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First the good news.  Congressional Quarterly has upgraded the NY-20 race between Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and incumbent rubber stamp John Sweeney from "Leans Republican" to "No Clear Favorite".  This is HUGE, and although I believe it may be a tad optimistic, will do wonders to further motivate those on the ground in this race.

This comes roughly a week after it was revealed that Sweeney was connected to disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley through the PROM committee (how cute...).  

More below....

Gillibrand has also recently called on Sweeney to release all records of previous run-ins with the law, including a DWI, and any reports related to a 2001 incident in which Sweeney took out a power pole and left skiers stranded on a lift.  It was widely suggested that Sweeney was drunk at the time, but no police report was ever filed, and a breathalizer was never conducted, even though the Congressman admitted to drinking before the accident.

This recent call by Gillibrand is in response to the Sweeney camp's latest BS misdirection tactic of claiming that she's hiding something by not releasing tax returns.  She has, in fact, filed all necessary disclosure paperwork.

Previously the Sweeney camp had tried to get the "She's not an upstater, she's a NYC librul!" meme to catch on, even though Gillibrand grew up in the capital district of NY, and now resides in the 20th District in Hudson, NY.  When that didn't get them anywhere, they moved on to this tax return BS and claiming that she was involved in HUD scandals when she worked as a special council to HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo under Bill Clinton.  None of this misdirection/smear seems to be working for Sweeney, and I'd go so far as to say that it is backfiring on him.

Gillibrand has run an exceptionally clean campaign so far, so I'm sorta glad that she's getting a little into the mud, bringing up these incidents.  Her latest web ad also plays off of Sweeney's image as a partier, showing an imagined account of the Congressman at Union College Frat Party that he did actually attend.

20 True Blue has the ad here, or you can check it out on Gillibrand's website.

Update: The CQ upgrade has caught the eye of Josh Marshall over at TPM.

Originally posted to Team Slacker on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 07:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please send any tips (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exNYinTX, oceanview, Cyn NY, boran2

    "I worry a great deal about the future of democracy in America"
    - President of St. Lawrence University Daniel Sullivan at Commencement 2004

    by Team Slacker on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 07:08:07 AM PDT

  •  Why would CQ change this rating? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Team Slacker

    I have seen no evidence of Gillibrand closing the gap. The only poll released recently was repub commissioned so it is suspect with Sweeney ahead 51-37%, but the last independent poll had Sweeney up by 8 points.

    Does CQ have date the rest of us don't?

    •  I was wondering the same thing (0+ / 0-)

      They either have some info that we don't (which could very well be) or they're just making a bold prediction based on recent events.

      "I worry a great deal about the future of democracy in America"
      - President of St. Lawrence University Daniel Sullivan at Commencement 2004

      by Team Slacker on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 07:32:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think they changed it... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Team Slacker

        Just because they finally realized that NY is going very blue on the top of the ticket this year.

        They seem to be relating the fact that the other NY races were upgraded... therefor this race should be as well.

        I dunno, thats what I'm reading the CQ article as.

        BTW, Good luck Gillbrand people, I'm helping out the Hall campaign (NY-19).

        -- MrMacMan

  •  i have been seeing way more Gillibrand signs here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Team Slacker

    in western Rens. county and hardly any sweeneys.  and many independants i have talked to are voting Dem.  Yeah Gillibrand.

    •  Once people recognize her name (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oceanview

      they're much more likely to vote for her than Sweeney.  I don't remember the specifics from a poll a while back, but among those that knew both candidates, she had a sizeable lead.

      "I worry a great deal about the future of democracy in America"
      - President of St. Lawrence University Daniel Sullivan at Commencement 2004

      by Team Slacker on Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 07:33:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People haven't forgotten his nonsense... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Team Slacker

    It's nice to see the Sweeney frat party (complete with dude smoking a spliff) photos resurface.  Behavior like that is exactly what we're trying to get rid of in Washington.

    The Republican house has been one big frat party.  They act as if there are no consequences.  They cover for their "brothers" as long as they can (ie until it threatens their own hides).  They belittle the minority.  

    It's pathetic and it has to stop.

    I believe that the folks in the 20th have long memories for this kind of nonsense...At least I hope so.

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