of the approval ratings for the Republican party in the minds of their own voters. After suffering two crushing defeats in formerly very Republican Congressional districts in special elections, the Republican Party faces its final test in the MS-01 election. This seat has an even stronger Republican lean with a PVI of R+10 than either of the previous two seats they lost, LA-06 PVI R+6 and IL-14 PVI R+5. This race is the runoff resulting from an earlier matchup where the Democratic candidate was only tenths of a percentage away from an outright victory. The NRCC has dropped $1.3 million into saving this seat against the DCCC's $1.8 million investment. Regardless of the outcome this will be very telling on the path taken to the next election for the NY-13 seat. The NRCC has to fear Fossella's seat going to special election more than any others this year.

First this is drastically more Democratic leaning district, D+1 than any of the three above, where they have lost. Meaning IL-14, LA-06 and MS-01 went 6, 7 and 11 percentage points more for Bush last election than Fossella's.

Second the DCCC is flexing their muscle in MS-01 showing the NRCC they can drop unlimited amounts of money here in NY-13 on a special election and obliterate the NRCC budget. The NRCC currently only has about $7 million in the bank compared to the DCCC's $44 million. A fourth special election in NY-13 will completely wipe out their money heading into November where every seat is up for re-election. That is a daunting outlook.

Third the NY State Republican Party faces the prospect of losing;

* a congressional seat and their Staten Island leadership
* a DA's seat should Donovan run and win, that Gov. Paterson would then fill
* a State Senate seat should Lanza run and win, setting up another special election that the NY Dems have swept recently
* or putting Oddo up, you know this crazy guy

There is no way Fossella can resign before July 1. With Fossella's court date set for June 27th, the likelihood of him serving jail time before that magical July 1 is minimal. The Republican Party at this point wants him out, but not at the cost of losing his seat. They will try to force him out possibly through stripping his committee seats and pushing an ethics investigation on him, but only after the July 1 cut off date. The only reason at this point that Fossella calls it quits before then is in response to his party trying to push him out and and hoping they lose the seat.

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