GOP Warrior Grimm Takes Huge Lead Over Allegretti, As McMahon Makes First Major Screw-Up
It’s official: Mike Grimm is the leading GOP candidate in the 13th CD primary.
And given the land mine his opponent Michael McMahon recently stepped in, he might just be on track to win this November. McMahon, a Democrat pretending to be a conservative in a district that leans Republican, had a massive campaign explosion this week, as a member of his posse indicated that they had performed a segregated “Jewish Money” accounting of Mike Grimm fundraising, apparently in their furor over Grimm receiving lots of money from fine Jewish donors.
Also this week, Grimm received endorsements from John McCain and Sarah Palin.
I guess the Brooklyn GOP will just have to sit and spin, as their boy Michael Allegretti’s campaign begins to nosedive.
The Brooklyn Paper had this story:
Republican congressional hopeful Mike Grimm now has the distinction of being endorsed by both halves of his party’s losing presidential bid.
On Wednesday, 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin followed Sen. John McCain in endorsing the former Marine and FBI agent in his race against Michael Allegretti for the GOP nomination to challenge freshman Rep. Mike McMahon (D–Bay Ridge).
Palin, echoing McCain’s earlier endorsement, said in a five-sentence press release that Grimm would “represent New Yorkers with just as much integrity and courage as he defended them in the FBI and the Marine Corps.”
Grimm admitted that he’s never met Palin, the controversial “soccer mom” who thinks she knows foreign policy because Russia is “right over the border” from her Alaskan home.
But he was quite happy about getting the endorsements, claiming Palin’s “common sense solutions to the problems facing our nation make her one of the most important leaders in the Republican Party today.”
Though New Yorkers rejected the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008, the team is obviously popular in the 13th district, taking it from then-Sen. Barack Obama, 52 percent to 48 percent, even as McMahon was winning the House seat in a landslide. Four years earlier, voters in the Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst district voted to re-elect President Bush.
Of course, not all Republicans care what John McCain or Sarah Palin think.
“I don’t think these endorsements will overwhelmingly help a candidate in Brooklyn,” said Craig Eaton, chairman of the Kings County Republican Party, who, full disclosure, is backing more-centrist Allegretti along with the county GOP establishment as a whole. “The voters have certain needs and certain issues that affect them on a daily basis.”
Still, an endorsement by Palin is something of a political brass ring, these days.
As the Times recently reported, Palin has endorsed just over 50 candidates and incumbents this year. Out of the 27 that have already had primary or run-off elections, only four have lost.
It’s unclear if Palin will physically appear in Bay Ridge to support Grim, but McCain has agreed to walk the campaign trail with Grimm and host a fundraiser that will certainly add to the candidate’s $603,000 war chest. Allegretti has less — nearly $217,000 according to recent campaign filings.
Allegretti wasn’t rattled by Grimm’s high-profile name-dropping, but he did offer faint praise, congratulating Grimm “for earning the support of another high-profile politician from thousands of miles away.”
“I doubt Sarah Palin has ever been on the ferry, so here’s some advice if she ever finds herself on board: Don’t bother looking for Russia, you can’t see it from our waters,” chided Allegretti. “But you can see Brooklyn. And I’d gladly give her and Michael Grimm a tour of our district if they want.”
Allegretti said he has a lot of “local support” — notably Eaton, state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R–Staten Island) and Robert Howe, past president of the Bay Ridge Republican Club.
Craig Easton? Marty Golden? Robert Howe?
Can you get any more irrelevant and boring than that?
Firstly, most of the voters would only recognize Golden, who has enough of his own political troubles given his embarrassing non-vote in Albany and his politically foolish challenge of his younger Democratic challenger.
Easton and Howe?
Wow. The average voter wouldn’t know them any better than they know the census worker who came to their house ten years ago.
That’s how irrelevant they are.
More on that later… Back to McMahon.
David Freedlander had this story:
Mike Grimm, a G.O.P challenger to Democrat Mike McMahon’s Congressional seat, took in over $200,000 in his last filing.
But in an effort to show that Grimm lacks support among voters in the district, which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, the McMahon campaign compiled a list of Jewish donors to Grimm and provided it to The Politicker.
The file, labeled “Grimm Jewish Money Q2,” for the second quarter fundraising period, shows a list of over 80 names, a half-dozen of which in fact do hail from Staten Island, and a handful of others that list Brooklyn as home.
“Where is Grimm’s money coming from,” said Jennifer Nelson, McMahon’s campaign spokeman. “There is a lot of Jewish money, a lot of money from people in Florida and Manhattan, retirees.”
As a point of comparison, the campaign also provided in-district and out-of-district fundraising totals from McMahon and Grimm’s G.O.P primary opponent, Michael Allegretti. However, they did not provide an out-of-district campaign filing from Grimm, but only a file of Jewish donors to him.
Nelson said that the list was compiled by the campaign’s finance director, Debra Solomon and that she did not know exactly how the finance team knew who was Jewish and who was not.
“She herself is Jewish so she knows a lot of people in that community,” Nelson said.
Nelson stressed that the point of compiling the list was not to show that Grimm had a lot of Jewish support, but that he had little support in the district.
“I don’t think ethnicity matters. When people look at who is funding his campaign it’s not people who have a direct vested interest [in the district.]”
The campaign also wanted to point out that Grimm benefited greatly from his endorsement by Rudy Giuliani, and made a separate column to denote donors who have to the former mayor’s presidential or Senate campaigns. Only five appear to have done so.
Grimm recently went to a religious service led by Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, a Kabbalahist who is known as a rabbi to the rich and famous. Several of his followers, including Haim Revah, whose company owns the Lipstick Building and Ilan Bracha of Prudential Douglas Elliman, donated to Grimm.
McMahon meanwhile has been trying to make his own in-roads into the Jewish community. A source said that he is scheduled to meet next week with several major Jewish donors.
Reached by phone, Grimm, who is part-Italian, part-German, said he was proud of his Jewish support and said he was disturbed to hear that the McMahon campaign compiled a separate list of his Jewish donors.
“The fact that a U.S. Congressman would separate out any group by religion or even by ethnicity is nothing short of outrageous,” he said. “This goes beyond politics.”
Can you spell B-O-M-B-S-H-E-L-L?
It spells “bombshell,” Michael (the Democratic Michael–forgive me)
Well, this is one of those oops-doesn’t-cover-it moments.
It’s potentially fatal.
And it should be. I mean, how did McMahon let his happen? Is he just that incompetent that he doesn’t know how to hire campaign staff that don’t publish the fact that he’s keeping some sort of sick Schindler’s List of voters?
Shameful. I want answers Michael, and the truth would be nice…
I can’t wait to see what the complete fall-out from this episode is, but as I said, it could be fatal.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Back to “Little Michael” Allegretti, the Baron of Political Cluelessness, who is being ripped apart by the conservative blogs. One blog called him a “liberal environmental radical and a closet industrial polluter.“
The claws are out for Mr. Establishment, whose dealings with the Brooklyn GOP leadership make him stink worse than those “mutated Bayside Oil fish” I’ve heard about.
Anyway, it appears his campaign is on life support after the beating he’s been taking in the media. I guess the Republicans are tired of having Dede Scozzafavas forced upon them.
In fact, this primary day simulation was recently released showing the course of Allegretti’s campaign:
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the Eaton clan jumps ship when it hits the final iceberg.
I’ll be watching…