Sunday, February 01, 2009

Fumble

With seconds left on the clock, on their own 10-yard line and down by a fairly sizeable margin, the Democratic leaders of the 20th Congressional District decided to attempt a Hail Mary pass to the end zone in hopes of somehow landing a viable candidate in Washington. But something went dreadfully wrong. The wide receiver stumbled, the quarterback double-clutched, and the football trickled from his fingers to the ground. Now, it’s just a matter of seconds before one of the gorilla-like linemen runs it back for a touchdown.

That heavyweight just happens to be state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco. The Democrats might as well have ceded the 20th District to the Republicans Sunday, when they announced Scott Murphy as their candidate for the soon-to-be-announced special election.

“A lost job is more than a statistic – it is a family facing the loss of health care benefits, a steady income and a future for their children,” Murphy said in a prepared statement. “The 20th Congressional District needs innovative leadership that will bring smart economic development and good jobs to our communities. That’s what I’ve done in the private sector, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress.”

The Glens Falls venture capitalist was pretty much the party’s last great hope for position, after the other two front-runners dropped out. Both former network anchor Tracy Egan and AFL-CIO director Suzy Ballantyne dropped out of the running late Saturday evening, according to the Post Star. They joined former New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter –the one candidate who could have handily beaten Tedisco –in declining a run for the office.

For the many who don’t know Murphy, he’s the director of Advantage Capital Partners, a venture capital group that manages more than $1 billion of assets. A Harvard grad, he once served as aide to two Missouri governors and once acted as chief executive officer of Small World Software. Some right-leaning blogs are questioning a curious omission from his bio, namely the mention of Baazee.com, an e-Bay clone that was sold to the tune of $50 million.

While Murphy isn’t necessarily a bad candidate, he doesn’t really stand a chance against an established politician who is well-liked in his district, has remained largely unchallenged in state elections, and happens to be enrolled in the party that holds a roughly 90,000 voter advantage in the district. Sure, anything can happen. But to say Murphy is an underdog is a major understatement. Outside of a colossal meltdown in Camp Tedisco, Murphy will soon become a footnote in district history.

So why pick a candidate that’s destined to lose? Well, Murphy has money for one. That means the Dems can save their ducats for races that will certainly require a lot of cash –namely the re-election of Gillibrand in 2010.

The 20th Congressional District is also in flux. There’s a chance it won’t even exist in the near future, depending on regional population trends. Even if it does, house seats come up for election every two years, meaning they’ll be more than ready to challenge for the district in 2010. Perhaps then a better know candidate –or even Murphy himself –will be apt to thwart the somewhat powerful Tedisco.

Also keep in mind Gov. David Paterson hasn’t even called the election yet. That means the absolute earliest a new congressman could take office wouldn’t be until sometime in late March. That gives the victor of the race a paltry 20 months in office. If the governor decides to delay –which he could as a politically strategic move –he might be able to whittle down this number even further.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Tedisco’s Assembly seat is –or was –one of the last Republican bastions in Schenectady County. The GOP will be hard pressed to find anyone capable of winning his district, considering the Democrats are firmly entrenched in both the county and city governments. In fact, the Republicans have been a bit like the red-headed stepchild of Schenectady County politics as of late –they’re beaten often and badly. Tedisco leaving the district will be a godsend for the Dems, who have eyed his seat for many moons.

So it’s tough to say whether the Dems have truly dropped the ball on this one, even though Murphy might as well be bleating lamb being led up to some sacrificial alter. There is undoubtedly some method to all this madness, which should reveal itself in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, it’s safe for residents of the 20th to brace themselves for Congressman Tedisco.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough with your right-wing hogwash sir...

The only reason why Jim Tedisco is so popular is because the Dems have never fielded a credible candidate to run against him for Assembly, so few people are even aware of many of his extreme right-wing positions.

How many are likely aware that Tedisco opposes birth control, stem cell research, and even sex education? How many also know that Tedisco opposes civil unions and has pushed anti-immigration xenophobia to the extreme?

Tedisco's voting record makes him more suited for representing rural Alabama or Kansas rather than a Democratic-trending swing district which just fielded a three point plurality to Barack Obama last November and has seen its Republican voting plurality erode by over 20,000 voters since 2002. Honestly, sir, do you really think all of these moderate and independent voters in the 20th District who passionately backed Obama three months ago are now going to turn around and vote for a Palin-Huckabee style conservative who opposes virtually everything the new president wants to do?!

8:12 PM  
Anonymous PlanetAlbany said...

Seems like this other blogger here has talked to a likely candidate who could keep Tedisco's seat Republican. http://planetalbany.typepad.com/planetalbany/2009/01/farley-interested-in-assembly-race.html

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the Tax Cheat Murphy have a New York City phone number listed as his contact????? Is he even from Glens Falls. Tedisco may be from Schenectady but at least he lives in the Capital Region and his assembly district is half of Saratoga County in the 20th CD. Tax Cheat Murphy is apparently from NYC via Missouri.

http://readme.readmedia.com/news/show/Scott-Murphy-Declares-Candidacy-for-20th-CD/354753

9:34 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

8:12,

'Right-wing hogwash' would be something like this: Jim Tedisco is so wonderful and righteous; he'll lead us to safety against the evil doers; his saintly goodness will create harmony among mankind, lower taxes and ensure all those baby killers take their shtick to another state.

Reality goes something like this: The district is heavily weighted toward the Republicans and there's a special election afoot, which means voting trends will be nothing like they were during the presidential election.

Do I really think "all of these moderate and independent voters" who "passionately backed Obama three months ago are now going to turn around and vote for a Palin-Huckabee style conservative who opposes virtually everything the new president wants to do?" No. I don't think they will. But I also don't think they'll vote.

It it's a special election and all bets are off. It will take a god-given miracle to sway the election toward the Democrats. They had two ways to thwart this trend. They could have put up a candidate with excellent name recognitions(Richter; perhaps Egan), or they could have pandered to the feminist or union vote(Ballantyne; perhaps Egan). Murphy doesn't appeal to either of these voting demographics, meaning he'll be hoping all the district's Democrats come out in droves, a prospect that is about as probably as him winning the lottery tomorrow.

Like I said, stranger things have happened. However, the odds are certainly not in Murphy's favor.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry about Schenectady democrats grabbing the Assembly seat. Saratoga actually has a majority in the district which means the candidates for the special election will likely both be from this County.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tax Cheat Scott Murphy was caught today by Glens Fall Post Star columnist Maury Thompson in some bizarre Chinatownesque (The movie) lie about the true nature of his relationship to a local district attorny.

Here's the link http://www.poststar.com/blogs/?p=17094&cat=259

In a tape-recorded telephone interview on Friday, The Post-Star asked Murphy, “I know the question will come up from some. What relation are you to Kate Hogan?”

He responded, “Sure — My wife, Jennifer, is Kate’s sister.”

Murphy said Monday that he misspoke on Friday.

What a wack-job!!!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Business Republicans for Scott Murphy said...

The right wing is at it again. A new genration of Karl Rove types is on the loose.

Fact: he has no 'tax issue'. The warrants in question are for a company that he held stock in at one time -- a time prior to the issue at hand.

Or is that too complicated to understand. If so, let me dumb it down for you:

It would be similar to this: Bill Jones sells a house to Joe Smith. A year later, Joe Smith doesn't pay his property taxes. Is Bill Jones responsible for the taxes?

I'm sure it won't make a difference to the local chapter of the right-wing propaganda machine.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to a letter in this morning's Saratogian, Nancy Goldberg is supporting Murphy. that should be reason enough to vote against him.

5:41 AM  
Anonymous The TommyKnockers said...

I will vote for Murphy because of Nancy Goldberg!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone looking for proof that Tommyknockers is a moron just found it

6:01 AM  
Anonymous The Tommyknockers said...

Anon 6:01 Thanks for the kind words. Nice that you finally came out from under your rock, McTygue.

4:23 AM  
Anonymous I Can't Believe It's Not Butter said...

Who's the moron? Anyone willing to back Tedisco who is a long time buddy/butt licking Bruno lover because they don't like Nancy Goldberg is surely an idiot. Tedisco and gang are already trying to sling mud. Murphy sold a house to someone and that someone didn't pay taxes the next year. So they are trying to make it look like Murphy has a tax issue. These republicans are desperate.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous demroc said...

yeah it's funny how they are trying to pull this guy into some kind of national scandal. they came out with carl rove style politics and the promise to kill terrorists, "please elect me". does tedisco really think we'll forget names like bruno, foley, craig, stevens etc.
plus this guy hasn't done a thing down in albany except being a part of the most disfunctional legislature in the country.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, funny how republicans are so unforgiving about a politician mis-speaking. "shame on me once, and shame on you, or is it, shame on you for shaming on me" i guess we're all insulated from it because of the 8 years we had to listen to bushisms.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Don Juan DeMarco said...

Speaking on Tedisco: If it looks like a crook and it smells like a crook Then it's a crook! Joe Bruno's coattails are not there for you to tug on anymore. This idea that women are big backers of Tedisco is a joke!

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is on tv all the time as a talking buffoon, but can anyone name one thing he stands for other than Buster the Cat?

When was the last time Tedisco ran a serious campaign? He hasn't shown he is able to raise $$ or any campaigns to get the GOP elected to the assembly.

Look for him to use his tax payer funded perks to win this. See the mailing sent to GOP in the district the week before he was chosen.

8:15 PM  

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