Ask me anything... within reason
(Above: misleading hit piece by Reshma Saujani against Congresswoman Maloney.)
Tomorrow, September 14, is primary day in New York, and all registered Democrats in NYC’s 14th Congressional District (see map, but it’s basically the East Side above 14th St with a piece that hooks down through the East Village and LES, and a bit of Queens) should make sure to turn out to support Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney from a ridiculous challenge by Reshma Saujani, an ex-hedge fund manager whose background as a political fundraiser and hyper-ambition led her to challenge a good, solid liberal incumbent who does not need to be replaced.
I don’t really get Reshma’s rationale. I was a respondent in her message-testing poll last spring, and would have leaked it if I were less lazy, but the messages she tested were a hodge-podge. She wanted to run an Obama-style new-generation campaign (boy did this turn out to be the wrong year for that!), although she herself worked for Hillary (nothing wrong with that). Her tested messages were youth and change (uh, yay), her bio as an immigrant (though no one ever listens to me, bio is simply never an effective message in a local election), a pro-immigration message (which is great, but Maloney is not deficient on this issue), and supporting New York’s financial industry, which fits with Reshma’s Wall Street ties but which she has downplayed, since I’m sure it didn’t test well.
If that were all there were to it, we could write Reshma off as a harmless young would-be politician about to get a painful but useful lesson in political reality, because her challenge is doomed. But the above flyer puts Reshma in a different class: the cheerfully dishonest politician who offers no good “change” from what you hate about politics.
To boil down: this flyer accuses Maloney of taking money from “Special Interests She Is Supposed To Regulate,” with a WSJ pull-quote indicating Maloney has held fundraisers while financial reform was being debated in Congress. (The other side of the flyer reproduces an invitation to a Maloney fundraiser in DC on June 23, with a PAC contribution of $2500, headlined by Carole King and James Taylor.)
What it doesn’t say is that Maloney stood firm against Wall Street on the financial reform bill that passed. So while Maloney may have held fundraisers, she did not vote in line with the special interests, she voted against them, and they have criticized her.
And in fact, Wall Street has donated heavily to Reshma! She has gotten most of her money from the same special interests her hit piece falsely accuses Maloney of supporting! And Reshma — not Maloney — sides with her donors in wanting a more pro-Wall Street approach, as this Washington Post piece makes clear.
Lowest of all, Reshma’s hit piece above includes a headline from the Washington Post, “8 House members investigated over fundraisers held near financial reform vote.” Well, by now it should come as no surprise that Maloney was not one of the eight. She was not investigated.
So, what do you think of a candidate who is pro-Wall Street, and funded by them, but who falsely accuses her opponent of being under investigation for taking special interest money? Why would voters in this district want to throw out an experienced, populist Congresswoman, and replace her with someone who favors Wall Street and whose main talent is fooling us?
Reshma will lose tomorrow, but I hope it is by a crushing margin. She does not just deserve defeat, she deserves to have her political career ended for good. If you are a Democrat in NY’s 14th, please vote tomorrow, Tuesday, for Carolyn Maloney.