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Republicans threaten to retaliate against Dede Scozzafava in NY-23. 'If this is my end, so be it'

November 6, 2009 |  7:35 am

Dede Scozzafava is the moderate Republican assemblywoman who withdrew from the congressional race in New York's District 23 and threw her support to Democrat Bill Owens. You could call her the forgotten player in the race.New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava

In a district that had been in Republican hands since the 19th century, Scozzafava's support helped Owens beat back a conservative maverick, Doug Hoffman, whose surging candidacy was fueled by Tea Party activists angry about her moderate views on abortion, gay marriage and President Obama's $787-billion stimulus package.

Now, Republicans in the New York Assembly are threatening to retaliate by stripping Scozzafava of her party roles.

Minority Leader Brian Kolb is openly talking about removing her as the GOP floor leader. The two have held several meetings, with Kolb expressing his disappointment in her action.

For her part, Scozzafava is talking about whether she even wants to stay in politics, or seek a seventh term in the Assembly next year. She told Kolb that she was sorry if she put him in an awkward position, but she doesn't sound sorry to have robbed conservatives of a voice in Congress.

"If this is my end, so be it," she told the Watertown Daily Times. "At least I know we have a congressional representative who is going to put the interests of the district above the interests of the Club for Growth and Rush Limbaughs of the world."

The move to punish Scozzafava is reminiscent of what Democrats wanted to do after Connecticut independent Joe Lieberman, who had been the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, went out and campaigned all through the 2008 presidential campaign for Republican John McCain.

As Ticket reported earlier, the Democrats were also pretty ticked off last month when Lieberman threatened to filibuster a healthcare bill if it contained a public option.

Lieberman gets to chair the Government Reform Committee because he caucuses with the Dems, and many of them wanted to strip him of his chairmanship after the presidential defection.

The man who persuaded them not to: Barack Obama.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Associated Press

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