Thursday, August 27, 2009

And So It Begins…NY-23 “Defending Dede Scozzafava”

by Dennis Sanders

In a recent post, I shared the news that New York State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava received the nod to run as the GOP nominee in a special election to replace Congressman John McHugh, who left the House of Representatives to become Secretary of the Army.

You also know that Scozzafava is something of an endangered species: a moderate Northeastern Republican. She has supported same sex marriage not just in name, but actually voting for it in 2007 and is also pro-choice. In many ways she is a good fit for this district, in that she is replacing a moderate Republican.

Of course, the minute a moderate has a chance of winning, the far right tries to find ways to make sure they don’t win. Erik Erikson over at RedState is urging conservatives in the 23rd congressional district in New York to not support Scozzafava because of her “liberal” stances on gay marriage and abortion and instead support the Conservative Party’s candidate for the district, Dough Hoffman.

Erikson writes:

Dede Scozzafava is to the left of the party on abortion, taxes, spending, marriage, guns, everything. She is a terrible candidate. The New York GOP had a chance to do right by the people of NY-23. They failed.

Conservatives and Republicans should rally around Dough Hoffman as a viable alternative to Dede Scozzafava. Hoffman has more in common with the people in NY-23 and is closer to the Republican Party on issues across the board.

I have a hard time understanding what makes her “terrible candidate” except that she doesn’t fit Erik’s view of what a “true” Republican should be.

I decided to look into some Scozzafava’s views on various issues while in the New York legislature. There is a lot of info, but here are some of the highlights from Project VoteSmart.

Let’s look at taxes:

Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decrease e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Decrease g) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Slightly Decrease h) Sales taxes
Maintain Status i) Vehicle taxes
Undecided k) Should the state sales taxes be extended to Internet sales?
No l) Should accounts such as a “rainy day” fund be used to balance the state budget?
No m) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
Yes n) Should the New York Legislature list discretionary spending item by item in the budget?

Well, she doesn’t look like a tax and spend liberal. What about crime?

X c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
e) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
X f) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
g) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
X h) Require that crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation be prosecuted as hate crimes.
X i) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
X j) Eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal sex cases.
k) Eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits seeking damages in sex cases.
X l) Support the restriction of the sale of products used to make methamphetamine (e.g. tablets containing pseudophedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine).

No namby-pamby liberal there. One should add that Ms Scozzafava recieved a grade of “A” by the NRA Political Victory Fund in 2008 and an “F” from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence in the same year.

And this is what the liberal blog, the Albany Project has to say about Scozzafava and the district she might represent in Congress:

Scozzafava, while being a social liberal, isn’t liberal on too much else. She, like the man she wants to succeed, is fairly moderate and will vote with the Republicans most of the time…

The reality is that you aren’t going to win NY-23 with a staunch progressive or a staunch conservative. McHugh has served the district well and is known as a moderate. That is why he was such a tough election foe. In order to serve the district, you have to be able to balance yourself.

McHugh’s last elections in 2006 and 2008, the two years when Republicans were getting slaughtered, bear this out. Wikipedia notes he won with 60 percent of the vote in both years.

In reality, Scozzafava is not the liberal that Erikson thinks. The only reason he believes this is because of her support for gay rights and abortion rights, two issues that he deems as liberal. So, he ignores the fact that she is pro Second Amendment, is tough on crime, pro-business and favors lower taxes. Normal people would see that record as mainstream conservative.

Erikson is so against Scozzafava that he even suggests that it would be better for a Democrat to win, than someone like who doesn’t follow the GOP platform. Such a statement only proves what an idiot Erikson is. In the end, Scozzafava will favor and support the GOP when push comes to shove. Sending one more Democrat to Congress means one more supporter for the President and his ideas. He also fails to realize that with McHugh gone, the Empire State only has two Republicans in the whole state delegation.

As late as 2005, there were nine Republicans in the state delagation.

Does Erikson really want to just let the state of New York become a Democratic bastion? Is his hate really that strong?

Many people like Erikson want to the GOP to be “pure” even at the expense of losing. That might satisfy Erikson, but it is a sure way to make the GOP a rump party. It’s time for the GOP leadership to basically say that winning parties are made up of coalitions and not robots.

Dennis Sanders is a pastor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has worked on centrist Republican issues for years, including stints as President of the Minnesota chapter of Log Cabin Republicans (a gay/lesbian advocacy group) and Republicans for Environmental Protection. Dennis blogs at NeoMugwump and happily lives with his partner Daniel and serves two cats, Morris and Felix.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Dennis Saunders, a "Log Cabin Republican" that supports the redefinition of Marriage, somehow thinks that he is suddenly in the main stream it is no wonder he thinks Dede is mainstream.

If the 23rd District wants to lose the seat by all means back the liberal. Also keep in mind that Dede supported the Obama Spending binge in every facet. The only thing she has in common with the historically conservative Republican Party is that she is married to a conservative and that ACORN hates her. Oops. I take that back. Her husband is is a big union guy and Acorn loves her.