The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Scozzafava Republican Matt Doheny Seeks to Re-Elect Democrat Bill Owens in NY-23

Posted on | September 25, 2010 | 69 Comments

“For the first trimester, I believe in a woman’s right to choose.”
Matt Doheny, March 29, 2010

“I am pro-life. Period.”
Doug Hoffman, March 29, 2010

It’s Dede Scozzafava all over again in NY-23. Pro-abortion GOP candidate Matt Doheny spent $1 million of his own money to buy the nomination, squeaking out by 700 votes over Doug Hoffman in the Sept. 14 primary.

Conservative Party chairman Mike Long said all along that Hoffman would once again be their party’s candidate in NY-23. Long warned that Doheny was unacceptable for the Conservative endorsement. The chairman explained that, after the Republican establishment picked RINO Dede Scozzafava in 2009, the Conservatives had asked Doheny to run on their ticket, but he turned them down: “Matt Doheny failed at that defining moment.”

Chairman Long also noted that on Oct. 10, 2009 — after conservatives nationwide began rallying behind Hoffman — Doheny made the maximum $2,400 contribution to Scozzafava:

Doheny did more than max out to “Dede for Congress Inc.” On Oct. 29, after Hoffman had gotten the endorsements of Sarah Palin, Dick Armey and other national conservative leaders, Doheny donated $10,000 to the only major group still actively supporting Scozzafava, the New York Republican Federal Campaign Committee.

Two days later, Scozzafava pulled the plug on her campaign and endorsed Democrat Bill Owens.

Thus, Doheny gave $12,400 to beat Doug Hoffman in 2009 — which is $10,900 more than the total of all Doheny’s other contributions to Republicans ($1,500), as listed on the FEC Web site.

Many Republicans will argue that conservatives should ignore Doheny’s RINO record and support him anyway. They’ll make the same argument they made when they argued that conservatives should support Mike Castle: “But he can win!” 

Let ’em argue until they’re blue in the face. They’re wrong.

No pro-life group in the country would dare endorse Doheny. According to 2008 exit polls, 12% of New York voters are Catholics who attend Mass weekly. If even half of those faithful Catholic voters share Hoffman’s view — “I’m pro-life. Period.” — he’ll get more than enough votes to prevent the election of a pro-abortion Republican like Doheney.

Doug Hoffman had the guts to take on a tough fight. Doheny didn’t.

No guts, no glory. Doheny can’t win. Period.


UPDATE: In recognition of, and in response to, the complaints of loyal readers: IN DEFENSE OF DOUG HOFFMAN.


69 Responses to “Scozzafava Republican Matt Doheny Seeks to Re-Elect Democrat Bill Owens in NY-23”

  1. TR Sterling
    September 25th, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    What is this RSM decree that so and so bought the election. Just because YOU dont like his right-to-life-to-choose position? Politicians are spending their own money all the time (look at California or Mitt or many others). Hoffman should back off and realize that the good people of NY23 want to be bought and sold. (just like Murtha bought PA 12 for all those years). You cant have one rule for poor little douggie and another rule for the rest. Money talks in this world. Your rationale is weak tea.

  2. Estragon
    September 25th, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    It’s not rationale; it is rationalizing.

    When Murky or Castle lose the GOP primary, they are condemned for failing to endorse the winner, and the very idea they might mount a general election campaign on their own is a call to arms.

    If Hoffman hadn’t run and lost in the GOP primary, backing him would be one thing. One might argue principles in that case. But he ran and lost.

    But have you ever met a libertarian who wasn’t a complete hypocrite? I never have.

  3. Robert Stacy McCain
    September 25th, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

    If Hoffman hadn’t run and lost in the GOP primary, backing him would be one thing. One might argue principles in that case. But he ran and lost.

    I’ll probably update later with some examples of what Doheny spent his $1 million on — extraordinarily misleading attacks.

    Meanwhile, I refer you back to May: Mike Long and the Conservatives had already agreed with Hoffman that he would be their candidate for 2010. The only question was whether the Republicans would also choose Hoffman as their candidate. Doheny campaigned with one purpose: To ensure that the pro-life Hoffman would not get the GOP nomination. He succeeded in that goal, and the consequence is that the Republicans will not win NY-23 on Nov. 2.

  4. Paul Zummo
    September 25th, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

    Hoffman lost. The Republicans in the district voted for the other guy. You can whine about how the money was spent, but that’s too bad.

  5. Robert Stacy McCain
    September 25th, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

    @TR Sterling

    What is this RSM decree that so and so bought the election. Just because YOU dont like his right-to-life-to-choose position?

    I’m simply telling the facts: Republicans like Doheny have decided that the right-to-life position is a net negative for the GOP, which is why Doheny supported Scozzafava in 2009, and why Doheny decided to enter the GOP primary this year, seeking to ensure that the pro-life Hoffman did not get the GOP nomination.

    The problem is that this political calculus is bass-ackwards and obsolete. The pro-life position is now more popular than the pro-abortion position. Furthermore, by alienating pro-life independents, Republicans actually lose more votes than they would by standing firm on the life issue. Voters who are adamantly pro-choice almost never vote Republican and are thus only marginally “independent,” no matter what they tell pollsters, whereas there are many working-class Catholics who only vote Republican because of the life issue. Ergo, in a district like NY-23, the pro-abortion position is a net loser for Republicans.

  6. TR Sterling
    September 25th, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

    Hoffman to you is a girl that said yes call me but she is never available when later comes. Believe me, it’s over, man but I understand in a way your cheering-on his scorched earth policy. However, Doheny is going to succeed in his goal and Hoffman is just a pawn in the works.
    Back to reality, have you noticed that Tim Burns is giving a real chase to Critz? He is taking his 2nd chance and might change things. Stacy, you should give him a call since its a much more optimistic scenario than NY23.

  7. TR Sterling
    September 25th, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Granted the right -to-life is reasonable especially these days. I just meant that spending your own money on a campaign does not invalidate the candidate and it may be distasteful but its the way it tis miss.

  8. JC
    September 25th, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

    Both sides pulled no punches in the campaign.

    Hoffman explicitly made this argument on the campaign trail to anyone who would listen. He told voters that a guy in Brooklyn (Mike Long) and he had decided that he would be the Conservative nominee and that if GOP primary voters knew what was good for them, they should fall in line with Long and Hoffman. Unsurprisingly, a good number of GOP voters decided that they didn’t like being told what to do and who to vote for.

    At bottom, you neglect to mention that Hoffman himself pledged to support Dede after ahe was nominated in 2009. He knew full well that she was liberal but still pledged to support her. Only after the Conservative line became available did he change his mind. Now it’s certainly true that Doheny pledged money to support her, but some would say that Hoffman only proved that his word was worth less than $2200.

    Fact is that apart from abortion, little separates the two. Fact also is that the last long-term holder of the seat from the GOP (current Army Sec. John McHugh) was also pro-choice like Doheny. So, quoting NYS figures is interesting but clearly the issue was not dispositive In the District up until now.

  9. Moe Lane
    September 25th, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

    No. Hoffman had a chance to win my party’s primary; he failed. I would no more support a spoiler candidacy from him than I did those from Murkowski and Crist.

  10. Moe Lane
    September 25th, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

    And before anybody starts shrieking “True conservative! True conservative!,” remember: it was only because the NY GOP ignored the regular primary process in last year’s special election that a good number of people supported Hoffman in the first place. If you won’t respect my party’s valid, open, democratic (small d) primary decisions, STAY THE F*CK OUT OF MY PARTY’S PRIMARY PROCESS.

  11. AngelaTC
    September 25th, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    Estragon, if you’re insinuating that Hoffman is the libertarian-leaning candidate, my libertarian-leaning connections in that district are backing the Doheny.

    From what they tell me, Hoffman’s 3rd party run will again hand the Democrats that seat. Even a pro-choice conservative can be persuaded to challenge Roe-v-Wade in the name of state’s rights, but a Democrat never will.

    I’m sure Hoffman is a nice guy, but it’s too bad he can’t win elections.

    Sorry Stacy, but watching you roll this out on “National Denounce Lisa Murkowski Day” seems…odd.

  12. Joe
    September 25th, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

    I am calling bullshit on this. Either primaries matter or they do not. Doheny won the primary and I am sorry about that. I would have voted for Doug Hoffman. But if Hoffman runs he becomes the spoiler.

    You cannot have it both ways Stacy. If it is okay for Doug to do this, it is okay for Murkowski, Crist, etc. Because what do we get out of this, the likely result of the Owens keeping the seat. If you can show me Hoffman has a legitimate shot in a three way…maybe as a conservative tea party alternative. But if it is just going to split the conservative vote and allow a Democrat to win…why bother?

    Doug is a principalled guy, right? Hoffman should let Doehny win this one and take him on next time.

  13. Joe
    September 25th, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    Hoffman can turn this around by bowing out now, but pledging to run again in a year, promoting pro life issues. Then he spends the year getting ready to take Doheny. Doheny may be the complete douchenozzel you make him out to be Stacy (I will take your word on that). But unless Doheny’s winning is more damaging that giving the seat to Owens again (is that what you are saying Stacy?), then Hoffman’s running in the general make him the Scozzafava in this race.

    You are letting your loyalties to a good man (and I respect that) get in the way of rules and process. You can’t have it both ways.

    Now, I am not a slave to process over right. There are times that principle trumps the rules. This probably isn’t one of those times.

  14. Joe
    September 25th, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    BTW, I did not intend my position above to be a defense of the Republican Party. The Republican Party is nothing (in itself). It is merely the organization that is in opposition (unfortunately nominally) to the Democratic Party. Still, under rules in the House and Senate, we need a majority to control the agenda there. So we are stuck with the GOP for that.

    But if spliting the vote means a more liberal candidate gets elected, who helps shift control of the House to even more liberal members, then the right decision is to choke this one down, elect Doheny, and focus on replacing him in two years.

  15. dr kill
    September 25th, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

    What Joe and Moe said.

  16. Ben (The Tiger)
    September 25th, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

    Hoffman seems like a good guy, but a primary is a primary.

    He lost — time for him to get behind the winner, RINO squish or no.

    Suspect this seat’s staying blue for the same reason it went blue in the first place — the people want their pork.

  17. Adobe Walls
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

    If one is a Republican then they should support whoever wins the Republican primary, if one is a conservative then they should do all in their power to exterminate squishy RINOs,liberals,progressives, Social Democrats and of course the members of the current Bolshevik regime.
    RINOs and progressives amount to the same thing once elected, but it’s OK to treat progressives as the enemy after the election. I almost understand the argument for electing a moderate Republican Senator. The possible gains are slimmer and one seat more or less is very significant. The scary part of electing a RINO Senator is their six year terms. Either this year will be a massive wave election or not the arguments for supporting questionable Senate candidate do not apply for House races.

  18. Brian O'Connor
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    I gotta agree with Moe. Hoffman LOST, end of story.

    By moving forward with the Conservative Party, Hoffman joins likes of Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist and Lisa Murkowski (and possible Mike Castle) as losers who think that they are more important than the electoral process.

  19. proof
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

    Don’t you spell that “D’OHeny”?

  20. Robert Stacy McCain
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    He lost — time for him to get behind the winner, RINO squish or no.

    Ben, you (and many others) seem to misunderstand the situation, which I have tried to explain:

    1. Hoffman never would have been a candidate for Congress in 2009 had it not been for the Conservative Party.

    2. Ergo, when Mike Long asked Hoffman to be the Conservative candidate for 2010, basic loyalty required that Hoffman accept, an agreement that Hoffman cannot now honorably repudiate.

    3. In an effort to reunite the Republican and Conservative vote, Hoffman sought the GOP nomination for 2010. Doheny chose to oppose Hoffman, not vice-versa.

    4. Mike Long made clear in May — four months before the Republican primary — that (a) Doheny was unacceptable, and (b) Hoffman would be the Conservative nominee without regard to the outcome of the GOP primary.

    5. About 15,500 Republican primary voters allowed themselves to be persuaded by Doheny’s million-dollar campaign.

    As Rush Limbaugh said, the situation is what it is. Republican voters who failed to heed Mike Long’s warning in May, or who thought that Hoffman would renege on his agreement with the Conservative Party, are responsible for their actions.

    The intent of this post was to explain to conservatives in now what was going to happen in NY-23 (i.e., Doheny will lose) and why it was going to happen. After Nov. 2, there will be many voices raised to blame Doheny’s loss on Hoffman. This is not true, and I wanted to be the first to tell you so.

  21. Carl
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    On principle, you are wrong on this. Don’t forget, the rationale that was used to support Hoffman was that Scouzafava was SELECTED by the Party to run in the special – not elected by the Republican base in a primary. That is NOT the case here. Hoffman lost fair and square. I don’t care if he lost by one vote, or 10,000 votes, a loss is a loss – and we need to respect the will of the primary voters, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with the man’s principles. If you don’t like him, then stay at home and don’t vote or contribute – but don’t support a third party bid. And you can try and primary him in 2012.

    Having said that, there is one circumstance, and one circumstance only, that I would support Hoffman. And that is to use support for Hoffman as a bargaining chip to force the RNC, RNSC and RNCC to strip Murkowski of her committees in the Senate and to demolish Castle should he choose a write in campaign. I would suppot the Tea Party going to the RNC and tell them that if they don’t fully disown and denounce Murkowski and Castle in the next week, the Tea Party will support Hoffman’s campaign, even if that means electing a Democrat.

    Given that the Republicans look to take back the House by a wide margin, we can sacrifice this seat in order to send a very strong message to the GOP establishment that two can play at their game. There might be one or two other such House seats that the Tea Party can use as an object lesson to the GOP establishment if they don’t get fully behind Miller and O’Donnell. But that is the only circumstance under which I would support Hoffman’s third party bid.

  22. TR Sterling
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

    pretzel logic

  23. ak4mc
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    Hoffman’s a legitimate party nominee — just not a Republican nominee. If I lived in New York I’d probably vote the straight Conservative ticket a damn sight more often than the GOP ticket.

  24. Joe
    September 25th, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

    An unfortunate set of circumstances. But in a close primary the GOP electorate bought Doheny’s BS and now we have a three way spoiler fight. Ownes will likely win. Hoffman will be deemed the bad guy.

    And you can try to spin this, but in a fair primary fight Hoffman lost. And it undercuts criticism of Murkowski, Crist, etc.

    If you want to vote conservative, by all means. If Hoffman has a chance of actually winning it would be awesome. But the choice here is it is better to elect Owens than elect Doheny (for long term reasons). If that is the goal, you might as well say so.

  25. Randy Streu
    September 25th, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

    Sorry, RJM… dead wrong on this one. Though I disagree with both Doheny’s support of Scozzafava in the NY23 special election, and his belief in first-trimester abortion, this is absolutely the wrong play.

    For one thing, Doheny is AGAINST federal funding for abortion, and against partial-birth. Which, let’s face it, are the only two aspects of this issue likely to come up in the next several years. As for his squish position on first-trimester abortion — it’s a weak-ass position. I think anyone who’s intellectually honest can be dissuaded from this position with enough argument.

    For another, unlike the Scozzafava situation, Doheny was ELECTED to run by Republican voters — NOT selected by GOP wannabe elites.

    In choosing not to step aside, it is Hoffman, in this round, and NOT Doheny who is indeed the spoiler. It is Hoffman, and NOT Doheny, who is acting out of self-interest. It is Hoffman, and NOT Doheny, who is gift-wrapping this election for Bill Owens.

  26. JeffS
    September 25th, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    How nice of Doheny to sabotage Hoffman’s primary run. This is final proof that the NY GOP never heard of “ethics”.

  27. Adobe Walls
    September 25th, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

    What part of, it was a three party race to start with, is so elusive?

  28. Live Free Or Die
    September 25th, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

    Doug Hoffman gives pro-life voters in NY a person to vote for in the general election.

    In NH, 2nd district, I will have to write-in the 2nd place vote getter from the primary, because in a 4-way split of votes, ‘Never-met-an-abortion-he-didn’t-support’ Charlie Bass won. I’ll sleep well knowing my vote had no hand in the death of the pre-born.

  29. In Defense of Doug Hoffman : The Other McCain
    September 25th, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    […] 2010“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” – Exodus 20:16 (KJV)My previous post about the unfortunate situation in New York’s 23rd District seems to have been misunderstood. […]

  30. Robert Stacy McCain
    September 25th, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

    Hoping to conclude comments on this thread, I will say that when I asserted Matt Doheny couldn’t win in November, I did not offer all the evidence available in support of that conclusion.

    This is rather a bad habit of mine. When I know something to be true — as I know that Doheny can’t win — I don’t always bother explaining in complete detail exactly how I know what I know.

    What stuns me is how many of our readers have forgotten who Doug Hoffman is, and what he stands for. No one who has ever talked to Doug for a minute could think him to be dishonest or selfish. Even if you don’t think he’s the best candidate for Congress, you have to admit that he is trustworthy and humble.

    OK, so what do you call someone who would accuse Doug Hoffman of “lining his pockets” with “special interest money” like “a typical Washington politician”?

    You call such a man a liar.

    We can continue this discussion in the comments at the new post, if you wish. But when you finish reading that one, I think you’ll understand the Number One reason why Matt Doheny cannot be elected: That worthless son of a bitch lied about my friend Doug Hoffman. He has neither apologized nor retracted those lies, and it’s too late now.

    The Republicans might as well have nominated Charles Johnson.

  31. Mary Place
    September 26th, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    Mr. Hoffman:
    It is time to step aside and support the candidate elected by the people. You can run again next election cycle. We need to gain all the seats we can get now to thwart the terrible progressive agenda of the democrats.
    Please bow out now and support the nominated Republican candidate. Do not be a sore loser like Castle and Murkowski.
    Thank you.
    Please remove my name from yur e-mail list as I do not approve of what you are doing unless you take my suggestion.


  32. Kojocaro
    September 26th, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

    sore loser?

    honestly if doheny loses he needs to step aside or he’ll be the sore l—- Ahhhhhhhh never mind i think i violated the dohenybots first rule

  33. Sam Foster
    September 29th, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    Interesting…I certainly understand why this is such a hot topic, but the “Hoffman is in it for himself” meme never flies. Since when does any third party become anything more than a Hail-Mary? In it for himself would be to bargain with GOP for something in return for supporting Doheny.

  34. Madisonian
    September 30th, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    This triumvirate of MURK, SCOZZ and HOFF is really rare company, indeed, for a “conservative”! It’s like a 7 year old has lost a tee-ball game, and demands a do-over, on account of nothing more than petulance!

    What is the best term to apply to those who cannot bring themselves to graciously accept defeat? GINOs – Grown-ups In Name Only!

    If he has such contempt for the judgment of the people he seeks to represent, how can Hoffman claim to be remotely conservative? That cannot be what the Tea Parties have been founded to encourage. Such contempt for the voice of the voters is inimical to the entire grass roots uprising I’ve been witnessing and supporting.

    Spare us all the whining about the money spent against him. I didn’t hear O’Donnell cry about that, or Joe Miller, or Rubio, or Rand Paul, or Angle! They all won despite that.

    And your crystal ball is full of smog: If you think that Doheny would lose to Owens in a two-way race, especially in this climate, all because of the abortion issue, you are literally the worst prognosticator I’ve ever read.

    Now, admit to us with a straight face that, if you were not friends with Hoffman, you’d be calling for him to do exactly what the RINO Mike Castle has the “guts” to do – bow out!

    People who don’t respect the judgment of the people they desire to represent, are actually unfit for office. Put that into your supposed grass-roots tea, and sip it. Personalities and friendship first, huh? WOW, what reformation of the status quo!

  35. Madisonian
    September 30th, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

    And by the way, as a conservative independent who is INDEPENDENT OF ANY PARTY AT ALL, I do not care one fig leaf what Mike Long of the “Conservative Party” thinks, any more than I do what Mike Steele thinks!

    There are a lot of conservatives up here who are now just as angry at Hoffman as they are at Obama. Nice going! That would have seemed quite impossible a year ago. But you have managed to pull it off.

    Are you the “power broker in the smoke filled room”, like in the days of yore, who convinced Hoffman to keep going? STATUS QUO, DOUG! Status quo . . .