Posts Tagged ‘David Paterson’

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Kennedy Out, Gillibrand In

January 23, 2009

allisonkilkenny1Allison Kilkenny • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header
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Politico and other media sources are reporting that governor David Paterson has chosen Kristen Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant Senate seat.

Gillibrand is a Blue Dog Democrat, which is the name moderate Democrats gave themselves so people stopped confusing them with Republicans. Gillibrand is a pro-gun, fiscally conservative “Democrat.” Blue Dog Democrats are the people who cower at the word “liberal,” and fail to acknowledge that the only gains we — as a country — have made regarding civil rights were because of those dreaded, damn liberals.

I have previously criticized the nomination of Caroline Kennedy because she was clearly a legacy selection. Let’s pretend her name was Caroline Smith, or Caroline Martinez, and she boasted of zero legislative experience, and could only incoherently mutter something about her daddy when asked why she wanted to fill one of two coveted Senate seats. No one would have considered such an applicant. Hence, why I hated the idea of Caroline Kennedy in the Senate. I’ve heard just enough about Camelot, thanks very much.

But Gillibrand is part of the same politically incestuous community. During the Clinton years, she served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Andrew Cuomo, another nominee for Clinton’s seat. She too hosts lavish fundraising parties (out of state, an accusation she ironically used against one of her former political opponents, John Sweeney). Kennedy, no doubt, was seriously considered for the Senate role specifically for her fundraising abilities (the name Kennedy brings in a hefty chunk of change,) so it’s to be expected that cash cows are always at the forefront of these kinds of nominations.

I was really hoping Paterson would go for a fresh political name like Nydia Velasquez, who has served in the House for 15 years, and was the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in Congress. She has dealt primarily with small businesses, and is largely unknown in the political community, but I think that’s a good thing. Kennedy is very well known, has less experience than Velasquez, and I was supposed to take her seriously as a candidate, so why not Nydia? Oh, right, she’s not a legacy, or a Blue Dog.

At least Caroline was unapologetically liberal, a privilege only afforded to Kennedys, it seems. If you have a yacht, you get to look your fellow Democrats square in the eyes and say, “I believe in equal rights and not torturing foreigners. Fuck you.” But if you’re a middle-rank Democrat, you have to pathetically triangulate and apologize until you don’t even look like a Democrat anymore, and -BAM!- you wake up and your name is Kristen Gillibrand and you’re in the Senate.

Gross.

Cross-posted from allisonkilkenny.com

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Paying to Play

December 17, 2008

allisonkilkenny1Allison Kilkenny •   Operation Itch Contributor    •  
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The media has been focusing on the Rod Blagojevich scandal with all the zeal of a torch-wielding mob, but they fail to acknowledge that the dirty pay to play model demonstrated in Chicago is a microcosm of the political world. Everyone pays for everything, and only the wealthy can buy access to power.

New York can offer two other example of paying to play with Senator Chuck Schumer, and the legacy candidate gunning to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacated seat, Caroline Kennedy.

Blagojevich’s swear-laced scheming was crude, super illegal, and what ultimately led to his public demise, unsubtle. The governor never learned how to delicately press the boundaries of acceptability, and instead charged through them with all the nuanced skill of a rabid bull.

The fallen governor should have looked to Chuck Schumer, who demonstrates how to us pay to play the acceptable way. Schumer is the official beneficiary, advocate and overseerfor Wall Street. A Democrat, he fully embraced the free market principles that have led to the current financial turmoil. Since Chuck’s largest contributors are from Wall Street, he votes to please his corporate masters, and in doing so, he continues to buy access to power. It doesn’t matter if deregulation is bad for his state, and the country, as long as those fat Wall Street checks continue to roll in.
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Lou Reed for Senate

December 17, 2008

Dan Sweeney • Huffinton Post

lou_reed-fullI was talking with a friend of mine the other day who maintained that Caroline Kennedy was far and away the best choice to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

“I mean, who else is there?” he demanded. “Who would be better, and why?”

I rattled off a few names that came immediately to mind — Gregory Meeks, maybe, or Malcolm Smith or Steve Israel. He rolled his eyes and responded, “I’ve never even heard of any of them.”

Now, the fact that he hadn’t heard of a couple of New York congressmen and New York’s state Senate Minority Leader is perfectly understandable. Hell, I imagine most New Yorkers aren’t familiar with all those names, much less a sometime-political junkie out of Florida. But his reason for backing Kennedy (i.e. that he had heard of her) made me realize that, for many people, Kennedy’s potential as a candidate is based solely on name recognition.
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