- NY’s 23rd district encompasses not only the North Country, but also much of the neighboring counties immediately to the north and east of Onondaga County, where I live. It also spans two major television regions, the Capital area and the Central New York area.
- The median income is about $35,000, and the district has upwards of 600,000 residents.
- It also has the attention of Sarah Palin, New Gingrich, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fred Thompson, and a whole other mess of characters that don’t live in the district, or even New York.
The race to fill McHugh’s seat is the only congressional race this year, and so it’s been designated The Test – the test of the Obama administration, the test of the Pelosi House, the test of all of the Us and Thems that anyone can manufacture. It’s also attracted at least $3 million in outside-the-district contributions. It features a Democrat, a Republican, and a Conservative. A lawyer, a rich Reaganite, and an Assemblywoman. Two liberals and a true conservative. A liar, a liar, and a liar. Oh wait, I must have been listening to their ads again. And the ads – that’s my Pet Peeve of the Day.
During the last fifteen minutes of the evening news, every night, we see usually four or five consecutive ads for Bill Owens, Dede Scozzafava, and Doug Hoffman. The other night, nine out of ten ads were for one of the three of them, interrupted only by a Fucillo ad. This week, while I’ve been on staycation, I’ve seen literally tens of dozens of ads for this race. As I type this post, there have been three ads in the past two minutes. The three million dollars that has poured into the race is being used to flood the airways locally, and I imagine in the Capital region as well.
I appreciate that this is the only game in town for the national Congressional committees, and for other support organizations who are interested in changing the legislative landscape. However, for those who live in the district, the best information doesn’t come from slick ad agencies or folks with wads of cash – it’ll come from the three running for office. For folks like me who live in the neighborhood, all this nonsense makes me long for a simpler time, when the Used Car King was the most annoying advertiser on local television.
And yes, three more ads have appeared while I typed these last two sentences.