Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NY-23: I'm leavin' today . . .

Right to the very heart of it, upstate New York, where Doug Hoffman campaign media coordinator Rob Ryan says:
"We need money and we need it now," he said. Fundraising has been "picking up every day," Ryan said, and the Hoffman campaign is "getting donations from across the country."
However, Hoffman is battling against major party candidates, with the national GOP spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for Scozzafava -- angering conservatives like Michelle Malkin -- while the Democratic Party pours cash into the campaign coffers of its candidate, Bill Owens. . . .
The question that has puzzled conservatives for weeks is how someone as far left as Scozzafava -- who has in the past been supported by ACORN -- managed to get picked by the state GOP in this conservative district. Hoffman has said Republican "party bosses, the lords of the backroom, made this selection."
Online activist Michael Patrick Leahy similarly summarizes the process. "The nomination of Scozzafava was orchestrated by two powerful liberal members of the local Republican Party organization," Leahey wrote at TCOT Report, "and was aided and abetted by several politically inexperienced local county leaders who failed to grasp the tactical significance of shunning the Conservative Party and did not fully understand the details of their nominee's record, or her potential vulnerabilities."
Some observers consider it possible that Scozzafava will finish third in the Nov. 3 vote, which would be a sharp rebuke to the GOP leadership in Washington that twisted arms in a failed effort to get more Republican support for the party's liberal nominee. . . .
That's from my latest article at The American Spectator, so read the whole thing. Ever since March 2008, when I decided to head to Pennsylvania and cover Hillary Clinton's campaign, it's been a pleasure working with the great folks at the Spectator.

What's great about being a freelancer is that, if I've got an idea for a story, I basically assign myself to it. So last March, I called up my editor at the Spectator, told him that Hillary would be appearing within a few hours' drive of my house, he said, "OK," and off I went.

Kind of cool, especially after so many years of being stuck in the office most days as an assistant editor on the national desk at The Washington Times. Going out on the road to cover a story reminds me of my glorious younger days as a small-town sports editor, rolling down the highway en route to a big track meet or basketball tournament.

That's just more fun than sitting around an office all day, and I do better work when I'm having fun. While covering Hillary in West Virginia, I got a chance to meet Chelsea Clinton, who is nice (and quite pretty in person, with lovely eyes). My Spectator reporting on the Libertarian Party convention was praised as the "best national coverage" by Rocky Mountain News columnist Dave Kopel.

When I went back to Denver for the Democratic National Convention, I got to hang out with Michelle Malkin, Jim Hoft, Andrew Marcus, Stephen Green, Charlie Martin and Jason "Big Sexy" Mattera. Then I went on the road to cover Sarah Palin -- "Sweetheart of the Heartland" and "Stickin' With the Hockey Mom."

Great fun, but kind of expensive for a freelancer. Despite the growth in online media, it doesn't pay as much as the print variety. The occasional shweeet check for contributions to the print edition of the Spectator -- like my 3,000-word feature about IG-Gate in the September issue -- is helpful. Still, I've got to find other sources of revenue, so I also write for Pajamas Media and Taki's Magazine.

Obviously, this spans a wide ideological spectrum. The Spectator is what's called "Movement Conservative," while PJM leans more toward the neo-conservative side and Taki's . . .

OK, some of my neocon friends recoil in horror and won't even click the links to my Taki's articles. However, their brilliant (though radically Nietzschean) editor, Richard Spencer, really enjoys good writing. They let me do fun things like my Gonzo slam on Culture 11, and despite the guilt-by-association factor -- some of Spencer's hard-core paleo friends are aghast at his linkage to me -- it's an opportunity I appreciate.

It's the fun factor of journalism that keeps me from going completely Johnsonoid in this blogospheric madhouse of fierce partisanship. Even in the grimmest of blog-wars, I try to have fun, because if you're not having fun, why bother?

All this is a long way of saying how much I appreciate reader contributions to the Shoe Leather Fund, which help defray expenses of my occasional road-trips to cover the news. Sean in New Orleans kicks in for gas and says, "God Bless." Mike in El Segundo hit the tip jar for a whole carton of smokes. One of these days, I'm going to get smart and start a "Buy Me a Jaguar XJ" tip jar. But a carton of smokes and a 2004 KIA, that's still pretty cool.

By hitting the tip jar to subsidize my reporting, you're enabling me to provide exclusive coverage at a deep discount rate. Undercut the competition, like Sam Walton, see? Chip in California, Barbara in Kentucky, Nathan in Missouri, Jeff in Walla Walla, Washington -- you're the patrons of a new style of journalism, where the readers are essentially the assignment editors.

By deciding whether to pay for the trip, you decide whether I cover the story. Maybe next spring, you can send me to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. Just sayin' . . .

For now, I'm on the road to upstate New York, where I'll be covering Doug Hoffman -- my travel itinerary and budget needs are here -- and you can expect regular updates here.


  1. What I want to dress up as for this Halloween. Fox News ACORN Video coverage included from today.

  2. Be advised that Hoffman is in the McCain camp on borders and amnesty. So is Dick Armey, for that matter.

  3. "OK, some of my neocon friends..."

    That'd be me!

  4. ...Even in the grimmest of blog-wars, I try to have fun, because if you're not having fun, why bother?

    Absolutely. Once you've lost your sense of humor, even in the darkest of times, you might as well become a Leftist.

    Quoted from and linked to at: 23 SKIDOO

  5. Chelsea pretty? I suppose it could be true... Secretariat was a beautiful sight to behold as well.

  6. What is Hoffman's position on immigration? I have read that he takes the Bush/McCain position on amnesty. I can't find any positions on this issue on Hoffman's website.

    Before I donate money, I'd like to know whether or not he supports amnesty.

  7. I do believe we have a concern troll in our midst. A tip, friend: post your answer after you post the question. It will lend more credibility to your sock-puppeting. Not that we'll fall for it anyway, but at least you can limit your numbskullery. Oyster out.

  8. Not necessarily for publication/ your call.

    Dude, you linked your article in Am Spec, but you linked the print friendly version without the ads or the site's other links.

    Sure it's easier on the eyes and I often punch the "print" button on a site to read a long article. But they gotta pay the bills to pay you. Help 'em out. Just sayin'.

    Good article and good coverage of this race. It is important and people down here in Florida are following it and getting involved. We've got Crist v Rubio and we really, really want to put the party on notice that mainstream liberalish candidates don't necessarily win and we don't particularly want them when they do.