The late State Senator D. Clinton Dominick was hardly a wild eyed radical back in 1970.
He was an eminent lawyer, a product of Columbia Law. He had served as a Republican in both the Assembly and the State Senate. He was a WW II veteran, who rose to the rank of Colonel in the Army Reserve. In later years, he would teach history and political science as a revered adjunct professor at Mount Saint Mary’s College, an institution in the Catholic tradition. He was, of all things conservative, a VMI graduate of the class of 1940.
In 1970, however, he sponsored a liberalized abortion bill in the State Senate. As a result, he was targeted by the New York State Conservative Party.
The Conservative Party, started in 1962 as a reaction to liberal “Rockefeller Republicanism,” had its last moment of notoriety prior to its efforts against State Senator Dominick in the quixotic 1965 campaign by William F. Buckley for Mayor of New York. The Conservative Party campaigned against Mr. Dominick with enough fervor that he lost the Republican Primary to a more conservative opponent.
However, despite George Pataki’s rhetoric in the 1994 election and some minor efforts, such as restoring the Death Penalty (briefly) and Worker’s Compensation reform, he governed like a big spending, Rockefeller Republican for most of 12 years. The republican Party in NYS, for the most part, was anything but conservative.
Now, however, in Doug Hoffman’s campaign for US Representative for the 23d New York, the Conservative Party may be heard from today, to paraphrase LTG Thomas J. Jackson’s famous comment about State Senator Dominick’s undergraduate school.
Doug Hoffman is painfully nondescript. He has a presentation, based on his appearance on the Mark Levin and Glenn Beck radio programs, that goes beyond “reserved” to approach “somnolent” or “medicated.” Even for a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”), hardly a flashy profession, he comes off as bland, but the electorate has learned not to associate eloquence with competence or experience.
Doug Hoffman is an archetype for major political change. Hoffman is a citizen politician, a CPA who built a multi-office practice in an economically depressed area. He, his wife and his children also started 13 other small businesses, in order to enable his children and grandchildren to stay in the area, rather than fleeing it to find greater professional and economic opportunity elsewhere.
Doug Hoffman innately understands the chilling effect that NYS’s high taxes and excessive regulations have on small business people. Not only is he a small business man, but he is the patriarch of a family of small business people and a trusted adviser to small business people in his community as part of his professional endeavors.
While the Administration may talk about the importance of small businesses to the economy, Doug Hoffman has lived it. He will bring an accountant’s exactness and rigor, if elected, to the people’s business. This is the kind of candidate the Republicans in this State should seek if they wish to win the Statewide Offices, the Congressional Delegation and the State Legislature in 2010.
In contrast, the current Republican nominee for the position is a career Rockefeller Republican liberal politician, who has been endorsed by the Daily Kos. While she would be a fine Democratic Party nominee, she is a poor standard barer for the Republican Party, especially for this conservative, heartland district.
This serves to demonstrate just how woefully out of touch the State Republican Party is. Perhaps, the Patriot/Liberty movement, which grows ever stronger in a state that is very conservative outside a handful of population centers, would be wise to join their movement to the NYS Conservative Party.