A Primary in New York Becomes a General Election Between a Democrat’s Best Friend, and a Conservative Marine Mom

Claudia-Tenney-CutoutClaudia Tenney, a conservative New York State Assemblywoman, is challenging Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) for the Republican seat in New York State’s 22nd Congressional District.  No Democrats have filed, so this race could decide the next congressman on June 24th when the primary vote takes place.

Rich Hanna, Congressman

Hanna has only held congressional office since 2010, and at that time, Hanna described himself as a moderate, and has been rated the third most liberal Republican, according to The National Journal .  But since his election in 2010, Hanna has positioned as left of center on far too many issues including siding with pro-choice extremists over family-centered politics, refusing to vote with his caucus to rein in out-of-control spending, and blasting his own party for fiscal responsibility.

At a rally for the Equal Rights Amendment, Hanna, the only Republican in attendence told the crowd, “I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help.”  Hanna is pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage, receiving funding upwards of  $100,000 from pro-gay marriage groups.

Hanna was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote with the Democrats to vote against the delay of Obamacare for a year.  But, Hanna didn’t do so for principled fiscal reasons, as he said in a statement after the vote, “he voted against passing delays in the health care law because of a GOP provision that would give insurers or others the right to deny birth control coverage based on religious or moral objections.” He went on, “But as a lifelong and consistent supporter of women’s rights and health care, I do not support addressing divisive social issues such as access to birth control on a last-minute continuing resolution.”

Hanna was also the only Republican to vote against a House GOP bill that would restrict tax dollars from being used to fund abortions.

hanna eraThe social positions of Richard Hanna put women in a group, and suggest that all women believe that government should give you something, and of all things, women demand birth control and abortion, demand it to be free to them, and paid for by their fellow citizens.  The view is condescending, and does not represent the views of all women.   In fact, he is the only Republican in his state to recieve less than a 70% rating by the Concerned Women of America.

Yet, despite his views that oppose his own party, even going so far as calling Republicans, “angry extremists who are incapable of governing,” according to Syracuse.com, “National Republican officials, who usually remain neutral in GOP primaries, took the unusual step Friday of supporting Hanna in the 22nd District race.  ‘Rep. Hanna is a valuable and respected member of the Republican majority in the House and we support him,’ National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ian Prior said in an email.  Hanna also has the personal backing of Tom Donohue, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, the driving force behind amnesty, and who openly has been spending money to silence conservatives across the nation.

Not only has Hanna sided with the left, he seeks out Democrat bills to co-sponsor.  In 2013, GovTrack.us found that of the bills Hanna co-sponsored, 31% were introduced by Democrats, and he received high praise from leftist Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand and Barack Obama for doing so.  It is no wonder the Democrats aren’t putting up a challenger, they already have a candidate in Richard L. Hanna.

Hanna is a member of both the conservative Republican Study Committee as well as the liberal, Republican Main Street Partnership but who he sides with is again, obvious.  He sent out this tweet a while back,

052412obamaspendingAnd though American families can attest to the constricting economy, Hanna continues to defend his votes to raise the debt ceiling twice without Democratic concessions, funding Obamacare after campaigning he wouldn’t, and voted for the fiscal cliff deal that added a  $1 trillion tax hike, according to Americans For Tax Reform.

On military and foreign policy matters, Hanna approved of the Ground Zero Mosque, (and then opposed it) and was the only Republican that did not support an investigation into the murders that took place in Benghazi.

marine momEnter Claudia Tenney, a single mother who raised a Marine, the conservative alternative to the far left agenda of Democrat-lite Hanna.

Tenney is a New York State Assemblywoman, the daughter of a NY state Supreme Court Justice, her name is prominent in GOP circles, is a lawyer with a private practice, and was the first Republican to introduce a full repeal of the restrictive gun control act in New York.

In an interview with Syracuse.com, Tenney said of her primary bid, “I thought of what I have done as a Republican woman who has always had to fight against the Republican establishment and party bosses to earn my seat. I believe in individual rights and freedom. And I’m not afraid to fight the fight.”

Tenney said the eight-county 22nd District needs a “real Republican” as its representative. Asked to describe herself politically, Tenney said, “I’m a common-sense Republican. I believe in less government, lower taxes and freedom.”

Indeed, Tenney pulls no punches and fights for Republican principles, including the great American standard of debate.  But Hanna has refused to debate during the entire primary, refusing to allow the people of the 22nd district of New York to hear the contrast of views between him and his challenger. Tenney is looking for some help from conservative media to get out her message.

“The choice for Republicans is clear: they can keep Richard Hanna, who votes to raise taxes, to extend U.S. debt to economically dangerous levels by voting with Obama, Reid and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling while bankrupting our nation, or they can choose a commonsense Republican like me who has a proven record of voting to reduce taxes, voting against the implementation of Obamacare in New York, votes against funding an illegal database (including ammunition database) against legal gun owners, voting against increasing our debt ceiling in New York and supports countless initiatives to reduce the burdens of government red tape on individuals and small businesses, including family farms,” Tenney said.

“With a district as large and diverse as the 22nd District, and no Democratic candidate on the November ballot, we should be clearing our schedules to ensure that the voters have an opportunity to assess the views of both candidates in their own words and not couched in political speak through surrogates,” Tenney said. “This country is at a crossroads and it is imperative that the voters are not denied the opportunity hear from the candidates on such an important position in our government before June 24.”

Tenney is facing an uphill battle in the Republican primary. Hanna, one of the more moderate members of the House of Representatives, has been endorsed by several GOP committees in the 22nd District, including the Oneida County Republican Committee.

But Tenney believes she is the better candidate for Republican voters in the district.

“The choice for Republicans is clear: they can keep Richard Hanna, who votes to raise taxes, to extend U.S. debt to economically dangerous levels by voting with Obama, Reid and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling while bankrupting our nation, or they can choose a commonsense Republican like me who has a proven record of voting to reduce taxes, voting against the implementation of Obamacare in New York, votes against funding an illegal database (including ammunition database) against legal gun owners, voting against increasing our debt ceiling in New York and supports countless initiatives to reduce the burdens of government red tape on individuals and small businesses, including family farms,” Tenney said.

Tenney summed up her differences with Hanna in a recent interview:

“I feel that I ran in 2010, the same year as Richard Hanna, and we both ran as fiscal conservatives, and I lived up to my word. I am the top rated conservative in New York, year after year. Richard is now the third most liberal member of Congress, in the Republican congress….

He said he was a Conservative. I saw him at all kinds of Tea Party rallies and other events as we campaigned. And he said that he would vote against any increase in taxes, he would vote against the debt ceiling, he would vote not to spend, all those things.

Well, he tends to brag about how, ‘Well, I explain my vote.” And I find it interesting on the last debt ceiling vote, he explained it by saying, ‘Well, we had to increase the debt ceiling because we couldn’t risk our children’s futures.’ And then the next sentence said something like ‘We’ve got to stop spending. We’re spending into oblivion.’

But within that same week that he voted to raise the debt ceiling, he put in a program with Kirsten Gillibrand that was literally a multi-billion dollar federal top-down spending program for education. So how can you do that in the same breath?…

claudiaYou know, Mr. Hanna has a decent (record) with NRA, but Gunowners of America have scored him low over some of the restrictions that he’s imposed on gun rights. He doesn’t seem to be a real strong advocate for that, or really anything. I don’t really see him standing out on too many issues, other than a very, very strong pro-choice, pro-abortion stance.

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  • Toni

    New York's Representatives score really low on the Heritage Action Scoreboard! He is typical Rino scoring. It seems NY likes it's reps to be leaning more left than right! The highest Conservative Rep is scored at a 44% I think or 47%. I think Peter King is the worse because he gets a lot of air time on Fox. It seems we are not getting the message out to the general public who still are not aware of Hillary's reputation especially with young voters….They are clueless about Conservative values….when are the Reps and Tea Party going to start addressing a program to inform the younger voters about our values?

  • task

    Sometimes I wish that I could vote outside of where I do but I can’t. Although I spend a good deal of time in NY I reside and vote where I’m more likely to make a difference since NY Republicans almost never do. It is far more satisfying to vote for Alan West or Marco Rubio than Richard Hanna or an Al D’Amato type who thinks that Gillibrand would make a great president. But this time it is different.

    I look at Tenney as the first light of dawn cracking through the winter solstice. She could be more than a conservative representative. She could eventually be the conservative senatorial alternative to the fake, phony, fraud and hypocrite Gillibrand, whose only conservative appeal was her stance on gun grabbing but has now joined with Mike Bloomberg to become about as far left on that issue is she is on everything else.

    When people think of NY they think of NYC deep blue since heavily populated cities, in most states, are Democrat and often deterine the political character of the state. Should liberal senators such as Clinton and Gillibrad actually improve the more rural aspects of the state those populations would increase and thereby contribute more conservative representatives and even, as in this situation, a potential senator. Since Clinton and Gillibrand are more about national politics they have done nothing positive for NY thus insuring that the more likely rural republican districts remain poor and unpopulated; that guaranties that the cities determine the winning senatorial party. The 17th Amendment only adds to the problem. Tenney has the the background, the intelligence and the appeal to help improve her district and ultimately the state (that is what true conservatives do) thus paving the way for a senatorial run.

    For a long time Democrats have cultivated and grown clusters of candidates for political offices well in advance of the time they are elected. They strategize. They go even further. They notice those that might make effective Republican candidates before even Republicans do an go on an early attack. I recognized Barack Obama as a Presidential threat in 2004. Did Republicans try and take him down then? Tenney will be attacked locally but the money will come from outside the district and outside the state. It will come from DC as well. That being the case conservatives from all districts and all states need to afford her all the financial and media support that is possible without becoming a Dinesh D'Souza in the process. In this case both establishment Republicans and Democrats will be closely watching conservatives do what they must.

  • Ron Griffiths

    Excellent article, Jen.
    If you want to help Claudia Tenney beat RINO Richard Hanna, please visit http://www.ClaudiaTenney.com, https://www.facebook.com/claudia.tenney.9?fref=ts… or @ClaudiaTenney.
    Thanks for your support!

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  • Toni

    Jen, I was shocked to find out that no one from the Tea Party has reached out to Dave Brat. Why is that? This was started as a grass roots movement and I think the least you can do was to connect with this man!

    • Jen Kuznicki

      Mark Levin endorsed Brat early on, I’m not sure what you mean.

  • Toni

    I guess I expected the Tea Party to reach out to him and at least support him or fundraise for him. I did see you on Fox tonight and I guess I understand that you had priorities and limited funds. I just thought that all tea party organization would endorse those members who have put their lives on hold to run for office on TP principals…..isn't that what we are all about? But I understand that the Tea Party people in Virginia are a bit more savvy of how government works.

  • Gloria

    Mr. Hanna is one bad apple & needs to go. Ms. Tenney is rated by a New York conservative group at only 70%. The NRA has lowered their rating on her.
    The American Conservative Union started by the late William F Buckley rates the author of this story own Congressman at 84%. In her state a Tea Party favorite , Justin Amash ties with David Camp at 88% , even her former GOP U S Senator Spencer Abraham had 87%. Ms Tenny needs to lift up her conservative record .

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