Young Guns Should Make Sure They Don't Shoot Their Feet

Tom Reed is touting the fact that he's now one of the 39 "Young Guns" who the National Republican Congressional Committee say will help unseat Nancy Pelosi. Since he got the "Young Gun" designation, Reed's been tweeting that Pelosi Must Go.

I've long held that the whole Pelosi fixation is just meat for the base, that people don't really care about her. But within the last few days, there's another reason why running against Pelosi isn't the smartest strategy on record: Joe Barton. If Republicans do take over the House, Barton, the man who apologized to BP, will be the head of the House committee in charge of oversight of all energy-related legislation.

Advice and Consent

Reader Vincent sent a Zeller fundraising letter that leverages this tweet from Tom Reed:

Of course, if you're upset that residents of NY-29 won't have a vote in the Kagan confirmation, you need to take that up with the founders, who gave that power to the Senate. Unless the $30 you give to the Reed campaign is going to finance some kind of resurrection, or a Constitutional convention, I don't think you're going to get much bang for your buck.

Zeller and Volk Notes

A reader sent in a report from a Zeller reception yesterday at Bully Hill Winery. It's a mixed report. He was impressed by Zeller, calling him "young", "ambitious" and a "nice guy". The overall impression was that he's "[v]ague, non-committal and busy learning".

Zeller's campaign manager thought that the Reed Pittsford office, which just opened, is a waste of money. Overall, my correspondent says that Zeller needs to "get an act together by Labor Day".

On the Volk front, Reed press man Tim Kolpien responded to a number of criticisms made by supporters of Janice Volk on the local Glenn Beck/Teabagger forum, "We Surround Rochester". Kolpien's response is more detailed than the short back-and-forth in yesterday's Star-Gazette coverage.

As part of his response, Kolpien points out that Reed is the candidate in the special election this Fall no matter what. Volk, Campini and Reed are battling for the Republican nomination for the Fall general election. If either of those candidates beat Reed, Reed would still be on the ballot in the special, and he might also run on the Conservative and Independence lines, depending on who those parties nominate for the general. This is similar to the mess that's developing in NY-23, where Doug Hoffman has a challenger in the Republican primary who's on the Independence party line. If Hoffman wins the Republican primary, the conservative vote will be split yet again in that district.


About a half hour ago (1:41 local time), I felt an earthquake here in Rochester. Apparently, it as a magnitude 5.5 quake centered a little north of Ottawa, Ontario. If you felt it, too, you can follow that link and report it.

(I know, nothing to do with the 29th District, but still interesting.)

Nothing Happening

A couple of people have written to ask if this blog is still alive. It is, but that's more than I can say for the race at this moment. As far as I can tell:

  • Matt Zeller is not having weekly media calls, and he also isn't issuing regular press releases. His new site is up, and he's attending fundraisers and house parties. Zeller's job right now is to raise money and get acquainted with the base.
  • Tom Reed is still having weekly media calls, and he's issuing some press releases. Both of those efforts are getting a little bit of press. Reed's job right now is to raise money and keep from saying or doing anything dumb.
  • Reed's primary challengers are either out circulating them, or trying to find the money for paid petition circulators. When they actually make it on the ballot, that will be time to talk seriously about their chances.

In other words, this is the part of the cycle where candidates aren't doing much that's visible. I'd like to see more media from the Zeller campaign, but other than that, I don't have anything more to add.

The Special Happens in November

Sean Carroll just sent the text of the court ruling saying that Governor Paterson was within his rights to hold the special on November 2. I assume there will be appeals, but it's a setback for Republicans in general and Tom Reed in particular.

Wishing Doesn't Make It So

Reader Joe, who also is a volunteer for Janice Volk's campaign, sends this open letter [pdf] from Janice. It's a pretty typical new candidate piece -- short on specifics and long on generalities.

The big question, money, gets answered at the end:

Please consider joining my campaign as a volunteer, I am not comfortable asking for your money during these difficult economic times, but I will ask for your help.

Running for Congress is not like running for dogcatcher. You can't just put a couple of hundred bucks out of your pocket, print up a few yard signs, and knock on some doors. If Janice Volk isn't willing to ask for money, she's not a serious candidate.

Another Republican in the Race

Reader Joe sends news that Janice Volk, a resident of Cuba, will be Tom Reed's second primary challenger this year. Janice's website doesn't have much information at the moment, but it says that there's more to come.

Tell It To The Judge

The Corning Leader reports that the fate of the 29th special election is now in the hands of a federal judge.

Massa Esquire Profile

I'd be remiss if I didn't post a link to this Esquire profile of Eric Massa. It's full of equal parts sadness and crazy talk, and unfortunately it looks like Massa is thinking about writing a book about his whole experience.

My take is that nobody will be interested in a book full of fanciful conspiracy theories and implausible denials. If Massa decides to be honest about his personal struggle, perhaps that book will attract some readers.

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