The Daily Star
---- — Claudia Tenney, you’re better than this.
When you announced that you would be running in the 22nd Congressional District Republican primary against incumbent Richard Hanna, we looked forward to an intelligent exchange of views between two of the most rational office-holders in our area.
Instead, what we have received from your campaign have been ad hominem, tea party, boilerplate attacks on Hanna that frankly are unworthy of the candidate we praised so highly when you ran in the 101st Assembly District two years ago.
To say you impressed The Daily Star’s editorial board back then is an understatement. This is some of what we wrote when we endorsed your candidacy over Democrat Dan Carter:
“It’s rare to find an incumbent politician, even at the state level, who can have anything resembling a sincere conversation that includes honest and thoughtful answers.”
We went on:
“Clearly intelligent and well-spoken ... she didn’t speak in slogans and buzzwords, but neither was she disorganized or unsure of her positions.”
So why, Ms. Tenney, are you speaking in slogans and buzzwords now? Is it because you expect the tea party wing of the GOP to dominate the primary electorate?
“Incumbent Washington insider Rich Hanna and his big business allies at the Chamber of Commerce support granting special treatment in the form of amnesty to those who broke the law,” you said in a media release.
“Incumbent Washington insider?” Really, Ms. Tenney?
“There is a clear choice between a proven conservative Republican leader and a tax-and-spend liberal like Richard Hanna.”
Back in 1996, Newt Gingrich famously came up with a one-size-fits-all list of words for Republican candidates to use against their opponents. “Taxes” was one of them. Liberal,” too, and, of course, “pathetic.” You must have liked that one, because there it was in your media release.
“The recent personal attacks against me are a pathetic attempt to obfuscate the effect his voting record has had on the families of hard-working Americans in New York.”
You sent out a media release with an endorsement from Brent Bozell, chairman of the far-right Conservative Victory Committee, who called Hanna “a faux-Republican.”
This week, you trumpeted the endorsement of Carl Paladino, the tea party favorite who in 2010 acknowledged circulating a series of racist and sexually explicit emails and falsely implied that Andrew Cuomo — like Paladino — had extra-marital affairs.
In your media release, Paladino praised you and called Hanna a “RINO” — Republican-In-Name-Only.
Ms. Tenney, as we said, we firmly believe you are better than that. You have time before the June 24 primary to end the inane name-calling and to have a thoughtful and cogent discussion about the sincere differences you have with Hanna. We urge you to do so.