Posts containing facts about the race in the 29th.

Koon Out

Assemblyman David Koon has just announced that he's withdrawing from consideration for the Democratic nomination.

Wilmot Out

Sean Carroll, who appears to be the only reporter taking the 29th race seriously at the moment, reports that Mary Wilmot is out of the Democratic race.

No Special (?!)

Sean Carroll is wondering if there will be no special election in the 29th.

Sean's basing that speculation on a change in tune by the Governor's office. Paterson's old position was that he'd call a special soon. It's all about the money and disenfranchising military voters now.

The bottom line is that the governor should have called the election a week ago, we'd have had it in early May, seated someone by the end of May, and that would be that. Every day that passes gets us closer to the huge August/September work campaign period.

To paraphrase the Boss: there's just no way that a Savior is going to rise from these streets to save the Democrats' bacon. They should just roll down the windows, let the wind blow back their hair, and get this thing over with.

Update: Here's Sean's follow-up, which includes Tom Reed's press release. Shorter Sean: all the excuses are bullshit and the Democrats have nobody. I agree.

MPN Editorial

Reader Joe sends this Messenger-Post editorial about the lack of primaries in the 29th.

The special election is, well, special, but I have a general suggestion not mentioned in the editorial: move the primaries back. Congressional elections require a huge commitment of money and effort from the respective parties. There's not enough time between the primary (September 14 this year) and the general (November 2) for parties to mount that effort on behalf of the candidate chosen by voters. That's one of the reasons that party committees put huge pressure on the process to avoid primaries.

There are other reasons, so this isn't a cure-all, but it might help.

Interviews Begin

The D&C is reporting that Democrats are beginning the interview process for their candidate in the 29th:

Those interviewed include Mary Wilmot, an aide to Gov. David Paterson, Assemblyman David Koon of Perinton, past candidate for state Senate and businessman David Nachbar of Pittsford, Southern Tier native Matthew Zeller and Michael McCormick of Allegany County, according to Monroe County Democratic Committee Chairman Joseph Morelle.

Zeller and McCormick are the new names on the list. Nachbar's name hadn't been officially mentioned, but he's a likely candidate since he was considering a primary run for the seat in the last cycle.

He (or She) Who Must Not Be Named

I guess Lord Voldemort will be the next Democratic candidate for the 29th seat, according to State Chair June O'Neill:

"We've decided we're not going to talk about individual candidates by name," said June O'Neill, the state party's executive committee chair.

O'Neill would only say that the individuals included males and females, both elected officials and private citizens, and that some live outside the district but all have ties to the district. She added that the party is casting "a very broad net" and candidates are still emerging.

Steuben Glass

In the comments on the previous post, Elmer pointed out this story about the formal stemware contract the State Department gave to a foreign bidder.

This is an example of the kind of thing that the local Congressman would be all over, if we had one.

Reed On Healthcare Reform

Reader Elmer sends a link from the Corning Leader with Tom Reed's reaction to the passage of the healthcare reform bill. It's a pretty generic statement, with no specifics.

Current Republican rhetoric is skewing towards full repeal of the bill. That won't happen. There's never been a major entitlement repealed, and it will be impossible to overturn an Obama veto until possibly 2012, since it will be impossible for Republicans to win a veto-proof majority in the Senate in 2010.

So, when Tom Reed talks about replacing the bill with smaller measures, he's talking about something that will not happen in the next three years, and will probably never happen. If this bill is like other entitlements, such as Medicare and Social Security, the best that can be done is changes to the existing bill. After more than a year of predicting an apocalypse, the Republicans need to step up with a practical plan of changes that deal with the reality of the bill that the President just signed, not some fantasy world where the bill is replaced wholesale.

Death Threats

13-WHAM reports that Louise Slaughter received a death threat, aimed at children of lawmakers who vote yes, during the healthcare reform debate. Also, bricks that broke her office windows in Niagara Falls, and Democratic headquarters in Rochester, were apparently thrown by people inspired by a blogger who lives in Alabama.

When you use words like "tyranny" when describing a majority vote of both branches of Congress, and whip people into a frenzy about the death of Grandma, some of this is bound to happen. It's ugly and I'm sad to see it happen in New York, where both political parties are generally reasonable and we pride ourselves on being able to disagree without being disagreeable.

Slow Play

Sean Carroll has an update on the Democrats' efforts to find a challenger for Tom Reed. He hears that Democrats are slow playing the search while they wait for the Governor to declare the seat vacant.

I understand the reason that Democrats are using this strategy, but obviously it would be best for the 29th if Paterson would just declare the seat vacant and hold the election. Barring a miracle, this seat is going to be Tom Reed's for the next 2 1/2 years.

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