Archive for November 2nd, 2009

Guest Commentary

Third Party Power

by Nancy Matthis at ADMC

The election in NY-23rd is about third party power, and professional politicians are trying to suppress that fact. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats want the public to realize this, for obvious reasons. The media are complicit with establishment insiders, so they are not saying anything. And the bloggers, bless them, who would ordinarily be the purveyors of truth, don’t have the length and depth of political experience to understand what is going on. It requires an understanding of the legal mechanics of candidate selection and a long memory…

Let us be perfectly clear about the situation in New York’s 23rd Congressional District special election. Three distinct political parties with legal status in New York put up viable candidates:

  • The Republican Party nominated New York State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava in a smoke-filled room deal.
  • The Democratic Party nominated community activist and 30-year practicing lawyer Bill Owens.
  • The Conservative Party nominated community leader, business entrepreneur, and Certified Public Accountant Doug Hoffman.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington posterThe fresh-faced Hoffman, reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, has the most appeal with voters in the district weary of government excess (almost an art form in the state of New York), and has pulled ahead in the polls. The Conservative Party selected the most likable candidate and has the best message, and so they are ahead. It is as simple as that. It is a reprise of the election of US Senator James Buckley on the Conservative line in 1970, when he proved more popular than both the Republican and Democratic candidates.

There is nothing sacred about the Republican and Democratic parties. Political party organizations are not provided for in the Constitution of the United States. They are merely incorporated entities that provide for pooling money and manpower to support candidates for public office. They have acquired the veneer of “official” status by being around for a long time, but they are no more “official” than any newly minted party, which can be formed under state election law by meeting certain requirements.

doug-hoffman.jpgFor example, to put a name on the ballot in New York State requires the signatures of five percent of the registered voters in the juridiction. As of April 1, 2009, there were 15,339 registered voters in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. So volunteers had to collect valid signatures from at least 767 registered voters on “designating petitions” for Doug Hoffman to run for Congress.

Do you understand how feasible that is? Twenty people collecting 10 signatures per night for one week can collect 1400 signatures. That is easily done by going door to door in your neighborhood. Or you can just stand outside the local grocery store and collect signatures from shoppers as they enter. The totals rack up quickly. It is no more difficult than, say, selling Girl Scout cookies. And your kids can do that.

One advantage that the two so-called “major” political parties have is that they retain a cadre of volunteers trained in the collection of signatures, which have to meet certain book-keeping requirements. For instance, the person has to sign the petition in exactly the same way that his or her name appears on the voter registration. So you need to have that information before you start your rounds, but that information is a matter of public record, and the state cannot deny you access to it. The other advantage of the “major” parties is that they have established fund-raising channels. And as we see in NY-23rd, that isn’t doing them a lot of good in the face of an outraged populace.

On Thursday, February 19 of this year, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli called for a “Chicago Tea Party” while reporting from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. Within two short months, powered only by bloggers, a national “tea party” movement had organized across the country to hold rallies on tax day, April 15. Along about the 4th of July, another round of tea parties erupted across America, and sentiment grew for a march on Washington. A little over two months after that, one of the largest grass-roots crowds ever seen in the District of Columbia marched on the Capitol.

9-12 March on Capitol

What if…

What if, instead of attending rallies, or marching on Washington, these aroused patriots had been carrying designating petitions? The whole political landscape of America could be changed within one year! And that is the 900 pound gorilla in the political closet that the Republicans and Democrats do not want you to know about or think about. It scares them witless.

All the talking heads and political hacks are painting the congressional race in NY-23rd as a rift in the Republican ranks. It is not. It is a third party candidate proving that the Republicans and Democrats can be made irrelevant in the face of tea party power. It is proving this in the full glare of the national spotlight. And the only way that the entrenched politicians can save their own bacon is by spinning the story to distract the public from the obvious truth. All the king-makers’ horses and all the king-makers’ men cannot defeat an honest tea party patriot once ordinary Americans wake up.

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So you know, the author of the following piece worked on Fred Thompson’s 2008 presidential campaign.  


Palin, Fred Thompson show leadership, while Huckabee and Romney exude cowardice

By Kevin Hall

Sarah Palin and Fred Thompson had the guts to do what Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the entire Republican Party would not do.   One month ago, Thompson became the first prominent national Republican to endorse Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the New York District 23 Congressional race. 

Palin made an even bigger impact by endorsing Hoffman a week and a half ago. In doing so, Palin lived up to her penchant for going against the mainstream and taking on powerbrokers inside her own party

For those who have not heard about this race, local and national Republican leaders decided to back Dede Scozzafava for the vacant congressional seat.  She truly lives up to the term RINO (Republican in Name Only), especially on social issues.  

Scozzafava is pro-choice, supports gay marriage and the Obama stimulus plan.  She believes abortions should always be legal, no matter the circumstances.   So the voters in NY District 23 were given the option of liberal Democrat Doug Owens or liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava.   Conservatives had no choice, until Doug Hoffman entered the race.

Hoffman’s candidacy began picking up steam in recent weeks, and then exploded thanks to the endorsement of Sarah Palin.   Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty followed suit. 

Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney refused to endorse anyone.

In doing show, Huckabee showed he is not a leader.   He is a panderer.   He panders to the Republican Party establishment because he wants their support in 2012.  Huckabee even headlined a Conservative Party fundraiser in upstate New York last week, but his failure to endorse Hoffman left conservatives dumbfounded. 

“When you’re a leader of the conservative movement, as Mike Huckabee is, you should make a bold statement,” said Mike Long, president of the New York State Conservative Party. “If you’re a leader, how do you not get involved?”  

Huckabee’s lack of leadership on this issue is especially appalling given Scozzafava’s support of abortion anytime, anywhere, no matter the circumstances. Huckabee is supposedly the Republican beacon of pro-life issues.  Not anymore.  Not after this act of cowardice.

Mitt Romney was no betterHe tried to spin his lack of endorsement for Scozzafava as some sort of strong stance, telling Fox News, “That should speak a certain amount of volume. I can’t endorse our candidate in that race.”  You are right, Mitt.  It does speak volumes.  But not in a positive way for you.

A funny thing happened on Saturday, though.  Polls showed Scozzafava quickly dropping to third place in the polls, well behind Hoffman and Owens.  So, she dropped out of the race.   Following her withdrawal, Newt Gingrich, the NRCC, Michael Steele and others rushed out their endorsements of Hoffman.  Huckabee finally followed suit in mid-afternoon.

Hoffman, a true conservative, now has a terrific chance to win this race.  No thanks to the leaders of the Republican Party.  No thanks to Romney and Huckabee, two 2008 Presidential candidates who are almost certain to run again in 2012. 

They want us to uphold them as leaders of the conservative movement.   They are not.  Leaders take bold steps by standing on their principles.   That is what Sarah Palin and Fred Thompson did. [emphasis mine]

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