The Campaign Spot

Obama Endorsement, Debate Heat Up NY-20 Race

The race for the special election in New York’s 20th congressional district has taken a few twists and turns lately, including a debate last night:

A clause in the stimulus, found after the plan passed, allowed for AIG bonuses. Tedisco repeatedly questioned Murphy if he read the plan before he supported it.

   

Tedisco said, “He hasn’t answered the question yet, Scott, I got to ask you, did you read that legislation, those 1,100 pages?”
Murphy wouldn’t say, but he did say he remains firmly behind the plan, that he says will cut taxes and create jobs.
“My opponent couldn’t tell us what he thought for 30 days. I don’t know if he was waiting for a poll to tell him if he was in favor of it,” said Murphy.

President Obama is endorsing the Democrat, Scott Murphy (big surprise), sending an e-mail to supporters. Strangely, the Politico says local Democrats are furious about the lack of support from the White House. They also claim Murphy is within 2 percent.

My reader/correspondent in the district has sent in another on-the-ground update:

Neil Golub’s endorsement IS huge around here.  Price Chopper is one of the “Big 3″ markets (Hannaford, WalMart Supercenter being the other two), and it’s well-known as being locally owned.  Even though I personally dislike shopping there because it’s always way too crowded, hard to find stuff, highest prices, etc., the stores are packed no matter what time of day I go in there.  Interestingly, most of the customers I see are senior citizens and low-income families (food stamps, young with lots of kids and obviously shopping on a budget).  They are loyal, loyal, loyal to Neil Golub and his company.  The chain even has a “loyalty” card that everyone is whipping out.  Golub’s company is probably the most profitable business in next-door Schenectady (even more so than GE) and single-handedly creates TONS of jobs, just like the Tedisco campaign says in their statement.

 

The Golub endorsement will help Tedisco big-time in Schenectady.  But it’s a big district, with radically different constituents depending on where you land.  My brother in Poughkeepsie (two hours away) will vote on NY-20.  We call that “downstate”.  Hopefully the lack of Murphy’s name recognition will keep Dems from going to the polls — I highly doubt folks will be motivated to vote AGAINST Tedisco in those areas.  I also don’t see the enthusiasm for Obama that was around in November, so I’m not sure the coattail effect is in operation here.  Same goes for Gillibrand.  She’s attached to Paterson now, and as you know, he ain’t so popular these days.

 

On a side note, got a call from the Murphy campaign last night.  “May we ask how you voted on your absentee ballot?”  My husband told them we voted for Tedisco — “Oh, that’s too bad.  Well, you may want to tune in to tonight’s debate anyway . . .”  Hubby was annoyed the Murphy campaign knew we had absentee ballots, attempted to contact us.  He had a creepy feeing that it was an invasion of privacy — they know who we are and where we live BEFORE we vote?  What if they wanted to do something to intimidate us?”  I’m going to follow up on that.  It does have an ominous feel to it.

UPDATE: A reader notes that it need not be so ominous:

It’s fairly common to send campaign material and even contact people who applied for an absentee ballot.  In Virginia for sure, and likely in all states as well, it’s a matter of public record.  The Fairfax County Republican party makes a fairly large effort to contact every voter who has applied for one, and usually has special materials for those voters who have been identified as likely Republican votes.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Wow. Ruffini’s $20K for NY20 is now past $82,000.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader in New York’s state legislature points out that Schenectady isn’t in the 20th Congressional District, but is just over the border in the 21st District. Having said that, I suspect the 20th has plenty of Price Chopper employees…

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