In July liberal Republican DeDe Scozzafava was tapped by the 11 Republican county chairmen of New York's 23rd Congressional District to run for the seat being vacated by John McHugh, who resigned to take Obama's offer to become Secretary of the Army.
The NY GOP made a huge mistake with this smoke-filled-room choice. Scozzafava has made a hash of this campaign and should withdraw her candidacy immediately and allow Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman to take her place.
Her lousy campaign aside, the prime reason we want to Dump Dede is because she doesn't seem to be much of a Republican in a District that could elect a Republican candidate (and traditionally has). Scozzafava has all the wrong positions for a Republican. She is an abortion supporter, supports same-sex marriage and her hubby is a bigtime union leader. Even worse, groups associated with the criminal, left-wing organization ACORN have endorsed her candidacy -- not the sort of company a Republican should keep.
Her primary opponent is New York Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman who is most certainly far more like a Republican than Dede. Hoffman has picked up the support of several high profile Republicans such as former GOP Sen. Fred Thompson, Campaign for Working Families founder Gary Bauer, and the Washington D.C. based Club for Growth. It also looks like Former Congressman Dick Armey is coming out for Hoffman, too.
Hoffman is a small government supporter he is against raising taxes and opposes both the stimulus and Obamacare. Hoffman's message suits the mood of a tea party going nation that is sick of insider politics and big spending liberals.
As I mentioned, Scozzafava is proving an inept candidate. One of the absurd incidents of this campaign happened this week when Dede's Hubby called the cops on a correspondent from the conservative magazine Weekly Standard. Apparently the candidate did not appreciate writer John McCormack's questions and decided that his efforts to get the candidate to answer them constituted "harassment."
The Scozzafavas claimed that McCormack "repeatedly screamed questions" and carried on in a manner "that would make the National Enquirer blush." Of course, audio of the incident shows that McCormack was only speaking at a level loud enough to be heard and otherwise carried himself in a professional manner. The police even said that the incident was overblown.
“I don’t believe it ever escalated to anything that would ever be classified as an emergency,” (Lowville Village Police Chief Eric) Fredenburg said.
Strangely, this has become a hill that Newt Gingrich has decided to die on. He insists that only Scozzafava can win in this District and is standing behind his quixotic backing of the liberal Republican.
Gingrich says that he believes Scozzafava when she says that she won't vote for more taxes and he claims that she came out against Obamacare. But a look at what Scozzafava actually said about Obamacare shows less outright opposition to Obamacare and more calculated dancing around the question. In a recent news report, Scozzafava said:
Any meaningful health care reform must reduce costs by expanding competition across state lines and by implementing much needed tort reform to curb the frivolous lawsuits that have been driving up costs on the entire system.
Where in that artful dodge did Gingrich see actual opposition to Obamacare? As for Hoffman he was unequivocal, saying, "(T)his legislation is not about health care reform. It is simply about loading down the taxpayers with more debt and more costs."
The main question here is can Hoffman beat the Democrat to win this District? For sure he cannot if Scozzafava stays in the race (and she can't win if Hoffman does). Still even Washington Post writer Chris Cillizza -- NO Republican supporter he -- thinks Hoffman can win.
Ominously for a GOP win, Scozzafava has already faded to third place in the polls despite being the official GOP nominee and she is out of steam in fund raising while Hoffman has surged with his.
Lastly, I'd like to comment on the selection process by which New York Republicans pick their candidates. We are in a day when few people of any political ideology trust those in power and party loyalty is at an all time low. To regain the confidence of the people the GOP should be initiating a process of getting back to the people and trusting the rank and file to become an integral part of the party. Yet the NY GOP goes behind closed doors and chooses the candidates for the voters? This smacks of cronyism and the good ol' boy network. To essentially tell the voters, as this selection process does, that their opinion isn't wanted is precisely the wrong message to send.
Today I join a whole retinue of conservative bloggers and writers to say let the voters choose. Dump DeDe. Vote Doug Hoffman.