The NY Congressional Special Election is March 31. Keep NY-20 Democratic and make Michael Steele sad. Act Blue is raising funds for Democratic candidate Scott Murphy to hold the seat previously held by now-Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

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When last we saw Mr. Jim Tedisco, he was turning down help from the RNC because they were too negative for his district, and he wanted to run a kinder, gentler race. Only now, it’s starting to look as if what he really wants is to distance himself from the head of the RNC, one Michael Steele, who is, if you haven’t noticed, very unpopular with national Republicans, because his new friends aren’t very nice at all:

The conservative National Republican Trust PAC — the organization that ran the controversial presidential election television ad implying that Barack Obama would give a driver’s license to 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta — recently pulled an ad out of rotation from WNYT 13, the local NBC affiliate.

The ad, shown [at link], is misleading, to say the least. Among its incorrect assertions is that Murphy created 1,000 jobs in India, absolutely incorrectly attributing the Times Union.

The Murphy campaign got wind of the ad and contacted NBC to lodge a protest on Friday afternoon.

As a regular practice, NBC’s “general tendency” is to run political ads. If, however, one side complains about an ad, the station has a legal policy to ask for documentation on the assertion. Generally, the organization running the ad readily submits the documentation.

“In this case, they talked to us Monday, and instead of sending the backup of the spot, they requested that we pull the spot immediately,” said said NBC affiliate NYT 13’s general manager counsel Steve Baboulis.

The National Republican Trust PAC are the folks who are threatening to primary any Republican who supported the stimulus package, and—ramping up the loon factor—it’s run by a birther (one of those people who think Obama’s not the president because he’s not really a citizen. As above, they also think he’s connected to 9/11. Amazed Giuliani didn’t bring that up).

They seem to have had made quite an impression on Tedisco

Republican House candidate Jim Tedisco of New York said today that he would have voted against the $800 billion stimulus plan passed by Congress — nearly a month after the bill was originally voted upon.

"I’m going on the record now to say I would have voted no" on the stimulus, Tedisco said, "because what we should have done was go back to the drawing board, get a stimulus package that truly creates jobs, invests in infrastructure and the economy."

Well, now. Until he was desperate (remember, he’s pretty much within the margin of error now with a 90k Republican registration advantage), Tedisco didn’t want to go on the record about that, because the optics aren’t very good

Tedisco stands against tax cuts for the middle class and against doing anything substantive to jump start a contracting economy, save and create jobs, including 76K jobs in upstate NY, rebuild America and keep people in their homes. Now, the voters of NY-20 can make their minds up accordingly.

Glad we cleared that up.

Surprisingly, Tedisco doesn’t seem to want to discuss any of this in front of the people who would be his constituents

Tedisco has also declined to participate in a live debate with Murphy that would be the only one available to all voters in the 20th district, which sprawls from the mid Hudson Valley north to the Adirondacks. WMHT-TV, the public television station that was to present Thursday’s debate, says Tedisco refused an alternative 25-minute taped interview. Instead, the station plans to have just a 30-minute round table program featuring Murphy.

While a March 26 debate will be televised in a large portion of the district _ including the most populated areas _ it won’t be available for voters in Essex, Dutchess, Delaware and Otsego counties.

He says, Mr. Tedisco does, that Murphy’s playing games. He says he never agreed to debate in front of the voters of Essex, Dutchess, Delaware, and Otsego counties.

I’m sure those voters will be comforted to know that if he wins, he’ll owe it to the Republicans of Long Island, who are raising money for him, I’m sure for purely altruistic reasons.

Comeback fail.