Liberal comedian Bill Maher’s “Flip a District” campaign is both questionable and possibly self-defeating. The recently announced “Flip a District” campaign to find the “worst representative in the country” has the ultimate goal of booting current representatives from office; to the benefit of the Democratic Party. I actually live in the district of one of the first announced representatives in his crosshairs, Rep. Michael Grimm (R, NY-11) whose district covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.

At least once a month Rep. Grimm finds himself in the middle of a scandal while he is consistently ranked as one of the three least conservative members of the House. I’m no fan of him but when juxtaposed with his opponent one must ask, does Maher care about representation of this district or is he solely concerned with getting Democrats elected no matter how awful they are. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.

If Maher’s goal is to attract increased national attention to the race then he has succeeded. But that is a double-edged sword. Sure Grimm’s opponent, former New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia will gain more attention and could see a bump in his campaign war chest. But by the very same measure, so will Grimm when national Republicans see his opponent. In fact, Grimm has recently been fundraising off of this, claiming that Maher is anti-Catholic and stands in contrast to traditional American values.

Within the district, I fail to see how the impact will be significant. Conservative Republicans who might otherwise have stayed home this year than vote for Grimm, might feel obligated now to come out and support him owing to Maher’s involvement and “meddling”. Maher isn’t just some random liberal comedian or commentator but instead a truly polarizing figure who detests anything right of center. The Grimm campaign can spin the race due to his involvement as a battle between a moderate and the ultra-left in a traditionally red district.

So Maher wants to replace a troubled Grimm with a candidate equally as troubled. A term-limited Recchia over the past year has sought to run for Brooklyn Borough President, and NYC Comptroller before finally deciding on running for the 11th congressional district seat. He has raised around $1 million over the past year despite lacking any clear, stated policy positions. His background is littered with questionable relationships to organizations, persons, and politicians who have come under the lens of investigative agencies. So far his campaign is nothing more than a rehash of DCCC talking points and labeling Grimm a Tea Party conservative which he isn’t. Concerning campaign strategy, he firmly believes that due to his Italian last name, all the Italian-Americans on the South Shore of Staten Island who traditionally vote Republican, will vote for him. Being of Italian ancestry, I must say I don’t take kindly to that at all and neither do others. This is the man that Maher wants to replace Grimm with?

For NY’s 11th CD, it is clear that Maher has no intention of getting a better candidate elected, rather just ousting a Republican regardless of the quality of the Democratic replacement. Truth be told, I’m not surprised.

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