Rep. Chris Gibson, who recently thumped Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman to retain the Congressional seat in a redrawn district, just edged somewhat to the center. He’s the latest GOP congressman to disavow fallen right-wing svengali Grover Norquist’s once-popular anti-tax pledge. The Oneonta Daily Star has the story at the link below.
In response to this site’s query about why multiple sources have predicted that he may be on the way out as Columbia County Republican Committee chair, as well as for general comment about the current state of the County GOP, Greg Fingar provided the following statement this evening. It is reproduced in full below:
Well I guess in some sense we're all “on the way out.” Aren’t we? I don't expect, nor desire to be the head of the ccgop forever.
The Roy v Kathy primary was inevitable. Both candidates confirmed that with me. My strategy was to let the republican voters decide who they wanted to defeat the democratic challenger in the NYS senate race while maintaining our focus on the races where we had unanimous committee support. I was concerned that a divided committee, may cause us to take our eye off the ball.
For the most part the strategy worked. We successfully elected, Chris Gibson, Pete Lopez, Steve McLaughlin and Kathy Marchione. We were not successful in the assembly race Byrne v Barrett, however Byrne did prevail in my home town of CLERMONT.
Now while your sources may tell a completely different story, I have received nothing but praise for the handling of the McDonald v Marchione situation, and lets not forget, we ultimately did win that race. And I have to say, praise came from the most extreme tea-party members to moderate republicans.
As respects the GOP chairmanship, the committee reorganizes in Sept or Oct of ODD years. I will be up for re-election next year. My focus, at the moment is; 18 supervisor races, a County Judge, Sheriff and Coroner as well as countless town wide races.
I am anticipating an extremely active political season in 2013. In addition to the 4 regularly scheduled GOP events we are discussing many town wide opportunities for our candidates to meet residents and voters.
GREGORY C. FINGAR
NOTE: An open-ended suggestion to sit down for a more in-depth interview to discuss these and other matters has been made to Fingar.
Six days after publication here of a story about a widely-rumored shake-up in the County Republican Committee, GOP chair Greg Fingar has issued an irate denial.
In a Monday morning email, Fingar chastised Ancram Supervisor Art Bassin (and by extension this site) for “circulating absolute BS,” claiming that “it certainly isn’t productive or true for that matter.”
Fingar further characterizes the multiply-sourced reports as “an outright lie” and an attempt to “stir controversy within the community.” As noted in very the first paragraph of the original story, this site’s sources were “three separate (and ideologically-distinct) sources.”
Journalists protect such sources. But without furthering a Republican witch hunt, it can be also disclosed that these three sources are themselves credible political figures, not closely allied with each other, and had no obvious motivation to either support or oppose an insurrection against Fingar. The piece moreover was reported as a possibility not a certainty, noting that Fingar remains in the position and his tenure is not necessarily at an end yet.
Meanwhile, recent election cycles have borne witness to obvious fissures and infighting among the County GOP.
For example in 2011, a barely-concealed struggle resulted in then-judge Paul Czajka seeking the District Attorney’s seat held at the time by Beth Cozzolino. Cozzolino then sought the judicial position held by Czajka, facing down a September primary for the Republican line from Mark Portin before ultimately losing in November to Democrat Richard Koweek.
Similarly, 2012 saw a slew of tightly-contested GOP primaries for key State-level positions, for example from insurgent candidates Neil DiCarlo and Kathy Marchione against Steve Saland and Roy McDonald, respectively, after the latter two supported gay marriage.
This site is more than willing to report Fingar’s denial, while continuing to have no reason believe that any of its sources were deliberately “lying.” It’s possible that each was independently mistaken. Other scenarios are that a change in favor of Benson was sent up as a political trial balloon and reached disparate parties—or just that it took six days for an incipient insurrection to be squelched.