The Washington Post profiles Dede Scozzafava, the incumbent Republican Congresswoman from Upstate New York’s 23rd District, whose last-minute withdrawal and subsequent endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens led to the district’s election of the first Democratic representative since the 19th century.
The article reveals a modest, mainstream, small-town, church-going woman who was unexpectedly caught up and chewed up by the hardcore tactics of the hardcore right wing.
Two key excerpts:
Even as she now hopes to return to her normal life of local politics, laundry and choir practice for next month’s big performance of Bach’s Christmas Cantatas, the political forces that swept her up have not entirely let her go. Last week, while watching a news show about the next sharply contested Senate Republican primary in Florida, her parents reported that one of the commentators asked whether the moderate was in peril of getting “Scozzafaved.”
In the summer, Scozzafava and her husband, Ron McDougall, a local labor leader, retreated to their summer house at the end of a dirt road on Sylvia Lake. The place has no TV reception — a good thing, she said, given all the attack ads against her funded by the Club for Growth, the anti-tax group backing Hoffman. Still, she wasn’t entirely isolated. She heard through friends that Palin insinuated she had been “anointed” by a “political machine” because county chairs handpicked her as the nominee. Beck denounced her as “ACORN-supported” and an “Obama-Lite Republican.” Former House majority leader Dick Armey’s group FreedomWorks mobilized against her. She said she heard conservative robo-calls in the district describing her as a “child killer,” a “lesbian lover” and a “homo.”