The special election campaign in NY-20 (Kirsten Gillibrand’s old seat) has turned into an amazing shitstorm for Republicans. When last we left it, the race — which should be a gimme for Republicans for a variety of reasons (big rej advantage, experienced candidate with great name ID) — appeared to be tight, largely because of the Republican candidate, Jim Tedisco’s, refusal to say how he would vote on the stimulus package. The idea was then that a weak Tedisco performance in the election would be used as a pretext to fire Mike Steele (a worthy goal, although he has almost nothing to do with this particular disaster).
Things have gotten worse for Tedisco. The race is now rated a dead heat, Tedisco’s been forced to admit he would have voted against the stimulus (an unpopular choice throughout upstate NY), and now something truly bizarre is happening with the National GOP Trust PAC. From the Albany Times-Union’s Irene Liu:
Yesterday, we had a blog post reporting that the National Republican Trust PAC had asked for its anti-Murphy ad to be taken off the air after NBC affiliate WNYT-13 asked for documentation proving the claims on their ad.
Last evening, National GOP Trust PAC Executive Director Scott Wheeler called to dispute elements of the post. It was an, erm, colorful conversation. I informed Wheeler early on that the conversation was on-the-record. You can hear the audio below. (Only part of the conversation is recorded, as it took a little time to set up my recorder).
Among a number of complaints, Wheeler says that his organization did submit documentation to the station.
However, when asked again about the documentation, NBC affiliate WNYT-13 general manager Steve Baboulis said, “They may have sent something — as far as we know, we didn’t have it. My general sales manager does not have any backup received from that group. Our national rep firm who handles that business out of their office, they said did not receive that. The operative message that we got was that that particular copy on that spot was to be discontinued and that we would see more copy forthcoming.”
Wheeler says that they have resubmitted the ad to WNYT with the exact same language as before, with only one addition: “Vote against Scott Murphy.”
You have to hear the call to believe it. In local elections like this one, getting caught lying to reporters is a killer. It pretty much means that they stop reading any of your press releases (as they should).
I’m not sure I can convey to you how much fail there is in this story.
The whole thing is a bit sad. There used to be some really good Republican Congressmen in upstate New York — Sherry Boehlert (my old Congressman), Amo Hougton (one of three Republicans to vote against the Iraq war). Now the national party has run all that into the ground. Sad.
Sorry if this post is a little Inside Baseball. I find this stuff fascinating.
Larime the Gimp
The more orthodox the party becomes, the more regional it will become.
Yes, they don’t have to put up with ratfuckers like the Blue Dogs, but they seriously have no spectrum of voices, anymore.
BP in MN
At this rate, the only thing saving the race from being more of a debacle for the GOP than NY-13 is the smaller lead time up to the election. Just imagine what the GOP could have done with a full election cycle in NY-20!
The Grand Panjandrum
Unless Republicans in New England and Upstate NY are placed on the endangered species list they will be extinct up in these parts.
That call points out a major failing in today’s GOP: you’re supposed to have realistic political operatives in charge, not wingnuts. This guy is the executive director of a PAC that’s successful enough to drop a couple hundred grand on an election, but he sounds like a caller to the Glen Beck show.
I think he said he was calling from the Doom Room.
Who forced him? Why, if it’s an unpopular choice and he has zero chance of actually voting that way, wouldn’t he just say "yeah, I’d vote for it"?
I don’t get it. I get the scummy Republican PAC spouting lies that gets called by a local reporter – local reporters actually have to do real reporting and can’t get by on their names and reps – but I don’t get why Tedisco couldn’t just lie about how he’d vote on the stimulus package. Especially when his opponent would vote the same way. Would the Republicans in the district really stay home and not vote for him? If so, and that’s enough to swing the election, wouldn’t that mean his chances of winning were pretty slim anyway – putting the lie to the fact that this district was supposed to be an easy pickup for the GOP?
Seriously – I just don’t get it.
The Moar You Know
So close to getting the point, and yet so far.
The reason we’re in charge of the whole shooting match – executive branch and both legislative houses – is because somehow in spite of the well-known Democratic urges to go on purity crusades and circular firing squads, we resisted those urges this election cycle.
We need the Blue Dogs. We even need Joe Lieberman. Really. Today’s GOP is an object lesson – when you stop building those coalitions you end up in the same position as today’s GOP. Wholly out of power while your opponents laugh themselves sick over your misfortune and public stupidity.
Love those Blue Dog ratfuckers. Without them we would have nothing.
Have you checked out the PAC’s web site? They lead with toe-sucker Dick calling Snowe, Collins, and Specter "Benedict Arnolds." Hi-larity.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the continent, a similar spectacle continues, as loyal California goopers stage a fatwa against Gov. Schwarznegger and others in a Fullerton parking lot. Local Dems are amused.
Every single public display of wingnuts talking is full of win for Democrats. Stupid or lying AND belligerent – vote GOP!
Larime the Gimp
@The Moar You Know:
I agree. I’m not saying get rid of them. I’m saying tolerating their bullshit is why we are the majority party.
The GOP doesn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room left on their Relevance Meter. Should they lose a couple of Senate Seats in ’10 they’re toast.
Wouldn’t it be nice if lying to national media meant that they stopped reading the press releases?
The Other Steve
When is this election?
@The Other Steve:
I think right at the end of March.
I once interned for Boehlert in DC. Where are you from, Doug? (I’m from Rome, originally)
@The Moar You Know: I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.
— Will Rogers
This is funny as all hell. Why? Because NY-20 is MY district.
I must get mailers supporting Murphy on a DAILY basis. The money the Dems are pouring into this fight is fucking amazing and extremely impressive. Murphy’s clips on TV seem to be running 3 to 1 against Disco. 3 to 1!!!
Disco is getting the piss beat out of him. Whoda thunk it?
Murphy is poised to win this, amazingly enough.
Seriously, what does that say about Jimmy Disco and Upstate Republitards?
Apparently Disco was on WAMC w/ Alan Chartock the other day, pretty much dodging any and all questions. What a piece of work. I think Disco thought he could just phone this thing in on name recognition alone.
This guy is so fucking vain he doesn’t even bother to live in the very district he’s running for. Pshaw: too pedestrian for Jimmy Disco!
This amazes me to no end if only because this is effectively core Republitard country up here and Disco is a brand name. Dems are held in suspicion, for the most part, and Murphy is a complete unknown.
And yet Disco is in the fight of his life. I love it!
jake 4 that 1
Yes, it is very sad. I’ve got tears streaming down my face it’s so sad.
Quick! Mobilize the Brown State Streak Farce! Screech about the Fairness Doctrine! Pick up a deck chair people, this ship is sinking fast.
We can dream.
Wow, that guy melted down like a wingnut blogger.
Nah Dj, this is a lot of what it is about. I can get pretty fired up but with a reporter enthusiastic is about the limit and the last thing I’ll do is call a reporter a liar or political tool, not if I ever expect to talk to them again. Providing the recording makes pretty clear the reporter’s reaction.
I have noticed over the last couple years an increasing anger over at GOP. I don’t mean the numbnuts at RedState, I mean the operatives and candidates. That’s bad news politically, very bad.
Well, you’re a county party chair. I expected you to appreciate it.
Don’t you mean Kirsty Gillibrand?
Considering the guy used to write for the Washington Times, he probably was and still is a caller to the Glenn Beck show.
That audio of the conversation was something.
I did. Jesus h., Scott Wheeler is one big fucking sack of shit, combining a goddamned bully’s abusiveness and a 3-year-old’s maturity.
In short, another fucking asshole republican. Whoulda thunk.
I have been saying this forever, but really all that is left of the GOP is Susan Collins and a bunch of wingnut bloggers. The McCain campaign was run by wingnut bloggers. Their grand scheme of working locally to install religious nuts to school boards went largely unnoticed until there were enough of them to do serious damage, and the voters reacted quickly and voted them out. See also Phill Kline. Everyone who follows their local politics knows the two or three destructive jackasses who are Limbaugh devotees and who ruin every attempt to do something for the community. Adding to everyone’s personal local experiences, the GOP is a laughingstock on the national scene (despite the best efforts of the tire-swingers in the media).
Basically all that is left are the true believers. The Reagan fetishists, the American Taliban, the racist southern rump, and a few robber barons and their court jesters (think Larry Kudlow and James Pethokoukis).
So when you see Republicans on TV, and you think to yourself “That sounds like a wingnut blogger,” that is because that is all that is left. Seriously- would any sane party elevate Eric Cantor and John Boehner to leadership positions? Or nominate Sarah Palin?
DougJ- Did you see this:
Hehe. I wonder what his Red State username is.
Not to worry: Arnold made it up with them by refusing to support AB 3x 23, the bill to extend unemployment benefits here in the Golden State. Needless to say, California Republicans were more than happy to vote against the bill and, since it in any way involved money, a super majority was needed for passage. The bill was defeated. The Republicans’ rationale for voting against it, despite CA’s 10% plus unemployment rate was that it might at some future point necessitate California businesses paying higher UI rates. That this move jeopardized an $839 million chunk of CA stimulus money deterred them not a bit.
People tend to think that the noise at national level is what it is about. Now NY20 is probably about the geographical size of my county, though 40x the population and the old plum that all politics is local this much is certainly true, it takes a lot of votes for US Reps, Senate, POTUS and all of those are occurring at county level or neighborhood level. Tone and civility are primary at that level, you cannot piss off the local press, or the respected NGO voice, or quite a few people.
I can write an LTE and push pretty hard but I sure will avoid a lot of expressions and tones common here on the net. When I talk to a reporter, even if he is ignorant, I will be patient and give him as much time as he wants and be very sure I have made myself clear. If I need to follow up with an LTE to correct something I do not make accusations, I simply state that I may not have made myself clear and proceed to. Whether these people are your friends or not is immaterial, their not being your enemy is important.
Campaigning is a SOB, I had a tooth ache from a wisdom tooth, that back side of two appearances involving 8hrs of driving, and 50 hr work weeks and I got going and called Greg Walden a pin head in front of the media. oops. I wrote an LTE to that paper and apologized to all pin heads everywhere. Well, wtf was I supposed to do with it? You do not do that shit, really. That is the R game.
Dave in ME
The dreaded fail carrier has arrived!! All aboard at http://www.GOPTrust.com.
That was just freaking hilarious. Reporter wouldn’t back down and he just blew his lid and likely cost Tedisco the race. Republicans – dumber than a sack of hammers, uglier than a bag of smashed assholes.
@The Moar You Know:
Oh, BS. Not only did he campaign for the Republican presidential candidate, he made outrageous statements about the honor of the Democrat.
There’s a degree perfidy which, when passed, deserves crushing without mercy.
So if this guy loses, we could trade in Michael Steele for either Katon Dawson (politicized when his high school integrated) or Norm Coleman (who is Norm Coleman). It’s a win all over for non-Republicans.
Just want to repeat that no, this isn’t insider baseball – this is what it’s all about. A clearer picture of on-the-ground modern conservatism would be hard to find. One concern: when the tide isn’t against these jerks, this kind of abuse serves the critical function of "bitch slapping" all who fail to genuflect to Repukelican majesty. Now, with public opinion firmly set against them, these flaming a**holes only dig their hole deeper. I’ve even seen this kind of scorched earth behavior at the level of neighborhood association, trying to torpedo speed reduction efforts on fully residential streets, including streets alongside an elementary school (!). Might slow down that late night dash for Bud Lite and Cheetos, y’know. These folks are simple, to the point of stupid, but jesus they just don’t quit, do they? The Greeks would have called them idiots – unable to function socially, to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society. Do all industrialized societies have such a significant percentage of virulently know-nothing retards? My guess is there’s an inverse relationship between such percentage and livable culture. I also suspect there’s a far stronger receptivity to fascistic tendencies in America than most would like to think about, or admit.
I just listened to the audio. Simply amazing. As was said before it was a sheer Wignut meltdown of a pathological liar.
Then again, it was good to finally hear the voice of Paul L. He sounds just like I thought he would! :-)
I’ve said before, and continue to believe, that blatant, willful stupidity should be made to hurt. In this case, Tedisco and his merry band of Republicans seem poised to blow an election that, from everything I’ve heard, should have been his for the asking. So, I guess this time it really is going to hurt. But it still won’t hurt enough.
“I believe what I say,” Wheeler said. “That’s why some political insiders describe me as a wingnut.”
And that, in a nutshell, is that. That’s what makes them both so pathetic and so dangerous. It puts them in serious company, that they wish and hope to join – the guys who were simply megalomaniacs with some violent supporters until they were able to somehow come to power in a state. I think these guys really do come to believe what they say – repeating the lies makes the liar believe them even more than it convinces the ostensible targets.
Great stuff, huh?
Oh good god! I just realized NY-20 is my former home district. When I became politically active it was NY-23 under Sam Stratton, a Dem hawk, but a friend of my grandfather’s. If anyone in NY-20 thinks they have it bad, I’ll be more than willing to ship you Mean Jean Schmidt, my current congress critter.