Outside money flows to NY open seat race

The National Right to Life Committee is backing Republican candidate Jane Corwin in the 26th Congressional District special election, even though she favors abortion rights in the first trimester.

The organization’s political action committee is among three advocacy groups and two national political party organizations that are putting late money into what’s become an unexpectedly close race in a traditionally Republican district in western New York ahead of the May 24 election.

Much of the money is financing television ads, with a $250,000 media buy by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that began Friday, and a $400,000 commitment by the Republican National Congressional Committee for ads scheduled to begin Monday. The district is in the Rochester and Buffalo media markets.

The DCCC previously spent $150,000 on other campaign costs.

The three outside advocacy groups filed reports with the Federal Election Commission this week reporting their entry into the campaign.

The National Right to Life Committee’s PAC is spending $6,125 on a mailing supporting Corwin because she opposes federal funding for abortions and funding for Planned Parenthood, and she backs parental notification laws.

“I think for her it’s a personal decision,” Corwin campaign spokesman Matt Harakal said. “She’s spoken at length about this. She’s been very clear.”

Her two major opponents, Democrat Kathy Hochul and Tea Party candidate Jack Davis, favor abortion rights without similar restrictions, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

The committee backs Corwin because she “is the only candidate who consistently opposes using taxpayer funds to pay for abortion,” spokesman Derrick Jones said in an email. The group said Corwin also opposes “the pro-abortion, pro-rationing Obama health care law and will vote to repeal it.”

Service Employees International Union’s Local 1199 reported spending $59,750 for canvassing in support of Hochul.

American Crossroads, a conservative advocacy group, is spending $350,000 on television and Internet ads opposing Davis. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan heads the group, and former presidential political strategist Karl Rove is an advisor.

The group may spend even more, according to spokesman Jonathan Collegio, depending on how Davis’ candidacy fares in response to a video showing a Corwin staffer confronting Davis on the campaign trail.

Corwin’s supporters say the video shows a Davis staffer pushing away a video camera held by Michael Mallia, who works on Corwin’s state Assembly staff.

Davis’s campaign spokesman, Curtis Ellis, says the brief video clip doesn’t show physical contact and doesn’t include the verbal abuse Davis was subjected to just prior to the incident.

Davis, who has ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the past as a Democrat, is seen by Republicans and Democrats as a spoiler who could help Hochul win the special election.


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  1. Beware the underhanded subversive tactics of the Tea Party and their well funded backers.

    One of the tactics in the operating manual from Tea Party supporters is to confront any opposing supporters at an event and goad them with inflammatory lies and to hold a video capable camera in their face as they say inflammatory things.
    Tea Party inciters will then continue repeating things to annoy the other side to record snippets of video showing such potential actions after repeated verbal abuse, as someone pushing away the video camera as it is held closer and closer to one’s face as the “discussion” grows louder and more strident.

    In reality the “discussion” was a mere sham to incite the required action ( of removing the video camera ) to have a video record to be used in a future TV commercial against a candidate not in compliance with Tea Party or right wing conservative ideology.

    The Tea Party is taking its marching orders from the most rehearsed and well funded media smear experts out there such as Rove and his “American Crossroads” anti worker anti middle class media manipulation group.

    Beware the underhanded subversive tactics of the Tea Party and their well funded backers.

  2. “anti middle class?” the tea party? Do you mean anti public union rip offs? Tell the truth or go to bed with no dinner.

  3. Mom has been fooled ( but MOM is probably a paid blogger working for the outside money handlers who are funding the TEa Party naive citizens who are buying their rhetoric)

  4. The Tea Party’s subversive tactics would seem to be less than relevant or applicable in this case. Davis is backed by the Teabaggers. The tracker is GOP NY Assemblywoman and Davis-Congressional-opponent, Jane Corwin’s Chief of Staff (when not whimpering and trembling).