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Don't look to party labels in the NY-23 if you're looking for a hint about where the candidates stand.

Dede Scozzafava, the Republican

Scozzafava is pro-labor, pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, but like everyone else in her party, opposes a robust public option that would keep costs down by introducing competition in the market.

Bill Owens, the Democrat

Owens isn't a registered Democrat, he's an independent. He's anti-gay marriage (because of "religious issues"), and also opposes the public option for health care. (He is, at least, reportedly pro-choice.)

So if you're keeping score, the two candidates are exactly the same, except that Owens isn't a member of his own party and opposes marriage equality. Yup, on the issues, Owens is actually to the right of Scozzafava.

Douglas Hoffman, the Conservative

Of course, Scozzafava's social liberalism is a tough sell in her party, and conservative forces in her district are mobilizing against her, using New York's affinity for third-party lines ("fusion voting") to play spoiler with Hoffman, who is a reliable wingnut.

It seems Republicans are starting to guard against the possibility that Hoffman gets some traction. Scozzafava’s spokesman denounced him in the press Monday, and today the campaign passed around a local report about Hoffman in which he couldn’t name a federal program or entitlement he would cut.

Hoffman has also gained positive press in recent days in Washington, where a Washington Times columnist openly urged GOP voters to support Hoffman over Scozzafava.

Campaigns don’t pay attention to third-party candidates unless they at least have some potential. Scozzafava was seen as a solid middle-of-road candidate when she was picked, and she is probably the favorite if it’s one-on-one with the Democrat. But if Hoffman can put together some money and continue to get press attention, he could steal a significant chunk of the vote, and that could open the door to Democrat Bill Owens.

Scozzofava, for her part, has run in the past on the liberal Working Families Party line, a factor in the Conservative Party's endorsement of Hoffman.

The Conservative party endorsed most of Ms. Scozzafava's prior Assembly campaigns, even as recently as 2006.

Conservative leaders repeatedly have pointed out that Ms. Scozzafava scored a 15 out of 100 on the party's 2008 ranking system, in which they compared voting records on 20 priority bills to the party's position on those bills. The assemblywoman scored a 40 in 2004, a 52 in 2005, a 40 in 2006 and a 56 in 2007.

"Since 2004, she has consistently voted wrong," said Mr. Long. "We ultimately stripped her of our endorsement because she had shifted to the left. She took the Working Families Party endorsement, which is nothing more than a political front organization for ACORN."

Really, you know an election is fucked when the Republican appears to be the most palatable option, but even she doesn't look any good beyond the social issues.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:20 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You know, it's hard to generate (11+ / 0-)

    much enthusiasm for this race. Maybe we should just let the voters hash it out and elect whoever they're going to elect.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference.

    by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:22:13 AM PDT

    •  Here's the basis for my enthusiasm (5+ / 0-)

      Right now, we need to attract the votes of something like 20 Blue Dogs to pass legislation.  Elect Owens -- in fact, work for Owens and let him know that we're doing it to give him one chance to be a good legislator -- and it's that much less likely that one of those Blue Dogs has to be Heath Ledger or Jim Matheson.  So long as we keep them out of the party leadership, the more choices we have about who to pick off or buy off, the better.

      •  It'd be a lot easier (5+ / 0-)

        if he'd do something the help himself.  Right now, he's got the worst website I've ever seen - you'd never even know he was running as a Democrat or any other party.  No policy links, no platform links.  I know I haven't received any information, and I actually live in the area, and am a registered Democrat - and vote regularly.  

        I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

        by Norbrook on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:39:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with Republicans is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jimdotz, obscuresportsquarterly

          that they vote in a block.  Doesn't seem to matter individual views.  

          Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed. Blaise Pascal

          by Kitty on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:45:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Honestly, this race is a fascinating GOP contest. (6+ / 0-)

            In my opinion, it is a race that holds a candle to their future base philosophy.

            We all know that if Republicans remain the party of Southern Conservatism, they will die as a national party. So how can they change? What could they change into?

            I think the answer is Libertarianism, and this race is it!

            NYS Republicans have nominated libertaran-leaning Dede Scozzafava.
            NYS Conservatives have nominated right-winger Doug Hoffman.
            NYS Democrats have nominated BlueDog-yawner Bill Owens.

            This is the first contest I know of that truly pits the Conservative philosophy against the Libertarian philosophy as a test of the Republican base.

            If Scozzafava wins handily over Hoffmann and Owens, expect to see this dynamic appear more often, especially outside the South.

            What legacy do you want to leave?

            by Jimdotz on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:05:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you have an idea there (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The question as to how the GOP will separate itself from the religious right may be to turn into the Libertarians and let the Conservative / Constitution parties absorb the religious right.

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference.

              by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:04:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  the wingnuts do turn out to vote (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jimdotz, Norbrook

              If they don't die od apoplexy first. They're all fired up about something, all the time. They're fired up about Obama giving an address to schools for cryin out loud!

              If they figure Hoffman is the REAL Conservative, they'll drop the GOP in a heartbeat.

              But upstate New York Republicans are not majority wingnut. They have fully functional brains, and some will be loyal to their party, others will be turned off by the Palinism of the wingnuts.

              Given the closeness of the Murphy-tedisco race in the district next door, which had a significantly higher GOP tilt (+5R PVI to the 23rd's +1R), it would seem that the odds would favor Owens getting a plurality of the vote.

              Confucius says, "Do not reach across aisle with remaining hand."

              by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:52:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  So how about if we organize a campaign (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jimdotz, blue aardvark

          to rattle his cage?  How about if someone here just designs a spiffy new website for him, free, as a way of making their mark in politics?  How about if people -- within the district or outside of it -- draft a bunch of "moderate" position papers for him to adopt?

          The main idea is that -- and I'm sure that people get tired of my saying this, if they pay attention at all -- we here are not political observers, we are political actors.  We don't just watch change, we make change.  If we don't like what the candidate is doing, we need to try to get him to do something else.  Cause the change!

          Now in this case, if Owens he wants to hide that he's a Democrat in a Republican-oriented district, so be it; that's a tactical decision and this wouldn't be the first time that hiding one's party affiliation worked, even though as a rule it's a bad practice.  If he tried to do it in a more Democratic district, I'd be slamming him too -- but he isn't.

      •  I'll be EAGER to work for Owens when HE does. (9+ / 0-)

        I can't tell you how miserable I feel about his campaign.

        I want to see him win. He had an historic opportunity to win. I simply don't see him doing a damn thing on his own to win.

        Sigh. Here's his campaign website, awful as it is, and his ActBlue page.

        There. I just did more to get him elected than he has.

        What legacy do you want to leave?

        by Jimdotz on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:43:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or the netroots can continue (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, shaharazade, thethinveil

        to carry water for Blue Dogs only to become disenchanted when these politicians ultimately behave true to form.

        People should direct finite resources to those politicians who represent their values.

        We already have majorities.  Both caucuses now need to be pushed to the left, and that should be the focus.

        •  *CONGRESS* needs to pushed to the left (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RonV, AdmiralNaismith, Jimdotz

          In Senate terms, your proposal is, for example, that we should be replacing Bill Nelsons with Lamar Alexanders, which would "push both parties to the left."  I think that, on analysis, that argument is self-refuting.

          •  I didn't say both parties should (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, thethinveil

            be pushed to the left.  I'm unconcerned with the GOP, which I believe is on an inevitable course towards irrelevance, as their deep corruption fails to attract any save the most irrational voting base.  Only corruption within this caucus is capable of causing a backlash with which the GOP might tout fake populism back into power.  Barring that, the GOP is done.

            I meant that both Dem caucuses need to be shifted to the left, and it's my belief that small donors in particular should direct finite resources towards those politicians who represent their values.

            Blue Dogs have no problem raising money (Kirsten Gillibrand vacuumed in $3M or something like that this year alone).

            The whole point was supposed to be that small donors can band together and amplify our otherwise nonexistent influence, not simply cheerlead business as usual and pretend to be important movers and shakers in a corrupt system.  We were supposed to be challenging that system, not joining it.

            •  Oh, OK, your comment about "both caucuses" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              was ambiguous, given that we were talking about the House.

              I agree that I would probably not donate to Owens -- but I'm not a moderate/conservative Dem.  I would still donate my labor, though.

              When you say that we "small donors" should not "pretend to be important movers and shakers in a corrupt system" and should be "challenging that system," where you presumably must think that we don't have "nonexistent influence," I think that you display both an insulting and a misguided attitude.

              Political success is attained by joining together with other people to make candidates feel that they owe you favors and want to vote your way to retain your support.  Every pressure group that you support understands that, until we get public financing of elections, we can't put off participating in that system despite our desire to challenge it.  I respect your commentary here, but your attitude is entirely self-defeating.

              •  Insulting? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade, thethinveil

                This is reality.  In the context of a system relying on maxed out donors, lobbyists, and PACs, small donors have small influence unless deliberately banding together and amplifying our influence.  This is insulting to you?

                •  Insulting part: (0+ / 0-)

                  "cheerlead business as usual and pretend to be important movers and shakers"

                  I think that you were supposed to accuse us of wanking off as well, right?

                  Now, "deliberately banding together and amplifying our influence" sounds good.  I'd like, for example, for Owens to know us, respect us, rely on us, and cater to us.  Money won't do it; volunteer labor will.

                  •  WTF (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    shaharazade, thethinveil

                    I think that you were supposed to accuse us of wanking off as well, right?

                    This is absurd.  My point was more than clear: I'd rather challenge the system than be coopted by it.  My money and time will go towards those people who represent my values, period, because I don't have enough of either to support Blue Dogs who don't need my money anyway.  You can take that any which way that you will at this point.

                    •  Not giving them money, I understand (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      GN1927, Jimdotz

                      Time -- well, that's the great thing about special elections.  They aren't competing with other elections.

                      •  I don't think they should get time either (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        shaharazade, thethinveil

                        this is my point.  Those of us who are on the progressive end of the small donor and volunteer spectrum can and should band together and direct resources towards those politicians who represent our values.  We are not the movers and shakers in the current system and should not pretend otherwise.  We should be about identifying and promoting progressive talent otherwise locked out of opportunity unlike the centrist/Blue Dog portion of the party---who generally have no problem accumulating funds and locking progressives out of races.  There is nothing insulting or demoralizing about my opinion.

                        We can agree to disagree.

        •  More and Better Democrats. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          it means replacing a Gooper with a blue dog when that's the choice on the menu. It means replacing Goopers and Blue Dogs with real Democrats in places where that's an option.

          I would hope that in heavily Democratic open seats like IL-10, PA-06, and hopefully DE-at large, we would nominate kick-ass progressives whose constituencies support progressivism. NY-23 is politically marginal for progressives but may get better in the foreseeable future.

          Confucius says, "Do not reach across aisle with remaining hand."

          by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:58:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily a "gimme" district (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jimdotz, Seneca Doane

        In fact, it's been in GOP hands for a century or more.

        On the other hand, so were several other upstate NY districts that flipped Dem in 2006 and 2008.

        Most of the benefits of flipping the 23rd are symbolic.

        1. Winning NY-23rd would add momentum to the status of NY (and the northeast overall) as a "No Republican need apply" state/region. We can make NY's House delegation GOP-free by 2012, and this is an important step.
        1. A LOSS would allow Republicans and their media lickspittles to claim momentum shifting away from Obama "because he's too liberal for America", never mind that the loss might be from the Dem being too conservative.  Winning would let us claim momentum FOR Obama and especially for the American Option in health insurance reform.
        1. The worst of the wingnut social issues aren't going to be voted on in a Democratic controlled house anyhow. Some yayhoo from Texase will try to introduce legislation censoring library books or whatever, and it will die in committee. Same sex marriage will win or lose on a state by state level for the foreseeable future anyhow.

        But yeah, for people outside of New York, there are probably better contests to spend your time and money on.

        Confucius says, "Do not reach across aisle with remaining hand."

        by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:47:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow- this looks as bad as (0+ / 0-)

      the potential secretary of state race in Ohio. Our future elections hinge on this, and yet we've got a social-values extremist running on the Democratic side who won't be supported by the gay community (she gay-baited the gay-marriage amendment to defeat a Republican who was against it) or most women in the party (she's got an anti-choice position more extreme than most Republicans). I'm very depressed by this race. I personally cannot conceive of voting for her unless she A. apologizes for using Issue 1 the way she did in 2004 and B. completely reverses her anti-choice position, or publicly vows not to pursue putting her religious beliefs into law and becomes an advocate for Prevention First which she has no record of supporting.If she is our candidate, I'm afraid we're looking at the vile Jon "Ken Blackwell the Second" Husted being our SoS. Ugh.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate

      by anastasia p on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:44:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Any race (4+ / 0-)

      Its hard to generate much enthusiasm for any race these days.

      Democrats seem perfectly content to take historic majorities and do nothing but piss down their legs.

      They lack the willingless to hurt anyone's feelings and have shown horrible leadership on a entire range of issues.

  •  Moving on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Norbrook, thethinveil, Dhirty

    After the extreme wingnuts this year, we can't move on fast enough.  Plus the lack of spine of the Democrats.

  •  The ghouls are hibernating as democrats until (4+ / 0-)

    they let their freak out when the environment is hospitable to their kind....

    we should reject and denounce them, vote for the better person among them.

    God is a process not a person

    by Dhirty on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:27:20 AM PDT

    •  I wonder about this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was wondering if this might be the case with a woman who is running as a Democrat for secretary of state in ohio. I can understand that her extreme right-wing social-values positions go over in her rural, conservative Southern-Ohio district, but I have to wonder what she is thinking of running for statewide office as a Democrat. And I have done some research and found that the SoS office is regarded as a springboard. Every single Ohio SoS since "lifetime" officeholder Ted Brown (1950-1978) has sought higher office. So will this women try to win SoS on the Democratic ticket and then flip parties and run for governor or senate?

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate

      by anastasia p on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:48:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What A Debacle! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz, Norbrook

    It sounds like a seat that might be eliminated with the next census anyway though. (NY is almost certain to lose another House seat in 2012 and upstate in particular is experiencing population loss.)

    Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

    by Answer Guy on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:28:34 AM PDT

  •  When I read the title of this diary (6+ / 0-)

    and then I saw the name "Dede Scozzafava"...

    I originally thought, Yeah, forget about party labels...

    because when you have a cool name like that, remember the name!

    Just out of curiosity, where is NY-23?

  •  OT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What I want to know is when are the Dems in Texas going to serve up more than a comedian and a fucking ex-Bush official?
    Perry will be the governor again and your children will be reading his text books.

    Sorry off topic

    I'm willing to pay more in taxes for a public option.

    by plok on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:29:32 AM PDT

  •  A triumph of candidate recruitment (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, Geekesque, Jimdotz, temptxan, Norbrook

    How the hell did this happen?

    "You can never guarantee victory, but you can guarantee defeat."--Hall of Fame baseball writer Leonard Koppett.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:30:31 AM PDT

  •  What are you, Markos, Andy Rooney? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superribbie, melvynny, Jimdotz

    Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch.  The question -- as you know -- is who will be able to influence these people, and how much, if they become members of Congress.  If we help to elect Owens, we have a shot at making him vote better.  Scott Murphy in NY-20 is a good example of someone who we could have doubted but who has come out strong.  If Dede wins the race, she will only get worse under the pressures that she faces.  That really strikes you as a wash?

    •  I'd rather have the rep from NY-23 undermine (8+ / 0-)

      the Republican caucus by embracing 'bipartisanship' than have yet another DINO Blue Dog undermining ours.  

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:56:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ha ha ha ha (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jimdotz, HylasBrook, qwertyuiop

      Make this guy's vote "better"? Haven't you been paying attention to Congress this year?

      I'm done with Blue Dogs. I'd rather see a backbencher Republican fill the seat than another Joe Lieberman.

      •  Oh, hello Markos (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Jimdotz

        As a smart political observer, you know that generalities are usually bullshit.  So here's my challenge: let's compare the votes of "backbencher Republicans" and Blue Dogs this year and see which of the overall voting records seems "better" to us.  Hell, you can even compare Dede's prospective votes with a moderate Republican, if you can find one.

        If the result of Owens losing would be that Congressional Democrats would wake up and tack left, I'd think you had a point -- but you aren't that naive, are you?  If Owens loses, nothing good happens to affect other Dems.

        Now, I'll agree with you on Lieberman, but not so much because of his voting record as because he works to undermine the Democratic Party while purporting to speak as a de facto Democrat.  That insight has been your/ great contribution to political discussion in this area -- that it's not just someone's voting record that matters, but it's whether they advance or retard the interests of the party.  That's why, for example, I hope that Evan Bayh loses this year, even if it's to a rabid Nazi squirrel.  What he's been doing needs to be punished.

        The rule ought to be that every moderate/conservative Democrat running in a conservative district gets a shot to prove that they can be a decent member of the caucus.  If they blow it, we withdraw our support in future elections -- then the problem solves itself.  If they don't blow it, then we've got an often valuable ally in Congress who isn't doing us harm.

        I supported Scott Murphy in the NY-20 special election, organizing phone banking efforts here despite the overall (with the exception of Arjun) almost complete lack of interest by the front pagers.  You, in particular, never even said that you hoped Murphy won during the protracted disputed vote count with Tedisco.  You just said the likes of "wow, close election!"  Well, now Murphy's been in Congress for a while.  I think that his positions on issues like health care justify my having wanted to give him a chance.  Are you proud of not having wanted to do so?

        I'm off to work, so I sincerely regret that I won't be able to respond until this evening if you reply.  One parting shot -- if you're truly "done with Blue Dogs," you're also done with a House Majority.  I'd prefer to have enough of them in the House, in seats that would otherwise be Republican that we can always pick off 218 votes when we need them, choosing different ones to walk the plank every time.

      •  Let's see how Healthcare Reform actally goes... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        before we completely condemn all Blue Dogs, kos.

        In the end, you may be right that they prove to be unworthy allies, but you might also be wrong. It could be that all the bluster on HCR coming from Blue Dogs is just that -- toothless bluster.

        Perhaps the better long-term strategy is to focus on attacking Blue Dogs in primaries rather than in general elections like this one.

        What legacy do you want to leave?

        by Jimdotz on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:50:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Living here, it's annoying as hell (5+ / 0-)

    I can say that the Washington Times has zero influence in this area, so any columnist advocating for one candidate or another up here is not going to matter.  

    What has royally p**sed me off is that this could have been the best shot for Democrats to pick off a seat, even if temporarily, but they've pretty much blown it.  I can't think of another candidate who's been so inactive in getting themselves introduced to the voters in a long time, and yes, I've made my displeasure known to the local county chair.  

    I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

    by Norbrook on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:35:37 AM PDT

  •  I hadn't watched.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington since forever until yesterday.

    If we're going to ignore party "labels" and affiliations - I propose that we need a second abbreviation after the "R" or the "D." The Party identification bit really doesn't mean that terribly much anymore. Hell, both Senators from Maine are more "D" than some of the "real D's." It's really quite confusing and counterproductive as it is today.

    We could start with BD or AH for the Blue dogs, WN or BSC the howl at the moon Michelle Bachman types, WATB for Joe Lieberman, party of one, MS (for Mister Smith) for the candidates who actually believe that holding office is a public service..

    Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn't have the slightest idea what's REALLY going on - Bokonon

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:39:44 AM PDT

  •  Maybe a dead-heat could be arranged (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dump Terry McAuliffe, Jimdotz

    and keep them all out of Congress for years, with various Al Franken type battles

    We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

    by twigg on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:40:11 AM PDT

  •  Hmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz, HylasBrook, thethinveil

    So this is a stay home and dress up like clown type of election? At least its not my district, I have a hard time walking in those oversized shoes.

    "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:41:21 AM PDT

  •  Will Bill Owens be considered a blue dog? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or maybe a purple dog, blue with bright red undertones?  Are there no viable Democrats in the running?

    •  From Senator Schumer just a few days ago: (0+ / 0-)

      "Obviously, from our side the strongest candidate would have been (Darrel) Aubertine, but he's not going to run. So I don't have much to say about it other than that," Sen. Schumer told reporters when asked to handicap the contest for the 23rd district seat.

      Sen. Schumer's office later released a statement endorsing the Plattsburgh attorney. A message left for Mr. Owen's campaign spokesman Brad Katz was not returned Friday.

      Later that day, Sen. Schumer visited Ogdensburg for an event on invasive species, which was also attended by Ms. Scozzafava, even though it was not held in her Assembly district. Ms. Scozzafava's campaign staff said she was invited by Mr. Schumer's office.

      What legacy do you want to leave?

      by Jimdotz on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:31:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If it were me I'd vote for the GOP on this one (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Team Slacker, Pender, HylasBrook

    The Democrat doesn't deserve our support.  At least she's a social liberal, and might be convinced to support the public option or even lured to the Democratic side if her party is intractable.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:44:23 AM PDT

  •  Forget about party labels? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Someone might want to point out the FAQ to the diarist re the purpose of this site being to elect Democrats.  (j/k, a little snark for the enforcers.)

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by beemerr90s on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:47:31 AM PDT

  •  Well, I'm sure if this idiot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    running as a "Dem" in that district manages to win, stand out as the most conservative member of the NY Dem House delegation, proudly, earns a 100% rating from the NRA for gun zealotry, he'd make a fine senator for this deep blue state, right?  Why attack him?

  •  At this point, moderate Republicans are more (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz, Pender, HylasBrook

    valuable than Blue Dogs.  Right now the Republicans are more effective and organized than the Democrats because they don't have anyone inside their tent trying to undermine their efforts.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:55:05 AM PDT

  •  County Chairs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz, HylasBrook

    This epic mess comes to us thanks to New York State's wretched election laws, which give county chairs alone the power to pick candidates in special elections.  It's the smoke filled room at its best--or worst-- and who knows what machinations are actually going on here.  

    There are some county chairs in NYS that are good, but some of these guys actually work for the Republicans or lack opposable thumbs.  

    •  Dean's Lesson: Elect your own county chairs. (0+ / 0-)

      If those are the critical positions, let's get our people into place.

      What is the process for challenging a county chair?

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:10:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not just a NYS phenomenon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Jimdotz

    In New Jersey, there are several liberal Republicans I could support for re-election if I lived in their districts and if their opponent was of a certain type.

  •  ...and the winner is....? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Team Slacker, Jimdotz

    ...the first one to endorse the public option!

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. -Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:57:24 AM PDT

  •  Owens Will Be Another Blue Dog That Won'tt Help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex

    the democrats unless it is on something that everyone agrees on.  I will not support Owens, and don't give a shit if he wins or not.  I don't live in NY but do support good democrats in all the 50 states, but this guy is not one I have to support.  The blue dogs in congress has poisoned the well on my supporting any more blue dogs that don't vote on the most important issue for democrats such as the public option.

  •  Dede is particularily popular (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Team Slacker, Jimdotz

    up here in Northern New York. Hell, even I like her (she was a few years behind me in high school). She is extremely personable, reasonable (for a Repub), and her stand on social issues draws me in-she's appealing. I feel that she'll vote along the lines of John McHugh and Owens is just not a 'strong democratic candidate" New York 23rd is an 'odd' place. We have our bastions of liberalism such as St. Lawrence County, where we have 4 colleges, to the more conservative Franklin County straddling the Adirondacks, but many here 'vote' how their families voted. Tradition/habit die hard, but changing it is. Northern New York is definitely purple, not red.

  •  Screw Owens. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, Pender

    We've got more Democrats, now it's time for better Democrats, as evidenced by our current difficulty in getting a health care bill with even a public option.

    -7.12, -7.54 / "Health care reform will never take place until Rahm Emanuel is strangled with the entrails of Frank Luntz." - Diderot

    by Big Tex on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:02:18 AM PDT

  •  Owens is very Murphy and Gillibrandish (4+ / 0-)

    It is upstate remember?

    Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

    by bten on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:04:23 AM PDT

  •  NY Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Team Slacker

    are NOT fiscal conservatives by any standard. Scozzofava doesn't seem to be conservative on much of anything. And this is a marginally Republican district. This will be a difficult pickup for D's.

    All my IP addresses have been banned from

    by charliehall on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:07:19 AM PDT

  •  NY-23 has a very interesting political history .. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Team Slacker, Jimdotz, Seneca Doane

    I wrote a diary about it a few months ago:

    also posted on the Swing State Project:

  •  Kos' analysis is a big mistake...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Seneca Doane, charliehall

    We shouldn't understate the choice of party banner a candidate runs under, or overstate unorthodox positions on a few select hot-button issues.

    Owens will vote with us more than DeDe, period.  He'll be under pressure from our leaders, DeDe's pressure comes completely from the right, both in her district and from Rethug Congressional leaders.  She'll fold like a tent every time she's whipped, her personal views notwithstanding.  Owens will fold (which would be in our favor) less because his district isn't so liberal, but he knows he has to keep his base vote happy.

    And the post-election narrative matters.  An Owens win undermines the GOP, especially since this not only is a potential swing district but a longtime GOP-held seat.

    In a time of war, is that really the time to be asking whether we should be at war?...When it is over we should ask whether we should leave. -- Stephen Colbert

    by DCCyclone on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:09:48 AM PDT

  •  I hate that the Dems are letting the GOP get to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FutureNow, shaharazade, Jimdotz

    their left on marriage equality.

    Seriously, shame on them. I will never vote for a candidate who doesn't believe in my equality. I hope voters will treat Owens the same way as they would if he didn't think Jewish people or black people should have the legal right to marry. In this race the Republican is the right choice.

  •  Are Gillibrand and Schumer really behind Owens? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This bit from the Daily News suggests otherwise

    However, it may be a remnant of the talk about asking DeDe to run as a D.

  •  Rare case (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, HylasBrook

    where i (moderate Independent) agree with left-liberal kos: in this race Scozzafava is better. And i don't give a damn about her Republican label - i would greatly prefer more moderate Republicans, not less, in Congress. And in some cases - even at Democratic expense, especially when Democratic candidate is "not stellar"

  •  Hey .. where's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Robert J. Johnson and Mike Oot?

    Have I got this wrong, where are these two guys?

  •  Might it be better (0+ / 0-)

    To see what other positions Owens holds. I believe he was pro-stimulus for instance. This be-all-end-all public option nonesense is tiresome.

  •  Says a lot about the Dem bench in the district (0+ / 0-)

    i.e. they don't have one, at all. Couldn't even find a registered Democrat to run?

    Hardly surprising though. It's been represented by a Republican since at least 1983, and I can't be bothered to track it back through redistricting past there (a major hassle in NY).

    In America, 60% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills, and 80% of those people had health insurance

    by sullivanst on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:34:03 AM PDT

  •  Supporting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    these dogs may show the GOP but what good does that do? How does winning with a 'party label' who will undermine our agenda and provide cover for the spineless corrupt weasels help advance our goals? The GOP is only aided by this nonsense as it makes their totally insane opposition to everything rational and 'moderate'. Seems self defeating to stack our majority with blue dogs, then nothing gets done, the weasels then have the old standby excuse of their constituents are conservative to kill any legislation that is actually meaningful. Its fuckin upside down politically.        

    "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

    by shaharazade on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:39:50 AM PDT

  •  Kos, I am a partisan Democrat all my life (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, DivineMissV, Jimdotz

    I live on LI a long way from NY23 but I posted a diary on The Albany Project endorsing Dede Scozzafava! Her progressive issues go beyond the social ones you list as she also has a pro-labor voting record and could well be the partner from the Republican side of the isle that we are in sore need of on many issues.  I would have endorsed a strong Democratic candidate like State Senator Darrel Aubertine but when he declined and no winnable and issue wise likeable Democratic choice presented itself, the choice of Dede became for me, a no brainer!

    •  I criticized your endorsement for one reason: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I came before we had a nominee. I can live with Democrats (especially in NY-23) supporting Scozzafava, but I was a bit surprized you did it so soon in the race.

      To be fair to your judgement, it does seem that Owens is not fighting for the job very hard.

      What legacy do you want to leave?

      by Jimdotz on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:28:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There Is A Scenario Where Religion And Science Do (0+ / 0-)

    not end up being opposing enemies, and perhaps these platypus pols could grasp that and "stay true to their school".

  •  And on the other issues? (0+ / 0-)

    Where do both candidates stand on climate change and the ACES bill?

  •  I'm seeing a lot more spiffy ads (0+ / 0-)

    than the typical David Morrell book and suchlike.

    Don't get me wrong, I am NOT against the likes of Marriott hotels running an ad here.  Hell yes.  

    What I do wonder is, maybe 'vast' is the right word when speaking of the progressive populace?

    Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation." -- Samuel Gompers

    by Patty SoandSo on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:53:48 PM PDT

  •  I really wish.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....that Democrats wouldn't work so damn hard to prove Ralph Nader right. I mean, you know how we howled when he insisted that there's no real differences between the parties. Well, now we've got Democrats who seem hell bent on proving Nader right.

  •  Former NY-23 Resident (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Left Plattsburgh back in 2006 after the election. Honestly I think it is a lock for Scozzafava. She is a known quantity in the area, I'm sure most of the voters there will have a story how she helped grandma across the street and how she is such a nice lady. Also most of them will say their family has always supported the local Republicans. That will be the only two things they will base their vote on. It infuriated me when I was working for candidates back then. For the most part they don't care how the person will vote, and they will refuse to believe anything negative about good ole Dede. At least she is more moderate then McHugh, so I wouldn't be too upset with her as a Congresswoman. I was definitely NOT a fan of McHugh despite his supposed moderate status. Owens doesn't seem like a viable choice anyway based on the issues. Maybe if Owens can show more progressive positions then he has now I'd support him, but if I was still living up there I'd probably write-in a vote for Dr. Bob Johnson at this point.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

    by BOBAUBIN com on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:30:23 PM PDT

  •  Working Families Party (0+ / 0-)

    Scozzofava, for her part, has run in the past on the liberal Working Families Party line

    Is she running on that line in this election?
    And could she win on that line?  (making that her nominal party affiliation?)

    That itself would inject some interesting dynamics into the national conversation.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:31:25 PM PDT

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