New York is poised to have its first single-party government in nearly fifty years. All the statewide jobs seem to be securely locked down for the Democrats, who hold double digit leads in the governor's race, the Senate seat, attorney general, and for comptroller.
It's this last race (which I commented on earlier) that is the focus of the GOP desperation.
Alan Hevesi holds a 13 percent lead over challenger Christopher Callaghan, who by all accounts shouldn't even be in this race, but for the fact the GOP had to throw a warm body into it.
That lead had been as large as 26 points, and Hevesi holds a geometric advantage in funds left to campaign with (several million versus, ummmmm, $66,000 for Callaghan...yup. You read that correctly!). And yet....:
GOP lawyers lending help to CallaghanHuh? These guys could be dispatched to Tennessee, or Ohio, or Missouri, and possibly give the national party a leg up in keeping control of one if not both houses of congress...but????
BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR.
Newsday Albany Bureau Chief
October 30, 2006
ALBANY -- Some of the New York lawyers that the national GOP dispatched to Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 to battle voter fraud plan to help Republican J. Christopher Callaghan in his race against scandal-ridden Comptroller Alan Hevesi.
The New York chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association has asked its members to stay in New York to help Callaghan, the former Saratoga County treasurer, instead of working on hard-fought races in other states.
"The Republican Party nationally has identified Chris Callaghan's race as a winner," said Grant Lally, a Mineola lawyer who is chair of the state chapter. "We're putting as many resources as possible into helping him."The question has to be asked: What the fuck?
The group plans to monitor "ballot integrity" and also assist with voter turnout by placing "boots on the ground," Lally said, adding, "This is the A-Team of American political teams."
Earlier Monday, Gov. George Pataki issued his harshest indictment of Hevesi yet, saying his ethical woes had made it clear he was unfit to continue serving as the state's top fiscal watchdog.Of course, George "In Al D'Amato's Pocket" Pataki is hardly the shining and pure bastion of ethics to make this determination. Nevermind that since announcing his decision not to run again for governor this year, he has done zero for the state (even skipping the annual budget negotiations, which not surprisingly resulted in the first on-time budget in recent memory!), so little in fact that Bill Clinton yesterday called Hillary the "de facto" governor, since she's been campaigning hard upstate and solving local problems in the vacuum.
"The Ethics Commission's findings, as well as his own running mate Eliot Spitzer's comments, make it plain in my view that he is not capable of doing that job," Pataki told reporters in Albany.
Nevermind that the economic boom he promised with his tax cuts has turned more bust than boom (and even failed to deliver on the promises of a major tax cut, even for the wealthy, despite a budget surplus).
Nevermind that Pataki has attempted to tax Indian casinos, which while not a bad idea, runs counter to the constitutions of both the United States and New York.
How about the simple fact that he refuses to fully fund public education in those places that require it the most, the inner cities....despite a court order demanding he do so immediately?
He's screwing children to the tune of billions, yet he can find fault with a guy who only wanted to have his sick wife driven around to the tune of a few thousands of dollars? That he partially reimbursed and likely will make good on in the end?
But I digress. How desperate is it when the GOP has to fully implement their panic strategy (remember, these were the front line guys in the Florida vote battle in 2000) in order to shore up a minor statewide race in a decidely blue, liberal state that will only get bluer after next Tuesday?
I think this is going to be worse for the GOP than even the most fervent Democrat could hope for.
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky