November 1, 2012

Green Party to GOP: Don't Mess with Us

I've talked before about the race for Congress in my district, the newly created NY-24.  The two major party candidates, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle and Democrat Dan Maffei, are fighting it out again, Buerkle having captured the seat by less than 700 votes in 2010. 

The negative ads, from both sides and from their various support groups, have been bombarding us for weeks.  Three or four in a row now, during the dinner hour -- and then a couple minutes later, there are more.  We have 'DC Dan'  and (with a big sigh) 'that Ann Marie Buerkle'; we have Buerkle's 95% party line votes compared to Maffei's 96% party lines votes from 2008 - 2010.  We have 'Nancy Pelosi's health care bill', which I thought the Republicans were supposed to be calling Obamacare, which is what their standard-bearer call is (because calling it Romneycare would be boastful).

But we also have Ursula Rozum, the Green Party candidate, who may in fact be the second most dangerous woman in the district -- Buerkle being the first, of course -- because in some people's eyes, a vote for Rozum is a vote for Buerkle.

Clearly, local Democrats are concerned about that. And apparently some Republicans think it's a good possibility, and so have recently pumped money into Rozum's campaign. Members of the Grace family, who are from Florida and have no connection with our district other than their money (having already donated to Buerkle), are behind the contributions. 

Rather than just taking the money, as most would have done, Rozum's camp did some digging into the donors, and discovered the Buerkle connection.  Said the candidate:
Given their previous maximum donations to the Buerkle campaign, it is apparent that these donations are intended to help me win votes that might otherwise go to Dan Maffei and help Ann Marie Buerkle win the election.
So, what to do with the $4250?  Rozum chose to give it away, to local charities and to groups that support fair elections and election reform, stating
These donations should be very worrisome to everyone because it just shows that the rich in this country are really trying to game the electoral system. Giving to candidates that are polar opposites just shows that there are interests in this country that think that they can buy the electoral system. So, it really underscores the need for electoral reform.
Shame on you, out of state donors -- you have no business interjecting yourselves here.  I didn't like President Obama sticking his nose in our governor's race a while back and I don't like or want your money or your meddling in the race for my congressional representative.

And good for Ursula Rozum, for having the courage of her convictions; I wish more candidates had her mettle. You can view Rozum's press conference here.

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