More Conservative Sting Operations Go Wrong

Hillary Clinton - Conservative Sting OperationsA Clinton campaign official alleges that the women engaged in several efforts to entrap supporters. In one scheme, described by Clinton staff, a woman attempted to pass a cash donation to Clinton volunteers and interns. In another, a woman approached the campaign on Aug 19 and said both her parents had donated to Clinton the legal maximum of $2700 each and wanted to funnel an additional donation through their daughter, a violation of federal law. On Aug 13, a woman claiming to be Canadian approached another Clinton fellow to ask how to falsify an address for a campaign donation.

In another instance, a woman volunteering with the Clinton campaign on voter registration efforts in Iowa City returned to the campaign’s office in Des Moines and asked whether it was okay that she refuse to register people who don’t support Clinton, the campaign official said. The Clinton campaign maintains that its policy is to register all voters, regardless of their preference in candidates.

The women presented themselves as Allison Holmes, Jess Koski, and Jess Jones, according to the Clinton campaign, which collected names, email addresses, and phone numbers for the women. All gave the same phone number, which is listed on the website for the University of Minnesota-based Students for a Conservative Voice. Messages left at the number by TIME requesting comment were not returned.

—Zeke Miller
Clinton Campaign On Alert For Undercover Conservative Sting

New York, New York — New York District Tossups

There are three open seats in New York where neither party has an incumbent running for re-election. Each is considered a toss up. The funny thing is that all three have some interesting politics going on.

New York District Three (NY-03)

Oddly, Democrat Steve Israel decided to not run for re-election, even though the district is fairly Democratic and he would have won easily. Maybe he wants to become a full time comic writer.

For the general election it will be Thomas Suozzi on the Democratic side. He is a somewhat perennial candidate who has held elected office before as a county executive. But he also lost his last three races for governor and his re-election bid to the county executive position.

On the Republican side it is State Senator Jack Martins. He has led the way in filing bills that actually get passed. He also really, really hates taxes since most of his bills have to do with that.

The DCCC has already started crazy-gluing Trump to Jack Martins. So this is another seat that the implosion of the Trump Campaign is probably going to have a huge impact on. Martins did say back in May he would support Trump if elected. But as recently as 4 August he has not formally endorsed Trump.

In terms of money, Suozzi has a slight edge. But neither has a huge amount in their war chests. And they are expensive districts to run in, so it is unclear what the money will do for either one.

There is a Libertarian candidate, Michael McDermott, but it is unlikely he will do anything significant in the race.

New York District

New York District 19 (NY-19)

This race is going to fun. The district has gone for Obama twice, both times fairly decisively. But the retiring incumbent, Chris Gibson, is a Republican. So the district is considered a toss up.

On the Republican side, the winner of the primary was John Faso. In the 2006 Democratic wave election, he ran in the general election against Eliot Spitzer and lost. After that, he kind of fell off the radar. Instead of politics, he worked on things such as Autism Speaks, a program that helps kids with autism.

On the Democratic side, the primary winner was the fabulously named Zephyr Teachout. She is best known for running against Andrew Cuomo and getting a surprising 34% of the vote. In addition, she has been a big supporter of Occupy Wall Street and Bernie Sanders.

The fun thing about this race is that John Faso is using red baiting. This is at least a bit odd. Faso has said he supports Trump for President, even though he hasn’t endorsed him formally. But, of course, Trump and his campaign have a lot of ties to Russia.

I also found out today that a hedge fund billionaire has decided to spend a small sum of money against Teachout. Luckily Teachout seems to be one of the few people who can pull a Sanders off when it comes to fundraising and the national and state parties are willing to help her out. With a firm effort by Teachout, this may be a pick up.

New York District 22 (NY-22)

This race is not as wild as the other two. And it is the one New York district most likely to go Republican.

It went for the Republican candidates in the past couple of presidential elections even while being represented by a Democrat for ten years before redistricting. So it is possible that this is a pick up for the Democrats.

On the Democratic side is Kim Myers who is related to the Dick’s Sporting Goods family, but runs her own business. She also has been a member of the governing legislature for her county. So she has some experience running for office.

On the Republican side is Claudia Tenney. She is a state assembly member who endorsed Trump prior to her winning the primary. She was considered the underdog and pulled off a bit of an upset. Otherwise, she appears to be boilerplate Republican.

What is interesting about this race is this is a rare situation where a woman is running against another woman. Generally speaking, that doesn’t happen. Otherwise it is ye olde politics.

What Will Be the Outcomes of Each New York District?

I think these may all wind up being Democratic pickups. None of the three districts are heavily Republican, and this is shaping up to be a Democratic wave year based on how well Clinton is doing. She is taking steps to try to have a Democratic Congress to work with for at least the first two years (especially since she knows exactly what is going to happen if she doesn’t). The word is that the RNC is ignoring Trump and trying to salvage races like these.

So with that mess going on at the top on the Republican ticket, and the Democratic side working their tails off to avoid any losses, New York will be so blue it will be visible from space. And that will likely include each New York district discussed here.