Posts containing facts about the race in the 29th.

NRCC Robo Calls

The Rural Patriot reports on receiving two calls from the NRCC.  The subject of the first was immigration, and the second, taxes.  Patriot adds an analysis of the claims made in the calls.

As the election nears, more communication will be targeted, and more of it will be "under the radar" - in the form of calls and mailers.  Calls like this aren't very effective, but they're also pretty cheap, especially if they're robo-calls.


The "big story" this morning is the disruption (video) of a Kuhl press conference in Corning by a group of Massa supporters, who tried to get Massa signs in the background.  The event was scheduled by Kuhl to announce a grant for some improvements to downtown Corning.  Kuhl announced a similar grant Friday in Elmira. 

In the video, Kuhl complains about being thwarted "doing his job".  That's news to me:  I thought near-election press events pimping pork were "campaigning", not "doing your job". 

In other unimportant news, the latest Massa ad has been pulled by WETM, a TV station in Elmira, because it contained a shot of one of their reporters and their logo.  The Massa campaign called it an "honest mistake" and are re-cutting the ad without the shot.

Nobody's Getting Rich

Those who are considering voting in the 29th race can be sure of one thing:  neither Randy Kuhl nor Eric Massa are getting rich on this deal.   A recent Money magazine article detailing the Massa family finances shows that he's taking a major financial risk running for Congress.  (By the way, that article is full of interesting detail on Massa beside his finances, and is worth a read.)  Randy Kuhl's most recent financial filing [pdf] indicates that his twenty years in the state legislature have left him with a pension, a house, and a small condo in Florida.   Whether you agree or disagee with his positions on the issues, he certainly hasn't used his office to line his pockets.

Citizen Journalism

Area bloggers have been doing some original -- and interesting -- reporting on the race in the 29th.

Rochesterturning has two recent 29th-related reports. The first is an in-depth study of Randy Kuhl' s votes on Social Security. The second is a first-person account of Laura Bush's visit.

The Rural Patriot reports on Kuhl's assertion that he's being Google-bombed. I agree with the Patriot: bogus.

Porno for Pols

Elmira TV station WETM has produced a "truth squad" story featuring political expert Stephen Coleman, who teaches at Elmira College.  Coleman, who generally gives good quote, calls the Kuhl "Sniper" ad "political pornography" and "un-American".  The WETM piece, along with story by WROC in Rochester, carry the Kuhl campaign's claim that they aren't responsible for the ad, find it "inappropriate" and have asked the NRCC to pull it.

Today's Washington Post profiles media strategists for both parties, and says this about the Republican media buyer:

His own polls showed a growing number of House Republicans in serious trouble [...] [He] had little choice but to buy ads to protect suddenly at-risk Reps. Charles Bass (N.H.) and John R. "Randy" Kuhl Jr. (N.Y.).

The story also notes that the Republicans can turn around an ad in as little as 24 hours. One day in production sounds about right for the "Sniper" ad.

Laura's Visit

The Laura Bush visit is the top news item in the 29th's media outlets today. Many of the regions papers put it on their front page. There's newspaper coverage in Rochester, Corning, Canandaigua and Hornell, and the visit also made a big splash on Rochester Television.

Bush's appearance was 15 minutes long, and she highlighed the major accomplishments of the three Congressman (Kuhl, Tom Reynolds and Jim Walsh) for whom she was speaking. She said this about Kuhl:

In Washington, Congressman Kuhl works to make sure New York’s tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly … and he supports President Bush’s tax cuts.

Celebrity Watch and Other News

Laura Bush's visit to Greece, NY for a "victory rally" today has gotten some media attention, and will probably get Randy Kuhl more coverage today, though he'll have to share the spotlight with his colleagues Jim Walsh and Tom Reynolds. 

Reader Rich writes to mention that Eric Massa will hold a fundraiser with former first lady and current Senator Hillary Clinton Monday.   I don't think the Hillary event will garner the same attention as the Bush event, but it will probably help Massa maintain his money-raising pace.

Today's New York Times carries an article about the 29th.  I talked to the reporter on background for that one, and she reads this blog.  I thought it was a pretty good piece.

The 29th has moved down a couple of notches (from 33 to 35) in the National Journal House Rankings, though it is still one of "the closest contests in the country" according to analyst Chuck Todd.

Yesterday's News

Though the Massa campaign has been issuing press releases left and right on Kuhl's Social Security ad, the only media coverage I've seen so far is an article in the Corning Leader.  According to the Leader's headline writer, the barb market in the 29th has been active of late. 

Local bloggers have posted about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's addition of Eric Massa to the "Red to Blue List", a fundraising program for races that have turnover potential.  Whether that vote of support will have any meaning is up in the air, as Roll Call reports

At this late stage, however, Democratic sources acknowledged that inclusion on the list is not a guarantee the campaign committee will make independent expenditures, though it does mean these candidates will have access to the DCCC’s list of deep-pocketed donors.

News Roundup

The Messenger-Post, Canandaigua's daily, has a couple of good stories by Julie SherwoodYesterday's was the best "race overview" piece I've seen in the media to date. It also reports that the 29th is one of the races on the national watch list of an election officials group.  Earlier this week, she broke the news that Kuhl, under pressure from farmers, has modified his immigration stance to endorse a guest-worker program. 

In sharp contrast to Julie's quality reporting is this piece in the Hornell Evening Tribune.  It dredges up every cheap shot made by both candidates, and creates the impression that this has been a nasty campaign.  Part of being a good reporter is separating the signal from the noise, and this article is mainly static.

On the national front, conservative Robert Novak has rated the 29th "leaning Democratic takeover". 

Veterans for Kuhl

When Randy Kuhl announced the formation of a "Veterans for Kuhl" group, I ignored it, just as I ignore most press releases from both candidates.  However, when Roll Call ("The Newspaper of Capitol Hill") picks it up and treats it like news, I guess I need to point out the obvious. 

The press release begins with the claim that the group is a "non-partisan committee".  It ends with the contact phone number for the group, which happens to be Kuhl's campaign headquarters.  Res Ipsa Loquitur.

There's nothing wrong with the Kuhl campaign creating "Group X for Kuhl".  Campaigns do it all the time.  But there's no evidence that "Veterans for Kuhl" represents an independent groundswell of Vets for Kuhl, which would, indeed, be news.

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