Friday, January 23, 2009

Hope at Last! NY Governor Paterson Taps Conservative "Blue Dog" Democrat to Replace Hillary Clinton In US Senate

We proudly salute New York Governor David Paterson who announced today that Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand will replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the US Senate.

Gillibrand, whose family and politics have strong Republican ties, is friendly to the NRA and voted against the TARP bailout in September, The Village Voice reported.

The irony is that Paterson may be swinging from the nation's most prominent Democratic family to one with strong Republican ties. Gillibrand's father, Doug Rutnik, is an Albany insider and lobbyist whose ties to former GOP powerhouses Joe Bruno, George Pataki and Al D'Amato are legendary.

Ironically, Chuck Schumer, who defeated D'Amato in 1998, is said to be Gillibrand's top Democratic champion. What's even more ironic is that Gillibrand has a one hundred percent rating from the National Rifle Association, and Schumer made his own national reputation as a sponsor of the assault weapons ban and a fierce proponent of Brady bill and other gun control legislation. Gillibrand even opposes any limitations on the sale of semiautomatic weapons or "cop-killer" bullets that can pierce armored vests.

Schumer's other signature issue is the care and feeding of Wall Street, and Gillibrand voted against both of the Schumer-supported financial service bailout bills last fall, which have delivered billions to New York, salvaging institutions like Citigroup. An editorial in Crain's, the city's premier business news magazine, said recently that Gillibrand "should be disqualified" from seeking the senate seat "by her politically expedient vote" against the bailout.

Despite voting with House Democrats 93% of the time, she does validate her "Blue Dog" status in some instances.

Gillibrand has described her own voting record as "one of the most conservative in the state." She opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, supports renewing the Bush tax cuts for individuals earning up to $1 million annually, and voted for the Bush backed FISA bill that permits wiretapping of international calls. She was one of four Democratic freshmen in the country, and the only Democrat in the New York delegation, to vote for the Bush administration's bill to extend funding for the Iraq war shortly after she entered congress in 2007. While she now contends that she's always opposed the war and has voted for bills to end it, one upstate paper reported when she first ran for the seat: "She said she supports the war in Iraq." In addition to her vote to extend funding, she also missed a key vote to override a Bush veto of a Democratic bill with Iraq timetables.

That being said, Town Hall reports The American Conservative Union rates Gillibrand to be just as Liberal as Sec. Clinton:

Cong. Kirsten Gillibrand from Columbia County, NY. Her ACU rating in her only year rated year in Congress -- 8. Exactly the same as Clinton in 2007.


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1 comment:

  1. The theory is that Gillibrand will move to the left to better align with the state as she represented a conservative house district in NY State so had to move the right, time will tell.

    I'd take any right-of-center votes with a grain of salt. For a Democratic Rep I'm sure they can go to the House leadership when some left-of-center matter comes up for a vote and say look, I agree with you but it will help me get re-elected to break with the party on this bill. So, if you have the votes anyway, don't take it personally, but I'm voting no. On any given bill there can be some defectors and the leadership is smart enough to know it is better to let the person vote to help keep their district rather than insist on a vote they don't need and risk losing the seat.

    Isn't the bigger risk for Dems that Bloomberg runs for this seat as a Republican (mind you Bloomberg as a Republican is almost as odd as Lieberman as a Democrat).