Sarah Palin, Steve Forbes, and Glenn Beck have all lined up for Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the New York-23 race, while Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava suffers from fundraising woes and an all-out attack by at least a dozen conservative organizations.
Those organizations have called for the resignation of Scozzafava, saying her credentials as a conservative are slim to none. The endorsements of Hoffman and the backlash against Scozzafava have thrown the contest further into the national spotlight and solidifying it as a key litmus test for a Republican Party on the rebound.
The coordinated attack by conservative outlets came on the heels of a curveball thrown by Dede Scozzafava herself, after she called the cops on Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack when he repeatedly asked her about her stance on pro-union card check legislation. Scozzafaza has supported card check in addition to the Obama stimulus package, same-sex marriage, cap-and-trade, and abortion rights.
“To call Scozzafava a RINO is an insult to RINOs,” wrote Matthew Cunningham of Red County in a post titled “The NRCC Should Drop-Kick Scozzafava.”
The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) and the Republican National Committee have given cash to Scozzafava and both organizations reiterated their support for the candidate despite widespread conservative outcry.
“The NRCC supports the Republican candidates in the general election. That’s our policy in the past and that’s our policy moving forward,” said John Randall, spokesman for the NRCC.
"This race is a priority, and we continue to support the Republican candidate,” said Gail Gitcho, RNC press secretary.
The Washington Examiner’s editorial board expressed a common reaction to these affirmations.
“Donors to the RNC and the NRCC…should demand their money back,” they wrote.
Conservative critics pointed to the similarities between Scozzafava and Democratic candidate Bill Owens, which is why Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman has made significant inroads in the race. Just yesterday, Hoffman was endorsed by Ken Blackwell, Rep. Michelle Bachman, and former Majority Leader Dick Armey.
McCormack, the Weekly Standard reporter that dealt with the cops after questioning Scozzafava, said the entire race represents an embarrassment to the Republican Party.
“Every dollar the NRCC and RNC spend on her is a dollar they could be spending in 2010 on competitive races,” he said. “And in the exceedingly unlikely even that Scozzafava wins the election, the Republican party would still lose by continuing to be associated with a dishonest politician who calls the police on a reporter for simply asking questions.”
Not every conservative was so critical of Scozzafava.
"I would say to every Republican: you have a chance to elect somebody who has signed the no tax pledge; she's endorsed by the National Rifle Association; she is opposed to cap and trade and energy taxes; she is opposed to the Obama health plan; and, she will vote against Nancy Pelosi as Speaker,” said Newt Gingrich on TWT Radio. “That is a pretty good starting point - even if she is more liberal than I am and on other issues I disagree with her completely."