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New York Senate Race

The Empire

Big Endorsement for Malpass

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

David Malpass gets arguably the most important endorsement in the Republican US Senate primary, snagging the support of the New York Post editorial board.

The former Reagan treasury secretary is praised by the paper for being a conservative intellectual, and, in that respect, "follows the intellectual tradition set by the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the most fertile minds ever to sit in the Senate."

Most voters, though, haven't heard of him. In the latest Q poll, 85 percent said they don't know enough about him, and just eight percent report a favorable opinion. And his primary rivals are working to fill the void. During a Tea Party forum at Baruch College on Monday night, former Nassau legislator Bruce Blakeman, attacked Malpass for working at Bear Sterns while his Wall Street colleagues drove the economy into the ground.

Blakeman said to Malpass, "You advocated for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae getting more money" and "you were the chief economist for Bear Sterns went they went broke."

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The Empire

Schumer’s GOP Rivals: Conservative vs Tea Party

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Jay Townsend smiled at the end of nearly every sentence. Gary Berntsen measured each syllable coming out of his mouth like a man trying not to lose his temper.

The two senate candidates running for the Republican nomination and the chance to take on Senator Schumer differed more on style than on substance. In their fist televised debate Monday night in Schenectady, Townsend, a communication consultant, and Berntsen, a former CIA operative, both agreed on supporting Arizona’s tough immigration law; disbelief in global warming; and, somewhat surprisingly, support for civil unions for same-sex couples.

The biggest clashes between the two candidates came when each claimed to have been early opponents to the plan to build an Islamic center two blocks from Ground Zero.

“I’m proud to say I was the first statewide candidate to go to Ground Zero and speak publically about the mosque and suggest that the imam put it elsewhere,” said Townsend.

Later, Bernsten, whose work in chasing the Taliban through the hills of Tora Bora were told in a best-selling memoir, said, “I’ll let you know I’ve been doing this for twenty years and a time stamp on your press release doesn’t mean very much.”

The other flashpoint between the two came when Townsend argued he’s more electable in November because already has the endorsement of the Conservative Party, a necessary ingredient for any Republican running statewide.

Townsend said, “I’m the only one on stage tonight who will have the Conservative line. No Republican has won a statewide election in New York without the Conservative line since Gerry Ford.”

Berntsen shot back, “I have the Taxpayer line, a new line that was created. I am the Republican designee, having won by twenty-five percent at the convention. I will turn out a large number of Republicans, I will turn out the Tea Party, in force. The Tea Party is the new conservative movement in New York. The Conservative Party will be small in comparison.”

Both men were unsparing in their criticism of Schumer, who is seeking his third term in the Senate and, depending on whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid survives his re-election, be in a position to become that chamber’s highest ranking official.

Townsend and Berntsen – when they finally put their focus on Schumer, said he had compromised his responsibility to New York for the sake of elevating himself in the Senate.

“He is more interested in being majority leader than fighting for the state of New York,” said Townsend. Specifically, Townsend said the new federal health care legislation contained billions of unfunded mandates that will be borne by New York property taxpayers.

Schumer “doesn’t stand up on the tough issues,” said Berntsen. “On the issue of the mosque right now, he’s in the fetal position in his office. He hasn’t made a statement. He’s hiding.”

A spokesman for Schumer has previously said the senator “is not opposed” to the plan.

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The Empire

GOP Insider: Critics Wanted Cox's Support

Thursday, August 26, 2010

WSJ also picks up [$] on a key point in a recent GOP debate: all three Republican senate candidates looking to face Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November agree on at least one thing: Ed Cox has not been a good state chairman of their party.

DioGuardi, Blakeman and Malpass each expressed their opinion during the "Lightening Round" portion of Tuesday night's televised debate.

A GOP insider takes umbrage with the candidate's answers, saying, they all sought Cox's support. There's also some airing of the intra-party factionalism that, as a spectator, I find refreshing.

Anyway, the view from a GOP insider:

All three Republican Senate candidates for the Gillibrand seat have actively sought Chairman Cox’s support and endorsement. Since Bruce Blakeman is the party’s official designee, Chairman Cox is supporting Blakeman. As a Mondello acolyte, however, it’s no surprise that Mr. Blakeman was unwilling to defend Ed Cox or offer up kind words about the Chairman in public. As far as Malpass and DioGuardi are concerned, it’s no surprise they’re both upset at Chairman Cox’s backing of Blakeman, though the mature reaction would have entailed the two of them acknowledging the position Chairman Cox is in, give that Blakeman is the party’s designee.

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The Empire

‘I’m Not Opposed to It…Nothing More to Add’

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

/> Chuck Schumer tries proving Gary Berntsen's criticism is true, telling reporters who ask about the Park51 project:

Well, um, I really have nothing new to add. As I’ve said over the last several weeks, I’m not opposed to it, and I think that’s the appropriate thing for me to say. So, I have nothing more new to add. OK?”

[h/t SoP]

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The Empire

Conservative vs. Tea Party in New York

Monday, August 23, 2010

The fisticuffs between New York's political establishment on the right -- the Conservative Party -- and the newer insurgency from the (further?) right -- the Tea Party -- were on display tonight in the debate between GOP Senate candidates Jay Townsend and Gary Berntsen.

Townsend noted he has the Conservative Party's endorsement and no GOP candidate has won statewide without it in decades.

Berntsen replied, "Tea party is the new conservative movement in New York. The Conservative Party will be small in comparison."

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