Newt Gingrich has endorsed New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican running to fill the Congressional seat vacated by now Army Secretary, then GOP Representative, John McHugh. The problem here is that there is a better candidate running in this three-way race for the Conservative Party.
The Republican National Committee also confirmed Friday that it was making a six-figure transfer to the state Republican Party to help with that race.
The RNC is also giving $85,000 to the state party, the maximum allowed for a coordinated campaign, and has two staffers on the ground in the district.
In a letter to supporters, Gingrich called the Nov. 3 special election “an important test” for the party in advance of the 2010 mid-term election. Scozzafava is “Our best chance to put responsible and principled leaders in Washington,” he said.
Gingrich, who also voiced his support for Scozzafava at a GOP event last week in New York City, listed off a number of the candidate’s conservative credential, including her endorsement by the National Rifle Association, the fact that she signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayers’ Protection Pledge and her opposition to the Democrat’s health care overhaul proposal.
Gingrich did not mention it, but his appeal was clearly targeted at those Republican voters leaning towards voting for accountant Doug Hoffman, who is running on the Conservative Party line.
Hoffman has capitalized on the backlash among local and national conservative groups, who have strongly objected to her centrist record in the Assembly. She voted in support of gay marriage and of the 2008-09 state budget pushed by Democratic Govs. Eliot Spitzer and David A. Paterson , and favors some abortion rights.
Conservative advocacy groups including the Club for Growth, Citizens United and New York State Right to Life PAC are all backing Hoffman.
Here I thought with Newt’s American Solutions he was going to rise above partisan politics and not only support those with an “R” behind their name. Especially if they don’t vote like one. How does her positions really line up with his, compared to Hoffman’s? Look at who is endorsing him, compared to who is endorsing Scozzafava? Hands down conservative organizations are lining up behind him, the establishment with the “centrist” Scozzafava. Like I said regarding Mitt Romney back in 2008, I don’t care what he says, I care what he did. He governed as a liberal. She voted as a liberal. Record always should mean more than rhetoric.
Weekly Standard asks points out that her candidacy is collapsing, and that Hoffman is the stronger candidate of the two, Bill Kristol writes at the end:
So Hoffman has the momentum and a chance to win, while Scozzafava is fading. It’s probably too late for the national and state Republicans to reverse their foolish initial blessing of Scozzafava—but surely they could at least stop attacking Hoffman, spend what money they’re going to spend attacking Owens, give up on pressuring high profile Republicans not to go in to help Hoffman, and therefore give Hoffman a decent chance to win.
Today, the Wall Street Journal has a story on the race with the headline Tea-Party Activists Complicate Republican Comeback Strategy. The truth is the opposite: The GOP establishment complicates the Republican and conservative comeback strategy.
Hoffman slams Scozzafava in a guest post on Michelle Malkin’s blog and points out her inconsistency:
There’s nothing like a drop in the polls to bring out a candidate’s principles.
With her numbers plummeting – and mine rising – and only three weeks left until the election in NY-23, Dede Scozzafava has decided she needs to change her stripes to get conservative votes.
Specifically, she’s changed her position on income taxes. One would have expected more hostility to taxes earlier in the campaign, since she had a leadership role in her brother’s company as it racked up almost $200,000 in unpaid tax liens. But alas.
Erick Erickson at RedState.com wonders if the RNC even knows who they are supporting? I don’t think they have a clue or care. This is just an example of why the GOP establishment is not favored by those in flyover country, and Newt Gingrich can now be counted among them. I hope Hoffman gets as much cash as possible from SarahPAC and HuckPAC, because the GOP is failing miserably at supporting the right candidates in some of these tight races.