100 Day Sprint: Owens votes with GOP on taxes

Nationwide, just 19 Democrats voted with House Republicans to maintain Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — a policy that Democratic President Barack Obama opposes.

One of those Dems was North Country congressman Bill Owens, from Plattsburgh, who is scrambling to fend off a challenge from Republican Matt Doheny.

The left-of-center on-line magazine Salon chided Dems who broke ranks on the issue, but noted that Owens is fighting for his political life:

  Finally, Republicans are getting a clean shot at Owens, who won his seat in New York’s North Country in a memorable 2009 special election. In that race and in ’10, Owens was boosted by the presence of a credible third candidate, Doug Hoffman, running on the Conservative Party line. That won’t be the case this time around.

The Doheny campaign’s Jude Seymour issued a statement suggesting that Owens had flip-flopped on the tax issue:

“Which Bill Owens can you believe? This spring, he voted for a House Democratic budget that included tax hikes on job creators. Today, he flipped and adopted the opposite position.”

But this issue gets at one of the challenges the Doheny camp faces:  Owens’ relatively centrist voting record.

Owens did vote for “Obamacare,” but he has often broken ranks with his party, including a vote in late June to censure Attorney General Eric Holder over the “Fast and Furious” gun smuggling case.

Owens also voted in late July in favor of a deregulation measure supported by just a dozen other Democrats around the U.S.

Owens also has strong marks from the NRA.

Doheny’s camp has worked hard to suggest that Owens is still too far liberal for the Republican-leaning NY-21 district. But Doheny has to find a way to tell that story without making himself sound too far-right for the North Country.

Can the GOP find that narrative?  The next three months will tell.



Tags: , , ,

11 Comments on “100 Day Sprint: Owens votes with GOP on taxes”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    It’s a shame Owens feels the need to be a coward on this issue.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  2. Newt says:

    Getting harder and harder for me to hod my nose and vote for him.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. Newt says:

    “hod” being an archaic spelling of “hold”, and which which I felt compelled to use for reasons that should be apparent to all.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. Today I received an email from him in response to an online petition I had signed. In his email he said he agreed with my position and wanted to see the tax cuts for the top earners ended. Then I received another email from a watchdog group that informed me he had done exactly the opposite. As you can imagine, I’m not real happy with Mr. Owens right now.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  5. tootightmike says:

    What a stupid maneuver. Mr Owens should have nothing to fear from Doheny…the man doesn’t have a clue or a platform except “I’m a Republican”. Owens wants to use that platform too??

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  6. mervel says:


    I think it may be very smart. Because you take away a couple of these issues, particularly gun rights and you chop the legs out of any moderate Republican.

    So if I am a conservative leaning independent, which I personally am and I think many north country people are, why vote for Doheny? Owens is already there, he is building relationships, he is not nuts and does not say stupid things, I see no reason to change. Plus the tea party types just have zero traction up here.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  7. oa says:

    Owens is voting his pocketbook.
    Turns out he’s just another jerky rich guy like his opponent.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  8. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    I’m still not hearing anything come from out of Doheny’s mouth that will compel me to vote for him in November.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  9. mervel says:

    Exactly Clapton.

    What is the point? In some ways he mirrors Romney in this way. I think Owens supports business and would be just as good for those interests as Doheny, the same holds for Obama over Romney.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  10. PNElba says:

    Hopefully Hassig won’t garner a significant proportion of the vote. Even some Greens seem to be embarrassed that he is running.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. mervel says:


    Its really too bad that the Green Party would allow someone that unstable to carry their mantle, it really hurts them and all third party candidates for that matter.

    I think it is too bad that NCPR gave him any sort of forum without doing some investigative work on his past and his record.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

Comments are closed.