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October 30, 2009


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I think Pataki's political future is over but obviously he himself doesn't think so. This decision strikes me as more a question of him sticking his finger in the wind to see which way it's blowing than anything else and hoping something positive sticks to him. I doubt it will. His endorsement of the far right Hoffman is not going to make the purist leaders of the Purge forget that they hated that Pataki was a relatively moderate Republican, even more so by the current standards. It's not going to make them forget that Pataki signed SONDA (which banned discrimination against gays in housing and employment). And it's certainly not going to make them forget that Pataki supports abortion rights. The leaders of the Purge think that Pataki has far more in common with their hated Scozzafava than with Hoffman.

Bob Conner

You call it "the Purge" because you disagree with the politics. If it was an antiwar rebellion against a Joe Lieberman-type Democrat, you'd think it was a righteous people's uprising. Pataki is too pro-choice for me, but he's more moderate than the NARAL-endorsed Scozzafava (or the NARAL-endorsed Gillibrand). He favors a ban on partial-birth abortion, for example.


I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth. I don't like single-issue candidates, as was basically Ned Lamont vs Lieberman. The last time I voted against a Green in a race was because she was a single issue, anti-war candidate who openly admitted that. The Democrat in the race was also against militarism but he had decent opinions on other issues too.

I've never been a fan of the RINO and DINO labels people seem fond of using nowadays. It implies that the parties should have absolute purity. That may be fine in a multiparty system where just about everyone can find a candidate/party who represents their views and get elected. We live in a system governed almost exclusively by two major parties. If they represent only the fringes, then the vast middle is not represented.

Incidentally, I loathe Joe Liberman for many reasons, his stance on the Iraq Aggression being a part but, frankly, not a huge one.


Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

"If Hoffman wins, he is likely to become a more reliable Republican vote in the House than Scozzafava"

Reliable to whom? To represent the wishes of the voters of the 23rd? The wishes of John Boehner? Of Beck and Limabugh?


The fact remains that if Scozzafava is a "liberal" like the right-wing claims, then "liberals" will almost certainly get 60-65 pct of the vote... even if Hoffman wins. I'm not sure that really buttresses your claims of the broader viability of the hard conservative social agenda.


Further, I might not vote for or give money to a conservative Democrat but I certainly wouldn't deny them the right to run nor would I try to intimidate them out of the race.

Bob Conner

Nobody denied Scozzafava the right to run or intimidated her out of the race. She pulled out because she wasn't getting nearly as much support as Hoffman and realized she was going to come in a weak third. There's nothing undemocratic about that.


No Bob, there was no campaign by the right to drive her out of the race. None at all. I don't believe for a second that anyone works hard for months on a campaign and then pulls out of a race three days before election day without receiving any pressure.

Regardless, I've been a long advocate for campaign finance reform so that a candidate (and the same would be true for ballot issues) could only receive money from those who would be eligible to vote for them. That would limit donations to a) individual human beings, b) citizens and c) people who actually live in the jurisdiction the candidate would be representing. I think if an elected official is going to be in hoc to anyone, it should be to constituents.

What bothers me about this race is how outside forces and money are having an disproportionate influence. Hoffman ignores local issues completely and blow off debates, but go appear on Glenn Beck, spout a generic message and raise lots of money from non-NNY voters.

This is not unique to this race. It's becoming an increasing problem to

I just hate that people can't be left alone to make up their minds any more or sort it out by discussing with their neighbors. They're bombarded by money and messages from people who don't know a damn thing about their area. Glenn Beck couldn't find Colton with a map, a GPS and Google Earth.

Politics aside, I think it's unfortunate that an authentic candidate was drummed out in favor of a generic candidate.

And I practice what I preach, by the way. I often support progressive candidates and causes across the country. But I won't donate money to anyone or anything that won't directly effect me. Californians, Mainers and others should be left to decide their future without me telling them what to do. And NNYers too. I know you disagree because you support with Hoffman's ideology but that's what I think.


And by the way, I never liked or respected Jerry Solomon. But if he wanted to call you an SOB, at least he had the guts do so with his own lips and mouth. Nowadays, everyone hides behind RNC/DNC, yap show hosts and lobby groups to do their dirty work.

Bob Conner

All this blather about "pressure" is paranoid. Scozzafava pulled out because her support was collapsing. See the Siena polls. If they'd been going in the other direction, then obviously she would have stayed in and won.

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This blog is by Bob (Robert C.) Conner, a longtime journalist and author of the 2018 novel "The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant" published by Square Circle Press, and a 2013 biography "General Gordon Granger" published by Casemate. He is currently writing a biography of the Kansas abolitionist Col. James Montgomery. His Civil War blog can be found at robertcconnerauthor.blogspot.com
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