Okay so about half of our traffic stops to our unofficial Draft DeDe As a Democrat for Congress site yesterday were from these two major stories (see them below) speculating on whether or not Republican Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava would run as a Democrat in the NY-23rd to replace Representative John McHugh. The Democratic National Committee even made a visit to our site and stayed for awhile. Hopefully they are going to consider some of the solid arguments we have made in why they should aggressively recruit DeDe to run with our party for this election. Now one of the most interesting things about this endeavor is that you learn a lot of new things along the way. For example, one of the stories that picked up on our effort provided some other interesting details on Scozzafava's husband. Apparently he is some kind of big union guy with the AFL-CIO (on a side note that made me wonder if Scozzafava supports Obama's card-check legislation and whether they could be a big fundraising base for her along with Planned Parenthood). Did anyone else know that? Maybe she is more solid on our economic issues than we thought as well (more on that later).
Anyways, we regret to admit that we have not yet gotten Scozzafava completely on our side yet, but she still might and we have hope. According to some staffers in Albany we have been in contact with, the news of this political development just hit and is still fresh. There are a lot of people speculating on a lot of different things going on in the State House so we might just have to sit tight and see how some things play out.
On a positive note Scozzafava has not yet released a statement denying that she would run as a Democrat so our guess is that she is still seriously considering it, especially since the Democratic field has just thinned a little more as the Syracuse Post-Standard reported today that Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida announced he would not be getting into the race to replace McHugh. And until DeDe asks us to stop our efforts we will continue to push our grassroots out to her, encouraging her to come over to the side where she can really make a difference and survive redistricting in 2012. It seems to us that each day Scozzafava waits before announcing which party she would run with, it is another good day for us because it means she is frustrating the Republican Party just that much longer. Only time will tell, but the clock is ticking and it is in our favor.
Now back to the major stories that are driving this story in the North Country.
Here is the first from the biggest political news site in New York State called Politickerny.com.
Jimmy Vielkind writes in his piece, Scozzafava as a Democrat for Congress? that, "Certain factions of the Republican party think Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava is too liberal to run for the congressional seat being vacated by John McHugh. But what about running as a member of the other party? As one well-connected Democrat argued to me, 'It's an obvious way to go. She's a moderate, well-liked and known person. It will be interesting to see what the Republicans do with her.' She has not, in the past, been approved by the Republican Party. In 2008, she sought to run for the State Senate seat vacated by Jim Wright, but party elders backed her more conservative colleague Will Barclay, who eventually lost to then-assemblyman Darrell Aubertine. Now, all three are once again mentioned as replacements for McHugh. Barely an hour had passed before Jim Kelly, a conservative campaign consultant who lives on the edge of the district, sent along an email with 'the liberal crap' about Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava. It made reference to her vote to legalize same-sex marriage and a 2005 pledge to 'insure the rights of all women in New York State to control their own reproductive lives, including the right to safe, legal abortion.' All of which would be fine, presumably, with the Democratic Party. Someone has gone to the trouble of setting up a a web site encouraging party leaders to 'draft Dede.' Given some of her positions and strong ties to labor--her husband, Ron McDougall, is the president of the local Central Labor Council--it's not so far-fetched that she would run as a Democrat, particularly if Aubertine opts not to. (He's officially still weighing his options.) Scozzafava did not immediately return calls seeking comment."
And here is the second from a major national political news site called the National Journal.
The Journal reports in Don't Go Out Without Your DeDe? that, "While it's still very early in the process, the name that pops out of the large GOP field is Assemb. DeDe Scozzafava (R). Her legislative district lies completely within the boundaries of the CD, and she ran unopposed in '08 after trouncing a Dem opponent in '06. Still, she may have a few problems among the GOP faithful. Scozzafava's a moderate that voted for the recent gay marriage bill that came through the legislature. In fact, she's one of the few GOPers in NY that's also been endorsed by the liberal Working Families Party (she earned their line in '08). Some Dems have even begun a campaign to draft [that is us and it is awesome they picked up on us somehow] her to run as a Dem. All of this would certainly help her grab moderate support, but it would also jeopardize the right flank, too. Do you think the Conservative Party would endorse her? If not, she'd face the likelihood of facing that party's candidate in the general as well."
By the way, kudos to McHugh for testing the waters on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." What an important item for the Obama Administration to get done this year. I know we should be able to get that done with bipartisan support in the Administration and with a Democratic Congress.
We thought those pieces were great, along with the news of McHugh's consideration on DADT. We look forward to more discussion about NY-23 online and in the print/TV/radio media. We want our friends and foes alike to know that this draft effort is really our honest intention to have a robust and open debate about the future of our district without the nuts in the right wing Conservative Party and the southern Republicans interfering too much. Rumor has it that they are trying to talk Dede into filing a lawsuit against our coalition if she is going to get their support (it's the kind of quid-pro-quo dealings that you normally see in Chicago not the North Country). We mean what ever happened to freedom of speech anyways? Maybe that can be a post for another blog on another day -- is the GOP trying to stifle and undermine free speech?
But we have to reiterate it again for those out there who don't understand, "We are still a free country that allows free speech so 'Thank Goodness for the Freedom of Speech.'" But honestly, who could ever try to deny such a fundamental thing in our great country? We know for one that DeDe would never try to stifle a fair, open, and honest debate. After all, she is going to be on our team. We look forward to your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter comments @draftdedeny. Thanks team and stay true to our worthy cause!