Thursday, February 25, 2010

Buggs Sent Will Barclay 20 Questions Today

Putting up a new poll on the sidebar: Do you think Assemblyman Barclay will answer our 20 interview questions?

In an appeal to start debate and discussion with the voters of NY-23, Will Barclay says he wants to be open. Today he said, "I cannot say it strongly enough... Candidates for the US Congress owe this to the people. It should not be viewed as an option - it's an obligation... Let's give the people the real thing for a change" (Barclay for Congress Press Release, 2/25/10).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Will Barclay Wants to be a Looney Tune?

As Buggs Buddy I think I am in the best position to say this: State Assemblyman William Barclay’s knee-jerk reactions and absurd press releases are making him look like Wile E. Coyote trying to chase down the one he will never catch, Doug Hoffman, the one who looks more and more like the Road Runner speeding to victory in NY-23.

Tonight Barclay became the newest looney tune running for federal office when he issued an attack on Doug Hoffman. Barclay’s expensive new media consultant, rumored to be former unknown Congressman Fred J. Eckert of Eagle Communications, e-mailed the statement tonight at 8:16 pm to multiple news outlets.

In the release Barclay reveals his desperation by “urging” Doug Hoffman to renounce the idea of Ron Paul running for President in 2012. Not that Hoffman has any connection to the idea after having been endorsed by several other potential 2012 presidential hopefuls including: Governor George Pataki, Governor Sarah Palin, Senator Fred Thompson, Congressman Mike Pence, Governor Tim Pawlenty and others, but it is kind of silly to read Barclay’s disunity rant.

If you read between the lines of everything that Barclay sends out (the stuff that comes in complete sentences at least) all you find is negativity and knee-jerk reactions. It’s the kind of stuff that fills the Assembly Chamber in Albany where Barclay was infected with this vitriolic incumbent disease I like to call “Albany insider-osis.”

The positive press attention Doug Hoffman received from the Syracuse paper, National Review Online, several prominent Republican bloggers and the Washington Times, has clearly demoralized the Barclay camp. But to Barclay’s credit at least he realizes the need to do something to shake up this race quickly. He can only get away with being the guy who lost Republican control of the State Senate, to Darrel Aubertine, for so long without losing people’s attention.

However, the fact that Barclay chose to attack Ron Paul instead of (oh… I don’t know) Bill Owens or Barack Obama speaks volumes about what kind of Republican he is – a Republican of disunity, a looney tune Republican. Barclay’s attacks are a function of four key things that all voters should consider.

First, Barclay is consumed with the idea of purging Republicans instead of beating the Democrats in 2010. What Barclay doesn’t understand is that his recent call for a unity pledge in NY-23 was completely undermined when his next move was to call for a purge of any fellow Republican who he disagrees with on one particular issue. In this case it is Ron Paul’s opposition to the War in Iraq. Next week it will be his opposition to Tim Pawlenty’s position of being pro-life. The week after that it will be something else absurd. The real question is: why does Barclay want to make the GOP smaller instead of uniting Republicans of all stripes behind a common goal like winning back the House in 2010?

Second, Barclay’s focus on the 2012 presidential elections shows his priorities are in the wrong place. He should be focused on winning in 2010 and bringing prosperity and economic growth back to NY-23. Barclay’s attacks are a distraction from his lack of solutions and focus on what people really care about today: better jobs, lower taxes, less spending, more credit, improved education and market-based solutions to health care.

Third, Barclay’s attacks are a sign of desperation. Doug Hoffman has the lead on money raised, grassroots support, national endorsements, online media, local press, an organized campaign team and about every other metric that could possibly be used to judge a candidates viability in a Republican primary.

Finally, Barclay’s release was absurd on its face. To insinuate that Doug Hoffman is weak on terrorism is pretty lame. After all, Barclay never spent any time in the military. Hoffman has. Hoffman’s campaign website is clear on this issue.

“We are past the point of pointing fingers over how we got to where we are in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question for us now is where do we go from here? I believe we must continue to try and turn the security and governing of Iraq over to the Iraqis. I also believe we need to continue to go after the terrorist strongholds and training bases wherever they are located. The war against terror is not over and the terrorists’ goal remains the destruction of the United States and our way of life. We must never forget this fact.”

Hoffman understands the threats we face and is committed to being a strong defender of American interests. Unlike Barclay, Hoffman was never fed by a silver spoon and he wasn’t an heir to political power like Barclay was from his father’s hard effort. Unlike Barclay, Hoffman had to make something of himself. And Hoffman is the only candidate who has military experience. That is something that military families in Fort Drum will recognize and it is an insult that Barclay would attack a veteran with such vitriol.

Barclay should apologize for throwing other people under the bus to further his own political future. Barclay does not have a campaign that can win. It could have been, but it is evolving into a campaign in desperation mode, running out of fuel. And for that reason we are moving him back to the third tier of candidates with the rest of the other looney tunes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vaugh Loses Traction as Other Candidates Gear Up

It appears that Ogdensburg City Legislator Nick Vaugh he has put the breaks on his idea to leave the GOP to start a new "Anti-Addie Russell Party." And Vaugh has, for now at least, forfeited his strategy of conquering Assemblywoman Russell on Twitter, a new social media site online, where Vaugh had obsessively posted critical and controversial critiques of his rival for months.

Like a man hanging on the edge of a cliff, Vaugh is squeezing tightly, his rookie grip, in what looks to be a very difficult campaign for the 118th Assembly district of New York. In the past few days the young city legislator has somewhat recovered, taking productive meetings with Rick Lazio, Massena Mayor Delosh and Senator Griffo. We asked Vaugh for an interview last week and he was unresponsive to our humble request, just like Janet Duprey except at least she had the courtesy to write back.

However, now rumors are floating that Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson might jump into the race, which would really take the wind out of Vaugh's north country sails. On top of that are rumors the local GOP is hoping to recruit another candidate. Possible names like Wells, Brining, Nichols, McNeil, Forsythe, Cantwell, Gray and Renzi have been mentioned even if Nelson decides not to run. The Republican 23rd congressional primary race could also complicate things if Barclay or Doheny drop out of the federal race and decide to play for the 48th Senate District. And if that were to happen it could pressure Pattie Ritchie to make another try for the Assembly.

The political dominoes are sure to set up so that Vaugh is the first to fall, but the young college student doesn't seem persuaded by the old guard of the GOP in 2010. Perhaps Vaugh's idealism and youth are characteristics that would play well in a race for the 118th district against Russell, but those traits could also serve as a disadvantage in his quest for higher political office. While it is true that all candidates have strengths and weaknesses -- true leaders are the ones who accentuate their strengths and turn their biggest weaknesses into political positives. As for the things that matter in the 118th, the variables that matter to Vaugh, are the things he is largely unable to control.