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

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy August

We are just 28 days away from Rep. Fossella's court date for his DWI arrest! Despite failing several sobriety tests Fossella has hired private investigators and plans on contesting his arrest and subsequent blood alcohol tests. Congratulations to Rep. Fossella for being a role model for everyone.

Labels: ,

Correction: Wyne's site is live

A commenter in a previous post has pointed out that Jamshad Wyne has in fact had a webiste up and running long before Straniere finally got around to putting up his content free page.



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beautiful Fossella?

Gag. via Rochester Turning;

Disgraced Staten Island Republican Congressman Vito Fossella was named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill” by The Hill

Well I guess there are at least two women who would agree with this, not sure how many others.

Labels: ,

More on that Times article

This is why its a horrible article. People actually believe the make believe they are pushing;

Speaking of Staten Island, it's hard for the Democrats to unite, even with Congressman Vito Fossella on his way out.

Again, its just completely false especially consider the state of affairs of the Republican party. Jonathan Hicks you blew it on that article.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rothenberg upgrades race to Democrat Favored

The Rothenberg Political Report today has released their 2008 House Ratings and moved NY13 from toss-up/tilt Democrat to Democrat Favored. They have moved this race two positions from toss-up past Leans Democrat to Democrat Favored. This is a big shift again in our favor. Rothenbrg now joins Swing State Project, Cook Political Report and CQ Politics in moving this completely into a Democrat Favored or Leans Democrat position. You can see the ratings on the right side of this site.


Vito Fossella's recent legislative votes

Foreclosure Prevention Act (Roll Call #519)
Vote Passed (272-152, 11 Not Voting)
The House passed this housing-recovery package.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted NO

Consumer Energy Supply Act (HR 6578, Roll Call #527)
Vote Failed (268-157, 10 Not Voting)

The House failed to attain the two-thirds margin needed to pass this bill to release 10 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted YES

National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act (HR 3999)
Vote Passed (367-55, 12 Not Voting)

The House passed this bill that would help states and the Federal Highway Administration create a uniform inspection system for bridges and highways.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted YES

Labels: ,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Robert Straniere's website is live

Apparently the guy is really running, he has a website. Straniere for Congress

Jamshad Wyne on the other hand doesn't seem to have a website or even any friends, but at least he is raising money, kinda.


Harrison on Inside City Hall, Thursday 7pm

via the Advance;

On Thursday, Democratic congressional hopeful Steve Harrison will be the guest on NY-1's "Inside City Hall." The show airs at 7 and 10 p.m.

Labels: ,

The NYTimes' make believe "unity" issue

Yesterday the Times put out a semi decent article about the Democratic primary. They covered the similarities and differences between McMahon and Harrison in terms of campaign style and policy issues. Had it ended there I think it would be a great introductory article to voters on this race. Instead they tried to skew it into a more controversial story, proposing disunity among the party simply because the voters of the district are being offered a democratic option, we call it a primary. The Republicans have one of those too, but it is the Democrats they would have you believe are in turmoil over this non-fight. So now this is getting some coverage with people picking up on this theme they are pushing such as the Albany Times Union's really awful digested link;

Democrats are scrambling to fill the hole left by GOP Rep Vito Fossella in Staten Island’s 13th CD.

* Democrats are not scrambling, they had no problems getting on the ballot unlike the Republicans.

* Democrats are not scrambling to "fill the hole" unlike Republicans who almost didn't find a replacement for Fossella and then Powers.

* Democrats are not a enduring disunity, the Republicans are the ones refusing to support their own candidates and calling for future party leadership changes.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Party Unity and the role of primaries

The New York Times has a rather interesting piece on Harrison and McMahon. The guise of the article is disunity in the party at a time when the party theoretically should be behind one candidate to maximize their chances of winning;

While the Republicans have endured a highly visible era of disunity, the Democrats in the district, which includes Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, are not exactly in lock step. In fact, they are now preparing for a hotly contested primary between two candidates cut from decidedly different cloth.

One candidate, Michael E. McMahon, a city councilman who represents the North Shore of Staten Island, is a self-described moderate who says he has a record of winning elections in a moderate-to-conservative part of New York.

The other, Stephen A. Harrison, a Brooklyn lawyer who ran against Mr. Fossella two years ago, refers to himself as a progressive who did better against Mr. Fossella — he won 43 percent of the vote in 2006 — than any other Democrat in previous elections.

The article goes on to compare several policy issues of the two candidates but it is the very end of the article that cuts to the real story.

The tensions between the two Democrats do not approach the challenges faced by the Republicans.

The disunity is among the Republicans not the Democrats. We are in the middle of a Democratic primary to see who will go on to the general election and hopefully DC. The Republicans are in the middle of a philosophical debate and actual infighting that is tearing their local party apart. While the Democrats will likely unify around the primary winner, several elected Republican leaders have promised not to campaign for their current front runner under any circumstances.

Labels: ,

7th most likely seat to flip

Chris Cillizza over at the Washington Post does a Friday roundup of House races likely to flip party control. He lists NY13 as #7 this week, up from #10 previously;

7. New York's 13th district (R): Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for House Republicans, their candidate in the race to replace Rep. Vito Fossella (R), chased from office by scandal, drops dead of a heart attack. Former state Assemblyman Robert Straniere (R), a somewhat controversial figure even within his own party, is stepping into the void but New York City Councilman Mike McMahon (D) is the favorite. (Previous ranking: 10)

I am not sure I buy it being so far down the list. Most of the one's he lists ahead of it are good choices, Dan Maffei for example. However his choice of TX-22 being more likely to flip to Republican control is a stretch and seems out of line with most analysts. It does seem like people are grasping for some sign of Republican strength this year, and this may be there example. Additionally in either his haste of desire to condense the state of the race he neglects to mention the primaries on both sides of the ticket.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

McMahon in DC

The DCCC brought several high profile race candidates to DC for some crash courses on various campaign needs, Mike McMahon was one of a small handful. We get some great reassurance that our chances are good this November;

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the group at a breakfast on Thursday, and McMahon said she and others who spoke pointed to the 13th Congressional District "as one of the seats most likely for [Democratic] success."

Labels: , ,

McMahon picks up UFT endorsement

Mike McMahon received the endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers. Via the Advance;

"Mike McMahon has demonstrated time and time again as an elected official that he is a champion for children and working people, and New York City's public educators want that kind of champion representing them in Congress," Weingarten said.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ACT NOW holding voter registration drive in Staten Island, Aug 2

from an email announcement;

Join ACT NOW next Saturday, August 2nd, as we hit Staten Island to do voter registration and help turn New York City's one remaining Republican-held congressional seat blue! That's right, it's a competitive congressional race and it's only a ferry ride away!

With Vito Fossella out, and the local GOP in disarray, Democrats have a chance for the first time in sixteen years to take this seat. By starting our work on the ground now, we’ll ensure Democratic victory in November. Can you join us on August 2nd?

You can RSVP here. This is a non candidate specific voter registration drive. If you are available I highly recommend joining their efforts.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recchia's residual expenses

While Domenic Recchia, like Fossella, may be out of the race he still have FEC reports to file as long as his campaign committee has money. The guy certainly is sitting on a lot of it and can't move it over to his new race of interest Borough President. Curious how he transitioned so fast from wanting to be in Congress to wanting to be BP, but that is not for this post.

Recchia is reporting $2,280 in contributions from March to June and $96,128 in disbursements. That is quite a sizable number in terms of expenses considering his net contributions indicate he probably was looking to get out of the race much earlier than he let on. Of those expenses not all were direct campaign costs, several were contributions to other political candidates;

March 3
$1,000 Judith McMahon, wife of Mike McMahon, running for Judge

March 24
$1,000 to Rep. Jerry Nadler, NY-08

March 26
$500 Assemblyman Vito Lopez, chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party

June 1
$1,000 Kings County Democratic Club (Brooklyn)

June 12
$4,600 Mike McMahon

As a reminder Recchia dropped his bid for the Congressional seat on June 3. Of the contributions none really stand out in any form. McMahon was backing Recchia prior to running himself, so a contribution to his wife's judicial race is not surprising. Nor is a contribution to Vito Lopez who would have sway in either an endorsement for the Congressional race or the Borough President race we have to imagine he was already pondering. A little frustrating is the need to contribute $1,000 to Rep. Nadler's non existent race only to have him give it back in a donation. Considering we have three very close races in upstate NY there are very many more logical candidates to give money to, rather than this ridiculous quid pro quo arrangement. Recchia had already given Nadler $2,000 back in December. And finally it is great to see Recchia has maxed out to McMahon, although he appears to have maxed out both his primary and general election contributions in a primary election contribution. We might see half of that coming back and being recut to McMahon.


DCCC: Mobilize for Change

I realize not everyone is supportive of the DCCC's involvement in this race before the primary but early voter contact is important and taking this seat away from Republicans is top on my list. If you don't want to work with their national efforts please make sure you are talking to voters on behalf of your candidate.

via the DCCC;

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced today it was sponsoring Mobilize for Change: A National Day of Action on July 26, 2008 - marking 100 days until Election Day. Mobilize for Change: A National Day of Action will boost House Democratic campaigns' efforts to recruit additional volunteers to phone bank and canvass congressional districts across the country. The House campaign that has the most volunteers will win a fundraising email sent on their behalf to our 3 million person strong list.

"Mobilize for Change: A National Day of Action is an exciting way for campaigns to boost their volunteer base," said DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen. "The DCCC is committed to reaching voters across the country with our message of change and has begun contacting voters earlier than ever before. By starting earlier, Democrats are reaching voters that are not yet being fully bombarded by political messages, which we know from our three special election wins is critical to our success."

The scope and effectiveness of the DCCC's voter contact program this cycle is unprecedented for House campaigns. The DCCC's 2008 voter contact programs began in November 2007 and have already resulted in more than two million voter contacts (door knocks and phone calls). The DCCC tested the effectiveness and improved its enhanced voter contact programs with each of the special elections Democrats won in IL-14, LA-06, and MS-01. The programs are on track to do more than 13 million voter contacts for the cycle in more than 50 districts.

The winner of the Mobilize for Change: A National Day of Action contest will be announced next week.

Mobilize for Change website


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

NY-13 article round-ups

CQPolitics writes about Democratic candidate cash leads in open seats and mentions the ridiculous situation that is NY13;

Other Republican candidates only recently entered races for seats that opened up unexpectedly — another reason for some of their lagging fundraising efforts. In 13th District of New York, for instance, Democrat Michael McMahon has been raising money since the early spring to challenge Republican Rep. Vito J. Fossella . Fossella’s unexpected retirement in the wake of a drunk driving arrest and reports of an extramarital affair has left three Republicans scrambling for the GOP nomination in that contest. They have not yet filed any campaign finance reports.

Next Left Notes covers a Mike McMahon appearance at SIDA, describing the event as a moderate/conservative McMahon meeting a progressive SIDA;

This past Tuesday, McMahon addressed a meeting of the Staten Island Democratic Association in an attempt to reach out to progressives. SIDA is the most liberal of all of the Democratic clubs on Staten Island. McMahon was on the defensive for much of the evening, despite the fact that he brought a large entourage to the meeting.

CQPolitics covers the gains about to be made in New York state where they believe Democrats likely will pick up 5 of the 7 Republican held Congressional seats, including NY13.

Stonewall Dems endorse Harrison

Robert over at the Albany Project brings us news that the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC has endorsed Steve Harrison.

Labels: , ,

Fossella's recent legislative votes

Veto Override; Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (House Roll Call No. 491)
Vote Passed (383-41, 11 Not Voting)

The House overrode the President's veto of a bill that cancels a scheduled 10.6 percent cut in Medicare physician payments.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted Yes

Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands Act (House Roll Call No. 511)
Vote Failed (244-173, 18 Not Voting)

The House failed to attain the necessary two-thirds margin needed to pass this bill that would have required energy companies to drill for oil and gas in areas where licenses have already been acquired.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted NO

Labels: ,

WNYC on McMahon's money

WNYC does a short piece on Mike McMahon's money with a great ending that points out McMahon and Harrison both have far more money than either Republican candidate. Listen;

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 21, 2008

McMahon the liberal?

Seriously. This is not some attack on him from the right, this is me trying to pinpoint his place on the political spectrum. I am not going to argue that he is more progressive than Steve Harrison but I am starting to wonder if he is more left of center than he has been pegged to be so far. Harrison to his credit has locked up is progressive support and positioning and it suits his campaign well. McMahon on the other hand has been thus far quiet about policy issues and we have only had his city council record, which does not always translate into national issues well and comments from others on his leanings.

It was quotes like these, via Politico that started correctly or incorrectly framing McMahon as a conservative leaning Democrat;

Indeed, one complicating factor for Powers is the role of the state’s Conservative Party, which has hinted that it could support the likely Democratic nominee, City Councilman Mike McMahon, for the general election. Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar, who recently met with McMahon, said he would give serious consideration to endorsing the councilman, calling him a “moderate to conservative Democrat.”

“McMahon is in the mix this year as a popular Democrat that I would seriously consider supporting,” Kassar said. “He’s not as conservative as Powers, but he definitely appeals to us on some of the issues. He appeals to us on his opposition to gay marriage, and he told us he continues to support U.S. action in Iraq.”

Unfortunately for him, with the delay of his website launch and his slow or lack of campaigning per se, he has been very slow on addressing policy issues and rebutting attacks from either side. We have already seen scurrilous comments associated to previous candidates when Lanza claimed Domenic Recchia ruined Frank Barbaro's chances in favor of Fossella. That grabbed some quick attention and tarnished Recchia only to have zero follow up reporting. But maybe that was the point and maybe that is the point for the Republican and Conservative side of this race claiming honest or not support for McMahon.

Curiously after his site finally launched a quick visit will turned up a smiling photo and quote of Robert Kennedy and iconic progressive and liberal hero of my party. Certainly not what I would expect from a conservative. While on the other side of the race one would note that Harrison is astutely including an Obama logo on his home page. Bith appealing to a progressive and liberal side of the party. But what about that quote, those conservative or moderate leanings?

As per McMahon's Iraq issues page McMahon calls for the immediate start to removing troops from Iraq, opposes permanent military bases and calls for increases diplomatic solutions involving neighboring countries.

"Steve Harrison opposes the war in Iraq and calls for the immediate withdrawal of forces, consistent with our troops' safety." [taken directly from his Iraq issue page]

On healthcare McMahon calls for all Americans to have access to the same healthcare program that members of Congress receive, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Steve Harrison supports single-payer universal medical coverage.

Don't be mistaken on neither of those issues has either candidate taken a conservative viewpoint. Now one could argue it is moderate because both solutions to Iraq and health care are what a majority of our country want, but they are championed from the left. I don't want speak or put support on issues out there for McMahon, that is not my intent. Merely I think the conversation needs to start on where our two candidates stand for good or bad, or liberal or conservative. I do want to note that while McMahon's website launch is well received he does leave some to be desired. His issue pages covers 7 issues while Harrison covers 23. There are still lingering questions on issues of importance to not just the left but all voters such as the recent FISA debates. In a previous post I introduced an idea from the liberal blogosphere about not just electing more Democrats, but electing better Democrats and the beginning of a framework of what kind of Democrat that looks like. This is really a continuation of that thought process and a reality check that once again we must question what sometimes goes for political reporting in this race.

update I have edited the healthcare section slightly, removing the reference to SCHIP. I initially was not going to compare Harrison and McMahon but thought it would make the point better if I did. That said I did not properly research Harrison's stances and removed the comment so that just universal health care was being compared. I will come back to health care later most likely.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Harrison on radio Monday morning

Steve Harrison will be on Errol Louis's radio show on WWRL, 1600 AM 6:20 Monday morning.

It is a travel and recovery day for me so light posting

Friday, July 18, 2008

McMahon's website goes live

As a blogger I pulled a few hairs out waiting, but its live! MikeMcMahonforcongress.com

One issue that has raised some questions about his campaign is his issue policy. I am still reading through them but wanted to note they are available and ready for embrace/critique if you want.

Still no site from Wyne or Straniere.


Wyne raises money, breaks some laws, gives it back, self funds

Republican candidate and outsider candidate Jamshad Wyne has his first FEC filing up online. He has loaned himself $35,000 and spent $25,437 of that, leaving him a little over $9,000 cash on hand for his primary. The sad thing for this party is he is leading the cash on hand as Straniere had not yet started raising money.

The story takes an odd though at this point expected turn as Tom tells us;

Dr. Wyne said he raised $119,000 from 50 to 60 people at the fundraiser, which was held on May 20 at Lee's Tavern in Dongan Hills.

But Dr. Wyne said this week he'd returned all that money to donors. He said that he'd been advised not to deposit the money because he hadn't yet officially registered as a candidate with the FEC.

But the man is determined, after all his candidacy has been ignored and disrespected by his own party. He has promised to now self finance his primary run up to the amount of $500,000.

I have added Wyne to both the cash on hand totals and the maplight widget on the right hand column. Straniere will be added once he has an official FEC report.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vito Fossella still has loyal donors

While all the excitement and movement is going to come from someone other than Vito Fossella from now on, he still has to file FEC reports and intriguingly has crazy stories following. Despite the hypocrisy there are people still willing to throw money at Vito Fossella to promote his unique brand of "family values." I already covered that he has actually increased his cash on hand over the past quarter despite not running for re-election, but more curious is a closer look at the date and quantity of those contributions.

Vito Fossella was arrested on the morning of May 1, one month into the second quarter. It now appears that he actively continued to raise money and had targeted fundraisers on May 13 and May 27. On May 13 he raised $22,200 from 11 donors. 7 of those 11 made the maximum contribution they could of $2,300 for either the primary or general election. One zealous couple, Herbert and Jeanne Seigel, actually both maxed out $2,300 each for both the primary and the general election. This is thirteen days after his arrest was made public and a full week after he admitted to having an affair and another child he kept secret from his own family.

That alone should raise a few questions, probably more so for his donors who have questionable ethics, however it gets worse. Six days following this large fundraising effort, on May 19, Vito Fossella announced he would not seek re-election. Then eight days following that announcement, on May 27 he had a second large coordinated fundraising effort where he brought in $16,600 with two donors maxing out their contribution for the primary that they knew would never be happening.

The final numbers are;
$41,650 since his arrest
$38,900 of that since his admitted adultery
$16,700 of that since he declared he would not run for re-election

Labels: ,

Schumer stumps for McMahon

The Bay Ridge Rover who I just stumbled upon has a piece up on Sen. Schumer's visit to the district and stumping for Mike McMahon. Check it out and give them some traffic. Might want to add them to your blog reader if you have one.


Left over updates

The cash on hand totals and the maplight widget (on the right) which tracks total contributions have both been updated to reflect the latest FEC filings.

Robert Straniere and Jamshad Wyne appear to have not yet filed with the FEC. Once they do I will add them as well.

Domenic Recchia has contributed $2,300 from his Recchia for Congress committee to McMahon.

Labels: , ,

Speaker Pelosi is a McMahon donor

Her campaign committee Nancy Pelosi for Congress has given $4,000, presumably $2,000 for the primary and $2,000 for the general election. The filings are still being uploaded...

Also donating from the NY Congressional delegation;

Rep. Gary Ackerman, $2,000
Rep. Engel, $1,000
Rep. Anthony Weiner, $2,000
Rep. Nadler, $4,000
Rep. Crowley, $2,000
Rep. McNulty, $2,000
Rep. Rangel, $4,000
Rep. Israel, $2,000
Rep. Lowey, $1,000

Also Mike McMahon gave himself $1,000.

Labels: ,

Fossella ruined his family, career and now his own Republican party

via the Advance;

Voting in favor of Straniere on the committee were Anthony Xanthakis, a 2006 party candidate for Assembly; top Fossella staffer Sherry Diamond; Fossella's sister, Lori Siciliani, and attorney Thomas Sipp.

"The committee to fill vacancies was loaded with Vito's people so this is the final blow delivered by the congressman," said one longtime Republican. "I guess he didn't want to go down alone on the ship, so he decided to take the whole party with him."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Assemblyman Tobacco will not support Straniere

Another elected Republican official promises not to support Straniere;

Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R-South Shore), who was a Straniere legislative intern in 1993, also said he would not support Straniere's bid.

"The people of my Assembly district, the core of the Republican Party, have spoken and I respect them," Tobacco said, alluding to Straniere's 2004 primary loss.

Where do the other elected Republican officials stand;
Ignizio - won't support Straniere
Lanza - is waiting to make a decision
Oddo - unknown

Labels: ,

More Republican ethics problems?

Republican Bob Straniere is called out by his own party on ethics concerns;

"Two words that strike me: Ethics and morality," said Molinari. "There have been so many questions raised about ethics in government over the last few months, the last thing we could have expected is to see someone put up for office with serious ethical concerns. That's mystifying."

Labels: ,

Fossella's 2Q filing

Despite his demise, he still has money and still needs to report who he took it from and where he spent it. Don't have time to dive into the figures but this is what he filed, via FEC [pdf];

Contributions: $170,971
Expenditures: $125,423
Cash on Hand: $278,723

Somehow he actually gained $28,000 that he can do with what he wants. Not sure how much love is left between him and the NRCC, otherwise he could dump money into their accounts since he won't have any use for it after November.


Ignizio promises not to support Straniere

Ignizio knocked Straniere out of office in a Republican primary in 2004 and wants nothing to do with him;

Ignizio defeated Straniere in a 2004 GOP Assembly primary, ending Straniere's 24-year career in the Legislature, and tonight said that he "will not be supporting Bob Straniere for Congress."

Ignizio would not say who he would back in the race, but it's thought that some Island Republicans will throw their support behind Independence Party pick Carmine Morano in the campaign.

It is rather telling of your character when elected Republican officials would rather see the seat flip than to support you. Will Straniere even break 40% in the general election? Heck will he even survive the primary? I hear they are rough.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Staten Island GOP picks a candidate they formerly threw out of office

Former Assemblyman Robert Straniere. Yup.

via the NYTimes;

“Bob Straniere is now the candidate of the Richmond County Republican Committee,” said John S. Friscia, the chairman of the party on Staten Island. “He has the following, the name recognition and the verve and the drive.”

Mr. Friscia filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections on Monday night, just hours before the deadline to substitute Mr. Straniere’s name on the nominating petitions to replace Francis H. Powers, the party candidate who died of a heart attack last month.

One of the small problems he faces is that portions of his own party dislike him and want nothing to do with him, more so than their other Republican candidate Jamshad Wyne and that is saying a lot;

“If Straniere is the nominee, there will be prominent people who will be front and center opposing him,” said Guy V. Molinari, the former Staten Island borough president who spent years building the Republican Party on Staten Island. “This man was a candidate for various offices for 20 years, and he brought nothing but grief to the Republican Party,” he said. “We threw him out of office and got him off of Staten Island. And we don’t want him back.”

Problem number two is that Straniere lives in Manhattan and only promises to move to Staten Island if he wins. Straniere cares so much for Staten Island his former home that he wants nothing to do with it, unless it is a means for him to get to Congress then he will begrudgingly move there to better serve his would be constituents. Straniere was in large part kicked out of the Assembly by his own party in a primary because he was living in Manhattan and not his own district. Way to go Republicans, I am sure this won't come back to bit you.

With the Staten Island Republican party now lining up behind Straniere this likely means Carmina Morano and Paul Atanasio will not get approval from the state party to run as Republicans so we only have a two way race in the Republican party.

see also;
The Albany Project; NY-13: GOP Finally Picks A Candidate...And They Hate Him
Swing State Project; NY-13: Staten GOP Settles For Straniere, Molinari Fumes
Daily News; Pol finds few Republican pals in race to succeed Vito Fossella


Harrison and McMahon's fundraising drasticly different

McMahon has brought in $499,000
Harrison has brought in $34,000

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

1,900 Days Later

Labels: ,

Schmuer endorses McMahon

via The Advance;

Michael McMahon's bid for the Congress is to get a boost today when the Democratic City Councilman gets an endorsement from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) during a campaign rally at 1:45 p.m. on the South Beach Boardwalk by the dolphin fountain.

Maybe more interesting though is that in his endorsement Schumer may have started to lay out McMahon's platform he will run on, something that so far has been unknown;

Schumer has called the seven-year veteran of the New York City Council a champion of expanded health care, transportation and smart environmental policies.

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 12, 2008

McMahon's $500K quarter?

Rumors are circulating that Mike McMahon may report anywhere from $400- $500,000 for his first quarter, really his first month. When I heard $400,000 I thought that number was exceptionally high but recent reports are claiming even more. If true here is some perspective on how that rate of fund raising matches up for Democratic challengers across the country;

John Adler (NJ-03) $720K
Dan Seals (IL-08) $635k
Dina Titus (NV-03) $570K
Linda Stender (NJ-07) <$500K
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) $475K
Dan Maffei (NY-25) ~$470k
Michael Skelly (TX-07) $412K, added
Debbie Halvorson (IL-11) $400K

McMahon would fall in line as the fourth or fifth most prolific fundraiser (so far) for a Democratic challenger this past quarter. Dina Titus has raised her $570K in just two months, after entering the race late. Everyone else on this list raised their totals over three full months. McMahon by comparison will have been raising money for roughly one month.

Question: How much if any of McMahon's money is for the primary vs. the general?

thanks to Swing State Project's fund raising round ups for making this convenient.

update: I am adding new candidates as their numbers are released.

Labels: ,

DCCC to spend $1.3 million on ad buy

Real Clear Politics breaks down a leaked document showing where the DCCC is going to be reserving ad time. As part of a $34.5 ad expenditure they have indicated they will spend $1.3 million of that in the NY13 market.

Still, these numbers can change over the coming months. Reserving time is not the same thing as buying time, and, should Democrats decide one race is easily won or already lost, the party can shift resources to other districts. Having reserved time only ensures the DCCC can spend money before commercial advertisers and other political candidates buy the time remaining, driving prices up.

This is one of the big reasons we see no top tier Republican candidate in this race. The DCCC has flexed their muscles and scared off most candidates without actually having to spend any money. Who really would want to go up against this;

Democrats enjoy a huge financial advantage over Republicans. Through the end of May, the DCCC held $47.1 million in cash reserves, while the National Republican Congressional Committee had just $6.65 million in the bank. That disparity will play a huge role in November, and Democrats are already laying the foundation with the first round of major ad buys.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Likely a very crowded Republican field

Tom has the early petition signature numbers;

1,250 needed
Frank Powers ~ 2,000
Robert Straniere ~2,500
Jamshad Wyne ~ 3,000

Brooklyn Conservative Party nominee Paul Atanasio and Independence Party nominee Carmine Morano also had signatures collected on their behalf to run on the Republican party line. Both would need permission from the state Republican Party to run on the Republican line since neither are registered Republicans.

On the Conservative Party side of things Paul Atanasio filed 362 signatures, needing only 100. Meanwhile in Staten Island the Conservative Party simultaneously collected over 500 signatures for Mike McMahon, a Democratic candidate to get him on the Conservative Party line. Atanasio would not need permission to run on the Conservative Party line since he is a registered Conservative, however McMahon would need permission since he is a reigstered Democrat.

Make sense? Good.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

July 10th is here

So petitions to get on the primary ballot are due today. Let's quickly recap where our Republican friends are;

Bob Straniere, former Assemblyman who was primaried and sent home from Albany by the powers that be in his own party lives in Manhattan. He promises to actually move into the district should he win. How thoughtful.

Paul Atanasio, Brooklyn Conservative Party nominee who might be cross endorsed is not a registered Republican. How are his prospects;

“Our people have been out there working hard in gathering petitions day and night for Paul Atanasio,” said Brooklyn GOP leader Eaton. “It’s a difficult process with the holiday weekend, the heat and the rain, but we’re working hard to get him on the ballot.” He could not specify the number of signatures collected, hinting it could be close.

And that leaves us with Jamshad Wyne, the GOP Finance Chair, who the GOP so dislike as a candidate they actually are looking at the two guys above as alternatives.

Here is hoping one of them actually makes the ballot to keep us entertained through November. Happy July 10th!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ballot signatures so far

Candidates need 1,250 valid signatures to qualify for the primary ballot. However to survive challenges from their opponents they will need to collect nearly twice that amount. All signatures are due by July 10. So with that here is what we know so far;

Mike McMahon;

Democratic City Councilman Michael McMahon plans to file what could be a record 11,000 petition signatures for his congressional bid this year, nearly eight times the number of signatures he needs to get on the fall ballot.

Steve Harrison;

Brooklyn attorney Stephen Harrison, McMahon's Democratic primary opponent, said he would file between 3,000 and 4,000 signatures for his bid.

A Republican to be named later;

Staten Island Republicans, meanwhile, don't have a candidate yet and appear poised to file the 1,550 or so signatures the party gathered on behalf of congressional designee Frank Powers, who died last month.

Bob Straniere;

Straniere, who lost a primary for his Assembly seat in 2004 and left politics, couldn't say how many signatures he would file, but said it would be "well in excess" of the 1,250 required.

Jamshad Wyne;

Dr. Jamshad Wyne said he would file "over 3,000 signatures" for the race this week.

Paul Atanasio;

Brooklyn Republicans are collecting signatures for Paul Atanasio, a Conservative Party member who would need written permission from the GOP, known as a Wilson-Pakula authorization, in order to run in a primary.

update Swing State Project covers the numbers

Monday, July 07, 2008

Molinari says GOP likely to lose this seat

When your own former Congressional representatives say you are likely to lose this seat, things are not looking up;

In yet another sign of the disarray gripping GOP ranks, a top Republican in New York is now flatly stating that the party is such a mess that they are very likely to lose a key House seat in the state.


Molinari said that the Democrats have quickly rallied around Michael McMahon, a New York City Councilor, and conceded that McMahon is in a strong position to win. "I wouldn't jump to that conclusion yet, but I would say this," Molinari said. "Based on the candidates that have surfaced so far, yes, we're going to lose the seat."

Molinari goes on to add that Paul Atanasio may be the likely Republican nominee, though he would not have the full party support.

Labels: ,

DCCC's primary involvement

via The Hill;

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has in recent weeks injected itself into almost all of the major primaries remaining despite pledging previously to abstain.

DCCC officials have often said that they would try to avoid mixing in primaries as a general principle, but that they reserved the right to do so under “extraordinary circumstances.”

As the cycle wages on and Republicans appear more vulnerable this November, those extraordinary circumstances have become the norm.

For all of you Harrison supporters you are not alone;

In fact, five of the six races feature a Democratic candidate from the 2006 general election, and none of them were chosen by the committee. Most of these candidates are poorly funded but could pack significant name recognition on primary day.

We will soon see if the poorly funded meme holds true, but regardless that last sentence will be the measure of all things.

note: The article has no comment feature and I can not find contact information for the author, Aaron Blake, but want to correct one of his statements. He says that "Powers and McMahon have both earned the unanimous endorsements of the county parties in their races." McMahon carried the county endorsement vote, but it was not unanimous, 131-40.

Labels: ,

CQPolitics calls NY-13 top five most likely pick-up nationally

CQ calls out NY-13 first on their top five list of seats that are most vulnerable, and in all five cases it would be Democratic pick-ups in another cycle where voters are preferring the Democratic Party to their counterpart;

So this version of Jigsaw Politics provides a more microscopic look at this year’s competitive race landscape with a list of the five House seats that currently, based on CQ Politics’ ratings and reporting, appear the most vulnerable to take over by the challenging party.

The districts (with links to more details on the races) are:

• New York’s 13th District, in which Republican Rep. Vito J. Fossella was forced to quit his re-election bid after admitting he had a daughter from an ongoing extramarital affair.

The others are IL-11, AZ-01, VA-11, and NY-25. We are looking at a potential four seat pick up in New York state as the voters relegate the Republican Party almost to the status of a minor party.

...the first four races on the Top 5 list were easy picks, as they are the only races so far this year in which either party is rated as having a clear edge to take over a seat.


Rothenberg joins the rest, upgrades race

The Rothenberg Political Report today upgraded this race from toss-up to toss-up/tilt Democrat. They still lag a bit behind the other analysts in moving this completely to at least a lean Democrat rating, but Swing State, Cook, CQ and now Rothenberg all gives the odds (even is slightly) to the Democratic nominee to pick up this seat.

SSP: Leans Dem
CQ: Dem Favored
Cook: Leans Dem
Rothenberg: toss-up/tilt Dem

update the right side bar list of ratings has been updated to reflect these changes


Sunday, July 06, 2008

The DCCC's role after the primary

I see lots of speculation about what the DCCC's role is in this race. Will they get involved with their ad buys in the primary? Will they not support Harrison if he wins? Pushing these questions often is bad reporting;

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has pledged more than $2 million in advertising money for the general election if McMahon beats Steve Harrison, a Bay Ridge lawyer who lost to Fossella in 2006, in the September primary.

I have yet to see an actual quote saying the DCCC will only help McMahon and not Harrison, should he win the primary. There is no source to that in the article anywhere. When you think it through I have a hard time understanding how that quote above can be true at all. The DCCC's essential mission is electing as many Democrats to Congress as possible. They rarely get involved in ideology, they just strive to have as many members of Congress voting with the party on core issues starting with choosing the Speaker of the House and going down the list from there. Should Harrison beat McMahon this September what is the logic behind thinking the DCCC would take their ball and go home? Clearly they want this seat and have shown they will do what ever it takes to flip it, so why then if the person they think is the strongest candidate gets beaten, one can assume the winner then is an even stronger candidate, they will walk away from the race? 2006 has shown us two prime examples of an activist candidate with a much smaller war chest knocking off two DCCC backed candidates and then went on to knock off the Republican incumbents, Rep. Jerry McNerney and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. The DCCC is aware of these races and is helping both of them win their re-election. There is a track record, even if brief that shows if you are able to beat a DCCC endorsed candidate in a primary that you can go on to flip a Republican seat. So I ask if you think the DCCC would walk away from this race if Harrison won, like the Brooklyn Paper does, what evidence is there to support that and better what logic would be behind that?

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Republican words of wisdom

Former Congressman Guy Molinari;

"The fact that the Republican Party on Staten Island, looked at as one of the strongest Republican counties in the state, in a very short time ends up out to lunch -- we are going to become the laughingstock of the political world."

My only disagreement with that statement is aren't they already the laughingstock of the political world? Not quite sure how much lower they could go, but I have learned not to doubt their abilities.


Friday, July 04, 2008

5 days left

via the Brooklyn Paper;

Brooklyn’s Republican organization has rallied behind Paul Atanasio, a retired investment banker and registered Conservative, but county chairman Craig Eaton is livid that his Staten Island counterparts have not supported Atanasio — or anyone else — in the race to hold onto the party’s only congressional seat in New York City. [emphasis mine]

“The failure of the Staten Island GOP to put all their resources and effort behind Paul Atanasio is going to give the Democrats a significant edge,” Eaton said. “If we lose, it’s going to be their fault.”

The Republicans are under the gun to get a name — any name — on the ballot. To qualify, candidates must submit 1,250 valid signatures of registered voters by July 10. Typically, twice as many signatures are needed in order to survive the inevitable challenges.

At this point it is unlikely anyone else will be getting into the race because of the immense difficulty that gathering signatures would pose. It looks like with all the attempts to find bad news in the Democratic primary that we likely will be heading into a Republican as well; Wyne vs. Straniere (possibly with a third taking over Powers's spot). Needless to say I am feeling confident with where our party is going.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cook upgrades race to 'Lean Democrat'

Another day and another analyst upgrades this race in the Democrats favor. Cook Political Report has moved this race one spot from "toss up" to "lean Democrat." They now join Swing State Project who already this at Leans Dem and CQPolitics who yesterday moved it a spot further to Dem Favored.

Come on Rothenberg you know you want to join the fun.

h/t to The Albany Project for catching this this morning


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is Fossella still part of the GOP plan to regain a majority?

Maybe the cause of the local Republican parties disfunction stems from the national party. They did place Fossella, an incumbent, on the front line of their regaining their majority despite him, well, not being able to pick up a new seat. All this happened just a couple of weeks before that whole DWI, I had an affair, I have a secret family/child "mistake." I wonder if the party still considers him a crucial part to regaining their majority because it looks like he is actually about to make them lose a seat. Semantics I realize, but I wanted to point that out.

Labels: , , ,

Small sight updates

Over in the right column below Vito's lovely photo is a new category covering the analyst's ratings for this seat. I will still be covering them in posts but to make it easy to see where people project this race going I will keep them over there as well with a link to the most recent post on their rating changes, if any occur.

Also below that is the cash on hand category. I have noted Recchia and Fossella are out but I am keeping their totals and will update those as I am curious to see what happens to that money. I have also added McMahon. He is currently listed as "N/A" because he has not yet submitted an FEC filing. The quarter just ended so there should be some updates with those numbers soon. I will also update the maplight.org widget below with total fundraising numbers for all candidates who file.

note: I still have no clue what is up with the archives not lining up correctly. I have looked over the code numerous times but to no avail. If only blogger had a testing area and changes to the template weren't live. The preview option is really suitable.

CQPolitics upgrades race to Dem Favored

via CQPolitics;

The Republicans’ lack of a consensus replacement candidate less than two weeks before the July 10 candidate filing deadline, with no top-tier prospects at hand for the party’s Sept. 9 primary, has prompted CQ Politics to change its rating on the race in New York’s 13th Congressional District to Democrat Favored from No Clear Favorite.

They join Swing State Project who has already upgraded the race to Leans Democratic.

Cook Political Report is lagging, still having this race at toss-up.

After the FEC reports come out these other ratings could shift even further to Likely Dem/Dem Favored.

I changed that last paragraph to indicate the analysts other than CQ who have not shifted their ratings to Likely/Favored status.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

8 days left

It is all about the signatures on the ballot petitions. There is still no Republican endorsement but there is some news.

Frank Powers does not have 2,000;

Republican leaders say that Mr. Powers campaign had collected about 1,500 signatures on Mr. Powers's petitions.

1,250 are needed and 1,500 isn't likely to hold up against challenges.

Wyne has 2,000.

Bob Straniere is collecting signatures for the Republican line;

Multiple sources confirm that former Assemblyman Bob Staniere [sp], who has long desired to run for Congress, no longer lives in the district (not a requirement in this case; one must only live in the state) and is on the outs with the GOP powers-that-be on Staten Island, is indeed circulating petitions to run.

Carmine Morano is collecting signatures for both the Independence and Republican lines;

Frank Morano, a state Independence Party official, confirms his father, Carmine, is circulating petitions in an effort to get both the Indy and GOP lines (he'll need a Wilson Pakula for the latter).

Labels: , , ,

McMahon, Harrison and Wyne on facebook

Mike McMahon is now on facebook. Become a fan.

Also as previously posted Steve Harrison has a page as well, become a fan.

And Republican candidate Jamshad Wyne, well this is just too easy;


Two numbers.

(Guest post by Ahmed Kokon)

I'd like to thank all of our supporters and contributors. We have now received our 1,000th contributor online and we are very proud of our grassroots support. This is truly a people-powered campaign. I do want to take a quick second to point out two numbers: 43 and 700.

Harrison's average online donation: $43
McMahon's average online donation: $700

When your average donation is $700, you can’t say that you’re running to represent the people. You don't represent the father who has to decide which one of his children receives healthcare, you don't represent the college graduate who wonders how in the world they will pay off their loans, and you don't represent those who are already invisible to the people in power.

It's not enough anymore to just elect a Democrat. It's time to elect Democrats with democratic principles and democratic values.

Remember those two numbers: 43 & 700.

Now ask yourself, which number represents you?