NY-23: Scozzafava Supports Card Check, Calls the Cops

October 20, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

The Weekly Standard’s intrepid John McCormack tried, with some success, to ask Dede Scozzafava some uncomfortable questions. He got the N.Y. special election Republican candidate to confirm that she supports “card check” in the Employee Free Choice Act, then followed her to ask her about health care. Then things got ugly.

I spotted Scozzafava later as she was walking to the parking lot, and asked her: “Assemblywoman, do you believe that the health-care bill should exclude coverage for abortion?” She didn’t reply. I asked her twice more. Silence.

After she got into her car, I went to my car and fired up my laptop to report the evening’s events.

Minutes later a police car drove into the parking lot with its lights flashing. Officer Grolman informed me that she was called because “there was a little bit of an uncomfortable situation” and then took down my name, date of birth, and address.

“Maybe we do things a little differently here, but you know, persistence in that area, you scared the candidate a little bit,” Officer Grolman told me.

“[Scozzafava] got startled, that’s all,” Officer Grolman added. “It’s not like you’re in any trouble.”

The Standard’s piling-on has been a key factor in turning the conservative base against Scozzafava, as I report in my story today. It was a Scozzafava spokesman’s clumsy answer to McCormack’s question about whether she’d promise never to switch parties that really soured things for her.