Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NY-23 GOP Primary Race Starts Today

Paul Maroun has made it public that he is out of the race for NY-23. That leaves two candidates for the GOP primary in NY-23. Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny, who today is "officially announcing" his entrance into the race. His campaign website,, is still under construction, but I am sure it will be up in no time.

Mayor Graham says he is hoping for a William Jennings Bryan pitchfork speech where Doheny will promise not to "crucify us upon a cross of gold," a reference to the July 9, 1896 speech at the Democratic National Convention where Bryan essentially promised "free Obama bucks" (in those days silver coins) to artificially increase inflation so that freeloaders could pay back their mortgages on rocky farm land. Believe it or not, the Democrats thought it was trendy to be populist and down with Big Government back in the late 19th Century, too.

Forgetting for a moment that the silver-to-gold ratio policy was a Big Government precursor to today's bailouts and Pelosi stimulus dollars, I still don't believe that Doheny has the rhetorical repertoire or the policy knowledge to make a populist case for the Republican nomination. The mayor is right though in his assessment that Doheny needs to catch lightening in a bottle and gin up the grassroots. But if I had to guess the jabs of red meat the Mayor will hear will be directed mainly at Owens for his vote on health care and card check.

But herein lies the problem: Doheny is not capable of making the populist case for supply-side economics or defeating the old establishment guard, which is what he would need to do if he wants to win. That's Hoffman's conservative turf and its an unfamiliar arena for a Wall-Street Banker-Lawyer like Doheny to seriously contend in. If Doheny attacks Hoffman it will likely be on the issue of Hoffman not promising to commit to the winner of the GOP primary in September. But there is an easy and reasonable response to that line of attack which I am surprised nobody has been talking about. The response is simple -- the winner needs to win the respect of the voters, not the other candidates.

There was an interesting quote I read in a recent article on the Republican primary for the Iowa Governor race that compares similarly to Hoffman's strategic decision to not commit to supporting the Republican nominee in NY-23 race. For background, Bob Vander Platts, a Hoffman conservative, is running in the GOP primary for Governor against former Governor Terry Branstad, an establishment Republican. Vander Platts, like Doug Hoffman, has been noncommittal about supporting whoever wins the GOP nod in Iowa. Vander Platts says, "Whoever wins the nomination needs to authentically earn the support of his peers... blind allegiances [to party] really play out in taking another candidate's base of support for granted, and I don't think any one of us can afford that."

That statement is very true and is something the Republican party in NY-23 should seriously reflect upon in the coming weeks ahead. Blind allegiances, smoke and mirror politics, and back room deals are no longer accepted practice in politics today. Voters want humility, transparency, a candidate who sides with the people instead of with the media, a fresh candidate like Hoffman.

Candidates like Doheny and establishment Republican guru's have no business making threats, or taking entire blocks supporter for granted, whether they be ideological groups of people, geographic regions or counties, or otherwise. And if you thought 2009 was the year of the grassroots insurgency in NY-23 just wait until the fall. 2010 is the year of the Tea Party and the grassroots Republican-Conservative majority. May the best candidate of the people win, and may the winning campaign not bury the voters under fragile stones encrypted with broken promises.


  1. Blind allegiances are a thing of the past. Hoffman should just do his own thing and be his own person. I like the fact that he doesn't bow down to establishment pressures within the Republican Party. It shows he has some backbone.

  2. Blind allegiances are what got NY 23 in a predicament last year and led to Owens' win in November. The great thing about the Tea Party participants is that they ARE NOT allied with any party and do not tap into backroom politics. The Tea Party will see what Hoffman is doing as not only right but necessary. Standing up to the establishment is his mantra and catapulted him to just shy of winning in November. Keep it up, Doug.

  3. I just don't get this whole dilemna. What could be more fair and equitable than a primary. If Hoffman wins, Doheney supports him. If Doheney wins, Hoffman supports him. Why can't Doug play fair, especially after the people have spoken in a primary? He can't cry this time about (non-existant) back room deals like he did last year.

  4. Hoffman is a stuttering bumbling moron

  5. What I can't understand is why the Doheny loyalists keep beating up on Doug Hoffman. That is the disgusting part about Doheny's campaign. He gets other people like Don Coon to go out on TV to do the dirty work. It is a reflection back onto Doheny though and everyone can see it plain as day.

  6. 11:00 - No one asked the Clarkson University peanut gallery to comment on here. Grow up already before I russell you to the floor.

  7. Now encouraging a primary is dirty politics? What acdufference a year makes, eh? The only back room deal is the one Hoffman made with Mike Long!

  8. Exactly, 11:55. It's hilarious listening to Hoffmanites cry about back room deals when there was no primary for the Conservative Party nomination.

  9. Whomever the GOP nominates will have to stop running against Pelosi, or Reid, or the President and start showing some moxy themselves that reflects leadership (which is now sorely lacking in the GOP) on tough issues and not just the scripted sound byes designed to draw blood and boos and more anger from those in TEA party or those on the sidelines hoping and praying for Obama failure by just saying "Hell no!!" That serves no one.

    People are wise to what is going on these days, and that my friends includes Republicans, too I suspect who are fed up with this divisive, gridlocked, stalemated, do-nothing branch of government that we call Congress.

    Tough challenges lie ahead, but just saying "No" or trying to figure out how to stymie Mr. Obama is not the way to serve the public – the same public they in office all took an oath to serve.

    Level heads must prevail and cooperation is the name of the game... I don’t see that in either Hoffman or Doheny at this point. (BTW: If the DEMS were the minority party, I’d say the exact same thing to Mr. Owens... cooperate and serve the people).

  10. You have got to be kidding me! Part of the reason for a primary is because each candidate feels that he/she is the best person for the job. Would you have expected John McCain to stand behind Ron Paul in the last election if Paul got the appointment? When two candidates beat each other up in a primary run, it is disingenuous to then turn around and support the other person solely because they got the nod. Now add in the factor of one of the candidates additionally running on another line, and you have an impossible situation for that support. Get realistic!

    Let me put it this way: if Hillary Clinton was running on the Independence Line and had that nomination set and lost the Democratic primary, would anyone have expected her to get behind Obama and drop out. Of course not! She would have used that as an opportunity to run and show the Democratic party that it needs to perhaps run on or tap into a different platform. She would have tried to pull the party back toward the center. She would have fought until the end for what she felt was right.

    Fast forward to Doug Hoffman. First of all, condemning a man for his speech pattern and not the content of his character or his stand on issues is downright poor sport. How did your mother raise you? Furthermore, presently, we have what many people believe are wonderful orators in Washington and they have so screwed up this government, its course and its character that I think we can all agree that how someone speaks from their mouth means little to nothing about how they are speaking from their heart and certainly cannot be equated to how they think with their brain.

    Let's keep it real. Let's keep it to the issues. Pro Life, Pro Traditional marriage, Pro 2nd and 10th amendment, fiscally conservative, less government, spending freeze and overhaul of the tax code to benefit not only you and me but also small business. These are the items to argue over. Ultimately, the Republican party needs to move back to the right and put somewhere historically between JFK (who if he ran today on his platform would have been on the Republican line) and Ron Paul (a constructionist).

    Doug has to stay firm for the Conservative Party. To bow out and support Doheny will yield us a Scozzafava situation. I for one never want to be Scozzafava'd again.

  11. This blog is so misinformed it is embarrassing. "the winner needs to win the respect of the voters, not the other candidates"... I think the real statement here is the candidates need to win the respect of the voters and not Mike Long, who is trying to scare voters into forgoing a primary and sticking Hoffman on the ballot because he said so.

  12. Blind Allegiance = Mike Long + Doug Hoffman.

  13. 11:09 - what I can't understand is how Hoffman is even considered a viable candidate. I have yet to speak to a single supporting voter who can tell me anything about him or why they like it. It is like they are all trained monkeys. I am not saying vote for Doheny but for God's sake, have a reason for backing your candidate. I have yet to make a call on this primary, but from what I can see so far, Hoffman seems a bit clueless on the issues, doesn't seem to understand the role government plays in the economy and can't articulate anything except the basic conservative talking points my five year old could spew out if she practiced enough. I am waiting for the substance others on this site seem so quick to defend.

  14. 11:06 You are so right. Hoffman points a finger, but there is many more pointing back at him. Long does not care about any of us conservatives. The decision was made on Long Island. Score card two players (Hoffman and Long) out of the district.

  15. Hey 11:05, maybe you should see Doug Hoffman in action. I have seen him speak at least 5 times. I back him because of his stand on issues. I am not a trained monkey and can certainly think for myself. I don't care about Mike Long and have made it my business to get informed. To say that Doug doesn't know the impact the government has in our economy supports my belief that you have yet to get informed about Hoffman or travel to see the man discuss the issues. I wouldn't dream of comparing you to your five year, never consider telling you that you are spewing and would comsider it insulting to equate you with a conservative-talking points-trained-clueless-substance seeking citizen. That would be rude. Instead, I challenge you to talk to the man, listen to him speak about smaller government, abolishing earmarks, changing the tax code (to the detriment of his own CPA business) and limiting the role of government in the citizen's lives and then, let's talk substance. Doheny, this is getting old.

  16. Hoffman attacks the President on the nuclear free planet proposal (to gain "TEA" support, I guess??).

    See WDT Jude Seymour column for update.

    My two cents there and here:

    "I knew someone like Mr. Hoffman and/or probably Mr. Doheny (we will see) would come out blasting the president over this issue.

    "I hope Mr. Owens will not allow Hoffman to play this silly nasty little game. Hoffman and those like him have to be held accountable. I advise him to read this speech from the GOP's #1 hero: Ronald Wilson Reagan, taken from his 1984 speech in China.

    Reagan 1984 Speech

    "Mr. Hoffman is such a novice and arrogant and uninformed man that words are hard to describe him without being to nasty myself.

    "I encourage all reporters and citizens to confront him just like I am from this forum and work to hold him and all the others strictly accountable for their words and deeds.

    "The question, however, is who listens to me? May others listen to the truth. Mr. Hoffman’s views are troubling." — Dan Francis

  17. 12:52pm - I have listened to Hoffman. Many times in fact. That is the problem. I attended one of the nomination events last summer, where he was the least impressive and least prepared candidate out of the nine there (including Mr. Lynch, who although extremely inexperienced, quite frankly mopped the floor with Hoffman). Then I proceeded to attend multiple Hoffman events after he announced his candidacy on the conservative line. He was extremely misinformed on multiples issues. I even directly asked him a very specific question about the economy and it was clear to me from his answer that he did not understand the role of Fed and what they can and cannot do - I was initially surprised given he is an accountant, but I suppose their work is more granular than that. Even odder, he seemed ignorant on local issues, and then he even publicly excused his ignorance by essentially stating that such detail was too pedestrian for a Congressman. I think my biggest gripe with him though has been with regard to his performance outside of the campaign events, such as his concession, then un-concession and claiming biases in the election process then blaming ACORN for all of his problems (including his slashed tires). Then there were discrepancies with regard to his disclosure of campaign contributions. And that was a short campaign...when does it end? That is a lot of negatives.

    Now, all of that being said, this is a new election and I am going to keep an open mind and try to look at it with fresh eyes. I will attend several of Hoffman's campaign events this year to try to find what many of you on this site seem to see (I did notice at the debate that he seemed better prepared, which was good, but they all seemed about the same to me - that wasn't a "win" for any candidate, even Maroun). I am willing to cut the guy a lot of slack with regard to his presentation skills - although that may be important to some, strong public speaking skills are not a major factor for me when I am determining my vote and some of the more brilliant people I know are less than polished on the outside, so I am not worried about him on that front. But I do already have a big problem with his campaign this year. I do not in any way appreciate the indirect pressure he is delivering by stating that if he is not the GOP nominee then there will be a three way race making it much easier for Owens to win. I am greatly offended by that. Just because Mike Long appointed him to the ballot we are all supposed to roll over and put him on the ballot for the GOP as well? Does he not respect the political process? Does my vote not matter? My interpretation of that is that Hoffman is saying that because Mike Long, a single man who does not even live in the district, appointed him as the conservative nominee, I must vote for him. Somebody else said it but I agree, that is unamerican.