How to lose an election, Dede Scozzafava style

Returning to the Nov. 3 special House election in NY-23, (which I mentioned on Sunday) we find the embattled, moderate to liberal Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava demonstrating how to lose a race in a district your party has held for more than one hundred years. When a reporter shows up to ask you about your position on some uncomfortable topics, you can respond in a number of ways. You could just spill your guts honestly, attempt some spin, or even reply with a gruff, “No comment.” All of these are tried and true tactics of American politicians. One of the less well known and perhaps inadvisable strategies would be to…. call the police on the reporter.

Tonight, Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate for the November 3 special election in the 23rd congressional district, spoke to about 100 Republicans at the Lewis County GOP dinner at the Elks Lodge 1605. After a dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, Scozzafava fended off criticism that she wasn’t as conservative as third-party candidate Doug Hoffman and urged her supporters to vote for her in order to keep her Democratic opponent Bill Owens from serving as a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama’s agenda in Washington. It was a fairly typical evening–until the speech ended and someone with Scozzafava’s campaign called the police. On me.

This comes to us from Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack. And what were the “uncomfortable” questions of his which prompted Dede’s team to call in the long arm of the law?

I asked Assemblywoman Scozzafava if she supports card check. “Yes, yes I do,” she replied.

I nonetheless asked Scozzafava if her signing of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to vote to raise taxes means she would oppose any health care bill that raises taxes. “What kind of taxes?” she replied.

Assemblywoman, do you believe that the health-care bill should exclude coverage for abortion?” She didn’t reply. I asked her twice more. Silence.

That’s the kind of “grilling” that results in a call to the police? And this woman plans on moving in to the hot-house environment on the Hill? Congratulations, Democrats. I think you’re in line to grab yet another seat in the House. Yeesh. I still maintain that the local party officials have the right to select and push their own chosen candidate for the primaries, but it’s hard to imagine how they settled on this one.

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  • Debtx

    As John Cole at Balloon Juice says, “These morons spent the whole summer fighting for the right to pack heat at political events, and then are surprised that when you chase a politician screaming at them to their car, they might call the cops. I’m not surprised McCormack, who apparently was hired by the Weekly Standard to make Goldfarb look smart by comparison, wouldn’t understand that. But for the rest of us, we call that self-preservation and common sense.”

  • DaMav

    So the theory is that liberals are frightened by a journalist, confusing him with a law abiding American exercising their rights under the Second Amendment instead of the First.

  • Zzzzz

    According to Scozzafava's campaign people, the guy was unruly in the meeting, screaming questions, and then followed her to the car screaming at her. Any normal person would have assumed this guy was unhinged and probably a danger to himself or others. I would have called the cops, too.

    Of course, you are only reporting his side of the story, where he is presenting himself in the best light possible.

  • Tobias2012

    Scozzafava is nothing less than a radical liberal posing as a Republican! The police have now released a statement that the call made to them was uncalled for. How dare anyone question this hideous woman and her leftists ways. And the so-called Republicans that are supporting Scuzz should also be driven out of the GOP on a rail… looking at you Newt.

  • http://blogsearch.google.com tigerinexile

    See also the notoriously right-wing Associated Press's account:

    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?…

    In the audio recording of the reporter's questioning played for The Associated Press by McCormack, the reporter didn't raise his voice, but repeated his unanswered questions several times, including one about abortion.

    “I never screamed, I never yelled, I never shouted,” he said. “My voice was only loud enough so she could hear my questions.”

    Those darned tapes…

  • JimTreacher

    As John Cole at Balloon Juice says, “These morons spent the whole summer fighting for the right to pack heat at political events, and then are surprised that when you chase a politician screaming at them to their car, they might call the cops. I’m not surprised McCormack, who apparently was hired by the Weekly Standard to make Goldfarb look smart by comparison, wouldn’t understand that. But for the rest of us, we call that self-preservation and common sense.”

    John Cole's grasp of reality is as firm as ever. McCormack didn't scream at anybody, and he's got audio to prove it.

    Other than that, good point.

  • JimTreacher

    As John Cole at Balloon Juice says, “These morons spent the whole summer fighting for the right to pack heat at political events, and then are surprised that when you chase a politician screaming at them to their car, they might call the cops. I’m not surprised McCormack, who apparently was hired by the Weekly Standard to make Goldfarb look smart by comparison, wouldn’t understand that. But for the rest of us, we call that self-preservation and common sense.”

    John Cole's grasp of reality is as firm as ever. McCormack didn't scream at anybody, and he's got audio to prove it.

    Other than that, good point.