Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gillibrand vs. The Not-so-Moderate Republican

The AP covered the Gillibrand campaign yesterday in a story titled, Moderate Republicans an Endangered Breed:

Dominating the election ballot are two Democratic heavyweights -- New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is seeking a second term, and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the favorite in the governor's race. Three-term Republican Gov. George Pataki, his eyes on the White House, decided not to seek another term.

Polls show Clinton and Spitzer with large leads over their little-known Republican rivals in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 2-to-1. In addition to two Democratic senators, Democrats hold 20 House seats to nine for the GOP.

The state GOP worries that economic setbacks coupled with the statewide realities could give Republicans little incentive to vote on Nov. 7.

"I'm extremely pessimistic," said Todd Finzer, a 38-year-old employee at a Greece, N.Y., sign company in a region hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs. "I feel like we're walking on a razor, that's what it feels like. It's just a house of cards ready to go boom."

The father of five and self-described Christian conservative voted twice for Bush but doesn't support him now. ...

In the bedroom communities around the state capital of Albany, four-term Republican Rep. John Sweeney faces a tough challenge from lawyer Kirsten Gillibrand. The Democrat has tried to appeal to the older generation of Rockefeller Republicans.

"They don't agree with this administration at all. They don't agree with the lack of fiscal discipline. They don't agree with the right-wing agenda on social issues," Gillibrand said in her bid for the 20th Congressional District seat.

Sweeney recently enlisted the help of Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the White House hopeful who brings star power but none of the baggage of Bush. At a fundraiser not far from Saratoga's famous racetrack, McCain warned of a tough election season and said the threat to Northeast moderates could drive a geographic wedge through U.S. politics....

I can't decide what was funnier about the McCain Fundraiser: Sweeney's comment that you get to have "do overs" in his business? Or McCain's comment that Sweeney - someone who voted with Tom Delay over 90% of the time, and who voted just as Bush wanted over 80% of the time - is a "moderate"?

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