Outside group pledges $600,000 for anti-Maloney ads (updated)

A conservative group called the American Action Network announced Friday that it plans to spend $600,000 on mailings, internet ads and TV commercials opposing “liberal Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney,” who’s running for a second term in one of 20 House of Representatives races on which American Action Network and an affiliate vow to invest $19 million altogether.

“Sean Patrick Maloney thinks his constituents should have to live by one set of rules and he should get to live by another,” Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a press release that repeated the campaign themes of Maloney’s opponent, former Rep. Nan Hayworth. “From voting to have first class air travel for Members of Congress to violating a ban by the very entity he oversees in Congress, Sean Patrick Maloney has proven he doesn’t deserve the trust of Hudson Valley families.”

The spending will go largely toward “heavy mail and digital advertising,” with some for TV ads in late October, the release said.

According to the Opensecrets.org website, outside organizations have spent $1.5 million so far this year on New York’s 18th Congressional District race, with the Democrats’ House Majority PAC leading the way with $714,000, followed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($372,000) and pro-Hayworth U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($301,000).

Update: Maloney campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Formas issued the following statement in response to the American Action Network’s announcement:  ”This Wall Street funded Super PAC and Tea Party Congresswoman Nan Hayworth are two peas in a pod — they support privatizing Social Security and giving more tax breaks to multimillionaires like themselves. Congresswoman Hayworth’s Wall Street friends want her back in Congress so she can pass her plan to let them gamble senior’s retirement on Wall Street.”

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Maloney lauded for work on behalf of farmers

The New York Farm Bureau has awarded Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney its “Friend of the Farm Bureau” award, recognizing the freshman Democrat for his work on the reauthorized federal Farm Bill as a member of the House Agriculture Committee and support for specialty crop growers in the Hudson Valley.

“The Friend of Farm Bureau honor recognizes Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s voting record on American Farm Bureau Federation’s priority issues in Congress,” bureau President Dean Norton said in a press release issued by Maloney’s office. “His support for the Farm Bill and the efforts to understand the needs of farmers in the Hudson Valley are much appreciated.”

Maloney, who had sought the Agriculture seat to make Hudson Valley farming a priority when he took office in 2013, noted in the release that the new Farm Bureau included crop-insurance reforms that had been sought by vegetable growers in Orange County’s Black Dirt Region and other local farmers.

“Working across the aisle, we delivered the best Farm Bill ever written for our small family farms in the Hudson Valley,” Maloney said in the statement. “I’m proud to be recognized as a ‘Friend of the Farm Bureau’ and I’ll continue delivering results for hardworking farmers, families and small businesses in the Hudson Valley.”

Shortly after that announcement, Maloney’s re-election campaign declared a new “Farmers for Maloney” brigade, supplying supportive quotes from five farmers in three counties, including Jenny Crist and Sharon Soons from Orange.

“As an apple grower in Orange County we are excited to have Congressman Maloney on the House Ag Committee!” Crist said in that release. “His dedication to keeping farms viable in the Hudson Valley is so important to our local food source, landscape and environment. In particular, he worked hard on the Farm Bill and was able to help bring it to fruition. The new Farm Bill is responsible for the crop insurance program which has been important to our ability to get through frost and hail years. It also provides more specialty crops (apples, vegetables) research funding to keep our industry competitive.”


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Maloney’s third-quarter campaign spending doubles Hayworth’s (updated)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s campaign outraised Nan Hayworth’s again during the last three months, but the cash gap between the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger narrowed somewhat with his spending about twice the amount she spent over that same period, according to the candidates’ latest campaign finance reports.

As the Maloney-Hayworth rematch race entered its homestretch, Maloney reported raising $777,710 and spending $1.4 million between July 1 and Sept. 30, leaving him with $1.2 million on hand. Hayworth, the former congresswoman he unseated two years ago, declared $453,973 in income and $695,890 in expenses over those same three months, which left her with $835,721 her coffers as of Sept. 30.

Update: The difference in the two candidates’ spending was due largely to the volume of TV ads each booked for that period. Maloney’s finance report shows $1.1 million in media expenses through SKDKnickerbocker, a Washington, D.C. firm. Hayworth’s campaign listed $296,460 in spending through its advertising firm, Jamestown Associates of Princeton, N.J.

Maloney had almost $320,000 more in his coffers than Hayworth by the end of the third quarter. That was down slightly from the cash edge of almost $400,000 he had when the quarter began.

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Smith answers questions from debate he couldn’t join

The independent candidate running for the congressional seat Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney holds and former Rep. Nan Hayworth wants back has submitted written answers to questions from a recent debate at Middletown High School that he wasn’t allowed to join.

Goshen resident Scott Smith, a candidate for New York’s 18th Congressional District, didn’t share the stage with the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger on Oct. 6 but was invited by the event’s sponsor, the Orange County Citizens Foundation, to answer the same questions in writing to be posted on the foundation’s web site. Here are the responses he gave.

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Third candidate wants to debate with Maloney and Hayworth

Shut out of one debate this week and two more scheduled for next week, independent candidate Scott Smith is calling on Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Republican challenger Nan Hayworth to demand he share the stage with them to voice his views.

Smith, a Goshen resident who won a court fight to affirm his place in New York’s 18th Congressional District race after his petition was challenged and rejected, will be on the Nov. 4 ballot as a third candidate for the seat in the midst of a caustic rematch fight between Maloney and Hayworth, the Republican freshman Maloney unseated in 2012.

This week, Smith sent strongly worded letters to both of his opponents, reminding them they faced no “unjustified objections” to their petitions as he had, and calling it “at best convenient and at worst cowardly” that they hadn’t asked for him to join the debates. He went on to challenge them to debate him and say they could “demonstrate their character” by insisting he take part in a Time Warner Cable forum taking place at Marist College in Poughkeepsie on Thursday.

Maloney and Hayworth are also scheduled to debate — without Smith — in her Westchester County hometown, Bedford, on Tuesday, an event organized by the New York League of Conservation Voters.

Smith was not invited to participate in the Oct. 6 face-off at Middletown High School between Maloney and Hayworth. The debate’s sponsor, the Orange County Citizens Foundation, has offered to allow Smith to answer in writing the same questions that were posed to the other two candidates that night, and plans to post his responses on its web site. (A video recording of the debate is already posted there.)

Smith’s political positions, which includes  conservative views on the Affordable Care Act and gun rights, are outlined on his web site, www.sendmrsmith2014.com.

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Republicans Larkin, Green praise Maloney in web ads

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s campaign rolled out two web ads today in which two prominent Republicans from Orange County — state Sen. William Larkin Jr. and New Windsor Supervisor George Green — delivered fulsome praise for the Democratic congressman, giving him two striking endorsements from across the aisle in the midst of his re-election race against Nan Hayworth, the Republican he unseated two years ago.

Larkin, interviewed on camera, calls Maloney a “very decent, honest gentleman,” saying he was the first Democrat to call to congratulate him on an election victory in his 36 years as a state legislator. He praises Maloney’s commitment to the 18th Congressional District and to veterans’ issues — a major priority for Larkin, a retired Army colonel who served for 23 years.

“The congressman has been there for us,” Larkin concludes in the video.

Green, in his segment, calls Maloney “a wonderful congressman,” describes him as genuine and lauds Maloney’s help in dealing with FEMA. “He cut through the red tape very effectively in his first term in office. When he says he’s going to do something, I know he’s going to do it. I think it’s very important that we keep Congressman Maloney.”

“And coming from a Republican?” Green asks, then break into a chuckle.



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Siena: Astorino leads Cuomo in 46th Senate District

Siena polling in the 46th state Senate district looking at the race between George Amedore and Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk also found something unique – the first place where Rob Astorino leads Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Siena spokesman Steven Greenburg says support for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins is partially to blame.

“This is the first state senate or congressional district Siena has polled where Astorino leads Cuomo,” Greenberg said. “Astorino leads among Republicans bigger than Cuomo does with Democrats, largely because 17 percent of Democrats say they’re supporting Hawkins. And Astorino – who has a break even favorability rating – has a 13-point lead with independents over Cuomo – who has a two-to-one negative favorability rating.”

The Siena poll shows that Cuomo’s unfavorability is the 46th Senate District is 63 percent, while is favorability is at 32 percent. Astorino’s  is seen as favorable at 32 percent compared to his unfavorability at 34 percent.

Astorino, a Republican from Westchester County, is overall trailing in the polls against Cuomo, a Democrat. Cuomo’s also from Westchester County.


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Siena poll: Amedore leads Tkaczyk by 10 points

A Siena poll out Monday shows Republican George Amedore up by 10 points against Democratic Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk.

In a rematch of the closest state Senate election from 2012, Amedore leads incumbent Tkaczyk 52-42 percent, according to a new Siena College poll of likely voters in the 46th Senate District, covering all or parts of five counties, from Montgomery down to Ulster.

“After losing by 18 votes two years ago, Amedore heads into the final month of the campaign with a 10-point lead over Tkaczyk and a better favorability rating as well,” said Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg. “Tkaczyk and Amedore are doing similarly well holding onto voters in their own party, however, Amedore leads by 19 points with independent voters.”

In recent weeks mailboxes in Ulster County have been splashed with campaign literature from both candidates camps, bolstering their own records and slamming their opponents. Amedore was an Assemblyman before running for the state Senate seat.

The poll shows that Tkaczyk and Amedore are about even women but Amedore is leading with men and outside our region. Unusually, Amedore is also getting support from those who support Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

“While they’re running virtually even with women voters, Amedore has a 17-point lead with men. The candidates are dividing the votes in the southern Ulster and Greene Counties portion of the district, and Amedore leads by 16 points in the northern Albany, Montgomery, Schenectady Counties region. Additionally, Amedore is getting support from nearly one-quarter of Cuomo supporters,” Greenberg said.

Amedore is also running stronger in his own party then Tkaczyk is with hers, Greenburg says.

“Amedore has a net +25-point favorability rating, and is stronger with Republicans than Tkaczyk is with Democrats. He’s not as negative with Democrats as she is with Republicans, and he’s much stronger with independents than is Tkaczyk, who has a net +10 point favorability rating,” Greenberg said.”

Amedore’s campaign didn’t waste much time putting out a statement at 5:59 a.m.:

“The results of today’s Siena poll echo what I’ve been hearing throughout the 46th Senate district. We are frustrated and we don’t feel we have a strong voice to stand up and fight for the issues that matter to us, including reducing the high cost of living, improving education, creating good jobs to revitalize our economy, and upholding our Constitutional rights. In the next four weeks, I am going to continue to work hard, get out into the community, and listen to residents so I can be the representative this district needs.

Tkaczyk’s campaign followed up at 6:03 a.m.:

Tkaczyk campaign spokesman Jim Plastiras said, “This campaign is just swinging into high gear, and with every debate that’s held, voters learn more about George Amedore’s extremist, anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-environment and anti-consumer positions and voting record. They will reject his deeply disturbing views, as they did two years ago. Senator Tkaczyk has a record of bringing more education aid to her district and fighting to provide Upstate New York with its fair share of state resources. Cece will continue to fight for her constituents, and they will re-elect her back to the State Senate this Election Day.”


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Two independent candidates win their petition battles

Two candidates running for Congress and state Assembly on independent ballot lines, both of whom had their petitions challenged, each have produced documentary evidence of their victories in those ballot squabbles.

One is Goshen resident Scott Smith, who’s waging an independent run for the congressional seat held by Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Having joined the rematch race between Maloney and former Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, Smith had to go to court to defend his petition after the state Board of Elections invalidated it, based on signature challenges made by Middletown resident Edward Blanchette. Smith won.

The other is Dan Castricone, a former Orange County legislator running for the vacant Assembly District 98 seat. He lost a Sept. 9 Republican primary to Deerpark Supervisor Karl Brabenec, but plans to compete in a three-way race in the November general election by running on the United Monroe line. Brabenec’s campaign challenged the United Monroe petition, but the Board of Elections sided with Castricone.

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Teachout will address Latino Democratic Committee

Zephyr Teachout, the recent gubernatorial candidate who tapped liberal dissatisfaction with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and won 34 percent of the vote in a Democratic primary on Sept. 9, will be the keynote speaker at an upcoming fundraising dinner being held by the Latino Democratic Committee of Orange County.

The event will take place at 5 p.m. at Oct. 4 at The Meadowbrook in New Windsor. Tickets cost $65. For more information call Sonia Ayala at 914-419-0061 or Mary Olivera at 347-538-1997.

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