Times staff writers Marc Heller in Washington, D.C. and Nancy Madsen here in Watertown had some interesting pieces this morning relating to the race between Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, and Republican Matt Doheny.
The race for the 23rd, which will take place in November 2012, will be a closely watched contest. Here's what we're watching right now:
Mr. Owens's campaign had to file some apologetic paperwork after it realized that its campaign finance disclosures in 2009 were in error, Marc reported.
The documents underestimated how much it paid out for advertising.
That 2009 race must have been really hectic for accountants. Students of NY-23 will recall that Conservative Doug Hoffman had to pay a fine because of a "technological glitch." (The brown-nose NY-23 students will smirk when they read the byline on the story about Mr. Hoffman's error.)
Nancy's story was about wind power.
Mr. Doheny's position against a subsidy that allows wind-power development is really a two-pronged approach, politically speaking. He gets to come out against "corporate welfare" and he also gets to come out against wind. In my estimation, a wind-power position is going to be a zero sum game for opponents, who are quite passionate on the matter. If he's against wind power development, they'll vote for him. If he's for wind power development, they'll vote against him. But for those who support wind power, it won't exactly be a make-or-break issue.
Mr. Owens got away relatively unscathed. He nuanced his position to express that he supports the tax break, but as for wind power siting, well, that's a local issue.
From the article:
"Mr. Owens said he understands the acrimony in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties over turbine placement, but that siting turbines is a 'local issue' and not something the federal government should be involved in."
I would argue that giving the money to allow wind turbine siting in the first place is involvement in a very basic, existential level, but that's just my 2 cents.
The fence-straddling didn't help him with anti-wind power advocates, an extremely vocal group whose adherents will write mean things about a reporter if a reporter's article doesn't call their political opponents conflicted pawns of BP and Acciona.
Here's Pandora's Box of Rox's take on it. It's got a screenshot from an Owens ad with a wind turbine in the background.
"The choice is clear" the punctuation-bereft post propounds: Mr. Doheny is a "proponent of business" while Mr. Owens is a "proponent of corporate welfare."
Looks like Mr. Owens has lost Rochester.