Tom Reed's Toast Lands Butter Side Up Again

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.


Wow. You are one great webmaster, sir. And you're right about Mr. Reed. Did you spot this bit of press which Matt Zeller rec'd in the Corning paper a while ago? least he's staying viable, it seems. Thanks for this bulletin!

I was thinking about whether this would mean that NY Dems might try to mash up the 29th in such a way that Reed would have to face Hanna or Buerkle, but that would be staggeringly difficult. Between the southern tier and the area between Rochester and Buffalo, there's got to be at least one safe GOP district, or a 57/43 type semi-safe district at least. Plus, with the GOP in charge of the Senate and thus having a seat at the table, the Dems won't have carte blanche. In fact, it would make more sense for the Dems to try and create one dark-red district out of the 26th and 29th, something they might be able to get the GOP to agree to now that Lee might be out of the running.

Meanwhile, the shirtless pic et al. is going to be really tough to spin away from for Lee. The messages can easily enough be blamed on a hacker, but the pic...

Lee is toast - Fox News is reporting that he needs to talk to his wife before he comments.

Remarkable. And, like the Massa downfall, very very sad. Too bad the geography/media mix market isn't such that Zeller could make a credible and seemingly LOGICAL run for this seat. It would be quite a stretch!!!

I just checked Zeller's Facebook page---for first time since November. Impressively, he's kept it up to date, lambasting Mr. Reed now and again and ending with: "Is it 2012 yet?"

What a disapointment Chris Lee is! I knew him from his days at the U of R, we were fellow businessmen as well. I like most was very disapointed.

Zeller is just using a chapter form the Massa book, run once lose and just keep up getting your name out. He should consider running in the special election for the 26th (I am sure there will be one Gov Cuomo is not as dumb as Paterson was) . Even if he loses he continues to promote himself and work towards his goal of being a congressman.

At worst it looks like it got Rottenchester excited again.

The more I think about it, the more it makes (possible) sense that Zeller just might run in the presumed special election for this seat. He's demonstrated crossover appeal, has made a general and "applicable" case for Western NY economic recovery, and, if it looks as if the 29th could be pared with Lee's district anyway, why not benefit from the media exposure during the special---as a prelude to a spirited run in 2012 against Reed in a district which then might include much of the former Lee district? Or am I dreaming????

Based on Reed's performance so far .... we can only HOPE Zeller runs again .... whatever the configuration of the district.

By the way, Rottenchester ..... great title for the thread.

Rottenchester, it's good to have you back!!! And yes, why not a run from Zeller? Even if he's called a carpetbagger, his commitment to Western NY in general is sincere and, following redistricting, it very well could be that the current Lee district will be combined with Tom's! Hope the Dems don't blow the chance to make a possible winning investment in the special.

I think Zeller and Campini should run in the special. It would be a good match-up and like previous posters said, it may actually be their district by the time the gerrymandering is complete.

Just as a quick aside, it's now been several weeks since Chris Lee embarrassed himself and resigned, all in one day. You may be familiar with Monroe Rising, which is the wingnut blog that covers the Rochester area. For years, they've been dutiful regurgitators of Lee press releases and reliable supporters of the well-coiffed, yet sartorially challenged former Congressman.

I am a registered user at Monroe Rising, and have now submitted two benign comments to this article inquiring why they completely ignored the Lee scandal, never mentioned the Lee resignation, never wrote a solitary word about the fact that a portion of Monroe County finds itself unrepresented in Congress due to a sex scandal.

Cowardly bastards.

Thanks! I'll check 'em out!