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

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

Thursday, September 04, 2008

McMahon campaign is very wrong for attacking Rep. Owens

Monday we mentioned that former member of Congress, Rep. Major Owens had endorsed Harrison. Normally when I get endorsement news like this I try to wrap it up in one post and move on since most of the various news outlets recycle the story and press release and there is little news after the initial announcement. Since the announcement of this endorsement though McMahon's campaign has carelessly and needlessly decided to attack a former member of Congress and his son, who are from his own party;

"It's unfortunate that the Owens are still bitter from Chris' fourth place loss to replace Major in 2006. Council Member McMahon is proud to have earned the endorsement of the Staten Island Advance, New York Times, AFL-CIO, Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Borough President Marty Markowitz and more than a dozen current members of Congress--including Rep. Yvette Clarke, who soundly defeated Chris in 2006."

In my opinion the endorsement by Rep. Owens and even that of his son was not going to be ground breaking. They speak to a progressive audience most of whom are already breaking for Harrison. The endorsement never seemed like it would be damaging to McMahon and so I find this rebuttal so absolutely unnecessary and astounding. Alienating members of one's own party and former members of Congress who deserve a lot more respect than that shown is senseless. I am scratching my head over this.


At 10:59 PM, Anonymous ya gotta think! said...

You're scratching your head over this?

You are obviously too ideological to appreciate the reality here.

McMahon is clearly separating himself from the more liberal wing of his party with a statement like that.

Now, you personally may be hurt by that, but your personal feelings don't really matter in his overall campaign.

He's got to reach out and scoop up all the moderates and conservatives he can, especially if he's got an eye toward 2010.

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's put this in context: Steve Harrison lies about being a Democrat, lies about being a progressive, and lies about being pro-choice while attacking McMahon with a script right out the Karl Rove playbook. It's clearly very progressive to Swift Boat McMahon over a one-time property tax hike five years ago in the aftermath of 9/11 (which was subsequently repealed). Or, maybe it would have been more progressive to close more firehouse, lay off teachers, or have the city declare bankruptcy.

But, I digress. back to the chronology: Next up, that cretinous hack Chris Owens, who ran for Congress in order to fulfill a narcissistic vision of the diving right of Congressmen (before getting humiliated in the Primary) then attacks McMahon while repeating the same lies and drivel Harrison promotes.

McMahon's campaign responds by pointing out the obvious: that Owens is just pissed that Yvette Clarke (who beat Chris and whose family chased Major from office) endorsed McMahon, and that McMahon has a lot more endorsements that actually matter in the district.

You then attack McMahon because his campaign wouldn't let Owens' lies go unanswered. That's very objective of you.

it's nearly as objective as when you let Harrison's in-house blogger post nonsense about their fundraising picking up steam (when in fact, he's raised next to nothing since McMahon got in the race) or the time you let Harrison's in-house blogger post a work of fiction loosely based on the Advance editorial attacking NOW for lying about McMahon (you never did seem to get around to posting on the edit itself which focused on the ineptitude and lies of the Harrison's campaign biggest supporter to date).

At least you were objective in your reporting of the Brooklyn paper endorsing McMahon over Brooklyn's own Steve Harrison. Oh, wait, you ignored that one even though it's the paper that knows Steve--dating back to his tenure as the Community Board chair.

The whole premise of the blog is supposed to be partisan anti-Republican. That's understood (and, at least by me, appreciated). However, you should at least have the intellectual honesty to admit that you lean pro-Harrison rather than positioning yourself as a neutral in the Primary.

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Confused? Attacking a Democrat? The whole Harrison campaign has been about attacking McMahon. Harrison is the real disaster here.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger GeorgeR said...

Now lets put it in an HONEST contex that ya gotta think! and Anonymous above would hate to do as would McMahon would hate to do and does not himself by his deceptive stealth campaign to hide what he wants the voters to vote for: It is NOT Steve Harrison that has made it an avocation of lying to the Democrats and even the Conservatives and everyone else and McMahon is a Democrat in name only and is most definitely not a Progressive Democrat or anything else progressive. It is Harrison who is the Progressive Democrat (was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats and other Democrat clubs who vetted him on the issues). It is McMahon using a script right out the Karl Rove playbook on every issue not only hiding that he is the pro-life candidate and voted that way on the City Council against emergency contraceptives (the Day After Pill) as well as voted for a preemptive invasion and against not going to war in Iraq without completed weapons inspections, without exhausting all avenues of diplomacy first and without gaining support of allies first.

McMahon thumbed his nose at his own Democrat colleagues to vote with the Bush clone Republicans on the council on these issues, among others. In the span of one day McMahon was pro-war and then anti-war with different groups to pander for their nomination (Conservative Party) and endorsements. He not only convinced the Conservative Party that he was pro-war but apparently that he is pro-life too, which had them praising him for that nomination that the Conservatives in Brooklyn ultimately rejected him for. He also likewise voted against the Constitution on a city council resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of an unconstitutional depth penalty law until its constitutional defect could be rectified. McMahon also voted to gut and undermine existing campaign finance laws with a gapping loophole for that purpose. McMahon lied to his constituents that he would oppose Congestion Pricing and then flipped and betrayed them to vote for it. His incompetent scheme to put a waste transfer station in Gravesend will dredge up pollution that will foal and destroy the waterways and beaches on Staten Island and New York Harbor.

It is not Harrison attacking endorses in a veiled attempt to swift boat Harrison. Harrison, on the other hand, has been the most open and honest about his positions and substantive plans to get real solutions to real problems facing the people of this district and America at large. A view of his web site at www.steveharrisonforcongress.com will show some 24 issues or more to start with but it will also show that Harrison is both pro-choice (endorsed by both Gloria Steinem and NOW who vetted him on the issues) and Harrison has even coauthored a plan not only to bring the troops home (not just redeploy them again) and to pull out of Iraq responsibly. Harrison put that plan together with a long list of progressive Democrats and military advisors who are intimately knowledgeable about the conflict in Iraq. You will also find that Harrison is a progressive on many issues including civil rights, labor and fair trade not just free trade, and green technology and aggressively seeking alternative fuels to replace dependence on polluting and expensive fossil fuels, and a list of others.

But what is the real story with McMahon? His whole mantra in his campaign is to claim that he is the better choice for the Democrats than Harrison because he can raise more money and get more endorsements. But other than vague copycat bandwagon boilerplate and platitudes without much substance or viable plans or solutions McMahon did not even get his nomination, endorsements or contributions on these or the issues. Without being vetted at all he got the Richmond County Committee nomination by some 130 votes out of the 620 members of that committee and some 420 members, including all the other Democrat candidates for all other state and local seats, were not there at that meeting. Several on that committee who tried to attend and vote were refused and without cause or notice had been removed from the committee. Even McMahon and Harrison were not permitted to speak until the vote was over. On the strength of that and in violation of the Democrat Party rules the DCCC chair endorsed McMahon to undermine a primary in progress. And on the strength of that appearance and still not vetted and despite McMahon not disclosing his positions or his record McMahon got bandwagon endorsements and contributions (many from those who are not even Democrats) on appearances alone. It took him many weeks before even putting up a web site and even though he promised that there would be five (5) debates between him and Harrison McMahon has refused and failed to keep his word on even that as of this late date. In fact, McMahon will not even disclose his positions or discuss his own record in any forum or manor that is not more than a unilateral conversation by him alone to avoid any questioning and silence and prevent any opposition. McMahon not only excludes Democrat committee members and Democrat clubs and associations from participating in what is supposed to be a democratic process but he excludes the registered Democrat voters of their rights to participate in the choosing process of their own candidate based upon the issues important to them. Indeed, McMahon will not campaign on his positions and issues but presumes to mischaracterize Harrison’s positions and issues. These are the abusive tactics of a Stalinist style of campaign that is the antithesis of democracy. Is that what the people of the 13th CD want or need? Vote for democracy! Vote to save the Democrat Party! Vote for your interests on the issues! Vote for Harrison on Sept. 9 and then again in the general election! Send a true Progressive to Congress and help Obama and Biden bring us all the change we need and want!

At 5:46 PM, Blogger me said...

yagottathink -
I don't see this as McMahon separating himself from the liberal side of the party. He openly welcomed the endorsement of Nadler, Serrano and many others who are openly progressive and liberal. Second an Owens endorsement is not going to carry any significant weight in this district just as a Nadler or Serrano endorsement won't either. Both are good for press but will do little in moving voters one way or another.

I agree my personal feelings don't matter, I never said they did. I am not pro or con Rep. Owens, I am just stating that it makes no sense to attack elected officials from your own party short of a Republican attacking Bush. Owens has not done any damage to his party the way Fossella has, in fact he has been great in Congress with efforts like the Americans with Disabilities Act. McMahon could have said noting of the endorsement and moved on. If you are a democratic voter in NYC and in this district the opponent is who we face on Nov 4, the person who runs on more failed policies of Fossella not the primary challenger and certainly not other Democratic members of congress past and present.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger me said...

anonymous @ 11:50

saying I am biased by bringing a Harrison blogger on board is a tired and baseless complaint. I extended the invite to McMahon's campaign and I believe I had also invited Recchia's campaign back when he was still running. I clearly pointed out that the Harrison blogger would be biased, it was their job. Here is the first post introducing the blogger with the invite to all campaigns to contact me to add their own blogger;


If you want to keep complaining I suggest you direct that towards the campaigns who did not take me up on the offer.

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Harrison: "Gloria Steinem and NOW who vetted him on the issues"

Yeah that's pretty disgusting.

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not saying you're biased because you let that numbskull post per se. I'm saying you let the guy post fiction and never called him on it. I'm saying you ignored the brooklyn paper endorsement and now the courier-life newspaper endorsement (both of which are from the papers that know harrison best dating back to long before he claimed to be a progressive on staten island). I'm saying you ignored the SI advance edit that called out that imbecile from NOW who didn't even realize McMahon was pro-choice or lived in the district.

Nor have you ever called Harrison on any of his lies or swiftboat style attacks. As I said earlier, I guess I'm not a real progressive if I cut the guy a break for taking a tough vote five years ago rather than close more firehouses in the aftermath of 9/11 (yes, more, perhaps we forgot that was what was going on), layoff cops or teachers, or have the city go into chapter 11 (and, of course, keep in mind it was temporary and repealed). Then again, I've been a progressive decades longer than steve has claimed to be. Distorting the truth with a vile rightwing attack is supposed to be Karl Rove's MO, not NYC "progressives."

At the same time, you attack McMahon's campaign for telling the truth. The truth is that the two Owens are bitter about losing their seat in Congress. Major for being chased out by a growing ethnic constituency he tried to stifle for years and Chris for finishing fourth when he truly believed that he had a divine right to the seat.

(I won't even dignify the inane ramblings of georger, he demonstrates that he's completely irrational when he attacks McMahon for being what he terms a Democrat in name only when it was Harrison who consistently supported Republicans up until the point he figured out he could convince idiots like georger that he was really a progressive all along).

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous harriet said...

It's nice that McMahon is so upset by my former Congressional representative. It suggests some doubt about his own credibility. So I'm glad that McMahon needs the support of the most insecure members of congress, Yvette Clarke.

It's the same feeling I get when Vito Lopez gets so up-in-arms about Chris Owens. Slowly, VERRRRY slowly, the Democratic machine is realizing that its grip on power is getting to be threatened. People are getting the temerity to even challenge people like Sheldon Silver, and even out-fundraising him.

It's nice to see the first slivers of the crack of real reform in Brooklyn & Staten Island. McMahon doesn't have much to fear from those upstart reformers... at least not yet. But it looks like he's worried that his days are numbered.


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