ALBANY—Military issues are important to voters in the 23rd district, which contains Ft. Drum, the home of the 10th Mountain Division.
So it was a not a small deal (or a particularly surprising one) yesterday when Representative John Boehner, the House Republican Leader, promised to fight to get Republican congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava a seat on the Armed Services Committee.
"John McHugh's leadership on Armed Services was invaluable for the troops and military families in New York's Twenty-Third Congressional District, and Dede is the ideal candidate to carry on that service," Boehner said in a statement.
Boehner's support doesn't ensure anything; the House is controlled by Democrats. David Wasserman, an editor of the Cook Political Report told the Watertown Daily Times that a promise–and is just a promise–is "one of the oldest plays in the playbook."
Scozzafava is running against Bill Owens and Doug Hoffman, who have the designations of the Democratic and Conservative Parties respectively.
Hoffman yesterday put out press release attacking Barack Obama's decision to abandon a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, saying that "we can never allow citizens of Eastern Europe to be subjugated again."
"It's ironic that this decision was announced on the 70th Anniversary of the Soviet Union's invasion of Poland, a military action that helped launch World War II. Obviously, President Obama gives little credence to the adage, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. Dating back to the 16th Century there have been numerous invasions, incursions and wars between the nations that comprise Eastern Europe and the nation that is today called Russia. Good intentions are great, but, good intentions do not stop wars; a strong system of defense does."
"For nearly half a century Communism held Eastern Europe in its grip. We can never allow the citizens of Eastern Europe to be subjugated again. I stand with Lech Walesa in opposing this. I call on the President to reconsider this action and I hope my opponents Dede Scozzafava and Bill Owens will join me in doing so."