NY-Sen: A Primary Opportunity

Long Island House member Carolyn McCarthy is gearing up for a primary challenge to newly appointed NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), who is leading the Democratic opposition to Gillibrand, will today begin building the structure of a 2010 primary challenge, a McCarthy aide said.

This is good news for progressives. But not because McCarthy is progressive. She really is not. But it is still good news for progressives. I'll explain why on the flip.

As I wrote above, this is good news for progressives, if they know how to use it. McCarthy is no Jerrold Nadler (D-NYC). Indeed, she is probably less progressive than Gillibrand on the issues (other than gun control.) But Gillibrand's appointment by New York governor David Paterson is not popular among NY Dems, according to a newly released Quinnipiac poll, which shows 42% approve/43% disapprove of the Gillibrand appointment. Gillibrand will be moving quickly left to shore up this weakness.

Progressives should demand it. But they must demand it of all primary candidates for the Senate seat. Let the progressive bidding begin. This is why every office holder should be primaried in my view.

Speaking for me only

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    Approval (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:10:16 AM EST
    Another point in favor of a primary battle is that 56% of Republican's approve of her while only 27% disapprove. It's not a god sign when more of the opposition approves of you than your own party. Hopefully this will push both candidates further left.

    Not sure I follow this logic. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by dk on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:42:23 AM EST
    One of the reasons she was appointed, no doubt, is that conservative up-staters either liked her, or at least didn't dislike her.  That would be a plus in terms of her chances in a statewide election, no?

    If she manages to pull off a Hillary Clinton (i.e. have a liberal voting record while maintaining the respect of upstate), that wouldn't be a bad thing.


    Logic (none / 0) (#19)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:02:13 AM EST
    The logic is that if she's going to attract Democrat's (which she has to have to win) she's going to have to back away from some of the issues that make her popular with Republican's. Republican's may find her acceptable now but in a general election, they'll support their Republican candidate.

    I am shocked that people know (none / 0) (#60)
    by cpa1 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:43:39 PM EST
    who Gillibrand is and that she is considered a conservative.  I wonder how big the polls were and how many declined to answer.  

    I'm not sure I understand (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:44:35 AM EST
    Having Carolyn McCarthy as the face of the primary opposition is likely to bollox things up from the progressive perspective.  Unlike Gillibrand, McCarthy is an unlikely candidate to change her views as part of a "bidding war" - she's hardly even a politician, in my view.  And having her one-issue candidacy in the race leaves much less oxygen for Nadler or another real progressive.

    Gillibrand is a pretty amazing piece of work, frankly.  On day one, out there with full-throated support for gay marriage.  On day two, hugging Al Sharpton.  She's like the polar opposite of Caroline Kennedy in terms of her interest in the job and her willingness to do whatever it takes to bring doubters on board.  That makes her an ideal candidate for pressure from progressives, frankly.  But I just don't see how a primary challenge from Carolyn McCarthy helps out any.

    If McCarthy is not going to bid (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:48:18 AM EST
    then what is the point of her running?

    As far as I know (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:58:18 AM EST
    it's going to be a one-issue candidacy.  It seems like she's hoping to force Gillibrand to moderate her gun control stance in order to avoid an annoying primary.

    Carolyn McCarthy was a registered Republican her entire life, right up until she decided to run for office and only the Democrats had a spot for her.  In my view, she's a member of that dying breed known as moderate Northeastern Republicans, which is fine, but she's just not cut out to run a generic "Kirsten Gillibrand isn't liberal enough for New York" campaign.


    Well, she won't run then? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:05:35 AM EST
    Somneone needs to run.

    Indeed, it would be ridiculous not to have some up and comer run, given the hostility from some parts of the Media towards Paterson not picking Kennedy. Some one has a great chance to make a name.

    Hell, I may do it myself.


    Senator BigTentDemocrat? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:21:33 AM EST
    You have my vote. ;)

    Don't get carried away... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:25:45 AM EST
    Timewise, you'd have to start RIGHT NOW!

    So...was that an announcement?


    Would an up and comer want to risk (none / 0) (#25)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:08:07 AM EST
    angering Democratic powers that be by making trouble for them?

    Why not? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:15:41 AM EST
    Imagine how much good will you can engender by doing the party unity endorsement at the end.

    Does Ned Lamont have pied--terre (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:19:49 AM EST
    in the city? Hard to think of anyone else who can come up with the cash to make a race of it.

    Mark Green? He'd lose, but he's pretty (none / 0) (#35)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:23:48 AM EST
    used to it.

    heh (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:25:01 AM EST
    I was actually thinking Anthony Weiner, but there's no way he'll cross Schumer.

    Yeah, not a chance. I think almost any (none / 0) (#38)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:29:22 AM EST
    serious pol in this state doesn't want to risk crossing Chuck. That's why I think it's more likely to be someone on their way out/noting to lose.

    Did Major Ownes retire for health reasons? He's very liberal and could certainly bring AA support.


    I think he barely won his primary in 2004 (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:36:02 AM EST
    and decided to retire.

    Maybe he'd like to come out of retirement (none / 0) (#43)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:44:15 AM EST
    for one last hurrah.

    Heh (none / 0) (#44)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:07:11 PM EST
    Some of the CK cultists (where did that cult come from, anyway?) are still convinced that CK will run herself in 2010.  Once they realize that this whole politics thing just didn't seem to be her bag, they may start to focus on finding a real contender.

    The problem is going to be finding the funding, since Gillibrand has a reputation as a prodigious fundraiser and she looks to have most of the establishment support.  I doubt the netroots are going to be up for pouring a huge amount of money into a primary challenge unless she's really odious over the next two years, and given what we've seen so far it looks like she is determined to work really hard on shoring up that left flank.


    Seems it's only the media mad at Patterson (none / 0) (#47)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:31:30 PM EST
    Most NYer's blame Kennedy for this fiasco:

    More than three times as many New Yorkers in a new poll blame Caroline Kennedy and her team for the messy process surrounding the search for Hillary Clinton's Senate replacement than fault the state's governor, David Paterson -- although, on balance, his final selection meets with their approval.

    Forty-nine percent of voters surveyed in a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday said Kennedy and her advisers were to blame, to 15 percent who pointed to Paterson. Twelve percent blame both, and 24 percent are undecided.

    Overall, the state's voters approve of Paterson's selection of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, backing the pick 46 to 30 percent, with 24 percent undecided. That margin is higher upstate, where the choice of the Albany-born Gillibrand draws the approval of 55 percent of the region's voters to 25 percent who disapprove. In New York City, that margin is far smaller: there, the conservative Democrat draws the approval of 41 percent to 34 percent who disapprove. But in the state's suburbs, her edge falls within the survey's 3 point margin of error: 35 percent approve, 32 percent do not.

    well, then someone should tell Dave asap (none / 0) (#51)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:22:27 PM EST
    After Criticism, Paterson Cancels Trip to Davos

    Gov. David A. Paterson, seeking to contain some of the fallout over his administration's handling of the United States Senate appointment, said on Monday that he had canceled a trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this week.

    The governor also tried to distance himself from members of his administration who have been quoted anonymously in recent days saying that various problems with Caroline Kennedy sank her bid to become a senator.

    Mr. Paterson at first denied that his administration was the source of the leaks, but he then backtracked somewhat, saying he was unaware where the leaks originated.



    It seems to me (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:29:16 PM EST
    that the media is sort of speculating as to Paterson's reasons for canceling the trip.

    It seems more plausible to me that he wants to avoid the perception that the Governor is having a good time on the ski slopes while the state remains mired in a challenging budget crisis.


    Hmm. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:38:54 PM EST
    Hard to imagine Paterson on the ski slopes. . .

    of some of your, shall we say, less charitable internet comments.

    Actually, McCarthy remained. . . (none / 0) (#39)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:29:27 AM EST
    a registered Republican well into her career as a Democratic Representative.  According to Wikipedia, she didn't make the switch until 2002.

    My understanding is that her husband (none / 0) (#65)
    by hairspray on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:54:39 AM EST
    was killed on a long island commuter train and she tried to get GOP support for gun control and was rebuffed.  At that point she changed her party and ran to overturn the republican who was pro gun  and to highlight the problems with guns in this country. I also read that she was not political and this was a wake up call.  So how much of a republican-lite she was I cannot say.

    No point ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:01:02 AM EST
    that's why my bet is she doesn't run.

    On some issues, Gillibrand would run (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:50:15 AM EST
    from the left. That's good news.

    At worst, this primary would help her to cement her newfound views.


    "Runing from the left". . . (none / 0) (#14)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:53:01 AM EST
    has two possible meanings.  Just sayin'.

    heh (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:11:40 AM EST
    Good news.....maybe (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:46:30 AM EST
    That is unless it turns out NY'ers agree w/her pre-Senate positions on the issues.  While this is true now:

    Gillibrand's appointment by New York governor David Paterson is not popular among NY Dems

    I suspect this is largely due to lack of name recognition and negative-only spin about her record - both of which will change.  While I appreciate Carolyn McCarthy's challenge, she ain't the one to move things leftward - she's basically the same as KG, just from Long Island.

    Progressives should demand it.

    This will be a good opportuntity to see how many of those there really are in NY.

    Gillibrand's Perpetual Senate Campaign Begins (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by daring grace on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:25:59 PM EST
    Getting started for 2010 and then 2012, from my inbox:

    P.S.: I don't recall ever making a contribution to her previous campaigns, though I did support her candidacy (and ousting the loathed Sweeney) and I am a registered Dem in a neighboring CD.


    I am so grateful for all that you have done for me over these last few years. Since my first run for New York's 20th Congressional District in 2005, you have stood beside me, encouraged me and supported all my efforts.  Now, we are looking towards an even greater and more exciting challenge -- and I need you standing alongside me now more than ever.

    On Tuesday, I will be sworn in to serve in the Senateseat that was held by our beloved and most admired Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has demonstrated such extraordinary leadership for our nation.  Her tireless advocacy and legendary work ethic on behalf of all New Yorkers stand as a model for the kind of United States Senator I am determined to be.

    As this is an appointment, and a special election follows in just 2 short years, I will need your help and dedication right away.  I hope I can count on your most ardent support.  With the right resources, I will be able to reach every family in our great state and offer my positive message of service.

    Such outreach will cost a substantial amount of money.  I hope you remain, as I do, undeterred by this challenge.  I hope you will join me in building a well-funded campaign.

    Please make your initial donation today to my Gillibrand for Senate campaign.  Every dollar counts, from $48 to the $4,800 maximum.


    Assuming the responsibility of United States Senator is both an exciting opportunity and an extraordinary challenge. I could not be more honored to serve our state in this capacity. Showing strong support in the first few months will be invaluable to my reelection.

    Together, we will make a difference.


     Kirsten Gillibrand
     New York

    P.S. Thank you again for all your support! CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR CONTRIBUTION!

    Gillibrand just needs to (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:35:30 PM EST
    change her terminology on the immigration issue:
    "Gillibrand ... has emphasized an enforcement approach to immigration" (That's because it's illegal immigration, and stopping it actually helps legal immigrants and reduces the burden on our taxpayers).

    She "called for deputizing local police to perform federal immigration duties" (The cops are already on the streets doing the work of finding criminals, why pay for more federal agents to do what local police can handle?  Let's reduce government waste and redundancy and utilize the police force already in place.)  

    She "...passed legislation that would bar employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers from receiving federal contracts."
    Good for her.  Let's fine those employers and put them in jail as well.  Illegal aliens don't just take farm work and housecleaning jobs. We have trained, licensed and insured builders, contractors, electricians, carpenters, etc. who for the past ten to fifteen years during the housing boom have had to work for a third to a fifth of what their professional organizations demand because developers can hire illegal immigrants on their building projects. While the developers rake in huge profits, they get away with not paying taxes and insurance for their employees, even when they hire American citizens who are so desperate for work they take jobs under the table.  If we put some of those developers and investors in jail or take away their multi-million dollar properties, watch how fast they start legally hiring Americans again.  

    "While President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have long supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Gillibrand has pronounced that she is `firmly against providing amnesty to illegal immigrants.'"
    These are not mutually exclusive.  The path to citizenship doesn't have to be (and shouldn't be) amnesty.  So far, right wingers speak to their constituents issues, while Obama and Reid use language most of us want to hear.  Fact is, no one's actually done anything yet.  Until that time, both sides are just singing to the choir.  We have no amnesty and the path to citizenship is often dependent on "anchor babies."  We're about to spend a huge amount of tax money on "creating jobs."  Let's at least make sure our taxes benefit those of us who paid them.  

    Um, "anchor babies"???? (none / 0) (#49)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:46:47 PM EST
    I think you've been listening to too much talk radio.

    We all have our boogeymen... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:06:15 PM EST
    immigrants are an odd choice though, imo.  Talk about kicking the dog.

    Not talk radio, the U.S Constitution (none / 0) (#61)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:48:27 PM EST
    Did you know the 14th  Amendment was meant to ensure citizenship for newly emancipated African Americans, not illegal immigrants?  It says "all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States."  Subject to the jurisdiction thereof should automatically exclude babies of illegal immigrants from citizenship.  Native Americans were excluded from American citizenship because of their tribal jurisdiction. Babies of foreign visitors, ambassadors and consuls are excluded because they're not subject to American jurisdiction. In the case of illegal aliens, their native country has a claim of allegiance on the child, which means the completeness of the allegiance to the U.S. is impaired and should preclude automatic citizenship. At some point, SCOTUS should weigh in on this issue or Congress should clarify it to solve the burden of the cost of taking care of children of illegal aliens.  

    The problem is that we've created a welfare state that actually encourages illegal immigration.  When a baby is born here, lawful immigrants and citizens have to foot the bill if the parents can not.  In 2003, 70 percent of the 2,300 babies born in San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton, CA and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas were to illegal aliens. That was 11,200 babies, with delivery costs of 34.5 million dollars paid by Medicaid, 9.5 million was paid by the feds and Dallas taxpayers stuck with $31.3 million, according to John Reiniers, Hernando Today.  Our schools are saddled with the economic burden of providing services to the millions of children born to illegal immigrants.  A US GAO report in 2004 shows the annual cost estimates of educating illegal children up to
    $87.5 million in PA and $1.04 billion dollars in Texas.  It's estimated that 425,000 children are born to illegal aliens each year. In 1994, the state of California paid for 74,987 deliveries to illegal alien mothers ($215.2 million) with illegal alien mothers accounting for 36% of their Medi-Cal funded births.  Now it's increased to more that half of the Medi-Cal funded births.  If parents are caught and deported, under the misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, the public has to pay for the welfare of these new citizens.  Some might say it's nice that we share the wealth and help take care of these poor babies, but the more we force hard working Americans to foot the bill for foster care, Section 8 and welfare for children of people who have entered the country illegally, the more problems we encounter with the "talk radio" crowd.  Especially when many of them can't afford health insurance for their own kids.  

    We have essentially created a system of pervasive incentives for illegal immigrants.  

    I say this not because I don't want to open our doors to lawful immigrants, I know we are and should be one of the most welcoming countries in the world, but because as long as thousands of illegal immigrants are gaming the system, Republicans have a valid criticism of progressive policies.  Like intergenerational welfare, we need to find solutions that help people without creating more of a problem.  


    Demonizing (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by WS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:22:48 AM EST
    a vulnerable population doesn't help.  Don't forget those are actual people and some have US citizen children which you used the right wing terminology "anchor babies".  What do you call citizen children of African Americans, Asian Americans, or ethnic white Americans?  

    A path to citizenship will make undocumented immigrants lawful legal immigrants and that should assuage your concerns.

    The election showed that only right wingers are crazy about this topic and the American people want a tough but fair immigration solution.  Gillibrand is coming around to that notion as well.      


    I want a tough but fair path to citizenship (none / 0) (#68)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 12:31:58 PM EST
    I also want the 14th Amendment clarified or repaired so that foreigners don't have incentive to break the law in order to have a baby on American soil.  As long citizenship is based on location of birth instead of the citizenship of parents, we will be rewarding and encouraging illegal aliens to have babies here.  That is counterproductive in so many ways.  

    I'm not demonizing vulnerable people, I'm recognizing that sometimes our liberal policies work against our goals by making problems worse than they are.  For instance, dependence on welfare creates intergenerational poverty, with the scale of dependence increasing exponentially with every generation.  Don't assume I'm racist just because I recognize that we have counterproductive policies.  I'm concerned about vulnerable populations, and don't think encouraging a pregnant mother of any race to risk her and her baby's lives trying to get or stay in this country is good immigration policy.  


    Birthright Citizenship (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by WS on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 06:32:21 PM EST
    is here to stay. Deal with it.  

    And btw, (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by WS on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 10:03:20 PM EST
    undocumented immigrants come here because of economic opportunity in the US, grinding poverty in their home country, and no avenues for legal immigration due to their limited skill sets.  They don't come here to have babies.  Stop listening to right wing talk.  

    I'm not sure (none / 0) (#66)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:23:28 AM EST
    I'm quite getting your next to last paragraph.

    Are you quoting "She," (Gillibrand, I assume) as actually having made such agressive, anti business comments such as "..... While the developers rake in huge profits.....," or ".....put some of those developers and investors in jail or take away their multi-million dollar properties.....?" Or are they your thoughts alone, basically expounding upon, adding a little poetic license, and kind of finishing her speech for her ....sort of like fantasy football?

    Regardless, the characterization of building contractors is not only factually unsupported, but pretty damn insulting.

    I know the building industry pretty well. Those descriptions of contractors simply are fantasies.

    Help me out...MyL...  


    feingold (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jedimom on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:02:44 PM EST
    well the REALLY good news IMO is russ feingold;s legislation to REQUIRE special elections to replace Senators in the future..that will be awesome..

    NYS is of course more than Democrats, so the 42% disapproval rate on Gillebrand isnt nearly as important as the disapproval rate of all voters exhibited for Caroline Kennedy in the last polling

    that is if elections of 12 are the be all for you

    I think the actual representation is pretty damn important for the consituents myself, and since Kennedy didnt even VOTE for half the time..well thats the dead horse IMO still being beat by the liberals who dont like Gillebrand

    I would far rather have Gillebrand and a vote Dems can count on 8/10 times, the exceptions being immigration and some gun laws, rather than have a GOP take the seat against Kennedy in 2010 and have 0/10 votes in the future..fer real..

    It's clear that's she's going to (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:10:26 AM EST
    have to move on immigration or face the consequences.

    I am amazed that this hasn't really come up. I would expect this to be more of a show stopper than guns, except that I don't think Carol McCarthy is that much better.

    I'm hoping a stronger challenger (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:26:49 AM EST
    emerges in the next few months but with so many powerful political families behind KG, but I don't know who could stand the attacks. Granted Caroline K didn't dazzle anyone with her roll-out but I think powerful behind-the-scenes forces were working to undermine her bid while quietly positioning Gillibrand.

    I agree (none / 0) (#4)
    by cotton candy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:35:51 AM EST
    It has been reported that Chuck Schumer was lobbying for her appointment.  This is the same Chuch Schumer who thought that Mike Mukasey would be a great Attorney General.

    Need I say more?


    Sure. Let's say more (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:43:03 AM EST
    about Schumer's backing of Casey for Congress from Penn, too -- as I recall, Schumer was the power then (perhaps still) on the Dem national committee to pick Congressional candidates.

    I like Schumer for some things, but I don't like Dem candidates who take Repub stands on major Dem issues -- Dem principles.  "Same difference" is not a compelling campaign slogan for a party.


    Immigration issues is ... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:48:57 AM EST
    dead.  And I don't see it rising in the next two years.

    2010 will be a referendum on Obama.

    If things go well, and Gillibrand is seen as a good foot soldier for Obama and NY, she'll coast to re-election.


    Dead? Not in New York. (none / 0) (#12)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:50:54 AM EST
    How do you figure (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:52:02 AM EST
    that immigration is "dead"?

    It failed miserably ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:58:35 AM EST
    as a conservative issue.  Obama admin (or Dem congress) will offer no major legislation on it in the next two years.

    Hence, dead.

    In NY, 2010 will be all about Obama and Dem congress and what they've done for NY.


    Congressional Democrats (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:11:23 AM EST
    are promising to bring up comprehensive reform again this year. I can guarantee you that Dick Durbin (Democratic Whip in the Senate) is going to reintroduce and push for the DREAM Act.  I think the issue is very much alive.

    It will have zero impact ... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:17:17 AM EST
    as a campaign issue.  Watch.

    It's obvious that it has the potential (none / 0) (#33)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:21:14 AM EST
    to be one here. KG is (was, I hope) way out of step with New York Democrats on immigration. If someone decides to challenge her seriously, this would likely be an issue.

    But it won't ... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:42:13 AM EST
    be.  If Obama's a success, I don't see any serious challenge to Gillibrand.

    She'll run as a "foot solidier in the Obama revolution" and the votes will follow.

    If he fails, a NY senate seat will be the least of our problems.


    From an El Diario ediitorial: (none / 0) (#28)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:15:37 AM EST
    If Governor David Paterson wanted to deliver a slap to immigrant New Yorkers, he effectively did so with his appointment yesterday of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand.
    The congresswoman will replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York's junior senator. In Clinton, New York had both a defender of women's rights and an advocate of humane, sensible immigration reform. But Paterson chose to play politics by selecting an upstate representative who could shore up his support in that region--at the expense of immigrants.
    Gillibrand's anti-immigrant record speaks for itself: she has emphasized an enforcement approach to immigration; called for deputizing local police to perform federal immigration duties; and passed legislation that would bar employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers from receiving federal contracts.
    While President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have long supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Gillibrand has pronounced that she is "firmly against providing amnesty to illegal immigrants."

    To read the complete editorial:



    If you watch ethnic media (none / 0) (#58)
    by WS on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:12:27 PM EST
    like Univision, you'd know immigration reform is alive and well.  Sen. Reid was just on a Spanish news show a few days ago talking about the issue and bringing it to the floor in this Congress.  

    Sen. Reid also needs the Hispanic vote in his upcoming re-election and he's working hard on this issue.  Go Reid!


    It's dead till the economy... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:36:06 PM EST
    picks up.  The undocumented are leaving NY nearly as fast as they came...no work.  And it is always better to be unemployed in sunny and cheap El Salvador than colder than a mofo and expensive as hell NY.

    From NY Assemblyman Peter Rivera: (none / 0) (#17)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:00:49 AM EST
    I am troubled by Governor Paterson's choice to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's Junior Senator. I find no compelling reason for the Governor to select a conservative to carry on the progressive work of now Secretary of State Clinton.

    In fact, Rep. Gillibrand's stand on a range of issues is counter to the desires of the majority of New Yorkers, including her hard-line stand on immigration, which borders on xenophobia. The Governor had a long list of extremely qualified and talented New Yorkers to consider that would not have created the opposition he will face. None of the other candidates have an anti-immigration record.

    His choice will no doubt anger New York's huge immigrant communities and could go as far as creating political obstacles to meaningful immigration reform efforts of our new President. It is clear to me that Rep. Gillibrand will face a challenge and create splits among New Yorkers that will only serve to damage our state.

    The Governor and his top aids should have reviewed Rep. Gillibrand's statements on immigration and reviewed the anti-immigration legislation she sponsored and cosponsored.

    Rep. Gillibrand has, as constituents, thousands of minorities and business interests that rely and benefit from immigration, yet she has opposed amnesty, wants a guest worker program that basically serves as 21st Century slavery, and wants to use local police to enforce federal immigration law, against the advice of state law enforcement groups.

    Her support for more walls and guards on our southern border ignores the reality that almost 60% of our undocumented immigrants are foreigners who overstay their visas. They are from all over our planet, not just people crossing the Rio Grande.


    Rivera is NY State's longest (none / 0) (#21)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:04:24 AM EST
    serving Hispanic lawmaker.

    Heh (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:06:35 AM EST
    Indeed he is.

    How much you want to bet he ends up endorsing Gillibrand.

    Any takers?


    I'm hoping this is the beginning (none / 0) (#31)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:18:26 AM EST
    of progressive pressure to force Gillibrand to move left on a variety of issues in order to win.

    El Diario came out with an editorial critical of her pick as Senator.
    Let the pressure begin!!


    I am all for pressure (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:31:28 AM EST
    and primaries.

    Amnesty (none / 0) (#24)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:07:46 AM EST
    is the only real issue she has w/immigration, IMHO.  If she decides to tow the administration's line then I doubt she has a problem any longer - Peter Rivera's opinions aside.

    A black/brown/liberal coalition (none / 0) (#57)
    by WS on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:08:43 PM EST
    can defeat Gillibrand in a Democratic primary if her voting record is out of step with New York Democrats.  She will move left or else.  Fortunately, I think she's smart enough to do that but all eyes will be on her when issues like immigration are brought to the floor.    

    Gillibrand has already moved left on the one (none / 0) (#20)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:02:49 AM EST
    issue that McCarthy is truly liberal on (and truly cares about) gun control. As you say, Gillibrand is probablly more liberal then McCarthy so the primary challenge might not really serve to move her to the left. Gillibrand is already doing that on her own. There has to be some true blue liberal with nothing better to do for a year then make a stink. I'd prefer that.

    I'm inclined to let Gillibrand have a go. Maybe (none / 0) (#59)
    by allimom99 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:24:54 PM EST
    it's McCarthy that should be challenged. Heh.

    Seriously, North Country conservative is pretty different from Jesse Helms conservative. Gillibrand seems fairly smart to me. What's wrong with seeing what she'll actually DO before we start eating our own - AGAIN?


    go ahead and challenge (none / 0) (#63)
    by diogenes on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:59:14 PM EST
    A progressive can tar and feather Gillebrand in a hostile battle in the primary, and then a moderate republican might actually have a chance at pulling in Gillebrand's democratic supporters in the general election.  Shrewd.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#64)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:35:19 PM EST
    Get back to me when the NY Republicans actually nominate a moderate candidate with a chance to win.  The right wing of the party hasn't allowed that to happen for many, many years.