Scozzafava Justly Called Out

Earlier this week, Dede Scozzafava, a Republican state representative facing off with a Democrat and a third party Conservative candidate in an upstate New York congressional special election, drew attention after someone on her campaign called the cops on Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack.

The problem? A bit of what McCormack describes as “polite—if a bit persistent” questioning on the candidate’s positions on card check legislation, health care related taxes, and abortion.

McCormack’s description of the encounter is at the magazine’s blog. There’s clearly no love lost here—a few days earlier McCormack endured a testy email exchange with the candidate’s press staffer, who has since slammed the writer as a mere “self-described reporter.”

On this matter, I have to agree with Standard editor William Kristol, who wrote a post on the matter simply entitled “A Reporter Does His Job.”

And now, via Politico’s Ben Smith, I see that Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party’s surprisingly competitive candidate, has put together a mock 911-call radio ad targeting Scozzafava.

Any politician who might in the future find themselves weighing such an extremely heavy-handed response should take a listen, before it’s too late.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.