Michelle Malkin

Here's the dirty little secret about political candidates and officeholders labeled by the mainstream media as "moderate Republicans": There's usually nothing moderate about them. Consider the case of "moderate Republican" Dede Scozzafava, the GOP nominee in the New York 23rd congressional district's special election.

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Handpicked by local party pooh-bahs and supported by Beltway GOP leaders, Scozzafava is vying to replace former GOP Rep. John McHugh, who abandoned his seat to accept President Obama's nomination as Army Secretary. There's certainly no urgency to tack left. The upstate New York district is as safe a Republican district as they come. The GOP has triumphed in every election there since 1871. Obama eked out a victory in the district last fall, but the Democrats have no real traction on the ground.

And the mood of the electorate near and far is far from electric blue. It's not just Tea Party activists and health care town hall protesters displaying discontent with Big Government in Washington. A recent Gallup Poll reported that self-identified conservatives now outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states -- and that more Americans nationwide now say they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years.

Scozzafava is an abortion rights advocate who favors gay marriage. It would be one thing if Scozzafava balanced that social liberalism with fiscal conservatism. But as a state assemblywoman, she voted for massive tax increases, Democratic budgets and a $180 million state bank bailout. She also supported the trillion-dollar federal stimulus package -- which every House Republican voted against.

More troubling, Scozzafava in past elections has embraced the ballot line of the Working Families Party -- a socialist outfit whose political DNA is intertwined with scandal-ridden ACORN. ACORN and the WFP have shared office space in New York City, Arkansas and Illinois. ACORN head Bertha Lewis, a close Scozzafava friend and political supporter, wears a second hat as vice chairman of the WFP. The WFP has been listed in ACORN documents dating back to 2000 as an "affiliate."

Under fire for her cozy relations with organizations that have shown lifelong hostility toward the Republican Party, Scozzafava now claims she would have voted to de-fund ACORN in the wake of the multiple BigGovernment.com sting videos showing ACORN employees advising undercover journalists on how to evade tax laws, lie on housing applications and smuggle underage illegal alien prostitutes.


Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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