Sunday, October 29, 2006

King Running Scared

We knew about the half million dollar ad buy by King this past week and Newsday is reporting on it.

"A closer look at King's campaign apparatus belies the congressman's professed confidence. As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, he has access to a reservoir of political donations from lobbyists. He is expected to share those with other Republican candidates. But in a year in which the GOP is playing defense across the country in a desperate attempt to hold on to their majority in Congress, King plans to spend what is left of his $1.59-million war chest on his own bid.
Last week, King went on network television with a purported $450,000 media buy - a bold and normally cost-prohibitive move in New York, the nation's most expensive and saturated media market. Such as ad blitz is generally reserved for the most competitive races, and the clearest sign that Mejias' challenge is gaining steam, said political professionals from both parties.
Beyond saturating the airwaves with at least three different spots, King said he intended to swamp voters with 10 or 11 pieces of mail, which would mean one piece every other day.
"I have a lot of money and I'm covering all the bases," King said, insisting he isn't worried about coming up short on Election Day. "Quite frankly, I don't know what you guys at Newsday are going to do."

King has NEVER spent money like this. He doesn't even campaign but this year he is going out shaking hands at supermarkets. "Basically, you don't do this for votes - mainly for intelligence-gathering to pick up what people are saying," King said as he campaigned outside the Super Stop & Shop on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown Wednesday. "You do it to get a sense of whether things are starting to go against you."
King doesn't hold townhall meetings, avoids any real interaction with constituents and would rather spend his time speeaking to groups that would endorse him and/or give him money.

The long and short is that King has to do what he hasn't done before because Mejias is running an effective campaign.

The question we have is how will King pay his car payments, cell phone bills and steak dinners if he empties his campaign fund?


Anonymous said...

you write some great stuff but i think you diminish the efficacy of your work when you accuse mr king of stealing campaign funds. i have volunteered for mejias and will vote for him but that sort of daily kos type invective turns me off. it reprents in my humble opiniont he worst of blogosphere. so unless u have specific evidence. stick to the war. that is why i oppose him and that issue is his albatross....

Anonymous said...

I thought you may have missed this one in Newsday this morning.

King is no White House rubber stamp
October 30, 2006

New York Republicans should be worried heading into Election Day. But at least one is not: Long Island Congressman Peter King.

While national matters might be generating angst for state Republicans, most of their wounds are self-inflicted. For example, New York Republicans have a smart, articulate, conservative nominee for governor in John Faso, yet party and fundraising support have proven woefully inadequate.

Jeanine Pirro ran a brief, embarrassing campaign for the U.S. Senate, until she quit to run an embarrassing campaign for attorney general. Oh yes, and don't forget the 4th Congressional District, which straddles Nassau County and Queens, where Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman seeks re-election, but Republicans have no candidate.

But in the 3rd Congressional District, it's a different story. Rep. King, a seven-term congressman and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is a straight-talking conservative, with political acumen and a formidable campaign bank account.

Nassau County Legis. David Mejias (D-North Massapequa) is trying to unseat King in the most interesting local congressional race, which isn't saying much given that none of the other Long Island races for Congress appears the least bit competitive.

But while running hard, King does not seem worried. He told me last Wednesday that his own polls had him up by 23 points, including one taken the previous week, and that lead had been consistent since March.

King's main campaign thrust is national security. But aren't Republicans supposed to be running scared from anything that even whiffs of Iraq? Well, in a time of war, that would be grossly irresponsible. Instead the focus must be on clearly laying out for voters what needs to be done.

King spoke forcefully in our interview of the need for wiretapping terrorist calls to the United States and "tough interrogation of CIA prisoners."

On Iraq he was realistic. King relayed that the constituents he hears from who want the troops home "agree that we have to do it in a way that's not going to make the situation worse." Let's hope that such sobriety is widespread and notjust heard from those supporting the congressman.

King disagrees with a set timetable for U.S. troops withdrawals, as this would enable "the enemy to run out the clock." He also made a sobering point about the need for the Iraqi army to be able to preserve "reasonable stability in the country; otherwise it's inviting a much bigger war in the future."

Meanwhile, as illustrated in their debate earlier this month, Mejias is pushing the message of King as a rubber stamp for President George W. Bush. But most political friends and foes acknowledge King's independence. The "rubber stamp" strategy indicates that Mejias either does not know his opponent's record or is applying boilerplate tactics dictated from the national Democratic Party.

Indeed, King's independent streak can frustrate even his fellow conservatives and Republicans, along with the Bush White House.

Consider, for example, his vote against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and his support for Sen. John McCain in the 2000 primary campaign against then-Gov. George W. Bush.

During the Bush years, he has strongly supported the president when it comes to tax relief and the war against terrorists, for example, yet opposed Bush on the Dubai ports deal and on immigration. He also challenged the White House on homeland security funds for this region.

One can disagree with King - as I do regarding his Dubai port and immigration positions - but to question the congressman's independence is simply silly. In fact, it would be nice to have more members of Congress exhibiting similar independence.

Since King seems to have the least to worry about compared with other local Republicans, here's a thought: Perhaps party leaders should seek out and truly support other principled and independent candidates. Hey, call me crazy.

Anonymous said...

Or this one which basically says that the poll that you have been drooling over is bullshit.

King's Media Foes
By Mike Barry
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is leading by only 2 percentage points in his bid to win re-election on Tuesday, Nov. 7, according to a poll by a Virginia-based company called RT Strategies. Don't believe it.

Newsday and county Legislator David Mejias (D-North Massapequa), Rep. King's opponent, seized on the news but it takes only a few web clicks to determine that RT Strategies' findings are taken seriously only by those who want to see Rep. King lose.

Indeed, one website where you can find the RT Strategies King-Mejias poll,, doesn't even mention Rep. King on its list of the Top 50 endangered Republican seats nationwide. Congressional Quarterly categorizes New York's 3rd district as 'Republican favored,' too. Yet you're not going to read about the RT Strategies poll's context or countervailing opinions about its findings in Newsday.

The New York Times piled on last weekend noting in its endorsement of Legislator Mejias that Rep. King is pro-life and believes the federal tax burden is too high, positions that in the Times' worldview are unacceptable in an elected official.

Meanwhile, Rep. King's four Long Island House colleagues, who maintain profiles lower than those in the federal witness protection program, are sleepwalking through easy re-election campaigns and will be endorsed heartily by the region's major media outlets. The U.S. Capitol Building, we're told, will somehow collapse if Reps. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), Steve Israel (D-Huntington), Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), and Gary Ackerman (D-Jamaica Estates) aren't returned to Washington, D.C. How can this be?

Rep. Bishop had one bill enacted into law during the current session, a measure that renamed the Patchogue post office. Rep. Israel can point to his co-sponsorship of the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act, although it took a Republican president and a GOP congressman from Connecticut, who sits in the majority, to get it passed.

Rep. McCarthy has developed in her public career no second act, remaining for the past 10 years a spirited antigun crusader, somehow frozen in time. And who knows what Rep. Ackerman is up to? The Republicans don't even care, allowing him to run unopposed this year.

Rep. King, for his part, remains a constant media presence because of his service as chairman of the US House's Homeland Security Committee. And any portrayal of him as being in constant lockstep with the Bush administration overlooks the fact that Rep. King was instrumental in blocking the White House-approved Dubai ports deal, which would have given a company owned by the United Arab Emirates' government oversight of security at major US ports.

Newsday even took a shot at Rep. King last week in its online 'Spin Cycle' political column, saying that he (Rep. King), "seems to be basing his campaign on the theory that Long Island is the jihadi center of the western hemisphere ready to be overrun for terrorists but for him."

Just out of curiosity, I entered into the 'Spin Cycle' search database the names of Reps. Bishop, Israel, McCarthy and Ackerman. Not one of them had been mentioned in Newsday's online political column since the summer.

TimJ said...

Of course the article from newsday you refer to was an editorial (forgot to include that didn't you) from ray keating (a hard core conservative and Bush backer) who forgot to mention that according to non-partisan King has voted with Bush almost 90% of the time, 97% of the time this year alone, which is more than anyone in NY's Congressional Delegation, and more than all but 11 of the 435 members of Congress. That is a rubber stamp

Anonymous said...

If the point you were trying to prove is that avid conservatives still support Peter King, congratulations! You win.

Anonymous said...

If you're point was to prove thatavid conservatives still support Peter King, congratulations! You win.

Anonymous said...


Nat said...

looks like Congressman King is worried enough to have "anonimous" posters spreading his propaganda on

BTW, that's the man who blurted out to a reporter in the summer of 2004, after a few beers too many with Bush on the White House lawn: "We won. The election is over...but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting."

So what's the matter? Why all this hot air? Can't he "take care of the counting" in his own district this time around?