Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dear Fox News

Why is Geraldo Rivera on your network talking immigration? I'm sitting here watching Rivera hector and naysay Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and it's not good TV.

OK, I disagree with Rivera's shameless advocacy of open borders, but that's not really the problem. Watching him harangue guests is neither entertaining nor informative. Earlier, he was haranguing Ann Coulter. I'm thinking most Fox viewers would rather watch Coulter harangue Rivera.

If you want to have Rivera on Fox as a reporter -- e.g., standing by the Gulf Coast in a raincoat, blown by the winds, reporting on an approaching hurricane -- that's fine. And I guess he's as good as Greta Van Susteren at doing feature segments on that long-running Fox News series, The Case of the Missing Blonde Girl.

But letting Geraldo do a half-hour on immigration, where he's recycling La Raza talking points? Not good TV.

NY23: New DKos poll -- Dem gains?

The topline numbers of the Research 2000 poll (Oct. 19-21) commissioned by Daily Kos:
Bill Owens (D) 35%
Dede Scozzafava (R) 30%
Doug Hoffman (Cons.) 23%
Not sure what to make of this poll, since the methodology -- screening for "likely voters," etc. -- is opaque. Research 2000 is a reputable firm, and there is no reason to suspect any particular bias. However, let me make a few quick points:
  • The polling period was Monday through Wednesday, before Dick Armey came in Thursday to campaign for Hoffman, before the Sarah Palin endorsement, before the Glenn Beck radio interview, before the Neil Cavuto TV interview, etc.
  • This will be a difficult race to poll. It's a stand-alone special election in an off-off-year, and very low turnout is to be expected. So it's a get-out-the-vote battle and the campaign with the most energy and enthusiasm has a built-in advantage.
  • Remember that this district has routinely gone 65% or more Republican even in bad GOP years like 2006 and 2008. If Owens is at 35%, that's merely the standard Democratic vote in NY23. The big question is whether undecided Republicans break toward Scozzafava or Hoffman.
  • Scozzafava has the highest negative ratings (35%) of any of the three candidates -- Owens negatives are 24% and Hoffman's are 19%. Which is to say, Scozzafava has nowhere to go but down.
  • Because Research 2000 has not polled HY23 before, we can't compare numbers to identify a trend. The strong gain for Hoffamn between the first Siena poll (ending Sept. 30) and the second (Oct. 13) is the best trend indication. A third Sienna poll (conducted this coming Monday and Tuesday) will be out on Thursday. The Quinnipiac poll is also due soon.
A relative lack of name recognition is Hoffman's big hurdle, but having spent three days in the 23rd District, I can tell you that his ads are in heavy rotation on Fox News. To the extent that Republican voters are Fox News watchers, Hoffman is certain to be gaining support on that basis alone.

Because I just got off the road -- drove all night to get home -- I'm kind of fazed and need to get some sleep. But I will caution people about judging this campaign and this district through the media lens. The 23rd district is very, very rural -- East Kentucky rural.

Pollsters always emphasize that a poll is a "snapshot." Opinion trends are dynamic, not static, and it's a mistake to think of a poll taken three weeks before Election Day as a prediction of the final outcome.

UPDATE: Melissa Clouthier has a new Pajamas Media column about Sarah Palin's Hoffman endorsement.

NY23: Hoffman takes no-pork pledge

Which might not be totally popular with some locals:
Rep. John M. McHugh won a reputation as a friend of Fort Drum by securing tens of million of dollars in congressional earmarks that may have helped save the post from closure in 2005.
Douglas L. Hoffman, the Conservative seeking to replace him, has sworn to oppose just those sorts of projects if elected to Congress.
To obtain the endorsement, and campaign cash, of the conservative Club for Growth, Mr. Hoffman signed a statement promising not to request earmarks, which the group defines as any spending requested by only one chamber of Congress or not requested by the White House. By that definition, a total of $114 million in construction at Fort Drum -- including weapons training facilities, improvements at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield and a family support center -- would not have been built this decade.
Sixteen projects at Fort Drum since 2000 have met the definition of earmarks followed by the Club for Growth and were listed in the annual Congressional Pig Book published by an allied group, Citizens Against Government Waste. . . .
Read the whole thing in the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times. All pork is local, eh? You can see a PDF of Hoffman's no-pork pledge here.


Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

Elections Notes for NY and CA

by Smitty

Jeremayakovka, the "Broken-Hearted Knight Errant" forwards a couple of pictures from the election battle:
Downtown Plattsburgh:

and a fellow with a flag and a sign saying "Your children will never understand why you let this happen to America. Speak up!":

Panning left across the country for California gold, CA-10 is as interesting and worthy of attention. Jumping in Pools has the lowdown:
On September first, during the Republican primary, David Harmer received 22,000 votes, more then the other five Republicans combined. Harmer also received 21.05% of the total vote on that day, as the Democrats held their primary as well, and they nominated California's Lt.Governor John Garamendi, a radical leftist who is obsessed with elected office.

Running in one of the most Democratic districts in California, Harmer was facing an uphill battle from day one of the general election campaign, however, I saw the potential for victory several months ago, it was based on if the Republican candidate could produce a large turnout from his side, and hope the Democrats are demoralized, thus failing to register their usual large percentage of turnout, Harmer could be able to pull it off, a very very special election upset.

A quick glance at a policy rap sheet seems to indicate Harmer's worthy of support.

These races would be a signal to a competent President about the acceptability of the Coming Copenhagen Catastrophe. Remember, too, that these races are crucial for building momentum into next Spring's mid-term election run-up. Anyone not taking the situation seriously should be forced to read Czar d'Oz.

Factors Militating Journalistic Renaissance Action

by Smitty

6. And thus did the dextrosphere send forth its quixotic champion, the heir to the gonzo pen, His Angus Youngsterness, Robert Stacy McCain.
7. The readers indeed rejoiced, for they received constant insights, interesting exclusives, and intriguing anecdotes.
8. Despite all that, or perhaps because of it, the Foe waxed pissed, and spake harshly unto the Fell Minions and saith: "Who will rid me of this meddlesom priest of Real Journalism?"
9. And the Fell Minions were like: "Dude, Alisnky didn't say jack about what to do with The Mac."
--The Annals of Stacy McCain, CIV 6-9
This blog thanks everyone for their excellent support. Help us help you on the FMJRA goodness by emailing your URLs to Smitty for inclusion.
Legal Insurrection honored Stacy's efforts with the Special Alert position on the top left column. Thank you, sir.
A Week Without LGF Shenanigans is Like Winter Without Flu:
  • Christmas Ghost put Stacy back in his schoolboy attire for the 'toonblogger roundup.
Cue the Angus:

  • Little Miss Attila linked us, correcting some spelling infelicities and noting that the Angus look was an improvement over the infamous speedo look.
  • Political Byline helped out with the identities of the bloggers.
  • Jumping in Pools had a dust-up with His Lizardry over a picture on their site. I guess Charles does portraits, too. Apparently Charles has labeled Mike Huckabee a theocrat. Charles's quest to become Dan Rather continues apace.

  • Thoughtful Atheists:
    Other FMJRA Outings:
    Miscellaneous Shouts:
    That's the FMJRA for now. Please mail updates and corrections to Smitty. I have a cunning plan to restore some of the functionality formerly enjoyed via Technorati. I'll be out gathering appropriate pagan sacrifices for the geek godz (spending a lot of time hacking a script and cursing its failures) and get back to everyone with a criminally over-engineered solution that all can despise.

    NY23: Triumphant return?

    No, not for Dede "Abramoff" Scozzafava, but for me. Just pulled off I-87 about 40 miles north of Albany, N.Y. to file a quick note about my three-day trip to cover the Doug Hoffman campaign in the upstate New York special congressional election.

    Departed my home Wednesday -- "I'm leaving today" -- and that afternoon phoned into Jimmie Bise my first exclusive: "All aces" for the Hoffman campaign. About 8:30 that evening, Jimmie blogged about Dick Armey's trip to NY23, while I was hanging out with the Freedomworks chairman at a meeting in Cicero, N.Y.

    Thursday morning, I filed an American Spectator exclusive from Watertown, N.Y., and Jimmie picked it up here. A few hours later, I linked Hoffman's interview with the Watertown newspaper.

    Thursday afternoon, I reported on Armey and Hoffman's Syracuse news conference for the Spectator, and blogged it here. Then I tried to get some sleep, but woke up and discovered that Sarah Palin had endorsed Hoffman. Meanwhile, Jimmie blogged about a new Hoffman radio ad.

    Friday morning, I posted the "Go, Doug, Go" video and urged readers to emulate Dick Armey's objectivity. I posted Hoffman's radio interview with Glenn Beck and then scooped everybody with the $116K Thursday fundraising news.

    Four hours of breakneck driving later, I filed from Hoffmania HQ in Saranac Lake, then set a nighttime speed record to make it to the campaign's Plattsburgh office for the video with Jeremy and Tony.

    OK, so it's now nearly 2 a.m., and I'm poaching the computer at the business center of the Country Inn and Suites in Lake George, N.Y. When I asked for the key to the business center, the manager assumed I was a guest, and I exercised my right to remain silent. (Advice to would-be reporters: always wear a sports coat.)

    Have I done enough? Can I make it home before 10 a.m.? Say a prayer for me. If you've enjoyed the coverage, just hit the tip jar and I'll try to make it back up here next week.

    And if anyone wants to be a blog intern . . . well, if you've got a car, that would help. Don't know how much more of this the 2004 KIA Optima can handle. Let's hope New York State Police don't see me coming.

    UPDATE (Noon): Just got home. Total round-trip, 1,328 miles. Exhausted. Must sleep.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    NY23 VIDEO: Doug Hoffman and the
    'fight for the heart and soul of America'

    Tonight, I shot a 3-minute video at the Plattsburgh, N.Y., office of the Doug Hoffman congressional campaign. If you care about America, local volunteers Jeremy Kain and Tony Maglione have a message for you:


    Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

    Swing State Update

    by Smitty

    Quite an interesting survey of the political races:
    • NY-23: Now that all the cool kids are endorsing Doug Hoffman, the floodgates are starting to open among the cognoscenti of the conservative movement: Rick Santorum endorsed, and so too did former presidential candidate Michael Steve Forbes. Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who seems like he's still trying to decide whether to be establishment or movement in 2012, has his finger in the air but said he'll probably endorsed and gave a clue by saying he had issues with the way Scozzafava got the nomination.
    • VA-Gov: It's grown exceedingly hard to see a path to victory for Creigh Deeds in Virginia's gubernatorial race. The polls aren't closing (if anything, the gap may be widening), and there's less than two weeks until election day. What's more, the highest echelons of the Democratic Party are now distancing themselves from Deeds, saying he rejected Barack Obama & Tim Kaine's "road map to victory." The Swing State Project is therefore changing its rating on this race from Lean R to Likely R. (D)
      Also, while the second-guessing has begun, PPP suggests that it's just a bad year for Dems and/or a strong opponent in Bob McDonnell: they found that if Tim Kaine had been able to run for re-election, he'd be losing too, 51-43. Nevertheless, 57% think that governors should be able to run for re-election in Virginia (which is the only state left that doesn't allow gubernatorial re-elections), with 35% opposed. Still, Kaine probably wouldn't be running anti-cap-and-trade ads as Deeds is doing in the state's southwest; with the public option already with the Deeds' bus treads all over it, it's one more reason for the Democratic base to lose interest in him.
    • NJ-Gov: Two more polls split the difference between Jon Corzine and Chris Christie in New Jersey. Democracy Corps, who've usually been Corzine's most favorable pollster, finds a 3-point race, with Corzine at 42, Christie at 39, and Chris Daggett at 13. SurveyUSA, on the hand, has tended to lean toward Christie and continue to do so, giving him a 2-point lead, with Christie at 41, Corzine at 39, and Daggett at 19. Christie, for his part, is turning for help to the one Republican in New Jersey that most people still like: ex-Governor Tom Kean, who just cut a TV ad on Christie's behalf.
    Virginia has McDonnell representing the conservatives. If NY-23 and/or NJ go blue, then the correct lesson for the GOP to draw is:
    You can play to your base, or progressivism, but not both. If the latter, then the base sees no difference between the GOP and the Democrat candidate, and the GOP deserves to rot.
    Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

    Impeach Murtha

    by Smitty (hat tip: Patriot Room)

    I don't care if the vote was on what flavor of froo-froo coffee to brew, this is completely UNSAT:

    What a godforsaken piece of work.

    NY23: Live from Saranac Lake!

    Saranac Lake, N.Y., is lovely this time of year. At 1:53 p.m. ET, I left Watertown, 116 miles to the east, with a Google map telling me the drive time would be "about 2 hours, 59 minutes."

    Pulled into the parking lot here at 4:16 p.m. ET. Don't tell my wife. Or the New York State Police.

    UPDATE: Thanks to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air and Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit for the linky-love, also at Memeorandum. Bloggers linking here should be sure to send the URLs to Smitty for the FMRJA Saturday linkback orgy.

    UPDATE II: Just made a quick trip to see Ground Zero of the nationwide viral pandemic:

    National headquarters for HOFFMANIA!

    Volunteers standing by to take your calls.

    Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

    Do check the facts

    by Smitty

    Three Beers Later points out that an email making the rounds about a Muslim-owned business in Texas mourning the death of a 9/11 terrorist is completely wrong.

    DO NOT spread mis-information, and offer a polite, firm rebuke to those who engage in such.

    Why Yes, Madame Speaker, We're As Serious as Lung Cancer

    by Smitty

    CNSNews follows up the Steny Hoyer with an equally lively bit about the Wicked Witch of the West: "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?"
    Pelosi: "Are you serious? Are you serious?" "Yes, yes I am."

    Dear Nancy Pelosi,

    There was a time when political leaders understood the Constitution, and their oath to protect it. Those leaders worked on laws which fell within the scope of that document.

    Your atrocious Congress, Madame Speaker, seems to understand "Constitutional" to be whatever befits your whims, emerges from the printer, garners the magic squiggle from the meat puppet at the other end of the Mall, and receives no legal challenge at the SCOTUS.

    Please do us all a favor. Do not pass any more than the minimally required legislation, do not run for re-election, and do not waste any more public time. Instead, retire and work on your memoir, which I promise not to read.



    NY23 UPDATE: Doug Hoffman to
    Appear on Neal Cavuto's Show Today

    Guest-posted by Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack.

    Conservative Congressional candidate Doug Hoffman is traveling from Saranac Lake, NY to a location where he can appear on Neal Cavuto's Fox Business Network program "Your World". The appearance is slated for approximately 4:30 PM EDST.

    Updates to follow as the situation warrants.

    Also, for those of you who are still contemplating hitting the Shoe Leather Fund, you should know that Stacy also has a Good Journalist Reward Fund so that he can buy himself something from these fine folks instead of continuing to commit the horrible sin hinted at in this photograph.

    UPDATE: I got a phone call from Stacy not long ago and he said something that has stuck with me. Check out his latest post from Doug Hoffman's Saranac Lake HQ and pay special attention to the photograph from inside the building? Do you see how many volunteers are there? Not many.
    Hoffman needs help, in the form of live bodies willing to make coffee, answer phones, distribute lawn signs, and the rest of the mundane miscellaneous tasks every campaign requires. If you can get there, and you really want to make a difference for the conservative cause in a pivotal campaign, you should contact the campaign and get up there. It is a beautiful area of the country and Hoffman can definitely use the help.

    Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

    NY23: Credit where credit is due

    As Dr. K of pointed out earlier in the comments, he was the first conservative blogger to ask -- on Sept. 30 -- whether Sarah Palin would endorse Doug Hoffman.

    Considering that "Palin endorses Hoffman" is now so huge at Memeorandum, Dr. K can take a bow.

    BTW, don't be puzzled if the Hoffman campaign doesn't make a big deal out of Palin's endorsement. Because she's been so unfairly demonized by the MSM, Palin's status with independent voters is kind of problematic right now (let's hope Oprah can fix that). So don't expect to see Hoffman TV ads in NY23 shoving the Palin endorsement in voter's faces. The strategic importance of the Palin endorsement is two-fold:
    • For Hoffman, it means small-dollar contributions from Palin's legion of grassroots conservative supporters, as well as signaling -- like the endorsements from Dick Armey, Club for Growth, Mark Levin, etc. -- Hoffman's status as the conservative in NY23.
    • For Palin, it establishes her political independence, making it clear that she is willing to defy the national GOP leadership to side with grassroots conservatives.
    Palin's endorsement would have had more impact -- both for her and for Hoffman -- if she'd have made it last week, when there were fewer than a dozen bloggers on that Oct. 14 ACU conference call that began my involvement in this effort. But let us not make small criticisms of a great woman.

    By the time you read this post -- I'm writing this about three hours in advance -- I'll be on the road to Hoffman HQ in Saranac Lake. It was a week ago that I wrote a post with the title, "GOP sells out! NRCC gives '6-figure' donation to RINO Scozzafava? SEND ME TO NEW YORK!

    Since we are giving credit where credit is due, I once again wish to thank those readers whose contributions to the Shoe Leather Fund have enabled me to provide exclusive on-the-scene coverage of this campaign. I am also grateful to Smitty and to Jimmie Bise for keeping the blog running during the many hours I've spent on the road the past three days. And I'm grateful to all the bloggers and Tweeps who've helped promote our coverage online. One of these days, I'll find a reliable blog intern to help me make sure that everyone gets a personal thank-you.

    Wait a minute. Y'know, now that you mention it, why not make an early start in that direction? If it's been a shortage of blog-o-bucks that's prevented me from actually paying an intern -- Myers the Blog Intern was unpaid, unless you count "getting to hang out with Ann Coulter" as payment -- why not raise money for that?

    Some people have called me an "evil genius." But evil is hard work and, as I like to say, I'm too lazy to be evil. So please, won't you give generously to the Blog Intern Fund?

    OK, it's 186 miles to Saranac Lake, so it's time to shut down the national desk here in Syracuse and get rolling. By the time you read this, I'll be dodging the New York State Police and their legendary radar speed traps on State Highway 3, somewhere in the vicinity of Harrisville.

    But don't worry about me. If those backwoods meth cookers in Kentucky didn't kill me, I think I'll be OK in upstate New York.


    Czar d'Oz Episode VIII: Seattle

    by Smitty

    Start with the Czar d'Oz Announcement

    Synopsis: In the year 2112, the characters retreated to a basement shelter to weather a monster tornado. Making an early trip to the local seat of government, they uncovered information pertaining to an experimental time machine located in Seattle. Making good their escape in the experimental TOTO vehicle, they have made it to the territory of the Southwest Czar. They've survived an encounter with two surreal characters en route Las Vegas. In Vegas they form an alliance with Jefe, the Southwest Czar, to take a short cut to the Emerald City. The trip lands them in Vancouver, Washington, slightly South of the destination. Driving North, they are greeted at the edge of Seattle with a large explosion.

    "I tracked down..."

    [The bottom of an overturned car dominates the stage. Zeda, Martin, Julius and Peter are in front of it.]

    Martin: No smell of gas fumes. We won't be a fireball real soon. Not like the bastards ahead of this car.

    Peter: Maybe we should just wait for the first responders.

    Julius: In contemporary America, first responders are notional unless you're in a Vortex.

    Zeda: [Peeks around rear end] It looks like there is someone in the back! HELLO! Tell me if you can move your arms and legs! [Muffled sounds] Martin, he says he can. No neck injuries to him. The driver is unconscious. Can we right the car?

    Martin: Let me try. Peter, Julius, move!

    [Martin reaches up and pulls the top of the car toward the audience, and it flops down onto its wheels.]

    Martin: The driver is dead. [Turns towards the man in back.] What is your name sir?

    Czar d'Oz: [Sounding dazed.] I am Bartholemew Murdoch, the Northwest Czar, commonly known as Czar d'Oz, since we originally came from Australia. Can you get me back to Mercer Island?

    "…the lab location over at…"

    [A luxurious room on Mercer Island, where all five are now sunk into a sectional, with beverages.]

    Julius: We met rather informally earlier. I'm Julius Crowe, this is Peter Lyon, Martin Mann, and Dorothy Zeda.

    Czar d'Oz: Thank you for saving my life. You do realize I know all about TOTO. Even though Justin is a complete idiot most of the time, though not as bad a fool as Jeremy, we're still in contact. Either you have no sense of direction whatsoever, or your supposed mission to New Chicago was a deception.

    Peter: Well, while today's introduction was hardly a job interview, it does get at the point that we're looking for work. Flyover country is relatively dull compared to the excitement you have occuring in these parts. Is it OK if we ask whether that was an assassination attempt?

    Czar d'Oz: Attempt, hell, it was a success. Almost an over-achievement. The fireball you probably saw on I-495 was formerly known as Barry Cuda, my military advisor and spy for Czar Jefe down in Vegas. All of the moves I'd been making to shore up control of Oregon in time for the election this Fall were given away.

    There was supposed to be a Czar meeting with Barack Soros in New Chicago today. I really need to be here more than there. So it seemed that rubbing out the traitor in such a way as to give me an excuse for not attending would kill two with one stone bird.

    I gave Jeremy the task of finding the right Special Operations people who could do the job and yet were junior enough not to be under Cuda's control. It looks like he really did nearly kill two with one stone bird.

    Martin, you've an aptitude for being in the right place at the right time, and plenty of military record, and I'm certain you're equipped to clean house among my military advisors. Would you like to swear the explicit oath to the Constitution we lip service, and the implicit oath to work for me? Peter, Julius, Dorothy: you've also arrived at a hiring moment. My various administrative areas are in need of a shakeout. All four of you have the same offer in front of you. You can ponder this, and we'll meet again tomorrow to see what you think.

    "… the University of Washington."

    [The four are seated around a circular meeting table.]

    Peter: Last night I searched on the network and located documents pertaining to the time machine project. It's been funded heavily for the last decade, I find, and has grown quite an impressive staff.

    Julius: You're stealing my thunder. I tracked down the lab location over at the University of Washington.

    Zeda: How soon can we get out of here? Czar d'Oz is promising me all kinds of film roles, but it looks like more of a casting couch.

    Martin: The military side is OK. The good news is that I've got a few people I know. The bad news is that they're all on the outside of anything important. You always have to prove yourself. Tomorrow at UW, then? I can drive Peter and Zeda to your office, Julius.

    The Stunning Climax in: the Lab!

    Copyright 2009, Christopher L. Smith

    NY23 BULLETIN: Doug Hoffman campaign raised $116K online Thursday

    Doug Hoffman campaign spokesman Rob Ryan just called to give me that news.

    UPDATE: Given previous reports that the campaign had raised $210,000 in the week ending Tuesday, and estimating more than $30,000 for Wednesday, this puts the Hoffman campaign's online fundraising at about $400,000 in the past nine days.

    Want to make it an even $500,000? Every little bit helps.

    UPDATE II: Democrat Bill Owens already raised more than $500,000 before this week. If conservatives want to let the Democrats buy this election, that's up to you. Otherwise . . .

    Well, I've got to get back on the road if I'm going to make it to Hoffman HQ in Saranac Lake this afternoon. Expect Jimmie Bise to be posting further updates as I report by phone.

    Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

    NY 23 VIDEO: Glenn Beck radio interview with Doug Hoffman

    In case you haven't guessed yet, I'm on the road today, en route to the main Doug Hoffman campaign HQ in Saranac Lake, N.Y. So I've advance-posted this stuff while I'm traveling.


    NY23: Be objective -- like Dick Armey!

    Outside the Watertown, N.Y., office of the Doug Hoffman campaign.


    NY23 VIDEO: 'Go, Doug, Go!'

    From yesterday in Watertown, N.Y. Dick Armey's endorsement speech for Doug Hoffman is interrupted by chants from supporters.

    "Doug saw the need to have a conservative in this race and stepped into the race. I believe that instantaneously made him the front-runner."
    -- Dick Armey
    Well, you see who supports Doug Hoffman. There's also Mark Levin, the Susan B. Anthony List, Fred Thompson, the Club for Growth, Sarah Palin . . . lots of people.

    Who supports Dede Scozzafava? The abortion lobby and labor unions. Only one thing to do: Dump Dede.


    Comment of the Day

    by Smitty

    The RNC called today asking for a donation.
    I told them "Go Scozzafava Yourselves"

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    NY23: Sarah Palin endorses Hoffman

    From her Facebook page:
    Support Doug Hoffman
    The people of the 23rd Congressional District of New York are ready to shake things up, and Doug Hoffman is coming on strong as Election Day approaches! He needs our help now.
    The votes of every member of Congress affect every American, so it's important for all of us to pay attention to this important Congressional campaign in upstate New York. I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next Representative from New York's 23rd Congressional district. It's my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.
    Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a "time for choosing."
    The federal government borrows, spends, and prints too much money, while our national debt hits a record high. Government is growing while the private sector is shrinking, and unemployment is on the rise. Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.
    And best of all, Doug Hoffman has not been anointed by any political machine.
    Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.
    Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of "blurring the lines" between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party's ticket.
    Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual.
    You can help Doug by visiting his official website below and joining me in supporting his campaign:
    -- Sarah Palin
    UPDATE: Just wanted to remind you who first raised the question, "Why is Sarah MIA?"
    Sarah Palin could make a huge difference in the NY23 special election, and everybody knows it. . . .
    One point to make clear: No official in the Hoffman campaign has said a word to me about Sarah Palin. But some of Hoffman's supporters are heartbroken that Sarah -- whom I dubbed the "Sweetheart of the Heartland" last year -- hasn't joined the fight against Dede Scozzafava . . .
    Forget about everybody "inside the Beltway," Mrs. Palin, and think about the people in NY23 -- decent, honest people who are working their hearts out and praying as hard as they can. The battlefield is there, the battle is underway, and every minute counts. . . .
    That was Saturday and Sarah answered the call today. Gee, Governor, you had us worried there for a few days . . .

    UPDATE II: Turns out Underground Conservative had scooped me on this one. Folks, I was so tired this evening -- drove 400 miles yesterday to get here, then drove 140 miles round-trip to Watertown this morning, with maybe 12 hours sleep in the past 72 hours -- that I went to bed early.

    After about an hour, a bad dream woke me up: I dreamed I was broke and couldn't afford to drive back home. God's way of telling me to get to work.

    So I got up and checked around. God said to check Ace of Spades HQ, which had linked Sarah Palin's Facebook page, "just in case." Heh.

    Also, God said you should hit the tip jar. At least, I think that's what he said. Maybe I was mistaken. But why risk it, huh? Tomorrow, I'm planning to drive to Hoffman's main HQ in Saranac Lake -- 186 miles one-way, about four hours. You really ought to contribute to the Shoe Leather Fund.

    While I was working on this post, Jimmie called to say he'd just posted about the Hoffman campaign's new radio ad. I don't know whether God told him to do that or not.

    UPDATE III: Weekly Standard has the story, and you've got to give John McCormack credit for risking jail by asking Dede ScozzaRINO tough questions. Meanwhile, we're also linked by Fishersville Mike, The Lonely Conservative and DaTechguy's Blog

    All the cool bloggers link here. Allahpundit? Not so much.

    Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election.

    Hoffman Launches New Radio Ad;
    Grassroots Launch a Money Bomb

    The Hoffman campaign has uncorked one heck of a radio advertisement today (link opens an mp3 file). You may recognize the setup from his opponent's recent panic over being asked questions by a reporter. Here's the transcript.
    [Audio recording static and telephone ringing sfx, male voice] 911, please state your emergency.

    [Female voice, agitated] Yes, I work for Dede Scozzafava. A reporter just asked about her voting to increase taxes!

    [911] I see the problem. Which of Scozzafava’s 190 votes to raise taxes did the reporter ask about?

    [CALLER] I don't know, I mean, she’s been in Albany 10 years . . .

    [911] Got it. Did the reporter say anything to Scozzafava about all the pork barrel spending she voted for?

    [CALLER] No, people don’t know about that . . .

    [911] OK, how about all the times Scozzafava voted for gay marriage?

    [CALLER] I don’t know. She’s a professional politician! Who has the right to ask her questions? It was so . . . revealing, you know?

    [911] We’ll get a unit out there. But there really isn’t a law to stop people from asking politicians questions.

    [CALLER] Well, there ought be. Believe me, her campaign’s gonna get killed if taxpayers figure out how liberal Scozzafava is.

    [CANDIDATE] I’m Doug Hoffman and I approved this ad.

    [ANNOUNCER] Paid for by Hoffman for Congress. Doug Hoffman For Congress Dot Com.
    That's pretty good. I think it would have had a bit more bite had the caller been a shaky male voice, perhaps with a Scozzafava sound-alike in the background telling the caller how menacing the reporter is and how he's threatening her with questions about her record. But I'm not paid to make radio ads...


    On a related note, go, go grassroots power

    That's the amount of money that Conservative party nominee Doug Hoffman raised online in the last seven days in support of his candidacy in the special election in New York's 23rd district, according to a source close to the campaign.

    The source would not speculate on what Hoffman's total raised number would be when reports are filed with the Federal Election by midnight tonight. But, his Internet haul almost certainly means he will outdistance state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee, who, party strategists acknowledge, will post a very weak report. (Hoffman, Scozzafava nor Democrat Bill Owens had filed their reports at press time.)

    However, it's clear that the MSM still hasn't gotten the message. Cilizza, and Politico's duo of Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen who he quoted to make his point, still think the Tea Party movement was solely a reaction to President Obama's policies. Obviously, they haven't been paying attention. While the Tea Party movement does strongly disagree with the freedom-strangling, wastrel policies of President Obama, their protests aren't aimed at him because most of the protesters have very clearly heard the Democratic Party's message that neither it nor the President are particularly interested in listening to them.

    Instead, the protesters have been aiming their most pointed messages at the Republican Party that purports to represent them. Consider this week-long Hoffman money bomb the loudest message yet.


    by Smitty (h/t Atlas Shrugs)

    Even though I don't support his atheism, Pat Condell remains spot on and well worth your time.

    And that is the gorgeous thing about freedom of speech: you can cheer for the 99% of this clip that is spot on, and politely overlook the part with which you're in disagreement. Civilization.

    Update: Linked at Carol's Closet: "No free person should ever allow their speech to subjected to the whims of the state."

    NY23: Hoffman endorses flat tax; Armey hopes 'Republicans will learn a lesson'

    Today at a press conference here in Syracuse:
    "I got into this race to win it," 23rd District congressional candidate Doug Hoffman said today at a press conference here when asked if he was surprised by his recent surge in the upstate New York special election. "Most of all, I'm surprised by the support we're getting nationwide. . . . It's overwhelming. I never expected it."
    Indeed, as endorsements have poured in -- and Michelle Malkin and other conservatives have begun to demand the withdrawal of liberal Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava -- the momentum in NY23 appears to have shifted decisively toward Hoffman.
    Hoffman appeared this afternoon with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey at a press conference in front of the Federal Building in Syracuse, where the Conservative Party candidate endorsed the flat tax. "Even though I'm a CPA, the flat tax is the way to create an environment for economic growth," said Hoffman, noting that simplifying the tax code would result in a substantial loss of tax-preparation business for his firm.
    Armey said that Scozzafava lost the election "the day she was elected," since her record and policy stances place her far outside the mainstream of the conservative 23rd District. Armey expressed the hope that "the Republicans will learn a lesson" from the defeat of Scozzafava. . . .
    Please read the rest at The American Spectator. Dick Armey gave an economics seminar today during the press conference. All you've got to do is say "flat tax" to Armey and he'll go for an hour.

    Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election.

    National Desk, Syracuse, N.Y., 3:45 p.m.

    BREAKING UPDATE: Michelle Malkin demands Scozzafava withdrawal in NY23. Other bloggers join call. The Other McCain finally gets back to his hotel room for working lunch.

    Dump Dede. EXPECT UPDATES . . .

    UPDATE (1725, Smitty) The Monty Python remain critical of some products mentioned in this post (NSFW).

    NY23 UPDATE: Hoffman interview with Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times

    My exclusive about this morning's event with Dick Armey and Doug Hoffman was filed from the offices of the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times, with the help of their political reporter Jude Seymour. My new buddy Jude now reports:
    We just had a wacky hour at the Watertown Daily Times.
    Blogger Robert Stacy McCain, who is following Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman around today, banged out a story at my desk while I was inside the publisher's office watching the fireworks.
    John B. Johnson Jr. was clear in this morning's editorial in our paper: The issues germane to the 23rd Congressional District are not being talked about because that discourse is getting drowned out by the cacophony from special interest groups outside the district.
    Mr. Hoffman, it appeared, had not taken the time to read the local opinion page before visiting.
    When asked about the rooftop highway that could connect Watertown to Plattsburgh, Mr. Hoffman said he was "open to reviewing and studying it."
    When asked about winter navigation on the St. Lawrence Seaway, he took no position. When asked about widening and deeping the Seaway, he again said nothing.
    The atmosphere was tense, at times. . . .
    Ruh-roh. Read the whole thing. I've got the print edition of the Daily Times here with me (I'm now back at my hotel in Syracuse after a 140-mile road trip to Watertown) and the editorial is interesting:
    Endorsements come from afar. Fundraisers are held outside the district. National party committees comment daily on the race. National debates on social issues and partisan concerns get rehashed here to the exclusion of questions specific to voters in the 23rd district. . . .
    Read all of that, too. All politics is local and so is some of the world's best journalism. It was nice to talk to Jude and some of the other staffers at the Daily Times. Jude is a smart guy, sharp enough to spot me trying to swipe a souvenir coffee mug. (Darn it.)

    When I was a small-town journalist in Georgia and a local story would make national news, I hated the way the big national media would come bigfooting into town, treating local reporters like we were bush-leaguers. So when I go out on the road to do reporting, I like to start out by meeting with local reporters, who deserve to be respected for their hard work and knowledge of facts that we outsiders often overlook.

    There is a 2:30 p.m. Hoffman event here in Syracuse, so I have to hurry if I'm going to grab some lunch between now and then. Thanks a million to Jimmie Bise for helping out while I'm on the road, taking call-in reports like the one this morning while I was flying south on I-81 coming back from Watertown.

    No confirmation yet on Jim Geraghty's Sarah Palin endorsement rumor. We'll see. One thing that I can confirm: David Frum is clueless. But that's not really news, is it?

    Our complete NY23 blog coverage here.

    UPDATE: Moe Lane at Red State links up with more links.

    EXCLUSIVE: Armey endorses Hoffman,
    "The Republican candidate can't win."

    Guest-post by Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack.

    Here is Stacy's report from Watertown, NY where FreedomWorks' Dick Armey endorsed Doug Hoffman for Congress. Both Hoffman and Armey had a few other things to say about Dede Sozzafava and the grassroots supporters who have given wings to the campaign.
    "The Republican candidate can't win," Armey declared, saying that Gingrich "made the wrong choice" in backing Scozzafava, a New York state assemblywoman whose record puts her to the left of most Democrats here in this largely rural district, where Republican Rep. John McHugh routinely won re-election with 2-to-1 margins.
    Hoffman will appear this afternoon on the popular Glenn Beck television program and, according to sources with the campaign, has seen his fundraising take off in recent days. He reportedly raised $30,000 online Tuesday, was effectively endorsed by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday and today received the endorsement of Ohio's Ken Blackwell, a nationally recognized conservative leader.
    Click over to the AmSpecBlog and read the whole thing.

    Jim Geraghty also dropped an interesting tidbit this morning.

    But somebody who seems to be in a position to know what's coming down the pike...tells me that he's hearing Sarah Palin will publicly endorse
    Conservative Doug Hoffman...

    Who better to follow up on that tantalizing rumor than someone who is up there in the middle of the Hoffman campaign right now?

    Expect more exclusive reporting...

    UPDATE: Amanda Carpenter has more from Armey and Hoffman and a particularly clueless response from the NRCC.
    When asked for comment about the blogger revolt, NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsey stood by his candidate as the only one who could win. “We will continue to remind central and northern New Yorkers that a vote for Doug Hoffman or Bill Owens is a vote for Nancy Pelosi and her far left, radical agendam [sic]" he said in an email.

    I'm sorry, which candidate is closest to ACORN and has the endorsement of the largest left-wing blog in the world? I have a hard time remembering...

    (Edited to correct NRSC to NRCC. Thanks to Adam for that tip.)

    Czar d'Oz Episode VII: Vancouver

    by Smitty

    Start with the Czar d'Oz Announcement

    Synopsis: In the year 2112, the characters retreated to a basement shelter to weather a monster tornado. Making an early trip to the local seat of government, they uncovered information pertaining to an experimental time machine located in Seattle. Making good their escape in the experimental TOTO vehicle, they have made it to the territory of the Southwest Czar. They've survived an encounter with two surreal characters en route Las Vegas. In Vegas they form an alliance with Jefe, the Southwest Czar, to take a short cut to the Emerald City. The trip lands them in Vancouver, Washington, slightly South of the destination.

    "Spend more time…"

    [On the pier in Vancouver, reversing the previous scene. The crane lifts TOTO off the ship. Frothy addresses Martin and Zeda, who prop up Julius and Peter between them.]

    Martin: So, what's the deal with this line shaft bearing casualty? There is interesting conversation down the pier. The people here to hook up the water, sewage, electricity are being waved off. I heard the crew being told not to double the mooring lines. You're leaving as soon as you unload us, aren't you?

    Frothy: The walls have ears, the ears have noses, and the noses have eyes. I will let you know that your team was never more than a cover story, and there was no intention of ever going to Seattle. The drama with the USS Ayers was unscripted, but the rest is playing out as intended.

    Martin: Fair enough. Maybe, someday, a beer and a full story. Until then, I'll take this much.

    Frothy: Spoken like a man who knows how it goes. Now, as your plans have been rather rudely upended, I suggest you relax at a hotel nearby for a day, and then press on to Seattle. Here is a suggestion. [Hands a piece of paper to Zeda.]

    "…sizing up…"

    [Zeda, Martin, Peter, and Julius are in a cutaway TOTO, facing the audience. The screen behind shows Vancouver rolling by.]

    Peter: So, what do we do now? Just drive up I-5 to Seattle? We've got to figure out how to link up with Captain Kleindrubble.

    Martin: We first stay cool.

    Julius: Easy for you to say. We've got families and friends we'd like to let know we're alive.

    Martin: We died when that first air car blew up on Leisurely Drive.

    Zeda: [Facing the two in the rear-view mirror.] That's right. You bureaucrats and academics are all about avoiding commitment. "Flexibility is the key to indecision," and you guys are Gumby and Pokey, if you've ever heard of them.

    We're in this to the end. We're going to find this time machine and escape this third-world version of the US. Maybe even warn the people of this country that giving up their liberty to the House of Obama and the Czars was not what they thought it would be.

    "…the situation."

    [A hotel restaurant. Zeda, Martin, Peter, and Julius sit at a table left of stage center, chatting. Three soldiers in fatigues enter and sit at another table right of stage center. A waiter takes their drink order. Some cable news channel plays on the screen at stage rear.]

    Martin: How're you kids doing? Name's Martin. What's shaking?

    Ralph: Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Morris, Washington National Guard. Major Frank Jones and Captain Henry Tate, respectively. It looks like you've seen some action.

    Martin: Here and there. I wasn't aware of any National Guard armory around here. Is something up?

    Ralph: Oh, nothing too exciting. Heading down to Oregon for routine maneuvers with their Guard. It's been in the hopper for a while. Kind of hope that this influx of people from California
    [nods head toward the screen] keeps things nice and boring.

    Justin: Really? What are the media drones on about now?

    Ralph: Just some wacky group of revolutionaries have been shaken loose from Flyover Country by all that bad weather, and they're cruising around the country stirring up hate and discontent. There is an FBI warrant and a bulletin from the Domestic Tranquility Czar calling for information on a gang led by "Red Zeda," a supposedly statuesque redhead. She's purportedly got a gang of violent ruffians who will stop at nothing to overthrow the government. They were last seen in California, and moving North.

    Peter: And so you guys are notionally on maneuvers, but actually part of a dragnet set out to stop these madmen and woman before their evil spreads.

    Ralph: Well, I never said that to you. No, old Barry Cuda has us jumping through hoops with our hair on fire, trying to curry favor with the Czar, like always.

    Peter: It can't be any fun to be ripped away from the Emerald City, the Land of Endless Lattes, the Seat of Czar d'Oz, for this bit of silliness. Who is this Barry?

    Ralph: The commander of the Northwest Czar's ground troops. He's probably taking good care of our wives back home, as we speak. [The other officers glare.]


    [The TOTO cutaway is at center stage, facing stage right. Forest goes by on the screen at stage rear.]

    Peter: We're to head down to a bar called the Mohican at Pioneer Square, and meet Barry Cuda? Czar Jefe really has a spy who commands Czar d'Oz's ground troops, and he's going to meet us in a bar?

    Julius: Oh for heaven's sake, Peter, of course not. We inquire after him there, and there will be a breadcrumb to get us to the next step. Some patience and savvy required.

    Zeda: Let's see, we're just East of SeaTac on I-5, still South of Seattle. We're actually ahead of schedule. Do we need to stop and review anything for anyone?

    Martin: No, mobility is our friend. We can get in there early. Spend more time sizing up the situation. OK, we should see Southcenter Mall to our right ahead. Yes, that looks like your standard shopping mall. Fine. We jus--

    [Boom! The car shakes...]

    Next Episode: Seattle

    Copyright 2009, Christopher L. Smith

    Christie agrees with diagnosis, but not prescription

    by Smitty

    POTUS: "I know this: for the past four years, you've had an honorable man at the helm of this state during one of the most difficult periods in its history."

    I hope that New Jersey does what I think that Virginia is going to do, and the rest of the country should: wake up, hear the cowbell, and reject it.

    But that's not really why I called you all together here with this post. The second most important task, after supporting Stacy McCain's shoeleather reporting efforts in NY-23, is getting me the URLs where you have linked this humble blog, so that Saturday's FMJRA effort can reward you as much as you have rewarded this blog.

    NY23: Greetings from Syracuse!

    I'm in the business center of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Syracuse. I'm not actually staying at this hotel, but . . . ah, it's a long story. At any rate, I hope everybody's been following the blogging that my buddy Jimmie Bise did Wednesday. Because I was on the road for six hours, what I did was to work the phones, talking to my sources to get the basic landscape as I headed up here to cover the race on the ground.

    You've seen how, in the old black-and-white movies, the court would adjourn at the big trial, and all the reporters would race to the pay phone, make a call and say, "Get me rewrite!"

    The reporter on the scene would be connected to a writer on the city desk, who would then take dictation from the guy covering the trial -- the quotes, the notes, the facts. The guy on the desk would then be in charge of turning the raw report into a finished story.

    So that's how it was with me and Jimmie, as I flew up I-81 Wednesday en route to Cicero, N.Y. This isn't the first time we've worked together this way, and it's also how I worked with Stephen Green of VodkaPundit to provide exclusive on-the-scene reports from the 9/12 March On D.C. At any rate, the post that Jimmie put up Wednesday afternoon was well-written, crammed with news, and full of links. Excellent work!

    The reason I went to Cicero was to cover a Tea Party meet-up featuring former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, now with Freedomworks. (Jimmie also blogged about that.)

    Armey is a classy guy with a great sense of humor, but the really exciting news from the Wednesday night meet-up was that the activists -- all of them supporting Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman -- are totally fired up. I talked to about a half-dozen of them, including the event organizer Lamar Wells, and the excitement is palpable.

    Armey told them, "This is the big one." And it is. Like they said at Chicago in '68, the whole world is watching. I told Jimmie during our conversation that if Hoffman wins, his campaign here in NY23 will become the template for hundreds of similar grassroots conservative campaigns nationwide at every level next year.

    BTW, there's a reason I'm in Syracuse. It's actually south of the 23rd District, but is the regional media center, which is why they're having a luncheon here tomorrow. I'm staying at the same hotel as Armey's crew, and I'll have to get up about 6:30 a.m. if I'm going to be ready to roll about 7:30 a.m. for the trip up to Watertown for a 9:30 a.m. event, then turn around and come back to Syracuse for the luncheon.

    Joke of the day: Dede turned me into a Newt! (I got better.)

    If you are a Tea Party activist who has been looking for a way you can really make a difference -- what are you waiting for? Get in touch with the Hoffman campaign, and get up here!

    And if you're in Syracuse, try the club sandwich at the Renaissance Hotel lounge. I recommend it highly . . .

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Hoyer's Got a Feevah

    by Smitty

    He needs more General Welfare Clause cowbell.
    Hoyer, speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, was asked by where in the Constitution was Congress granted the power to mandate that a person must by a health insurance policy. Hoyer said that, in providing for the general welfare, Congress had "broad authority."

    "Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect that end," Hoyer said. "The end that we're trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility."
    Readers having shred #1 of common sense interpret Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution as giving a limited set of powers to Congress, as well as enough wiggle room to carry out those powers.

    The subsequent Amendment 10 should have been a firewall against this Progressive Hoyer-hooey. But there sits Amendment 16: Congress has eminent domain over YOUR WALLET. It's a century-old problem. The best vehicle I've seen for steamrolling the rampant Hoyerism is The Federalism Amendment.

    The question is how bad things have to get to trigger an Article 5 cram-down. You know these neo-aristocrats are going to pay as much attention to the American People now as George III did back then.

    I say this coming from a district with a bullet-proof piece of work in office, VA-8. At the Green Tea Party, I said to a speaker who was from Hoyer's district "I'll trade you Jim Moran for Steny Hoyer." That speaker (no recollection of his name) allowed that he was unsure which of us would be receiving the bigger screwing.

    Back at TFA:
    David B. Rivkin, a constitutional lawyer with Baker & Hostetler, told that Hoyer’s argument was "silly," adding that if the general welfare clause was that elastic, then nothing would be outside of Congress' powers.

    "Congressman Hoyer is wrong," Rivkin said. "The notion that the general welfare language is a basis for a specific legislative exercise is all silly because if that’s true, because general welfare language is inherently limitless, then the federal government can do anything.

    "The arguments are, I believe, feeble," he said.
    Now, for those lacking common sense, or enjoying a Federal collar on the neck, a feeble argument is no disqualifier, as long as it's backed with government cheese.

    The US is way ahead of Domina-Mobil

    by Smitty (h/t Anorak)

    Domina-Mobil seems to think they are cool, as Anorak reports:
    No longer do German masochists need to travel for humiliation. Now they can feel truly humiliated as Domina parks outside their law office, police station or other place of work.
    Hah. All I have to do to feel humiliated is review the latest Barack Obama public utterance online. No physical transportation is required to feel morally, mentally and financially degraded. Can this dominatrix possibly match the feeling of utter debasement in knowing what the US has elected President? I highly doubt it. Such would go beyond mere professionalism into the realm of the recreationally malevolent.

    Hoffman to Endorse the Flat Tax,
    Dick Armey to Go Rogue

    Guest-posted by Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack.

    Doug Hoffman, whose name you might have read a time or three around here, is a Certified Public Accountant by profession. That means he makes an awful lot of money from the convoluted tax code Washington has foisted upon us over the years. April 15 is pretty much Christmas for CPAs.

    But Doug is not a normal accountant and far from the normal political candidate. In fact, he is reportedly going to take a stand tomorrow on an issue that could cost him a pretty penny.

    But I'm going to hold you in suspense for a minute to throw you another interesting little tidbit. Dick Armey, the head of FreedomWorks, is in New York this evening and he'll be doing a couple events with Hoffman tomorrow morning. You can get the scoop on those here.

    After that, though, he is going to stay in the area for at least another day and campaign for Hoffman on his own. In the words of a source close to Armey, he'll be "going rogue". This is a big deal. Armey is a widely-respected conservative who not only respects the grassroots but helped give the 9/12 Tea Parties a huge boost with his organization. He's laying down his personal marker on Hoffman and you can bet that he wouldn't do that if he didn't see quite a lot to like in the first-time candidate.

    Okay, enough suspense. Stacy informed me earlier this evening that Doug Hoffman will hold a press conference in the media hub of the region, Syracuse, where he will endorse the flat tax. That may not necessarily seem like a big deal but consider what I wrote earlier. Hoffman makes a good part of his living off of navigating the byzantine tax code for people who are overwhelmed by it. A flat tax will cost him business, since you'll be able to figure out your taxes each year on the back of a postcard. Doug Hoffman is willing to work against his own financial interest to push something that's in our best interests. When was the last time a politician did that?