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Elise Stefanik Tag

We've been covering the on-going DACA saga here at LI; President Trump tossed Obama's unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) back to Congress, initially giving them six months to get a bill to his desk that would enshrine some version of DACA into law. The president later announced that he would grant Congress an extension if they weren't able to get their act together within the original time frame.  Trump, in other words, will gladly sign a DACA bill should one make its way to his desk.

You probably have seen viral videos of the disruption of town halls held by Congressman Tom Reed. The media narrative is that there was an organic, grassroots uprising by concerned citizens. Don't believe it. As detailed below, there was a well-organized national and local campaign to get activists to Reed's town halls for the specific purpose of creating a protest environment. Instructions how to protest and what questions to ask were circulated. Though the town halls were in the western part of the district, liberal groups in Ithaca and Tompkins county organized protests and got their members there. Other liberal groups like Planned Parenthood also got their people out. The issue is not, as some have portrayed it, whether people were paid to protest. While most of the people at the town halls may have been there without prodding, it is clear that liberal activists groups made sure there were enough protesters, who had been schooled in tactics, in the crowds to create the viral video they hoped for. This was astroturf. The deliberate, well-planned creation of the appearance of grassroots opposition.

To all the Trump supporters out there, and to The Donald, don't get your hopes up about Trump defeating Hillary in New York State in a general election. It's delusion. Trump does have a strong base of support in Upstate NY, the vast area north and west of New York City. Upstate NY Map But the downstate Democrat vote will swamp him, which is exactly what a Sienna College polling institute poll shows:

The academic boycott of Israel has generated a lot of attention and noise in the past few weeks, even though it has not generated much actual boycotting. No university in the U.S. is considering a boycott, as far as I know, and in many ways ties are expanding. The American Studies Association and a handful of much smaller faculty professional organizations have adopted the boycott, but even ASA had to back down from its key provision excluding most Israeli academics from its annual meeting. There have been, and undoubtedly will be more, attempts to get larger faculty organizations to adopt the boycott, but so far that has not happened. There are complaints from some Israelis also of an undeclared boycott of them personally in the humanities, with some American professors refusing to interact. But beyond the actual results, there is no doubt that the academic boycott movement is a malicious attack not just on Israel, but also on our entire academic system. It is led by some of the most outrageous campus characters, the rhetoric often is abusive, and the environment hostile and threatening. It is no wonder that over 250 university presidents, as well as major academic groups like the American Association of University Professors, condemned the ASA academic boycott. Over 100 members of Congress also signed a letter condemning the ASA. Soon we may be able to add a formal House Resolution to the list.

We will be covering several key House races, listed below. We also will update individual races as meaningful numbers and/or results are known.

For those of you who have been reading Legal Insurrection since the early days, the name Bill Owens may be familiar. Owens won the 2009 special election in what then was the NY-23 District (since reconfigured and now NY-21) against the insurgent conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.  In a precursor to the Tea Party uprising, Hoffman ran as a third party candidate and was surging ahead of liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava in a traditionally Republican District. Robert Stacy McCain did extensive on-the-ground reporting on the race, and has a special emnity for mainstream Republican endorsements of Scozaffava from Newt Gingrich and others: Twitter RS McCain Hoffman The Hoffman surge also was a chance for Democrats to test the Tea Party Demonization strategy that continues to this day. Rather than allow the conservative to win, Scozzafava dropped out of the race and backed Democrat Owens.  The influential Watertown Times also switched its endorsement based on Owens' promise to keep bringing home federal port to the district, something Hoffman opposed as a fiscal conservative. Here are some posts from way back: