How Branding This GOP Congressional Candidate As Gay-Friendly Is Ruining Her

Even we’ve got to admit: The trickery employed by the Conservative Party in this ad is very, very slick. You might think the ad is paid for by supporters of Dede Scozzafava, a Republican state rep running for U.S. Congress to represent New York’s 23rd district. But it’s actually a tool of her challenger Doug Hoffman, who’s facing Scozzafava in a special election next month. So why is Hoffman supposedly singing the competition’s praises?

To throw prospective conservative voters off the scent. By painting Scozzafava as the choice for progressives, Hoffman is hoping to attract right-wingers who don’t want to elect someone so favored by the left. The ad says: “Dede supports President Obama’s efforts to stimulate our economy. Dede supports organized labor’s drive to expand membership. And Dede is the only candidate for Congress who supports marriage equality. Dede Scozzafava: the best choice for progressives.”

Doesn’t sound like someone with conservative values, does it?

It’s impossible to tell how effective the ad is — it’s paid for by something called Common Sense in America — but Hoffman is certainly buffing up his conservative credentials: He’s scored endorsements from Gov. George Pataki, former Govs. Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin, and former Sen. Fred Thompson. Indeed, they are ditching their own GOP candidate to back a Conservative Party member.