The Spectacle Blog

NY23 EXCLUSIVE: Hoffman Campaign Seeks ‘Boots On the Ground’ vs. ACORN

By on 10.25.09 | 4:01PM

The crucial Nov. 3 special election in upstate New York features two candidaties -- liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens -- connected to the Working Families Party (WFP) which is the New York political arm of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

On New York's multi-party ballot, Scozzafava previously ran in New York on the WFP line (a distinction she shared with Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and with Barack Obama in 2008). In this three-way congressional election, however, the WFP is going with Democrat Bill Owens.

That makes Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman the only one seeking the 23rd District seat who isn't connected to ACORN. Hoffman is also the only candidate in the race who doesn't have Big Labor connections. While most unions are backing the Democrat, Scozzafava enjoys support from many local unions because her husband, Ron McDougall, is president of the area's organized labor council. (McDougall has also contributed to WFP.)

The unions "don't want Doug Hoffman in there because he's against card check," a Hoffman campaign source said, referring to the Conservative candidate's opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would deprive workers of the secret ballot in union organizing votes.

With both Big Labor and ACORN working to defeat the Conservative -- who is also being attacked by the national GOP Establishment -- Hoffman's campaign is sending out a nationwide call for volunteers to help match the "community organizers" being brought into the 23rd District by his major-party opponents.

"We need boots on the ground," said the Hoffman campaign source. "We need to push back."

Hoffman penned an op-ed column in today's New York Post identifying himself with Americans who "have had enough," describing his campaign as "a battle that has been joined by current and former elected Republican officials, conservative activists and members of the ever-growing Tea Party and 9/12 movements."

When I visited the Plattsburgh, N.Y., office of the Hoffman campaign Friday, about 70 volunteers had turned out for an organizational meeting. Among those were two local volunteers, Jeremy Kain and Tony Maglione, who talked about the campaign and the need for more volunteers to help in the final push to Nov. 3:

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