Earlier in the week, Speaker of the House John Boehner slighted Wendy Long in her bid to upset Kirsten Gillibrand for Senate in New York’s 20th congressional district.
During a speech at a breakfast for New York delegates on Wednesday, Boehner spoke of the challenges that House GOP candidates faced in “orphan districts” in Illinois, California, and New York. Of those districts, which include Long’s, Boehner claimed there is “no significant Senate race underway.”
Boehner talked up the possibility of grabbing four more House seats, but said the GOP is going to have to fight hard in what are known as “orphan districts,” located in states such as New York and California where the party won’t undertake a serious campaign in the presidential election and “there’s no significant Senate race underway.”
Did John Boehner forget about the record-setting Republican victories which swept him in to power in 2010? Did he forget already that it was conservative enthusiasm that brought about that Republican tidal wave? Apparently, he has. Is there really no chance that with the proper funding and backing from the party, that something similar could happen again in New York?
Just ask Chris Gibson if upsets are possible in New York.
The shameful dismissal of Long’s chances prompted Conservative Chairman Mike Long to write a ‘Dear John’ letter to the Speaker.
Long wrote (full text at the end of this post):
“Our US Senate candidate, Wendy Long, with little money and shear faith in New Yorkers waged an almost impossible primary campaign challenge and won the right to be on the GOP line against all odds,” Long wrote in the letter. “Every place Wendy Long goes throughout New York State she wins over voters and impresses all who make the effort to be an educated voter.”
“Every Republican/Conservative Congressional candidate will benefit in November with Wendy Long’s name above his or hers on the ballot,” he wrote. “You, as Speaker of the House, would benefit with a strong Republican/Conservative voice in the Senate from New York State, instead of the current Senator who does nothing to pass the legislation the House sends to the Senate.”
Senator John Cornyn also helped quell the Speaker’s snub with his endorsement for Long, stating:
“Wendy Long would make an outstanding addition to the U.S. Senate, and I believe she is the perfect candidate to break the Democrat stranglehold on New York. I endorse her with enthusiasm and believe with her platform of Jobs, Freedom, and Accountability she can win this race.”
Unfortunately Senator, endorsements, while fantastic for moral support, do not win races alone. Long is vastly underfunded in the race against liberalism’s darling, Gillibrand. Through the end of June, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, of which Cornyn is Chair, has yet to contribute to the Long campaign.
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is Mr. Cornyn, otherwise your endorsement is about as helpful as John Boehner’s words have been thus far.
Here is the full text of Mike Long’s ‘Dear John’ letter:
Imagine for a moment how surprised I was to read that when you addressed the New York delegation breakfast in Clearwater at the RNC convention on Wednesday, August 29 that you considered New York’s US Senate race one of the places where there is “no significant Senate race underway. Imagine my disappointment, which unfortunately is very real and quite disconcerting when so much is at stake.
New York State, in 2010, delivered more new GOP Congressmen to you than any other state in our Nation. They helped you become the Majority Leader and this year will help keep the GOP Majority in the House, in fact may even be part of giving you a bigger majority.
Why would you say there is “no significant US Senate race underway when we both know that we are already fighting the enrollment numbers in this blue state? New York voters are concerned about the fiscal future of our nation and are looking for candidates who will go to Washington to make a difference.
Our US Senate candidate, Wendy Long, with little money and shear faith in New Yorkers waged an almost impossible primary campaign challenge and won the right to be on the GOP line against all odds. Every place Wendy Long goes throughout New York State she wins over voters and impresses all who make the effort to be an educated voter.
Every Republican/Conservative Congressional candidate will benefit in November with Wendy Long’s name above his or hers on the ballot. You, as Speaker of the House, would benefit with a strong Republican/Conservative voice in the Senate from New York State, instead of the current Senator who does nothing to pass the legislation the House sends to the Senate.
Instead of trying to strengthen a coalition of republican/conservative voices that will help the country you and I are proud to be active political participants in, you let a golden opportunity slip by and in fact inadvertently undermined what we both work so hard to accomplish: a strong fiscally sound nation.
Congressman Boehner, New York State has a very significant Senate race underway. Wendy Long, despite all the odds, is making this a very significant race and come November 6, 2012 you may realize just how significant it was, especially when more republican/conservatives congressional candidates benefit by having her name above theirs on the ballot.
Rumors are beginning to circle around U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her presidential aspirations for 2016. And New Yorkers want to know, is she running for a full six-year term in the Senate this campaign season, or is she planning to abandon her district to pursue a presidential run in 2016?
Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long is demanding that Gillibrand tell New Yorkers which office she is actually running for.
Long said, “Kirsten Gillibrand needs to come clean with New Yorkers – is she running for U.S. Senate or President? Judging by her non-answer, answers and well documented history of flip flops it is impossible to tell where she stands or if she is committed to serving a full term in office,” said Long.
Long is responding to a number of reports that she may well be a worthy replacement in 2016 should Hillary Clinton decide not to run.
(In) an August 9th interview with NY1 Inside City Hall, Washington Post political reporter and “The Fix” blogger Chris Cillizza commented on the idea of a 2016 Gillibrand run, saying “you have Gillibrand in there if Hillary Clinton decides not to run.”
A chapter in Cillizza’s new book, The Gospel According to the Fix: An Insider’s Guide to a Less than Holy World of Politics, speculates on potential 2016 candidates including Gillibrand.
Long then proceeds to take a shot at Gillibrand, referring to her hopes of a 2016 presidential run as a “Tracy Flick” type of ambition.
Continued Long, “Gillibrand’s Off the Sidelines campaign and efforts to promote extreme liberal women candidates around the country are part of her broader agenda to create a national network of supporters to promote a 2016 bid. Unfortunately, as a result of her ‘Tracy Flick’ like unbridled ambition she regularly puts the needs of her national political agenda ahead of the needs of hardworking New Yorkers. New Yorkers deserve the truth – not another flip-flop.”
The reference has been made before, when a Politico report in 2009 indicated that the New York congressional delegation had given her the nickname – “a not-so-flattering reference to the over-eager, blonde, bubbly and viciously competitive Reese Witherspoon character from “Election.” For those unfamiliar with the role, we offer the following video clip…
Indeed, the question now remains, is Kirsten Gillibrand upsetting New Yorkers? Putting her blind ambition ahead of the needs of her own constituency? Is she running for her Senate seat in 2012, or is she already looking ahead to a national platform in 2016?