Thursday, June 4, 2009




Several mainstream media pieces and local blogs hint at the idea that Democrats can win with a good candidate in NY-23. No kidding! They are ALL speculating that Senator Darrel Aubertine won't run for the seat due to pressure being put on him to stay in the Senate. However, that is the mainstream media talking. According to our inside information, Darrel wants to stay put in New York, not because Democrats will be able to maintain a majority in the State Senate, but because his family doesn't want him to be traveling constantly back and forth from Washington to Cape Vincent and back EVERY WEEK. Some interesting flavor is being put out by the GOP, too. Constantly downplaying their chances in NY-23, the Republican Party is in a real tizzy to say the least.

That is why it is even more important for us to work hard and get Dede on board with our team. If we are successful, and I think we can be, Democrats will be virtually unstoppable in taking this seat (and countless future local elections). It would be a major coup for the North Country, no doubt. 

Here are the stories for your review (pay close attention to the story-line being created and think NY-20):

The Albany Project Blog Reports on the anticompetitive play to make the GOP competitive in NY-23rd, a Congressional District at a Glance by Robert Harding: "Dede Scozzafava, Will Barclay and Janet Duprey, three Republican Assembly members who are seen as potential candidates for the 23rd Congressional District seat, are all more liberal than Democratic Sen. Darrel Aubertine on social issues. Aubertine would be the obvious Democratic candidate for Congress and is considering making the race, but his colleagues in the state Senate are trying to persuade him not to run for fear that if he does and wins, they'd lose the Senate seat and with it their majority. The Republicans, coincidentally, put out a new report today on how to make their party competitive again in New York state. I have an idea for them: Offer to cross-endorse Aubertine for the congressional seat. It's the principled thing to do as far as advancing conservative policies, and the GOP needs to reassure its conservative base; Aubertine would probably beat the Republican candidate anyway; and it puts the Senate in play, laying the groundwork there for a new Republican majority in 2010."  

Think Progress' Matthew Yglesias reports: "My guess is that the main political implications here relate to redistricting. Even if a Republican wins the seat, a cloutless freshperson is going to be a very likely candidate for getting screwed-over in a redistricting process that's likely to require New York to eliminate a congressional district."  

The BooMan Tribune writes: "[NY-23 is] effectively a New England seat. It's unclear if the Republicans will be able to win a special election there to fill this vacancy. McHugh has been winning the district with over sixty-percent of the vote, but Obama took 50.33% of the vote in the November election. [...] This move by Obama has to be driving the Republicans nuts."  

The Politico's Stealth War... Barack Obama sabotages Republicans by Charles Mahtesian: "Yet it’s also hard to find a choice better calibrated to meet the Obama administration’s political imperatives. All at once, Obama has selected a nominee who burnishes his bipartisan credentials, opened up a seat prime for Democratic pickup and drained the GOP reservoir of one of the few remaining Northeastern moderates. It’s an event that’s happening with enough frequency to suggest the presence of a design, a plan that not only sketches the outline of a reelection strategy but manages to drive a wedge into the opposition at the same time. Call it a Sherman’s March in reverse — an audacious attempt by Obama to burn down any lines of escape for Republicans from their one refuge of popularity, the deep South. Since taking office in January, Obama has made an effort to convert GOP moderates in nearly every region of the country, ranging from a former Midwestern congressman, Ray LaHood, who became transportation secretary, to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who was recently named ambassador to China.

Swing State Project's NY-23 Roundup states: "On the Democratic side, a lot of attention has been paid to Aubertine. If we had a 33 to 29 majority in the New York State Senate, it would be an easier decision. But with a 32 to 30 majority, the decision becomes a much more difficult one. Losing Aubertine could mean losing his seat, leading to a split in the Senate and a legislative nightmare... The enrollment figures for the district aren't too bad. The Republicans do have an enrollment edge over Democrats, but with the minor party lines and blanks, that edge can be erased... By comparison, NY-20 had a greater disparity between Democrats and Republicans, yet we still managed to win. If we can mobilize our base and get our voters out and find some supporters among the minor parties and blanks, we can win this. The Republicans will try to lower expectations, but on paper, they should win this race. However, if we do what we did in NY-20, we can win this. Having a solid candidate will only makes thing better for us and improve our chances in a special election."

You see the story-line. Now lets get Dede to announce as a Democrat. She is right on our issues and we will win with her. What a fresh breath of air she would be for our district in Washington.


We are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement to promote Dede as a viable Democratic contender for the New York 23rd. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and ideas to help.

One of the main things people have been asking is how we see the race unfolding and what arguments we can make to Dede Scozzafava to show her the reasoning in switching parties for the race when she could just as well run as a Republican and have a shot at the race. We know it is not an easy thing to do, but we know it is the right move for her and here is why. 

Consider this Democrats, with Dede Scozzafava WE ARE ALL WINNERS.

We are all winners on multiple levels with Dede Scozzafava running as a Democrat because:

1) We maintain the majority in the New York State Senate, allowing us to have key political control over the redistricting process in 2010 and majority control of the State Senate. This is crucial to get our judges and our agenda through the state legislature, and 2) we have a very, very real chance at winning the New York 23rd district and accomplishing tangible things for our region with Scozzafava, a Democratic Congress and Obama's Administration.

Now we have a few contentions that we would like to share on that point, and which we will be pushing out to our personal networks and through grassroots activity online in the coming days.  

First and foremost, Dede Scozzafava has an incredible record in the New York State Assembly that lines up with the National Democratic Party Platform.  That has already been outlined in our initial rollout, but there is more to her record that we will follow up on in the coming days.  From equal protection under the law for same-sex couples, to economic development and community service, health care, and empathy for seniors and the middle class, etc.  

Second, if Scozzfava were a Democrat in the US Congress she could do more for our district in working with the Obama Administration.  One of her key responses in asking why she is interested in the position is so that she could work on national security and foreign policy issues, which she is not able to address on the state level.  The Democratic Party welcomes and would benefit greatly from Scozzafava's voice on these matters. She could actually get things accomplished for the district and be able to work with the large majorities in Congress and in the Administration.

Third, running as a Republican is a risky proposition.  The field is large and the district is expansive. Scozzafava would likely have to compete for the GOP nomination with the likes of her well-known colleagues including: Assemblyman Will Barclay, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, Senator Elizabeth Little, Senator Joseph Griffo, and a handful of other influential names in the mix. That is some stiff competition considering Assemblyman Barclay was endorsed by Congressman John McHugh just last year for the special State Senate election.  Barclay also has the added advantage of having built a campaign team just months ago that he could quickly mobilize for this upcoming run.  

Finally, we would like to point out that a key left blog in the district has already picked up on the idea and it gained some favorable traction, proving again that Scozzafava would be welcomed in our party as a new female voice. You can find that article at Jefferson Leaning Left -

This could have incredible implications since Darrell Aubertine could keep his NYS Senate seat (thus securing Democratic control of the State Senate for redistricting purposes).  Our goal over the next several days and weeks is to build stronger alliances with both Republicans, Independents, and Democrats in order to gain a stronger consensus on this initiative. Please e-mail us at or follow our updates on our new twitter page @draftdedeny.  If you see Dede Scozzafava please ask her to consider this important decision.  The Democratic Party would welcome her and our coalition would see to it that she is elected as our next representative.