Since the 29th District will soon be re-districted out of existence, I'm making official what's been obvious for a long time - this site is now closed. I've set it up so that all the content is still reachable and searchable, and I'll continue hosting it for as long as it makes sense, but there will be no new content posted. Comments are turned off because they're just spam-catchers as this point.
Thanks to everyone who contributed over the years and perhaps we'll meet someplace else on the Internet.
Chris Lee, the Republican in NY-26 who was probably going to duke it out with Tom Reed after redistricting, just got caught with his shirt off. I assume Lee, who is married, will be damaged by this scandal, leaving Reed to inherit a safe Republican district in Western New York.
I wonder if there's even been a politician who has benefited more from the peccadilloes of others.
Update: Rachel Barnhart is reporting that Chris Lee has resigned.
Frankly, I'm surprised and disgusted. I understand that he had no political future once this story broke, but couldn't he at least have served out his term instead of leaving his constituents without representation for months? Unlike Massa, there are no allegations that he harassed his staff.
It's been a slow couple of months in the 29th. The big news is that the 29th will be no more after the next redistricting - New York is losing two seats in the House.
In other news, Sean Carroll tells me that he'll have an extensive interview with Tom Reed and his wife, about Reed's health, on tonight's 5 and 6 o'clock newscasts on Rochester's 13-WHAM.
Happy New Year to all of you.
The Corning Leader reports that Tom Reed will be discharged from the hospital and sworn in today.
Congressman-elect Tom Reed was hospitalized last night for blood clotting in his lungs. He's expected to be released in a couple of days.
Update: Sean Carroll confirms that it's a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) probably caused by a clot thrown from his leg. This is a common malady for people who have been sitting on planes or in cars for long periods of time. It does strike young people. For example, David Bloom, a NBC News reporter, died of a PE at age 39 earlier this decade.
I don't think it's a big mystery why Reed lost his hometown of Corning. Before Massa melted down, Reed made a simple calculation that the only way to win the election was to be pretty far to the right of Massa, especially since the possibility of a Tea Party spoiler was a real one (as Janice Volk showed). One of the tenets of the Tea Party is that stimulus money is bad and should be refused by politicians. So, even though Reed had supported Corning's request for $210K in stimulus money to buy some new buses, he switched positions and opposed those buses as soon as he declared his candidacy for Congress.
Being for something one day and then changing one's position when it's politically convenient is bad enough, but doing it in a way that harms the people you represent is even worse, and Reed committed that political sin in order to advance his career. The fact that Reed took what could pretty fairly be considered "stimulus money" to remodel the Bath Masonic Temple made it even worse.
Tom Reed's 56-44 win in the general election is a pretty decent showing by Matt Zeller, who only had a few months to fundraise and campaign. It's interesting that there was around a 10,000 vote undervote in the special versus the general, indicating some confusion on the part of voters.
I got a call from the Zeller campaign around noon today asking me if I was going to vote. I've gotten a few calls from Democrats this year, so the Democratic GOTV operation is working.
I voted around 6:30 in Pittsford and the poll workers said that they'd been pretty busy all day. They estimated that turnout was already 50%. That's good news for Zeller - he needs to obliterate Reed in Monroe County to have a chance to win this race.
If tomorrow is the first time you've voted since the last election, you'll be voting for the first time on paper ballots. Here's a video about the new voting system. I used it in the primary and it's easy - you simply fill in a bubble next to the candidate's name with a marker.
Here's a gadget from Google that helps you find your polling place:
Chris Rackl from the Zeller campaign sends a correction to the previous post about voting twice. Apparently, the Leader story wasn't quite right about the columns on which the 29th contest will occur. Here's the scoop:
In Chemung, Monroe and Schuyler Counties, the contests will be in Columns 9 & 10
In Ontario, Steuben, and Yates Counties, the contests will be in Columns 10 & 11
In Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, the contests will be in Columns 14 & 15