28 March, 2006

McFarland Campaign Manager Rollins Blasts State GOP Head

GOP Senate candidate KT McFarland and her campaign manager have a message for state Republican chairman Steve Minarik. Keep your nose out of our business.

Yesterday, the New York Post reported that Minarik told McFarland to axe Ed Rollins as her campaign manager if she wanted to receive consideration for backing from the state GOP. Minarik's beef with Rollins apparently goes back to 1992, when Rollins helped the third-party presidential candidacy of Ross Perot. You'll recall Bill Clinton won that race.

McFarland has issued a statement indicating she'll stick with Rollins, saying who she chooses to run her campaign is her business and non-negotiable. Rollins chose a few stronger words, saying "no one in the world" would consider Minarik a good party chairman and criticized his fundraising abilities and his ability to win races.

By the way, McFarland got another small-time endorsement today. Capitol Confidential reports the endorsement comes from the chairman of the Ontario County Republican party.

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On the Democratic side of things, the man who's running a distant second for the party's nomination for governor, Nassua County executive Tom Suozzi, is challenging frontrunner Eliot Spitzer to monthly debates, according to NY1. Spitzer has already agreed to at least one debate.

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The Andrew Cuomo campaign announced today that the Democratic candidate for state attorney general has picked up the endorsement of Suffolk County Democratic Party Chairman Rich Schaffer. Speaking of Cuomo, New York magazine has a candidate profile of him this week chronicling the ups and downs of his career as a politician and son of Maurio Cuomo, the former governor who was revered in Democratic circles.

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No day would be complete without a Hillary article. Today it's the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Sen. Clinton met with the editorial board of the paper yesterday and urged New Yorkers to get past the noise that surrounds her and look at her record. She did concede, though, that there's lots of work to do to turn around upstate New York.

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The way has been cleared on the Republican side for Rep. Sue Kelly, of New York's 19th District. Jeff Cook, an official with the Log Cabin Republicans - a group which advocates for gay rights, has pulled out of the race. Cook says running against incumbent Kelly would be too expensive and too combative. Cook never announced his candidacy but did form an exploratory committee. That still leaves about six hopefuls on the Democratic side.

Speaking of Kelly, the Rebulican veteran will get a boost to her campaign from a top Repeublican with whom she has disagreed in the past. Kelly will host Arizona Sen. John McCain at a $500 a plate dinner in Hopewell Junction on April 1. During the 2000 campaign, Kelly criticized McCain's support for New York and New Jersey veterans and voted against the McCain-Feingold campaign reform law.

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