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Tom Reed (NY-23) Tag

If you don't live in upstate NY, you may not realize how horrible a Governor Andrew Cuomo is. Upstate, a huge region north and west of New York City, is Republican territory, and has been in revolt against Cuomo's outrageous gun control SAFE Act for years. Almost every upstate county has, in an ultimately futile but symbolic act, rejected the SAFE Act.

You remember the Extreme Ithaca Liberal campaign theme used successfully by Republican Representative Tom Reed in my home district NY-23? The Extreme Ithaca Liberal theme was used to beat well-financed liberal challengers over the head with a caricature of Ithaca liberals. It was a brilliant campaign theme because there was at least a kernel of truth to it, and the challenger didn't have to be from Ithaca for it to work.

Despite a lot of political flim-flam from the Tracy Mitrano campaign, including misleading use of polls to suck over $1 million from area liberals based on the false hope that the race was close, Republican Tom Reed easily won reelection in NY-23. The district includes ultra-liberal Ithaca and Tompkins County, where there was record turnout mostly for Mitrano, but Reed prevailed by 10 points:

Tracy Mitrano is the Democrat challenger to Republican congressman Tom Reed in my home district, NY-23. The District is mostly rural and conservative, stretching over a huge territory in upstate New York's Southern Tier. The District was created after 2010 redistricting, and is R+6 even though it includes ultra-liberal Ithaca and Tompkins County. The redistricting boundaries, which were drawn by the courts, have left Ithaca liberals feeling isolated and angry in congressional races dominated by the voters with whom liberal Ithacans have little in common.

In early July 2018, we covered an incident where a liberal activist opponent of Republican Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23) was caught taking a campaign lawn sign. The sign had a GPS tracking device hidden in it, which enabled the Reed campaign to track it back to Gary McCaslin's home. The Reed campaign put the tracking device in the sign because of problems with people removing Reed's signs. The sign in question was an "Extreme Ithaca Liberal" sign, part of a campaign theme Reed has used to great success for multiple election cycles against his liberal challengers. We discussed the incident and the history of the "Extreme Ithaca Liberal" campaign in our post, “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” yard signs disappear, perp caught by embedded tracking device (#NY23).

Republican Tom Reed represents NY-23, the congressional district that stretches in the Southern Tier of upstate New York along the Pennsylvania border from Corning to Lake Erie in the west. The District includes liberal Ithaca, which before 2010 was in the heavily gerrymandered 22nd District contorted in a snake-like manner to keep far-leftist Maurice "Red" Hinchey in office. After 2010 redistricting, which was done by the judiciary in New York, Ithaca moved to the new 23rd District, which is mostly rural and conservative.

I don't know Dr. Tom Taylor. But I understand his situation when he decided to attend Republican Congressman Tom Reed's town hall this morning in Ithaca, NY, where I work at Cornell Law School. In case you were unaware, Ithaca is like Berkeley, California, only smaller. Ithaca is in the NY-23 District. Reed has won in landslides the last two elections against Democratic challengers backed by national money. While no one is a sure thing, he is in a very strong position in this mostly conservative district. Ithaca is an anomaly in the District. In fact, Reed twice ran campaigns lambasting "Extreme Ithaca Liberals." This ad against Martha Robertson in 2014 irked many Ithaca progressives:

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 failure of congressional Republicans to take action to stop President Obama's arguably unconstitutional and illegitimate executive actions, on immigration in particular, has created a growing unrest among those who put John Boehner in charge of the House and Mitch McConnell the Senate. While there have been failed revolts in the House against Boehner's leadership, by and large the anger has been kept out of the official GOP organizational structure. Until now. In what may be the first such action since the so-called "Cromnibus" and DHS funding passed, on Thursday night, March 12, 2015,the Tompkins County (NY) Republican Party Executive Committee voted "No Confidence" in the Congressional leadership. Tompkins County is in the Southern Tier of upstate NY, a mostly rural county that includes the liberal City of Ithaca. It is in the NY-23 District that overwhelmingly voted for Republican incumbent Tom Reed in the 2014 election. A source at the Tomkins Co. GOP told me:

There have been few electoral races in which Legal Insurrection played a more decisive role than in the congressional race in my home district NY-23 this cycle. Martha Robertson was challenging incumbent Republican Tom Reed, who won the district in 2012 by about 4 points. Reed was considered vulnerable. Robertson was the promising star in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee candidate roster slated to take Reed out. Robertson earned the coveted "Red-to-Blue" designation, meaning that she was one of a small number of Democratic prospects to flip a Republican seat. Robertson was an Emily's List favorite. Money poured in to support Robertson. But Robertson's campaign never really got off the ground as she geared up in the fall of 2013. Our accurate and in depth reporting was a part of that failure. We exposed a false campaign fundraising solicitation that claimed GOP operatives tried to take down Robertson's website during a key fundraising period. That report, which Robertson struggled to deal with, haunted the Robertson campaign for the rest of the campaign. We exposed Robertson's history of supporting single-payer and plan to use Obamacare as the stepping stone. That is not a popular view in this district.

The video of Martha Robertson, the Democratic challenger being laughed at when she lobbed a contrived "War Against Woman" accusation at incumbent Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23), has gone viral. It has been picked up far and wide, and as of this writing has over 92,000 views on YouTube, up from 15,000 when I wrote a post about it on Friday, Martha Robertson “not ready for prime time” after War Against Women debate attack:
The line was laughable not just for the contrived way in which it was delivered, but also because it made no sense to anyone with local knowledge of Tom Reed. He is the epitome of someone who does not wage a war against women. He is known to be respectful and thoughtful both in his demeanor and consideration of legislation. Robertson, once again, obviously was just reading from a playbook, but using it against the wrong person. The “War Against Women” attack was a major blunder according the post-debate this analysis on the TV station that ran the debate: ...
“That shows me that Martha Robertson is not ready for primetime.”
The crowd reaction is being held up as part of a broader national narrative of the Democrats "War on Women" being a laugh line that does not reflect the reality that more and more women are siding with Republicans: