Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chris Morris: Adirondack Election 2010 Update

What do Bill Owens, Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman have in common?

For starters, they’re all pretty well off.

Last week, a variety of news outlets reported on the personal finances of the three men running for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

I thought Nathan Brown’s article offered one of the more detailed break-downs of each candidate’s finances.

I’m not sure how much stock voters put in the personal wealth of a candidate, but I’d argue that in this particular instance, it probably won’t make a huge difference – mainly because all three men are doing just fine as far as their checking accounts are concerned.

The last week has been relatively quiet, though, as far as the 23rd is concerned. However, a story penned by my partner in crime at WNBZ – Jon Alexander – did attract quite a bit of attention on the state and national level.

Jon reported that Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava – of absolutely no relation to Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava – is endorsing Congressman Owens. Scozzafava is a Republican; Owens a Democrat.

Both Politico and Capitol Confidential picked up on the endorsement. Some are comparing it to Dede’s endorsement of Owens just days before last fall’s special election – although comparing a prominent statewide Assemblywoman to the supervisor of a small town in Essex County (no offense to Mr. Scozzafava) seems like a stretch.

The fact that the story has received so much attention tells me that the “third party issue” is on the minds of voters and pundits alike, regardless of what the three candidates are saying.

One more note on the 23rd race: Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman will both officially file election petitions this week. The minimum number of signatures required to appear on the ballot is 1,250 – both candidates will file petitions carrying far more than the minimum.

Turning to the gubernatorial race, we do have another Democrat in the mix. Joel Tyner is a four-term Dutchess County legislator who last week ended a 140-mile walk from Wall Street to Albany.

He began that trek on June 26 at the New York Stock Exchange and ended it in Albany on July 7.

Tyner is scrambling to gather enough petition signatures to challenge Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in a September primary. A spokesman for his campaign says Tyner is alarmed by Cuomo’s “more conservative agenda.”

Tyner objects to Cuomo’s calls for a property tax cap and refusal to support a “millionaires” tax.

In a release issued last week, Tyner joked that he didn’t walk nearly 150 miles for his health.

“The fact of the matter is, I’m not running on a fringe position,” he said. “I’m running on what most people want. If we’re going to do something about taxes, rich people have to pay their fair share.”

He’s calling for an additional tax bracket for income earners making more than $1 million annually. Tyner also wants a partial reimplementation of the stock-transfer tax on Wall Street.

During his so-called “Walking Campaign,” Tyner said Cuomo is abandoning Democratic principles.

Elsewhere, Carl Paladino is meeting with upstate Tea Party activists as he seeks to ruffle Rick Lazio’s feathers.

One last note: 20th Congressional District candidate Chris Gibson raised nearly $500,000 in the second quarter this year.

Gibson, a Republican, is challenging Democratic Congressman Scott Murphy.

Sources indicate that Gibson raised $483,179 through 1,530 donations – 90 percent of which were individual donors. The other 10 percent came from political action committees and other related organizations.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back next week with more.

Related Stories


Chris Morris lives in Saranac Lake and is communications manager at ACT, the community foundation of the Adirondacks. He has reported in the past for a variety of news outlets across the North Country, including the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, North Country Public Radio, and Denton Publications. His work has also appeared in the Adirondack Explorer and here at the Adirondack Almanack. He can be reached by email at chris@generousact.org.

ACT, the Adirondack region’s community foundation, works to invest in a brighter future for the Adirondacks by inspiring philanthropy and community investment. Home to more than 220 charitable funds, ACT has awarded some $20 million in grants and scholarships in several broad categories, including education, environment, human well being, community vitality and culture. ACT is also leading a number of initiatives aimed at bolstering Adirondack communities and supporting nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.generousact.org.




Comments are closed.