Jane Corwin is, of course, the Republican/Conservative running in this race – which is getting people nervous because of the latest Siena poll*. To which I say: then make sure that you go out and vote.
And if you don’t want Democrats to win elections, then do something about it. I mention this last bit because there are roughly sixteen million Left-pundits out there who are slavering at the mouth at the opportunity to turn this particular election into an informal referendum on the Right; they were denied this with the Prosser/Kloppenburg election, so they’re even more anxious than usual. If Corwin loses tonight, expect relieved howling from the Democrats. Which will be annoying, but that’s what happens when you lose races.
He’s officially decided to not do any debates with the official Democratic candidate (and actual Republican/Conservative candidate Jane Corwin). The ostensible reason is because – wait for it, wait for it! – Davis is claiming his opponents are liars who won’t play fair. Given Davis’s likely status as a stalking horse for the Democratic party, such a comment would normally score chutzpah points with me. It doesn’t in this case, because I can’t abide cowards running for office; but objectively speaking there’s something almost entertaining about this particular case of projection. Particularly the ‘electronic town hall’ bit, which worked so well for his fellow Democratic cowards in 2010. What’s the definition of insanity, again?
And if you think that I’m being mean-spirited, check out Freedomworks; they’re laying into Davis with all the fury of a successful grassroots organization that sweated blood last year getting real conservatives and Tea Partiers elected. I quote Matt Kibbe:
“The voters in New York’s 26th Congressional District have a serious decision to make concerning who will represent them in the House of Representatives. Out of respect for this decision, the candidates have a responsibility to be honest about their positions on the issues. Considering Jack Davis’ leftist resume, his candidacy as a ‘tea party’ candidate is either a sad attempt to raise his own personal political profile or an underhanded strategy to hand the seat to the Democrat contender. Either way, it’s a slap in the face to New York 26 voters and the larger tea party movement and FreedomWorks PAC will ensure that this message is delivered throughout the district in advance of the May 24th special election.”
Both of which are hitting Jack Davis, who is doing his level best to throw the special election there to the Democrats. Davis, for those who do not remember, has been running as a Democrat in this district for years, and is now cynically trying to use the Tea Party name to hurt the GOP this year: he’s also a somewhat insane fellow who wants to turn urban blacks and Latinos into migrant crop workers.
No. Really. Apparently, he thought that this would be a selling point for New York Republicans, God help us all. And God spare us from Democrats who can’t tell the Republicans living inside their heads from the Republicans in the actual, real world: even when they’re trying to pander to us it comes off as very, very creepy.
Anyway: NRCC ad above the fold; American Crossroads one below it. And Jane Corwin is the actual Republican/Conservative candidate in this election; she would certainly love to hear from you.
The R/C/I stands for “Republican/Conservative/Independence:” New York is one of those fusion states with viable third parties, thanks mostly to the rule that votes for the same person on different “lines” can be combined and count towards the total vote total. We’ll address whether that’s a good idea or not at a different time; for right now, I spoke with Assemblywoman Jane Corwin this morning on the NY-26 special election. We discussed a fair number of things, ranging from her stance on life issues to the vagaries of NY election law:
Jack Davis is, of course, the former Democrat trying to run in NY-26, which is up for a special election this spring (the Republican/Conservative Party candidate, equally of course, is Jane Corwin). Davis, having been completely unable to get any traction in getting elected thus far, has decided to go one step further than such Democratic party luminaries such as Michael McGuinness and Alan Grayson; instead of putting up a phony Tea Party candidate, Davis is running as a phony Tea Party candidate himself. Fortunately, Davis is apparently not particularly bright, because his campaign manager (one Curtis Ellis) is on the record as writing things like this:
The [Tea Partiers] are essentially replaying the ’60s protest paradigm. (We’re aging boomers ourselves, so we know it when we see it.) They fancy themselves the vanguard of a revolution, when in fact they are typical self-absorbed, privileged children used to having their way — now — and uninhibited about complaining loudly when they don’t. It’s the same demographic Spiro Agnew called “an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”
Background: Republican Christopher Lee rather abruptly resigned from that seat over, of all things, a Craigslist ad (well, that and the attempts at adultery associated with it). It’s a fairly reliably Republican district – Lee first won it in 2008, which was not exactly a great year for a Republican to win an open seat in the Northeast – so any real hope that the Democrats have of winning the seat in a special election* would be in a GOP split. Enter former Democrat Jack Davis, who is… um. Yes. Yes, I think that ‘um’ is really the word, here, based on evidence ranging from his novel views on agricultural policy to his hiring practices (kind of NSFW, that last link). Davis is trying to run on his own line (‘Tea Party,’ which is the hot, trendy designation these days) using petitions: the major argument against him being an obvious Democratic plant is that surely even New York Democrats aren’t that dumb. Or don’t have better recruiters, at least**.
Fortunately, the state GOP party had a collective rush of oxygen to the brain and went with Jane Corwin, who is currently the state Assemblywoman for that district. As a state legislator she was supported by both the GOP and NY’s Conservative Party (NY state election law gives third parties considerably more power than average): and, in fact, she has just been endorsed by the Conservative and Independent Parties for the special election.
The special election will be May 24th. I suspect that it’s Corwin’s to lose, and that she won’t.
The seat, of course, was vacated by Chris Lee as part of what was a somewhat bizarre Craigslist meltdown. Ms. Corwin is herself a state Assemblywoman who was first elected in 2008 after defeating the Republican candidate in the primary; she’s previously run on the Conservative ticket in NY and has been endorsed by Paladino (who won this district in 2010). Jane Corwin has been described as a strong public speaker and is expected to be able to self-fund; there is no scandal attached to her name, and no claim that she is anything but acceptably conservative. And, last point: New York does not actually permit primaries in special elections. The state party makes the choice*. I mention all of this because there seems to be a burgeoning desire to frame this in terms of the NY-23 shenanigans last year. Specifically, certain Tea Party groups (H/T: AoSHQ) are getting ready to get upset that Corwin was picked over Dave Bellavia, and would presumably be happy to see a grassroots drive to either remove Corwin, or third-party spoiler the whole thing.
I can’t sign off on that, sorry. I like Dave: I read his memoir House to House; I thought it was good; and it is obvious that we would have been better off if Bellavia had won the Republican nomination in 2008 for NY-26. But he did not in fact win the nomination, and I am unaware that he’s held public office since then. Jane Corwin is, again, a Republican who is acceptable to the Conservative party, has no scandal about her, and can afford the special election. Failing some flaw that I am not seeing, I am missing how this can be seen as not being at least a little bit about drama and/or personalities on the part of certain members of the NY Tea Party.