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I met Scott Murphy this evening. Very impressive. I didn’t get more than a few minutes with him but he struck me as a genuinely nice guy and he did a very good job of presenting himself both in one on one’s and in his speech.


My county party had an event for him this evening at a local Elks Club. Very good turn-out. Mostly all committee people but just a few years ago committee events were small affairs and now they are teeming with enthusiastic and active people. Freshman Congressman Paul Tonko from the neighboring 21st was also there to introduce Scott. Let me quickly say that while I worked for a competing candidate in the 21st I have absolutely no problems with having Paul Tonko as the Representative there. He is definitely one of the good guys.

So Murphy presented well. He’s good looking, speaks well, and quickly overcomes the fact that he is originally from Missouri. He talks about growing up in a small city similar to those in upstate New York and about his wife’s family and stories about their multi-generational dairy farm here in the district. He is the son of a postal worker and a grade school teacher and he tells a good story about growing up the middle class American dream with well employed parents with health insurance and no fears about losing jobs, house, health coverage, etc. He emphasizes the point by telling a story about suffering a collapsed lung as a kid and there being no fears about being able to pay for it or losing the house when the bill came due. Likewise he segues well into talking about being given the opportunity for college and making the decision to settle here by his wife’s family but watching how kids are leaving upstate New York in droves because the opportunities are just not here for them.


I am also watching a campaign that is quickly defining the opposition and boxing him in. Jim Tedisco (R-Sweeney-ville) is making missteps and looking not ready for prime time. Murphy is looking all business and ready to go. Despite the demographics and the short campaign season (2 weeks in, 5 ½ weeks to go) I think we have a very good opportunity to keep this seat and deal the Republicans a very disheartening blow. I’ve been hesitant to talk up this campaign until I had a chance to meet the guy and get a feel for him but I came away from this evening feeling very enthused, very up-beat and like we are going to win this.

Earlier today Scott held a "green jobs" event in Hoosick Falls (Hoo-where?) pop roughly 3,500. It is one of the "big cities" in the district. We generally do not get Albany media to attend events there because it is 45 minutes away. Today’s event saw AP, NYT, and the Washington Post all in attendance. Meanwhile little Jimmy Disco can’t figure out whether to say he is in favor of the stimulus bill or against it. He talks for 5 minutes and hopes you haven’t noticed that he hasn’t said anything. Scott Murphy made it clear he plans on continuing to hound him on whether he has a position or not. The economy is kind of, like, um, you know, sort of, a BIG DEAL right now.

I would like to ask folks to get involved in this race. Contact people you know in the district. Volunteer time, money, phone calls, etc. The Republicans from RNC Chair Michael "You can't trust what we say or do" Steele on through the wingnutosphere are talking up this race as their biggest thing since the letter W! I’d like to ask you all to help us crush their big hopes into a tiny little cigarette butt in the gutter.

Scott Murphy is making the economy the centerpiece of his campaign, as is entirely appropriate. He says "I’m running to revitalize the economy and to create and save jobs. That has been the center piece of my entire career and that is what I want to bring to Washington."

He is strongly in favor of EFCA, a Woman’s right to choose, universal healthcare, getting out of Iraq, against the financial bail-out and in favor of the stimulus which he says is not perfect but gives us what we need right now.

So... while I still don’t know him well yet my impression is that we have a good one on our hands here and I feel comfortable asking everyone to get behind him and make a push to crush the Republicans tiny little hearts right here in river city... er... um... Hoosick Falls... and NY-20.

If you missed his intro TV ad... here it is:

Originally posted to Andrew C White on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 07:38 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    for Scott Murphy...

    ... and crushing little wingnutosphere hopes.

  •  I had the same impression... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, Andrew C White, devtob, salmo

    ...on Tuesday when I heard him at a meet up in Poughkeepsie.

    Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

    by BMarshall on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 07:48:38 PM PST

  •  Are there any debates scheduled between them? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, Andrew C White, devtob
  •  Best of luck, Andrew (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, Andrew C White, devtob

    My grandfather went to high school in Hoosick Falls (or was it Hoosick?  I'll have to check). He came from a strong Democratic family, but I think they were Grover Cleveland Goldbugs, given how the rest of the family except me turned out!

    My substantive point is that this is hard-hit country. Whenever I've driven through that area, I am struck by how hard the lives of these people seem to be. How many little auto parts establishments really provide a living wage? I hope Scott Murphy can help these folks and help leverage stimulus money into real opportunity for them. By the looks of it, they've been on the losing end of things for at least a generation.

    •  Village of Hoosick Falls (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, devtob

      in the Town of Hoosick.

      It is a hard hit area like much of upstate's rural areas. You see it all along the Mohawk. All these once thriving industrial river towns that provided families with a good, solid middle class lifestyle of the sort Scott Murphy was talking about having had. All withering away as business after business closed up shop and nothing took their place.

      It's a beautiful area here in the eastern half of the county by the Vermont and Massachusetts borders. Absolutely beautiful. It's why I bought a home out here. But I drive to the other side of the county for my job every day and now, for the first time in my 25 year career, I am worried about still having that job next month.

      Most of Murphy's career has been as an entrepeneur or investor getting small businesses off the ground and emplying people. He's hoping to take that experience to Washington to help out areas like NY-20 and the rest of rural upstate New York rebuild it's businesses and start hiring again so people can stay here and enjoy the beauty of upstate while making a decent living that allows them to provide for themselves and their families.



      •  Upstate blight (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andrew C White, devtob

        My secret hope for this current economic crisis is that upstaters might finally understand that we depend on NYC's prosperity, not the other way around. Republicans have used the myth of our tax dollars going to support "welfare queens" downstate to keep a stranglehold on political power.

        Hopefully, Gillibrand's victory in this district shows that rural upstaters are starting to see through the bs Republicans have been shoveling for a generation. If Scott Murphy can do it, too, maybe the awakening will spread west to my part of upstate. I live in hope!

        •  It's really remarkable (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White, salmo

          that the decades-old Republican Big Lie about upstate subsidizing downstate still has any political resonance.

          The upstate media could have done their journalistic job and refuted this Big Lie. But, since most of those media are owned by Republicans, those stories were rarely, if ever, written or broadcast.

          I have no problem with the basic concept that richer parts of any state should help support poorer parts of that state.

          Since I believe that, generally, states should rely on progressive income taxes, and not more regressive sources of revenue.

          But I do have a problem with the BS lie that upstate Republicans have used for most of my life, to attempt to shift blame for their own manifest failures.

          The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

          by devtob on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 09:27:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You should have seen it 50 years ago (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Andrew C White, devtob

            I was a school kid 50 years ago in a rural part of Rotterdam - and grinding rural poverty was common. I knew kids who lived in unheated homes, abandoned cars, an old bus, ...  About a 1/3 of the kids in my grade school took off their shoes (except in the winter) when the school bus dropped them off at their farm lanes.  Shoes were for school or church, not for the part time farm.  Those kids routinely received 100% tooth extractions for their 16th birthday, because by then they were all rotten.  The one room school up the road closed the year before I went to school, but the grade school was only one classroom per grade.  Of the twelve kids in my grade, one killed his father to save his mother in a particularly horrific late March case of the shack nasties.  The year before, one boy lost his father to a well collapse, and I knew two kids whose mothers died of polio related to the gross sewage contamination of our brook, I believe.  It only took two or three generations for those conditions to improve to the poverty we now see.

            The mills were closing then; "going down south where there weren't no unions."  There was little political talk in the playground, but negative comments reflecting household wisdom were common when there was a strike at the GE plant in Schenectady.  In retrospect, these abjectly poor families were losing to even cheaper labor, even more subservient workers, "down south."  And they blamed the unions and the Democrats.  

            Later I learned, if you wanted to actually have a choice between political candidates, you had to register as a Republican because the primary was the only competitive race.  My siblings now get to register as Democrats, and a substantial part of that region is coming to an understanding of how education and organization effect prosperity.  

  •  Any word on democratic internals on the contest? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, devtob

    The only poll I've seen released is the repub internal.

  •  Any chance of getting Obama to appear in NY-20? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, devtob

    If Obama came here and showed his support for Murphy, it would do a lot for his chances vs. the far better known Tedisco.

    Murphy will support Obama in Congress. Tedisco will be lock-step with the Boehner obstructionists. If this can be hammered home to our neighbors, I think Murphy will win.

    Queston is: how can we get Obama's attention here? Will Kirsten reach out to him? Who knows her well enough to make the case?

    The past is not dead. It's just been exported to other countries.

    by Valatius on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 08:22:27 PM PST

    •  Gillibrand has helped with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, Wufacta

      at least one event so far, with more to come.

      An Obama appearance would be the jackpot for Murphy, and could make a real difference in the March 31 result.

      Obama carried this on-paper Republican district handily, as did Gillibrand even more handily three months ago.

      The Villagers would hate it, but so what.

      A campaign appearance, like what Bush and Cheney did regularly for eight years, would be a direct way for Obama to emphasize the obvious fact that he needs as many Democrats as possible in Congress who support his policies and programs.

      Since politics is, by its nature, a competitive business, who could reasonably assert that there's really anything wrong with that.

      A bit of the Big Dog wouldn't hurt, either.

      The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

      by devtob on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 08:57:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Geez, Andrew, you are quick (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, taiping1

    on the diary draw.

    I was there, too, and was much more impressed with Murphy than I was in the three times I saw him last weekend.

    Then, I heard basically the same stump speech three times. Tonight, he was looser and a lot better. I particularly liked his story about a life-threatening condition he had as a kid, and how it did not threaten to bankrupt his parents since they had good insurance that actually paid claims.

    Murphy is the real deal, and SO MUCH BETTER than the Republican alternative.

    I'll still diary about tonight's event tomorrow, because, when it comes to a nationally important special election like this, the more the merrier.

    Thanks, tipped and recommended.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 08:33:53 PM PST

  •  a suggeton for Andrew and devtob (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, devtob, taiping1

    Andrew and devtob, why don't you email me at Maybe we can put together a few people to reach out Gillibrand to make an effort to get Obama to come here.

    The past is not dead. It's just been exported to other countries.

    by Valatius on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 09:06:18 PM PST

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