Archive (2010)

Actual News About Real Candidates

The Corning Leader has a story about Reed and Zeller's views of Iraq. Reed says the surge in Iraq was "successful", which is true if you look at Iraq with blinders on.


Thanks, commenters, for reminding me that Janice Volk's persecution continues:

Allegany County Tea Party write-in congressional candidate Janice Volk has been on the reieving end of some harrassment, since her campaign for Congress started up. "This race is getting nasty," Mrs. Volk said at last night's Tea Party get-together in Olean. "My grandbaby's asking me, 'Mama, what's a nig---? Because they're going by my house, calling me names."

Mrs. Volk also claims that she was run off the road while driving, and that gunshots were fired in the air near her, and that since she's been campaigning for Congress, members of her family have been harrassed as well.

On The Trail of the Elusive Zeller

Reader qka wrote to say that Matt Zeller was in Penn Yan with Andrew Cuomo on Thursday. The Finger Lakes Times mentions Zeller's name, but the Penn Yan Chronicle-Express story doesn't. Similarly, the Corning Leader's story on Cuomo's appearance in Hornell, which was also attended by Zeller, doesn't mention him.

This is a small example, but in general, Zeller just isn't getting any media coverage. The Massa media operation would crank out press releases almost daily, while the Zeller campaign has pushed out a couple in the whole month of August. I don't understand it.

For Volk, Second Time Not Charming

As commenter TDS and Sean Carroll at 13-WHAM have both noted, the Volk campaign again failed to gain the requisite number of signatures to make the ballot.

This means that Volk's last serious chance at election just went out the window, and the race in the 29th is between Matt Zeller and Tom Reed.

Ballot Updates

The Corning Leader reports that Tom Reed is back on the Independence Party line. Reed had been off while some petition signatures were challenged.

Sean Carroll has a 29th roundup that notes that today is Janice Volk's last day to file signatures for an independent line on the ballot. And he also reports that the Zeller campaign has been issuing almost no press releases.

Reed/Volk Dust-Up

Commenter "I Still Hate Politics" sent in this item from the Hornell Evening Tribune, which details the disagreement between Reed and Volk over Reed's purported role in getting Volk's petition signatures invalidated.

As for the Volk campaign claim that she'll run on a third party line, here's a little snippet from a Huffington Post story on New York's third party mess:

To survive and prosper, a third party in New York needs only one thing - a gubernatorial candidate that can draw at least 50,000 votes. Get that, and the party has an automatic right to dole out its ballot line for every other state and local election for the next four years.

I don't know if there's another way for a third party to get a New York ballot line, but the Tea Party certainly hasn't gotten 50,000 votes in the last gubernatorial election, so I don't know how Volk is going to do what she claims, which is to run on the Tea Party line this Fall.

Update: Via the comments, Volk is going to try to get an "Independent" line on the ballot, which takes 3,500 signatures. Mike Arcuri, the incumbent Democrat in NY-24, and Ernest Bell, a libertarian candidate in NY-24, are doing the same thing, according to this story, which says:

The independent lines Arcuri and Bell are seeking are not to be confused with the Independence Party line that Hanna currently holds. The Independence Party is an actual political party, and the independent lines would be separate lines not affiliated with the major parties.

Arcuri and Bell must obtain 3,500 signatures on their petitions by Aug. 17 in order to gain independent spots on the ballot. Hanna’s press secretary Renee Gamela would not say whether Hanna plans to seek an independent spot on the ballot.

So, Volk has until next Tuesday to gather roughly three times the number of valid signatures that she tried and failed to gather for the primary.

Two Observations

First: The Volk campaign is spinning out of control. The latest release, posted in the comments, says that she's going to circulate petitions for a "Tea Party Line" on the ballot. There are a whole bunch of rules about third parties in New York State. I'm not an expert, but I've never heard of someone making up a new party, petitioning, and getting on the ballot in one year. Volk's ship has sailed - she isn't going to be on any ballot. She can campaign all she wants, but the fact remains that write-in campaigns don't work, and her slim chances of beating Tom Reed became none as soon as she failed to submit the proper number of valid signatures on her Republican nomination petition.

Second: Don't mess with Matt Zeller's mom. On that point, I've always thought that the haters who post nasty comments that try to make people's strengths into weaknesses are probably mostly jealous that they were unable to achieve a fraction of what someone like Zeller has done in his short life. Whatever you think of his politics, he's an impressive individual who's served our country honorably.

Volk Is Out

The Hornell Tribune is reporting that 203 of Janice Volk's petition signatures are invalid, so she won't be on the primary ballot in September.

Volk Round-Up

In case you missed it in the last comments, here's here's some video of Janice Volk talking to what looks like the Elmira Star-Gazette editorial board.

And here's a press release from the Volk campaign that, like a lot of what comes from that group, is a little different from the norm:

I issued a press release a week ago that decried efforts to deny Janice Volk's right to be on the ballot and how the voters of Western New York were being disenfranchised by the Republican political machine.

I feared that I would be accused of implying racism or sexism so I included this line:

"We want to make one thing very clear. Janice nor the committee assume that the motivation for these actions are based on racism or sexism. It seems far more likely that the motivations involve a lust for power without the troublesome bother of being chosen by the voters."

The reason I feared this seemed obvious to me. Anyone who has seen the front page of a newspaper knows that Janice is a black woman. Condemning actions to deny the political rights of a black woman could lead some to make assumptions of racism or sexism. I didn't want that to happen so I tried my best to address it. If I didn't include the line I would be answering questions as to why I left people to make that assumption, not why I put it in.

Apparently, there is no avoiding this. So:

Janice is the first woman, and the first black candidate to represent the NY 29th in the U.S. House of Representatives. I believe she should take pride in that. The Republican Party was born in Allegany NY in 1854 for the sole purpose of repealing Democratic legislation that would have allowed slavery to expand into the West. Western NY has a long history of being fair on these issues. Janice experienced 'in your face' racism while collecting petition signatures door to door. Racism certainly exists in Western New York, but it's been one in a thousand. She takes it in stride and would far rather have me focus on the thousands of people who have supported her than some lone bitter racist.

Janice is a fiscal conservative and Tea Party groups have embraced and supported her. She was livid when the NAACP accused the Tea Party of racism.

For the record, I did not intend to 'play the race card'. And, to the NAACP: no, Janice Volk and her supporters are not racist.

Terry L. Cary
Campaign Manager, Janice for Congress