I spent two days this weekend at different
post election debriefs. While they were mostly focused on
a national viewpoint, I did have the chance to meet three
different folks who all had experience working the
election side of the State Senate. I threw my "the DSCC
doesn't want to win" rap on all three and each time the
reaction was something like "You're just now figuring this
Marc Humbert of the AP doesn't quite go that far, but he
comes pretty close.
Democratic sweep did little for state Senate
ALBANY, N.Y. -- While Democrats easily swept every
statewide office at stake in New York on Election Day and
took three congressional seats away from Republicans,
things were not nearly as rosy for Democrats in state
Things might have been a whole lot better for Senate
Democrats and much worse for the Senate GOP if a bit more
money and attention had been focused on the races.
Instead, the GOP lost just one seat and is expected to
hold a comfortable 34-28 seat majority in the new Senate.
"It was clearly not the No. 1 priority for Democrats,"
said state Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat
who headed up the Senate's Democratic Campaign
Krueger said the Senate GOP was helped by polls showing
Spitzer, Clinton and other statewide Democrats far ahead.
That meant Republican donors pumped money into state
Senate races, hoping to keep at least a toehold in New
York where Democrats also control the state Assembly.
It is not that there weren't other opportunities for the
state Senate Democrats.
In Queens, veteran Republican state Sen. Serphin Maltese
barely won re-election with 51 percent of the vote against
Albert Baldeo, a Democrat who not only didn't get help
from the Senate Democrats' central campaign committee, but
was largely ignored by the Queens Democratic organization.
"In 20-20 hindsight, I'm sorry I had no data showing
that was a race," said Krueger. "That was not on our radar
Writing about the Queens race in the weekly Village Voice
newspaper, Wayne Barrett suggested Baldeo's lack of help
might have more than a little to do with the close
relations that had developed over the years between
Maltese, the Queens County GOP chairman and a former state
Conservative Party state chairman, and the county's
Democratic leadership. Maltese has held the Senate seat
Early this year it appeared that Maltese might be in real
trouble when Republican New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg let it be known that he might support a possible
challenge for the Senate seat being contemplated by
Democratic city Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. Bloomberg
and the Queens GOP had been at odds during his successful
re-election bid in 2001 and the mayor was also complaining
the state Senate GOP wasn't being generous enough to the
city. The possible Addabbo challenge quickly disappeared
after Bloomberg and state Senate Majority Leader Joseph
Bruno made peace.
Meanwhile, on Long Island, Republican Caesar Trunzo, in
the Senate since 1972, won re-election with just 53
percent of the vote against a Democrat given little
help by the Senate minority. State Senate Democrats also
did little to help candidates running for open seats on
Staten Island and in the Utica area. On Staten Island,
Democrats even had an advantage in enrollment for the seat
being vacated by Republican John Marchi.
Part of the problem for Senate Democrats was that
Minority Leader David Paterson had let it be known more
than a year ago that he did not believe Democrats could
take the Senate in 2006 and that the real target was 2008.
Such statements did little to encourage fundraising.
"We were dramatically outgunned with money," Krueger told
The Associated Press on Thursday. She estimated the GOP
spent more than $7 million while she was able to muster
less than $2.5 million.
Then, Paterson got tapped to become Spitzer's running
mate, leaving Senate Democrats with a lame-duck leader
through the election cycle. While Spitzer and Paterson did
lend a hand in some Senate races, their attention was
Senate Democrats were helped in 2004 by the larger turnout
that accompanies presidential elections, especially in a
state as blue as New York. More than 7.4 million voters
trooped to the polls in 2004 while just over 4.2 million
turned out in 2006 in a state where there are more than
5 million Democrats and just 3 million Republicans.
The problem now faced by Democrats is that they have now
given the GOP a roadmap of the potential targets for 2008.
In politics, as in much of life, forewarned is forearmed.
LINK:reprinted from The Albany Project Blog
Sending Help, Slowly
Writing in today's Times, Jonathan Hicks hit on the curious
some Democrats have exhibited towards their
party's razor-thin loss to Republican state Senator Serph
Maltese in Queens.
The theory behind the lack of interest is
that Maltese enjoys good relations with his Democratic
counterparts that has somehow tempered their enthusiasm for
ending his legislative career. And as a member of the majority,
he's been a reliable source of state aid for the city and
Queens in particular.
But a Democratic insider told me there's been a slight
change of attitude.
Senate Democrats will be sending lawyer Henry Burger - who
is in charge of the Andrea Stewart-Cousins recount in
Westchester - to oversee the recount in Queens, where less than
800 votes separates Maltese from his opponent, Albert Baldeo.
-- Azi Paybarah
LINK: reprinted from the Politicker Blog
According to a Democratic operative working
on Albert Baldeo's senate campaign, he is now down 600
votes to incumbent Republican Serph Maltese, with 1,202
votes to be counted tomorrow.
If Maltese hangs on, Senate Democrats will
have two years to wonder about the what the result might
have been if they had actually sunk some money into that
-- Azi Paybarah
LINK: reprinted from The Politicker Blog
Paterson defends Dems’ Senate showing
State Senate Democratic Leader David Paterson argues that
given Republican fund-raising advantages, it was a “great
victory” for Democrats to gain one chamber seat, even in
the context of Democratic landslides in statewide races and
takeovers of statehouses across the country. He says Senate
Democrats were outspent 4 to 1 by an entrenched Republican
majority, yet ousted the third-most-powerful GOP senator,
Nick Spano in Westchester, and came within 1,000 votes of
defeating Serf Maltese in Queens.
But some say Mr. Paterson is to blame for not defeating Mr.
Maltese. He provided no help to Mr. Maltese’s Democratic
opponent, Albert Baldeo, who raised much of his $104,000
from family members and the South Asian community. Mr.
Maltese raised $283,000, and state Senate Republicans paid
for his literature mailings, says Mr. Baldeo’s campaign
manager, Gary Tilzer.
LINK: reprinted from New York Business News
2006 NY 15th SD
Another good read on
, or try this, a slightly
shorter version of the same article
, published in the New
Note the explanation give by State Senator and County GOP
Chair Serphin Maltese in the first (longer) version of the
article as one of the reasons they did not do more to back Stu
Mirsky's candidacy against a local Democratic incumbent: “. . .
the main club backing Mirsky had been very antagonistic toward
the county leadership, but I think we have it worked out and have
absolute unity now.”
As President and one of the founders of the Rockaway
Republicans, I can say definitively that we were NOT
"antagonistic" towards the County leadership when we began and
only ended up at odds with them because of the way they reacted
to our efforts to revive a Republican presence in our area. In
fact, we reached out to the County organization repeatedly for
help in getting started though they ignored us for nearly a year
before we finally managed to get their attention. When we did,
they played "hard to get." Instead of welcoming us into the fold,
they threw up hurdles.
Submitted by TomL on Thu, 11/16/2006 - 12:50pm.
The Village Voice has a fascinating report this week about how
the non-aggression pacts between Republicans and Democrats in
the boroughs will soon crumble now that the judicial nominating
conventions have been eliminated.
Exhibit #1? Senator Maltese winning his race by only about
Watching Serph nearly go down on election day, I said to
myself: Self, these deals can't continue because the grassroots
won't allow it. But, it looks like the Democrat grassroots are
going to do a better job ending it than we are.
If you think '06 was bad, just wait till '08. We're screwed.
Unless we decide to fight.
Submitted by Luke VL on Tue, 11/14/2006 - 3:12pm.
State Senate District 15
Serphin R. Maltese [GOP] 17122 51.17%
Albert Baldeo [Dem] 16339 48.83%
Reporting: 209 of 209 precincts - 100.00 percent
Paper ballots not counted yet!
I think this is Democrat party's top prioity race for 2008!
Submitted by ProudNeoCon on Wed, 11/08/2006 - 12:27pm.
At least according to Serph Maltese's challenger in the 15 State
“… In the final senate race, Baldeo is challenging Maltese.
Baldeo has raised $46,383 in campaign funds—much of it from
his own pockets—as he attempts to unseat the 18 year
incumbent. He has used the money to run a series of
advertisements in local papers that attack Maltese’s record on
reform, education and gun control. “He
is an ally to terrorists. His voting record shows that he
favors guns on the street,” Baldeo said in an
interview this week. …”
For all the flak Peter King is getting for saying Manhattan
is similar to Baghdad, I fully expect the media to jump all over
Baldeo. Or, because this is considered a non-race, does the
media feel it has better things to do?
If a no-name Democrat cries Hitler in the woods, does the
Submitted by Scott Sala on Thu, 10/19/2006 - 4:43pm.
She is echoing something I've learned about in my district. I am
finding more and more conservative minded minority Democrats.
Getting them to vote their values is a job I am working hard at
Quoting Alicia (at
http://www.nysun.com/article/40158) "I did just learn
that a black entrepreneur, Herman Cain, has donated $1 million
to support the candidacy of black GOP candidates. In a press
release issued last week, he writes: "More and more African
Americans are pro-life, pro-family, pro-school choice and
pro-growth. We are working to earn their trust and their votes
— and are making incredible gains in the community. Our
message to African Americans is simple — it's time you vote
for candidates who support our values — Republican
Yikes: That definitely does not augur well for the
Democratic Party, which has more or less taken the black vote
for granted. It's another matter in New York, because the
Republicans here have written off that same vote."
I don't agree with everything she says, but I have found that
this applies to the Hispanic community as well. My peers are
more and more looking at the Democratic party and finding they
no longer have a home. Let's show them where they are most
welcome. Here with the Republican Party.
Submitted by YvetteVB on Fri, 09/22/2006 - 10:16am.