Democrats circle the wagons for freshman Rep. McMahon

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Democratic Party officials are so concerned about the Republican Marine gunning for Rep. Mike McMahon’s Bay Ridge seat that they’ve put the freshman lawmaker in their “candidate protection program.”

Newly minted Republican nominee Michael Grimm is preparing his six-week assault against McMahon — but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is so desperate to keep the reliably Republican Bay Ridge-Staten Island seat in the blue column that it has placed McMahon in the group’s “frontline program” — a listing of 42 at-risk seats nationwide that get extra cash and manpower because incumbents are facing “tougher challenges than normal,” according to a committee spokesman.

Since 2009, the national organization has been working to “lay the groundwork … so that [McMahon is] in the strongest position possible,” the DCCC spokesman added.

So far, the DCCC has made in-kind contributions to McMahon’s campaign amounting to about $500, according to the Federal Election Commission. But the contributions were part of a fundraising drive that directed several affluent political action committees McMahon’s way.

As a result, McMahon has just under $1.1 million on hand to protect his seat, according to campaign filings. About $970,000 of it came from political action committees and other special interest groups with names like “Democrats Win Seats” and “Victory Now.” He’s also received $15,000 from fellow Reps. Anthony Weiner (D–Sheepshead Bay) and Jerry Nadler (D–Red Hook) as well as Councilman Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island).

Grimm currently has about $385,000 remaining from his tussle with vanquished GOP rival Michael Allegretti. Only $3,500 came from political action committees, including $500 from the New York State Conservative Party. But now that he’s the nominee against an incumbent that even the Democratic Party sees as weak, more money should flow in.

The money battle is just the first salvos in a six-week war pitting the centrist McMahon against the conservative Grimm, who has portrayed his rival as pawn of House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has become a lightning rod for conservatives around the country. Then again, McMahon briefly offended his own party’s faithful earlier this year when he voted against a GOP-reviled health care bill that would have extended coverage to millions. Also, McMahon has staked out right-of-center territory by voting against taxing some Wall Street bonuses and extending unemployment benefits.

Grimm added that McMahon has hurt Bay Ridge residents by voting for a $800-billion “stimulus package” that was pushed by President Obama to jumpstart the national economy. McMahon also voted for the so-called “cap and trade” pollution-control approach which sets national caps on certain emissions and allows companies that remain beneath the cap to sell their excess credits. Like many Republicans, Grimm claims that such an approach “unduly burden small businesses and households” because polluters are likely to pass along to customers the higher costs of adhering to the law.

Grimm has called the construction of the so-called Ground Zero mosque an “affront to decency,” has called for extending all of the Bush tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest two percent of wage-earners, and closing our borders to everyone except a select group of nations that “stand above others as our closest allies.”

McMahon has called those positions out of touch with “mainstream” America. And minutes after the Desert Storm veteran’s primary win, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fired off a statement that he “can’t be trusted.”

“Conflicting stories about his record and his past have come to define Grimm’s campaign and voters deserve answers if he hopes to gain their trust, let alone their vote,” the statement said. “It’s time for Michael Grimm to come clean.”

McMahon took the Bay Ridge district from Republican hands in 2008 after it was revealed that former Rep. Vito Fossella (R-Bay Ridge) had a secret second family in Virginia.

Grimm wants to bring Bay Ridge back into the Republican fold, but is unclear how much support he’ll get from the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Republican National Committee spokesman Parish Braden said his group is backing Grimm as it does all Republican candidates, but he would not say how the group intends to bolster the former FBI agent’s campaign.

“Those decisions are still being made,” Braden said.

Grimm has been endorsed by a few big name Republican players, including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin and John McCain, though it is unclear whether that support will continue in any tangible way. McCain’s promised fundraiser has yet to be scheduled.

Updated 2:02 pm, September 20, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

kevindeon from kevindeon says:

I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price by calling 877-882-4740 or check If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!
Sept. 20, 2010, 11:09 am
james from staten island says:
I'm a democrat & voting for Grimm. McMahon is a USER.
Just because he voted against Obama's Health Care bill doesn't change much for me. McMahon is will lose to Grimm .
Sept. 20, 2010, 5:26 pm
Steven Rosenberg from Park Slope says:
I hope McMahon drowns in the coming political tsunami. He isn't the worst Democrat, but we need to get rid of ANYONE and EVERYONE who stands in the way of stopping and reversing the Dem-Obama agenda.

Sept. 20, 2010, 11:49 pm
Davis Nelson from Bay Ridge says:
Grimm is a legitimate con artist. he lies about his time in the marine, fbi, and his record as a businessman. he has tremendous debt from several failed businesses and he was run out of the fbi and marines for misconduct. hes a tool of guy molinari and doesnt have a clue what hes doing.
Sept. 21, 2010, 10:16 pm
Betty from Bay Ridge says:
If McMahon wanted to maintain my support as a Democrat, maybe he should have voted for health care reform. I said I would not vote for him again if he voted against health care reform and I am sticking to that. I can't believe the Democratic Party is putting their money behind him after his vote. I guess they won't be getting my financial support either for this round of elections. You know what they say about payback.
Sept. 25, 2010, 8:21 pm
Andrew from Sheepshead Bay says:
Dear Betty!

Your help to Republican party in general, and to Michael Grimm in particular, is invaluable! Thank you!
Sept. 30, 2010, 12:54 am

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