Shades of Florida

So there’s certain to be a recanvas (same thing as a recount but they call it a recanvas in NYS) in NY-20. This sort of thing is usually quite orderly in NYS because of the fact that each county has two election commissioners, one Democrat and one Republican. But this one could be so close that things get a little crazy.

Here’s where things may get entertaining. The guy who held this seat before getting beat by Kirsten Gillibrand is John Sweeney, who led the famed Brooks Brothers riot in the 2000 election. If things get tough in this recount, Republicans may bring in a lawyer named Tom Spargo, who reportedly helped Sweeney with the Brooks Brother riot and other stuff in Florida. Spargo is also a former judge who got indicted for bribery a few months ago.

If this gets really tight — and it probably won’t, this stuff is usually orderly in NYS — we could see a whole cast of NYS crazies come out of the woodwork.

But I’m probably hoping for too much.








Makers and takers

Sometimes Sully’s more Randian than Burkean:

The new cultural divide will not be on guns, gays and God. It will be between the makers and the takers, the producers of wealth and the recipients of redistribution. And it will be about tempering the over-reach that the Democrats will be unable to resist.

(A) Why not just call the Democrats “moochers and looters” and be done with it?

(B) If the divide really becomes the rich versus the poor — the top 10% versus everyone else — how can that not benefit Democrats?

(C) Anyone who thinks that Republicans will ever stop using the three G’s with at least some success is out of his mind.

Update. Good point from JGabriel in the comments:

Well, the producers of wealth are the people who make things: the workers. And the wealthy are the recipients of redistribution.

How the opposite became such a common assumption that we automatically know Sully is saying the opposite, that the Democrats are the “moochers and losers” is really, when you think about, quite strange. And, yes, I know it’s the result of nearly a century of GOP and upper class propaganda, but doesn’t make it any less strange.








Following NY-20

If you want to follow the results in NY-20, I recommend comparing the incoming county-by-county results from here with the county-by-county results of the 2006 election (in which Gillibrand defeated John Sweeney by 6 points).

Though to some extent it may be possible to get a feel from raw totals, since the results didn’t vary by county that much last time. I’ll keep you posted via updates.

Update. Tedisco up 52-48 with about 15% reporting.

Update 2. Tedisco up 51-49 with about 20% reporting.

Update 3. Tedisco up 52-48 with about 30% reporting. Tedisco’s doing real well in the big county — Saratoga — and I’m not sure why (I don’t know the counties there well enough to know if that’s specifically where he’s from).

Update. Basically tied (Murphy up by a couple hundred votes) with about 45% in .

General update. I don’t know the district that well, but it’s common in NYS for the more urban districts to come in later than the more rural ones. So Democrats often close fairly strong. No idea if that’s the case here. In fact, Delaware, which was the big Republican stronghold hasn’t come in much at all yet.

Update. Tedisco back up by 800 votes with a little more than half in.

Update MikeJ writes:

Tedisco lives a few blocks from Saratoga county in Schenectady county. He was however, an assemblyman representing Saratoga Co. for 26 years.

Don’t be shocked if Tedisco wins on the strength of his popularity as an State Assemblyman. They loves them some State legislators in upstate NYS.

Update. Close to a flat-footed tie — Murphy by 150 — with about 70% in.

Update. Tedisco back up slightly with a few more precincts in. A lot of what’s left is Saratoga which may give Tedisco the advantage. On the other hand, hardly any of Columbia is in and that’s where Murphy is strongest.

Update. Tedisco up by a thousand voters with 80% in.

Update. Tedisco up by 1400 with almost 90% in. Saratoga is almost entirely in so what’s left is mostly Columbia and Delaware. This will probably be within a 1000 votes one way or the other tonight, which means we won’t know til the absentees are counted and everything is recanvased. The big story is that Tedisco’s assembly background seems to have helped a lot in Saratoga.

Update. Tedisco by about 120 votes with 22 precincts (out of 610) left, 8 in Columbia and 14 in Saratoga. We won’t know anything about who really won for a few weeks. Shailagh Murray is already pushing for a re-vote.

Update. Murphy up by 250 votes with three precincts from Saratoga left to report.

Update.Murphy up by 81 votes with one precinct in Saratoga left.

Update. Murphy up by 65 after tonight.








Re: special election in NY

To follow up on John’s earlier post on the special election in NY-20, my opinion is that Larison is partly but not completely right. He writes:

But if Murphy does win it will mean that an out-of-state transplant made up a 20-point deficit against a fixture of regional politics in less than six weeks, and he will have done it in a district where Republicans enjoy a registration advantage of many tens of thousands (71,000 to be exact, which is approximately 25% of the size of the 2008 turnout).

Most of the make-up in deficit was due to name recognition increasing. That happens in any race like this that pits a well-known local guy, Tedisco, against a newcomer like Murphy. Tedisco was never going to win by 20 points. But Larison is right that it’s a Republican district and the Republican candidate is well-known, so Tedisco should be winning pretty comfortably (let’s say by 6-12 points).

Larison also writes:

When Gillibrand won in 2006, it could be written off as part of a wave and a reaction against Sweeney’s scandals, and when Gillibrand was re-elected and Obama carried the district it could be written off to some extent as part of another wave and a reaction against the financial crisis and recession, but if the Democrats hold the seat for the third time that begins to suggest a pattern. It may mean that the GOP’s strongholds in the hinterlands of the Northeast, already disappearing in New Hampshire, are also eroding in upstate New York.

This is mostly right. If Tedisco loses tonight, it means that the Republican party is dead in the northeast. But that may have already been true. They only hold 2 upstate Congressional seats in NYS right now (McHugh and Lee) after holding six seats in 2004. That’s out of 12 so it’s a huge change.

I would argue, though, that New York State has its own brand of politics. There’s still a lot of Rockefeller Republicanism and huge tolerance for taxing and spending among both parties. Unions are big but in state races Republicans do well with unions. NYS is a big state with perceived big cultural differences between upstate and downstate (I’m not sure they’re as big as some people think but the perception is there) and a lot of upstaters are Republicans in order to oppose downstate Democrats, not to support George W. Bush and John McCain. Obama won NY-20 by three points despite the huge Republican registration advantage.

All of that said, as a nearly lifelong State Assembly member, Tedisco should have been able to tap into what it is that makes people in NY-20 stay registered as Republicans. But he was handcuffed by a heavy-handed national strategy.

And that’s what makes this race significant. Republicans are never going to win in New England but they can be competitive in the Rust Belt. Upstate New York is somewhere between New England and the Rust Belt, geographically and culturally (it’s probably a bit closer to the Rust Belt culturally overall). Presumably, there are local Republican officials throughout the Rust Belt who know how to appeal to local voters. But if they’re forced to take orders from southerners (like Cantor and Boehner), then they’re screwed. I think tonight’s race may well be harbinger of that.








Special Election in NY

Not to step on DougJ’s toes, but Daniel Larison has some interesting thoughts on the special election between Tedisco and Murphy:

Taken in isolation, this outcome wouldn’t matter much. But if Murphy does win it will mean that an out-of-state transplant made up a 20-point deficit against a fixture of regional politics in less than six weeks, and he will have done it in a district where Republicans enjoy a registration advantage of many tens of thousands (71,000 to be exact, which is approximately 25% of the size of the 2008 turnout). When Ogonowski lost a special election for MA-05 in a landslide, there were more than a few Republicans who went wild at how well he had done in a House special election in deep-blue Massachusetts. In that case, Ogonowski’s smaller-than-expected margin of defeat was supposed to signal a Republican resurgence in 2008 (which did not happen), which was never very credible, but are we really supposed to believe that a Democratic win in a traditionally Republican district in a special election doesn’t say something significant about the political fortunes of the GOP? When Gillibrand won in 2006, it could be written off as part of a wave and a reaction against Sweeney’s scandals, and when Gillibrand was re-elected and Obama carried the district it could be written off to some extent as part of another wave and a reaction against the financial crisis and recession, but if the Democrats hold the seat for the third time that begins to suggest a pattern. It may mean that the GOP’s strongholds in the hinterlands of the Northeast, already disappearing in New Hampshire, are also eroding in upstate New York.

I would agree that this should probably be seen as bad news for the Republicans at large in NY, but I am not sure I think there is anything to be really learned about the public and Obama from the outcome of this election, whatever it may be. Now I know full well should Tedisco win, the usual suspects will have banner headlines shouting “OBANOMICS REFUTED” and “THE WORM HAS TURNED- GOP BACK IN BUSINESS.” That doesn’t mean that it is true, nor do I think it means anything really significant should Murphy win. From what I have read (most of which was here and at the Albany Project) leads me to believe that this is just a really attractive Democratic candidate versus a Republican who has run a really, really bad campaign.

Am I wrong to think there is no larger significance to this election? Also, I thought it was weird that Larison frequently referred to Murphy by name but only called Tedisco the “GOP candidate.”

At any rate, I’m hoping DougJ can keep us posted on what is going on.








Site Changes

Tomorrow the PJ Ads come down, so you all can finally stop complaining about that.

I have thrown up the Amazon link below to the left, and I am working on getting into a blogads network and dealing with the impossible feat of activating a google adsense account. Expect things to look a little funny tomorrow until I have the time to get things set up.

Also, this is why I was so happy with PJ media. I hate dealing with this nonsense.

*** Update ***

This is a test:

Hrmm.








Stop Blaming It On The CRA

More testimony and evidence that the CRA is not to blame for the current crisis:

Amid the ongoing debate over mortgage lending reform, a top federal regulator took a seat before Congress last week and debunked the myth — popular among conservatives — that a law encouraging loans to low-income communities has been largely responsible for the nation’s housing crisis.

“I can state very definitively,” Sandra Braunstein, director of the Federal Reserve’s consumer and community affairs division, said during a House Financial Institutions subcommittee hearing Wednesday, “that from the research we have done, the Community Reinvestment Act is not one of the causes of the current crisis.”

As a newly minted Democrat, I honestly have ZERO idea why Republicans are so eager to blame this mess on the CRA when there simply is no evidence to support it. The CRA is not one of those things that was ever on my radar when I was unknowingly spewing wingnut talking points, but right now, anywhere you go in the wingnuttosphere and there is a full-throated and frothing rant about the evil CRA. Here is a vintage effort by Stanley Kurtz (obligatory link to Sadly, No’s! comparison of Kurtz to Big Gay Al, which makes me laugh every time I listen to it) which combines the CRA, ACORN, Fannie Mae, Obama, the Chicago Woods Foundation (Boo- AYERS!) and Bill Clinton. The only things missing were gay marriage, Iraqi WMD, and ANWR.

I hate to be this cynical, but other than just trying to avoid any blame for the mess whatsoever, the only reasons I can think of for them continuing to try to pin this current financial crisis on the CRA are pretty ugly and better left unsaid.