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Leading Conservative Blasts Top GOP Hopeful

A leading member of the New York Conservative Party is casting aspersions at Sandy Treadwell, the leading Republican candidate in the race to take on freshman Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

In a posting late last week on his blog,, George Marlin, the Conservative candidate for mayor of New York in 1993 and author of a history of the small but influential third party, called Treadwell “a classic Rockefeller liberal Republican” who will not be able to attract conservative voters to the polls and thus cannot defeat Gillibrand.

Treadwell, the wealthy former New York GOP chairman, is considered a prize recruit by national Republicans and has been wooing Conservative Party leaders for their ballot line in November 2008. Marlin said he doesn’t deserve it.

“To enhance his prospects Treadwell paid top dollar for a dais seat at the Conservative Party’s state dinner, and he has been spotted hanging out at the Lake Placid American Legion Hall playing the common man,” Marlin wrote. “These overtures are purely theatrical.”

The Republicans’ ability to oust Gillibrand in a GOP-leaning upstate district could be greatly compromised if the Conservatives nominate a candidate of their own instead of cross-endorsing the GOP nominee.

In a related development, Gillibrand announced late last week that she would donate to charity the $4,600 in campaign contributions she had received from Norman Hsu, a convicted felon who has contributed money to several New York Democrats.

“I was completely unaware of this very serious matter and certainly would not have accepted donations from him had I known about it,” Gillibrand told the Albany Times Union.

— Josh Kurtz

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