By Nancy K. Matthis | Monday, November 2nd, 2009 at 11:58 am
The election in NY-23rd is about third party power, and professional politicians are trying to suppress that fact. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats want the public to realize this, for obvious reasons. The media are complicit with establishment insiders, so they are not saying anything. And the bloggers, bless them, who would ordinarily be the purveyors of truth, don’t have the length and depth of political experience to understand what is going on. It requires an understanding of the legal mechanics of candidate selection and a long memory…
Let us be perfectly clear about the situation in New York’s 23rd Congressional District special election. Three distinct political parties with legal status in New York put up viable candidates:
- The Republican Party nominated New York State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava in a smoke-filled room deal.
- The Democratic Party nominated community activist and 30-year practicing lawyer Bill Owens.
- The Conservative Party nominated community leader, business entrepreneur, and Certified Public Accountant Doug Hoffman.
The fresh-faced Hoffman, reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, has the most appeal with voters in the district weary of government excess (almost an art form in the state of New York), and has pulled ahead in the polls. The Conservative Party selected the most likable candidate and has the best message, and so they are ahead. It is as simple as that. It is a reprise of the election of US Senator James Buckley on the Conservative line in 1970, when he proved more popular than both the Republican and Democratic candidates.
There is nothing sacred about the Republican and Democratic parties. Political party organizations are not provided for in the Constitution of the United States. They are merely incorporated entities that provide for pooling money and manpower to support candidates for public office. They have acquired the veneer of “official” status by being around for a long time, but they are no more “official” than any newly minted party, which can be formed under state election law by meeting certain requirements.
For example, to put a name on the ballot in New York State requires the signatures of five percent of the registered voters in the juridiction. As of April 1, 2009, there were 15,339 registered voters in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. So volunteers had to collect valid signatures from at least 767 registered voters on “designating petitions” for Doug Hoffman to run for Congress.
Do you understand how feasible that is? Twenty people collecting 10 signatures per night for one week can collect 1400 signatures. That is easily done by going door to door in your neighborhood. Or you can just stand outside the local grocery store and collect signatures from shoppers as they enter. The totals rack up quickly. It is no more difficult than, say, selling Girl Scout cookies. And your kids can do that.
One advantage that the two so-called “major” political parties have is that they retain a cadre of volunteers trained in the collection of signatures, which have to meet certain book-keeping requirements. For instance, the person has to sign the petition in exactly the same way that his or her name appears on the voter registration. So you need to have that information before you start your rounds, but that information is a matter of public record, and the state cannot deny you access to it. The other advantage of the “major” parties is that they have established fund-raising channels. And as we see in NY-23rd, that isn’t doing them a lot of good in the face of an outraged populace.
On Thursday, February 19 of this year, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli called for a “Chicago Tea Party” while reporting from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. Within two short months, powered only by bloggers, a national “tea party” movement had organized across the country to hold rallies on tax day, April 15. Along about the 4th of July, another round of tea parties erupted across America, and sentiment grew for a march on Washington. A little over two months after that, one of the largest grass-roots crowds ever seen in the District of Columbia marched on the Capitol.
What if, instead of attending rallies, or marching on Washington, these aroused patriots had been carrying designating petitions? The whole political landscape of America could be changed within one year! And that is the 900 pound gorilla in the political closet that the Republicans and Democrats do not want you to know about or think about. It scares them witless.
All the talking heads and political hacks are painting the congressional race in NY-23rd as a rift in the Republican ranks. It is not. It is a third party candidate proving that the Republicans and Democrats can be made irrelevant in the face of tea party power. It is proving this in the full glare of the national spotlight. And the only way that the entrenched politicians can save their own bacon is by spinning the story to distract the public from the obvious truth. All the king-makers’ horses and all the king-makers’ men cannot defeat an honest tea party patriot once ordinary Americans wake up.
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.
Comments: 13 Comments »»|
Send a link: Tell a friend about this.
Link to this post: Permalink
Send us your link: Trackback link
Filed under: Politics|
Tags: 1970, 23rd Congressional District, ballot, Bill Owens, Conservative, Dede Scozzafava, Democrat, designating petitions, Doug Hoffman, Inside Politics, James Buckley, James Stewart, Jim Buckley, Jimmy Stewart, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, New York, New York State, NY-23rd, Politics, registered voters, Republican, tea party