Blame Boehner if Corwin loses special election in NY-26

With the GOP holding a commanding 48-seat lead in the United States House of Representatives, one would think that a special election in upstate New York shouldn’t merit much attention. Unfortunately it does and should serve as a wake-up call for Republicans if they want to retain control of the House of Representatives in November 2012.

This special election in New York’s Republican-leaning 26th Congressional District started off as a purely local affair. The second-term incumbent, Christopher Lee (R), beat a hasty departure from office after the revelation of his Craigslist habits and publication of shirtless pictures of him, which were somewhat less tasteful than Congressman Aaron Schock’s recent exposure on the cover of Men’s Health.

Republican nominee Jane Corwin is mired in a three-way slugfest to replace Lee. The latest survey conducted by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (published May 9) gives Democrat Kathy Hochul a 35 percent to 31 percent lead over Corwin. Jack Davis, a former Democrat turned independent, is running on the Tea Party line and is polling at 24 percent.

Davis appears to be attracting voters who would be expected to support Corwin, but his presence in the race also appears to be siphoning votes from Hochul. Our take: even with Davis polling well, Corwin should still be winning (albeit by a small margin), not losing. As The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne observes, “[r]egistered Republicans substantially outnumber registered Democrats in the 26th,” and the now-departed Lee “won in 2010 with almost 74 percent of the vote.”

So how did things get so out of control in NY-26, particularly since this race wasn’t even on the radar of national Democrats until relatively recently? The Republican leadership in Washington deserves most, if not all, of the credit for this one.

As a fiscal conservative, Corwin has voiced support for House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s ambitious plan to address the federal government’s dire fiscal situation. Unfortunately for Corwin, Democrats have grossly distorted Ryan’s plan, particularly the approach to establishing Medicare’s long-term viability. Since a majority of registered voters in NY-26 happen to be 45 or older, these scare tactics are resonating.

It would be easy to blame Congressman Ryan for launching such a lightening rod. We disagree (with emphasis). Ryan should be applauded for taking a solid first pass at a problem that leaders in both parties have been ignoring for years.

Our disappointment is with Speaker John Boehner. The Ryan budget plan has been poorly messaged and sold to the American public, and that responsibility falls on Speaker Boehner. The lack of a well-coordinated offense has already left Republican congressmen open to attack at numerous town hall confrontations across the country. Instead of taking pot shots at the GOP presidential field, Boehner could better use his time worrying about how Republicans will keep control of the House next year. If Boehner and his team don’t quickly recognize that ideas matter but that it’s the messaging that wins elections, then 2012 could be a real bloodletting experience for Congressional Republicans.

Ford O’Connell and Steve Pearson are co-founders of CivicForumPAC and advisors to conservative candidates on Internet outreach, communications and campaign strategy.

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  • kingfish

    Not ONE PENNY of entitlements should be TOUCHED until a BIG AXE has been taken to Dept of Education, Energy, DHS, consolidating the intel agencies, the incompetent military and its incompetent contractors, and a MYRIAD of other USELESS government agencies and programs.

    ‘We’re deeply disappointed … Boehner has been a surrenderist’

    The tea partiers take credit for upheaval in the 2010 congressional election, with “ENOUGH PARTY MEMBERS TO CONTROL THE VOTE RESULTS WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM DEMOCRATS”. But things have deteriorated since then, and the Tea Party has issued a warning to the GOP RINOs to start responding to what voters want…OR ELSE.

    Obama continues massive spending programs – a hundred billion dollars here, a hundred billion there, hundreds of billions for stimulus, hundreds of billions for Obamacare and on and on.

    “The GOP made a commitment for budget cuts of $100 billion right away – but then settled for just $20 billion – about 5 days worth of U.S. Borrowing. We’re deeply disappointed. Instead of a fighter for U.S. taxpayers, Speaker Boehner has been a surrenderist. He waves the white flag before the battle’s even joined,” said Tea Party leader William Temple.

    “Boehner and the Republicans are fiddling while Rome burns,” Temple said. “The $38 billion in 2011 cuts they claimed were ACTUALLY JUST $20 BILLION. Washington is piling 40 cents per dollar of federal spending, $4 billion per day, onto the National Debt and our children’s backs; yet these wimpy House RINOs refuse to hide President Obama’s Mastercard!”

    Democrat leaders are SOUNDING ALARMS about the Debt Ceiling and “DEFAULT” on payments, but several groups have analyzed the budget and confirmed the U.S. has more than enough money to make debt payments.

    THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY HAS THE “POWER” WITHOUT ANY DEMOCRATS to STOP the borrowing and spending, i.e., House GOP members alone – with no cooperation from the Senate or White House – could bring the borrowing to a HALT SIMPLY BY NOT VOTING TO RAISE THE DEBT CEILING. THE RESULT WOULD BE SIGNIFICANT SPENDING CUTS. Temple says, “Without the assent of House Republicans there is no chance for Democrats to continue business as usual or even implement programs such as Obamacare.”

    Temple said constituents should stalk GOP members of the House – especially these – with phone calls, emails and picketing at their district offices.
    John Boehner, OH (202)224-3129
    Eric Cantor, VA (202)224-3131
    Darrel Issa, CA (202)224-3134
    Austin Scott, GA (202)224-2131
    Mike Rogers, AL (202)224-3122
    Spencer Bachus, AL (202)224-3124
    Peter Roskam, IL (202)224-3132
    Robert Dold, IL (202)224-3133
    Hal Rogers, KY (202)224-3125
    Dave Camp, MI (202)224-3135
    Charlie Bass, NH (202)224-3121
    Steve Pearce, NM (202)224-3136
    Peter King, NY (202)224-3137
    Pat Tiberi, OH (202)224-3138
    Frank Lucas, OK (202)224-3126
    Frank Lankford, OK (202)224-3127
    Greg Walden, OR (202)224-3139
    Sam Johnson, TX (202)224-3128
    Paul Ryan, WI (202)224-3130
    Thomas Petri, WI (202)224-3140

  • gladius

    Something has to be done with Medicare and Medicade. I know that Physicans can’t make a living treating only MC patients and Medicade is a joke. It really is substandard ins. If private ins. pays $100 Medicare will pay $40 and Medicade will pay $10. It costs physicans money to treat patients and they have to hire personel to deal with the gov. just to be paid. I am self insured and pay a little less then $5,000 for my health insurance from Capitol Blue Cross. When I first heard of Ryan’s plan it sounded pretty good to me. Believe me you don’t want to deal with the gov. when it come to HC. There will be rationing when it comes to the general public.

  • Swen

    You’re very charitable to describe your feelings for John Boehner as “disappointment”. His latest, described elsewhere at The Daily Caller today, of negotiating a $2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling — an amount we’ll blow through in 14 months at current spending rates — with spending cuts of $2 trillion over 5-10 years, and calling these cuts “off-setting”? That gives me feelings of loathing bordering on nausea.

  • flips

    There is no way to spin Privatizing Medicare.

    The American people are against it and will vote against anyone who supports the Ryan plan.

    That’s why Boehner wisely dropped it like a hot potato.