UPDATE 10/17/09 - Americans for Tax Reform announced yesterday Assemblywoman Scozzafava signed ATR’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge:
Yesterday, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in her race to replace former Rep. John McHugh. Democrat Bill Owens is the only candidate not to sign the Pledge in this race.
New York’s 23rd Congressional District seat was recently vacated by Republican John McHugh after President Obama appointed the upstate New York former congressman to be the Secretary of the Army. A special election to be held on November 3 is scheduled to fill Mr. McHugh’s old seat. However, conservatives and some GOP activists are not necessarily thrilled with New York’s Republican local county committee chairmen’s nominee for the race.
By nominating Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, Republican county chairs have disappointed the conservative base of the state party as well as the New York Sate Conservative party itself, and it is hardly surprising. Ms. Scozzafava’s record looks similar to that of a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts. Red State’s Erick Erickson gives a list of what could help properly vet the assemblywoman into the Democratic party rather than a GOP nomination. He compares her list to the Conservative Party endorsed candidate Doug Hoffman.:
- Supports the Obama stimulus
- Supports card check
- Supports Cash for Clunkers
- Supports Davis Bacon
- Refuses to sign no tax pledge
- Refuses to sign no pork pledge
- Voted to force all NY state employees to pay union dues
- Voted for higher taxes 190 times
- Voted for a bank bailout
- Has not demonstrated any support for school choice
- Against the Obama stimulus
- Against card check
- Against Cash for Clunkers
- Against Davis Bacon
- Signed tax pledge
- Signed pork pledge
- Supports school choice
Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos has endorsed this New York Republican candidate. Ms. Scozzafava was previously endorsed by the very liberal Working Families Party(WFP) in the past, but WFP has endorsed Democrat Bill Owens in this race. WFP has close ties to ACORN, which puts some GOP law makers in a tough spot. John Gizzi of Human Events reported the conundrum House Minority Leader John Boehner(R-Oh.) found himself in. :
Caught in the middle was House Minority Leader John Boehner who was simultaneously raising support for Scozzafava and trying to defund ACORN. “I think this [cutting off ACORN] will have a chilling effect on their election activities and anyone that has a relationship with them [ACORN],” Boehner told his colleagues following the House vote by 347-to-75 to deny federal funds to ACORN.
New York Congressional nominees in special elections are chosen by local GOP leaders in closed meetings or what American Conservative Union President David Keene has called “a smoke-filled room.” This is hardly a transparent process for the rest of the New York state Republican membership. Many party faithful would likely object to a candidate like Ms. Scozzafava. The process in New York is wrong. It must change, or the New York State Republican party will continue to fade into irrelevance.
**Clarification-Dede Scozzafava previously was endorsed by the Working Families Party in past races.