Saturday, 24 January 2009

Not Great, But Could Have Been A Whole Lot Worse

From Right Democrat:

New York Governor David Paterson has named U.S. Representative Kirsten Gillibrand to the United States Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Gillibrand isn't viewed as your typical New York Democratic politician according to a recent Newsday profile:

When Kirsten Gillibrand ran against GOP Rep. John Sweeney in 2006, he tried to paint her as an urban liberal, a potentially lethal label in their rural upstate district.

But during her victorious House campaign and two years in office, Gillibrand (D-Hudson) has positioned herself as a centrist, with an "A" grade from the National Rifle Association as evidence of her willingness to break from Democratic orthodoxy. She also voted against the Wall Street bailout and was the only New York Democrat to vote to extend funding for the Iraq war in 2007. [No one's pefect.]

"She had to shake the perception that she was a city liberal," said David Wasserman, of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. "Her voting record has indicated that she is different from a Charlie Rangel or a Carolyn Maloney or even a Nita Lowey."

In Congress, Gillibrand has been a proponent of immigration control co-sponsoring the SAVE Act introduced by Congressman Heath Shuler D-NC. The SAVE Act would create eight thousand additional Customs and Border Patrol positions and require all employers to verify legal status through the Social Security Administration. See here (PDF).

Gillibrand is a strong supporter of labor and advocate for worker's rights. Stuart Applebaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union noted that Representative Gillibrand has a near perfect voting record on pro-worker legislation and is a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act. Applebaum stated: "As Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand will be a strong and vocal advocate for issues that are important to working families and the RWDSU looks forward to continuing our work with her."

Now, on to Delaware, and probably to Massachusetts and West Virginia as well.

Meanwhile, is it now time to take advantage of the electoral laws in New York and create a People's Party of New York State for ballot line, fusion purposes? It could be the pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war party of economically populist (i.e., economically patriotic), morally and socially conservative foreign policy realists.

No Republican has attained statewide office in New York since 1974 without the endorsement of the Conservative Party. No one from either main party could expect it without the endorsement of the People's Party once it was up and running (the black and Catholic churches await, for a start).

And if neither provided anyone suitable, then the Conservative Party put Jim Buckley in the Senate under such circumstances. So it can be done.

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