Maloney, Lawler race sees national attention, money, pouring into 17th congressional district

The race to represent the 17e The congressional district has gone national, as national Republican super PACs pour millions into Assemblyman Mike Lawler’s bid to oust one of the GOP’s top targets: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC, meanwhile, responded with a $600,000 media buy to shore up the campaign of the five-term incumbent who is fighting for his political life in New York’s northern suburbs.

Republicans have made it a competitive race by painting a vision of suburban life that includes rampant crime and inflation-depleting bank accounts. That’s the message shared by gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin in his bid to oust Governor Kathy Hochul. They linked Maloney to state bail reform, based on a statement he made in favor of the reforms in 2018 when he lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for attorney general. of State.

Democrats have portrayed Lawler as a loyal follower of former President Donald Trump, who opposes elective abortion rights. They say Lawler misinterpreted Maloney’s role in the bail issue because he lost his bid for AG and never served in the state Legislature, which approved the reforms Maloney did not write.

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So it goes in the new 17e Congressional District, which includes Rockland and Putnam counties, Westchester north of I-287, and three towns in southeast Dutchess. Polls in the new district gave Democrat Joe Biden a 10 percentage point victory in the 2020 presidential election.

National political superstars descended on the Hudson Valley to help raise funds in the final two weeks of the campaign.

On Sunday, First Lady Jill Biden will attend a Westchester fundraiser for Maloney at a private residence.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to Rockland Country Club in Sparkill on Tuesday for a $150-a-plate breakfast while House Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, will headline a Lawler fundraiser in Wesley Hills on Thursday. Earlier this fall, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., appeared in Rye on Lawler’s behalf at a fundraiser in Rye.

At stake is control of the US House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a slim majority, and midterm elections traditionally favor the party no longer in power.

The amount spent on the race has skyrocketed in recent weeks, with around $7 million invested by the National Republican Campaign Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund.

Maloney has raised nearly $5 million while Lawler’s fundraising has yet to top $1 million, according to campaign finance reports as of Sept. 30.

The national media has also arrived, with national TV camera crews and political reporters turning up Wednesday morning at the Bristal, an assisted living complex in an office park in Armonk. There, Maloney presented Democratic-backed policies to a room full of seniors. He touted the Inflation Reduction Act, which cut Medicare premiums, capped annual prescription drug costs at $2,000 a year, and empowered the federal government to negotiate drug prices for its Medicare program. .

“We’re finally going to take on these big pharma and negotiate prices,” Maloney said. “These savings are really going to add up because right now big pharma is getting away with murder.”

Federal bill for state issuance

After breakfast at Sparkill on Tuesday, Lawler spoke to the press about what he sees as New York State’s failure to tackle crime in the wake of the state’s bail reforms. state, which included fewer crimes requiring accused persons to deposit money to stay away. jail before their case is tried.

Assemblyman Mike Lawler and former NJ Governor Chris Christie comment on cash bail reform at Rockland Country Club in Sparkill on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

Lawler supports a federal bill that would allow the federal government to intervene in New York’s criminal justice system. He would waive state immunity from lawsuits by victims of crime if they were injured by someone who had been charged with a crime but were released without posting a bullet awaiting their day at the court.

Lawler said the threat of lawsuits would bring New York state to its knees, forcing the state legislature to reform its bail laws to make the “dangerousness” of someone arrested for a crime an allowable consideration when a judge was considering setting bail. Lawler even wants crime victims to have the ability to sue elected officials who support bail reform.

He said the bill proposed by R-Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis would empower the federal government in states like New York to pressure the state to repeal its reforms.

“It will force New York State to choose what is more important: protecting the victims or the criminals,” Lawler said. “If New York State refuses to protect victims and keep its people safe, they should be held accountable, and the very politicians who allow it – they should be prosecuted.”

Statistics collide with bail rhetoric

Lawler railed against rising crime on Tuesday, citing statistics from New York City, located outside the 17e Congressional District. He said crime statistics showed an increase in murders, auto thefts and robberies in the city.

“Since cashless bail went into effect on January 1, 2020, index crimes in New York have increased by 36% and 40% of those released on non-cash bail for criminal offenses have been re-arrested” , did he declare. “It was one disastrous political decision after the next.”

As for the 17e Congressional District Lawler said, “We have seen a slight increase in the number of murders. We have seen an increase in the number of car thefts. We have seen an increase in drugs and gang activity in our communities.

It’s unclear where Lawler got his crime data.

The state’s crime statistics for the four suburban counties in its district – Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess – show an overall decline in crime from 2020 to 2021, according to the Department of Criminal Justice Services. State.

In those four counties, listed crime — which includes both violent crime and property crime — fell 11% from 17,128 to 15,276, according to the state report. Scheduled crimes are eight crimes that all jurisdictions report under federal crime reporting standards.

In 2021, murders in these four Hudson Valley counties decreased by 35%, from 42 in 2020 to 27 in 2021. Auto thefts in the four counties fell by 6%, while crimes against goods fell 12%.

Tax Watch asked Lawler’s campaign if it had any statistics to support Lawler’s claims that crime was on the rise in the suburbs. Spokesman Bill O’Reilly said he would research the matter, but did not provide any statistics.

U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney D-NY, center, attends a clean water roundtable, at the Nyack Center in Nyack, Oct. 21, 2022. At left is Legislator Harriet Cornell, and at right is Joe Rand, a village administrator.

U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney D-NY, center, attends a clean water roundtable, at the Nyack Center in Nyack, Oct. 21, 2022. At left is Legislator Harriet Cornell, and at right is Joe Rand, a village administrator.

Maloney acknowledged that he knew commuters visiting New York who told him they felt less safe, noting the rise in homelessness on city streets.

“None of us are saying we don’t have to worry about crime or an increase in crime in the city,” Maloney said. “But look, Lawler is trying to exploit the problem and raise concerns to win an election.”

Soon it will be up to voters to decide, with early voting starting on Saturday and Election Day on November 8. The nation will watch.

Follow David McKay Wilson on Twitter @davidmckay415.

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This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Maloney, Lawler target of Republican and Democratic national attention

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