Tag Archives: Charlie Crist

Scozzafava: Does Palin Even Know Who She’s Endorsing?

It’s a Grand Old Purging as moderate’s ouster spotlights Republican dysfunction

Since the GOP nominee dropped out of the race in New York's 23rd Congressional District amid pressure from conservative leaders, Dede Scozzafava has been swept into the national political conversation.

Since the GOP nominee dropped out of the race in New York's 23rd Congressional District amid pressure from conservative leaders, Dede Scozzafava has been swept into the national political conversation.

Gouverneur, N.Y. — Over Halloween weekend, Dede Scozzafava morphed from a rosy-cheeked Republican mom to a political figure of speech.

“My name’s a verb now,” she said.

A little-known state assemblywoman with moderate Republican views and a mouthful of a surname, Scozzafava’s bid for an open seat in New York’s 23rd Congressional District drew trash talk from conservative leaders hoping to purge her from the party, mash notes from White House-dispatched Democratic suitors that included Bill Clinton, and the unblinking gaze of political professionals fascinated by her role as the problem child for a dysfunctional Republican Party.

Even as she now hopes to return to her normal life of local politics, laundry and choir practice for next month’s big performance of Bach’s Christmas Cantatas, the political forces that swept her up have not entirely let her go. Last week, while watching a news show about the next sharply contested Senate Republican primary in Florida, her parents reported that one of the commentators asked whether the moderate was in peril of getting “Scozzafaved.”

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How Sarah Palin and Tea Partiers are blowing up the GOP (Videos)

Wingnuts of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but election … after election … after election.

That’s the lesson from the far right’s stinging defeat in yet another Republican congressional district this week. Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman harangued GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava into dropping out – hailed as a huge victory for Real Republicans – and then the clueless teabagger-cum-carpetbagger went on to lose the upstate New York seat to a little-known Democrat.

Brilliant strategy.

But it’s one we’ve seen from Republicans over and over again, thanks to the shadowy anti-tax group Club for Growth. Its first scalp was right here in Michigan – moderate former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), who was ousted by preacher Tim Walberg in the 2006 primary.

For the extreme right, victory was sweet. And short-lived.

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The Battle of NY-23 and Sarah Palin’s Purity Problem

Conservative supporters of Sarah Palin carrying protest signs.

Conservative supporters of Sarah Palin carrying protest signs.

Once you whip up a mob, can you control it? That may be Sarah Palin‘s next problem.

Before the votes were counted Tuesday night, the former Republican vice presidential candidate was already something of a winner. Though her candidate in the special election for a House seat in upstate New York, Doug Hoffman, lost to Democrat Bill Owens — in an area that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the House since the 1800s — Palin, by intervening in the race, had established herself as a successful ideological power broker. At first, Hoffman was merely a third-party conservative candidate in New York’s 23rd congressional district. Yet when Palin backed him over the official Republican in the race, a moderate assemblywoman named Dede Scozzafava, she helped turn this contest into an intra-party clash, which ended with the right wing of her party chasing Scozzafava out of the contest and forcing the GOP establishment to swing behind Hoffman.

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BREAKING NEWS: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist Extends Florida Early Voting Hours; Some Republicans Upset (Videos)

Some Republicans think Crist has now cost McCain Florida…

In a somewhat big story, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has extended the early voting hours in Florida by an extra four hours a day, a move that Democrats were pushing for and Republicans were against. This decision will likely cause Obama to further expand his lead in Florida early voting, since the Republicans don’t seem to have have any large scale early voting GOTV program in place (they focused more on mail ballots).

At a hastily arranged news conference, Crist said the right to vote is sacred and that “many have fought and died for this right.” He said he consulted a leading Democratic legislator, Rep. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, before issuing his order, and that Gelber knew of a similar order issued by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 that dealt with helping voters deal with new equipment.

As to the perception that more early voting helps Democrats, Crist said: “This is not a political decision. This is a people decision.”

One well connected Florida Republican had this to say about the decision, probably overreaching a bit.

“He just blew Florida for John McCain.”

So why does this help Obama and hurt McCain? Here’s a simple explanation of it. Obama’s base tends to be in big cities and urban areas. Voting locations in big cities tend to have very long lines on election day because a single voting location serves thousands of people. This is why Obama has made such a push for early voting — he doesn’t want people to show up on election day, see long lines, and go home. McCain’s base is mostly in rural areas and suburbs. Voting locations in rural areas and suburbs tend to have no lines, because they only serve a few hundred people at most. Extending early voting hours allows the Obama camp to get more of these people in urban centers to the polls and thus reduce traffic on election day which in turn will cause shorter lines and further increase turnout.

Crist Extends Florida Early Voting Hours; Republicans Upset

Last week, all nine Democrats in the Florida congressional delegation wrote a letter urging him to expand early voting and to order all early voting sites to be open on Sunday.

Early balloting in Florida so far favors Democrats, while Republicans hold an advantage in absentee voting. Waits of up to four hours have been reported in precincts in heavily-Democratic Broward County.

And finally, this video from an earlier voter in Broward County, South Florida, who from start to finish, was able to vote today in just under 3 hours.