Saturday, December 03, 2005

More on NY GOP Woes

GOP is divided over early vote to pick gubernatorial candidate


Not so fast, Stephen Minarik.

That's what some Republicans are telling their party chairman. Don't make us vote on a slate of candidates Dec. 12 — 11 months before Election Day and almost six months before the Republican convention.

Some are saying it privately, in a don't-put-my-name-on-it way to reporters. Some are saying it publicly, like the Legislature's most powerful Republican, a congressman and one of the party's gubernatorial hopefuls.

Even some on their way out the political door ack-nowledge it.

"I would say there is a split," said Charles Nesbitt, who stepped down this week as Assembly Republican leader to take a job in the Pataki administration. "The county leaders I've talked to, some believe it is the right time, but some believe we should wait."

At issue is Minarik's wish to have the GOP settle on a gubernatorial candidate this month so it can begin to raise the tens of millions of dollars it will take to run the campaign.

The reason? Democratic frontrunner Eliot Spitzer is already way ahead of any potential Republican candidates in the polls and will likely have more than $10 million in his campaign chest by January.
While it's true Spitzer seems to be unstoppable (even if Pirro runs, which she has said she will not), it's premature for the NY GOP to foster a slate of candidates. Fundraising isn't likely to be that great this early on, especially given Bush's woes (most Republicans I've spoken to are frustrated by this administration, and clearly the November results speak to a party that is hanging by a thread in NY).

Again, this all sort of points up what I said earlier this week: Al D'Amato was a master of politics in this state, but those days are long gone, and if the GOP is wise (doubtfully), they'll drop the bullying tactics of D'Amato, Bruno, and Giuliani in favor of the more nuanced Republicanism of former Democrat, Mike Bloomberg.

Naturally, as a liberal Democrat, I pray they keep ignorance as their calling card.