Rep. McMahon’s opponent warns congressman of physical danger

“Had he voted for the healthcare bill, Staten Island and Brooklyn, they would really have been marching like they were going for Frankenstein,” Grimm, a former FBI agent, told The Ballot Box. “There was no question. That was just not even an option. Physically, he would have been in danger. It would have been that bad.”

McMahon said Grimm’s comments were in “very poor taste.”

“With respect to Mr. Grimm’s accusations about my constituents threatening physical danger, I think it’s in very poor taste for a candidate to paint the people he wants to represent so crudely,” he said in a statement.

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McMahon was under pressure to support the Democrats’ healthcare reform bill in March but ultimately cast a vote against the legislation.

“The fact that it was a very quiet ‘no,’ the conservatives and the Republicans know he kind of got a pass,” Grimm said.

He noted that McMahon has since opposed repealing the healthcare legislation.

“He’s on both sides,” Grimm said. “That’s going to be a big problem. My district has a tremendous amount of seniors; they are very nervous. We don’t have a public hospital, so healthcare is a huge issue in my district, a huge issue.”

In response, McMahon cited his repeated opposition to the bill.

“Mr. Grimm must have trouble understanding the legislative process, because I voted against the bill not once, but twice, despite calls from colleagues and organizations on the left to vote in favor of it,” McMahon said.

Meanwhile on Monday, Grimm was boosted by the endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
New York’s 13th district, which was formerly held by retired Rep. Vito Fossella (R), went for McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

“Michael served as a Marine in combat for our country, continued his service for 11 more years as a special agent in the FBI and then went on to become a small-business owner,” McCain said in a statement. “Michael Grimm is an extraordinary candidate, and I am proud to endorse him for New York’s 13th congressional district.”

Grimm faces businessman Michael Allegretti (R) in the Sept. 14 primary.
— S.J.M.


Idaho Republican quits GOP candidate program

Idaho state Rep. Raul Labrador (R) said Monday that he wasn’t included on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) latest list of “Young Guns” because he opted out of the program earlier in the year.

Labrador, who defeated the NRCC’s favored candidate, Vaughn Ward, in a May primary, is challenging freshman Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) in November.

Last week the NRCC added another 33 candidates to the lower levels of its Young Guns program, but Labrador wasn’t among them. That drew the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which suggested the omission meant the district is falling off the NRCC’s radar. Minnick holds one of the most conservative districts in the country.

According to the Idaho Reporter, Labrador says he didn’t want to be a part of the candidate program, but didn’t offer a specific reason.

“I’ve still met with them and still met their financial goals,” Labrador told the paper.

Labrador also missed out on an earlier round of Young Gun promotions in June.

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He has reportedly had a tense relationship with the committee. He campaigned vigorously against Ward, railing against him as a Washington establishment candidate. And Labrador was stood up by NRCC officials when he came to Washington in December, according to the Idaho Statesman.
— S.D.


Pawlenty won’t wait for Palin to decide on 2012 presidential race

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) won’t wait for the 2012 Republican presidential field to take shape before officially entering the race — possibly early next year.

“I’m going to make a decision about my future both professionally and personally and politically in early 2011, some time after the first of the year,” Pawlenty said Monday at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. “It won’t be dependent upon what other people do or don’t do.”
Pawlenty said he expected at least one potential rival for the presidential nomination — Sarah Palin — to delay her entry into the field.

“Given her status, she could afford to wait, I think, a lot longer than most other candidates because she has a built-in level of familiarity with voters [and] support,” he said.

Pawlenty, meanwhile, has been traveling extensively in early presidential primary states, where he’s been raising money for local parties and state and federal candidates.

His political action committee (PAC), Freedom First, pulled in $723,501 during the second quarter and has donated some $84,000 to Republican candidates. The PAC has more than $939,000 cash on hand.
— S.J.M.