Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Special Election Mania or The Super Bowl of Politics

Faces in the News(Newsday SpinCycle)

"While we're on the topic, we had a photo in the paper the other day of a bearded Legis. Craig Johnson and were urged to update ourselves. So here is a 'clean-to-face-Maureen' version of the lawmaker (a la 'Get-Clean-For-Gene' if you are of that generation).
At Tuesday's press conference Johnson said he shaved the beard for the new year at his wife's request.
And if you wish to offer a caption, please keep it classy. (Of course that's Nassau Democratic leader Jay Jacobs over the candidate's left shoulder)."

It seems this special election to replace Balboni is starting to turn into a 3 ring political circus........let's start with the war of political consultants........
Consultants Line Up In Battle For Balboni Seat(Newsday SpinCycle)

"Ryan Toohey, Gov. Eliot Spitzer's former campaign manager, is expected to play a very hands-on role in Nassau Legis. Craig Johnson's bid to replace former state Sen. Michael Balboni. That's a clear signal the contest is high on Spitzer's priority list. Johnson's day-to-day campaign manager will be Brian Stedge-Stroud, who ran state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousin's successful bid to unseat longtime state Sen. Nicholas Spano in Westchester during her second try last year.
On the Republican side, Nassau County Clerk Maureen O'Connell, who launched her first television ad yesterday, has secured political consultant Norman Adler, a longtime adviser to Long Island Senate Republicans, who will be the chief adviser and campaign manager.
State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), the head of the delegation, is of course playing a major role after he lost Balboni to the Spitzer administration. If Democrats chip away at the Senate stronghold on Long Island it may not bode well for Skelos' aspirations of taking over as Republican leader of the Senate.
Meanwhile, Rory Whelan, top aide to State Sen. Owen Johnson (R-West Babylon), has taken a leave from the Senate payroll to do media for the Feb. 6th special election.
Asked during an interview yesterday about Toohey's involvement in the race Adler said, "I feel sorry for him because at least up until now he's been successful."
Projections are that both sides could spend as much as $4 million on the race, topping any previous legislative special election.
"Everyone in creation is consulting on this one," said a top state Republican. "
meanwhile back at the ranch.....Craig and Tom Suozzi....kiss and make up...from what I am told it was a very touching scene.......not...

"Nassau Legis. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) and County Executive Thomas Suozzi gritted their teeth (or was it the cold wind?) and smiled for the cameras at today's press conference formally announcing Johnson's candidacy for the 7th state Senate seat.
"Let's hear it for Craig Johnson!" Suozzi said. " Woo!"
Johnson, who was an early joiner to the Spitzer-for-governor bandwagon, returned the favor, thanking his "good friend Tom Suozzi." Reid J. Epstein
More on the dog-and-pony show after the jump:
Johnson downplayed any past rifts between him and Suozzi, saying the two adversaries have worked together in the Nassau Legislature, while Suozzi cited Johnson's "intelligence, ability and public spirit."
"Politics is politics," Johnson said. "We've been able to put (the past) aside."
When he wasn't praising Suozzi, Johnson sounded like he was still stumping for Spitzer, repeating the rookie governor's campaign mantras of "ethics reform, property tax relief and affordable health care for all." Virtually every sentence during his two-minute speech on the steps of the Nassau State Supreme Court mentioned Spitzer. "
wait there's more.......the battle of the endorsements.................
Union Backing for O'Connell(Newsday SpinCyle)

Yes, there are those in political circles and in unions who have grown skeptical about how much 1199/SEIU really delivers in an election.
But the conventional thinking is that the backing of the powerful health care workers' organization counts. So its support for the GOP's Maureen O'Connell in the special Senate election to replace Mike Balboni is worth noting.
However.................per Liz Benjamin(Capitol Confidential).........
We’ll know by the end of the week which side most of the remaining big labor unions will pick in the 7th SD special election (aka: “The political equivalent of the Super Bowl“).
Representatives from CSEA, PEF, NYSUT and the AFL-CIO all told me their unions haven’t yet made a decision because they’re following a “process” by which the locals made recommendations.
SEIU/1199 has already decided to stick with Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, and back Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell.
The Working Families Party and CWA are going with Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his candidate, (the now-beardless) Nassau County Legislator Craig Johnson.
A source close to UFT President Randi Weingarten says she’s inclined to remain neutral...................
my money is on Spitzer and Johnson...........andy

re O'Connell - NY Sun

Democrats Accused of Dirty Tricks in Senate Race

...Ms. O'Connell sent an e-mail to supporters assuring them that her campaign was not responsible for something as unwise as harassing voters during the big game. She blamed the calls on her Democratic opponent, Craig Johnson, an accusation he denied. She also said she was filing a complaint with the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

As it turned out, the Super Bowl calls were not the only suspicious episode in the race, according to Senate Republicans. Three weeks after Mr. Johnson, a county legislator, defeated Ms. O'Connell and put the Democrats one seat closer to gaining control of the chamber, Republicans say they are using their legal staff to piece together evidence that links Democrats to at least four dirty tricks that took place during the last week of the pivotal race.

rest at

Could they tie Carl Andrews/Clarence Norman people to this?
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