With all due respect
To the dear Media,
It is possible to ignore the Republican re-election campaign focused on Stop Signs, Mortgage Papers and "Stalkers" and to write instead about real news. (Note: I'm not picking on the Times Union with those links because the Post Star has covered all or most of these stories also, it is just that the TUBlog is easier to link to.) What annoys me about the Post Star's complaints about the negativity of the race is that they encourage Sweeney to keep sending out his gooney press releases with their printed coverage of them.
For something completely different (compared to most of the coverage of the NY-20 race) here's an article outlining issues and the candidate's contrasting thoughts on Iraq.
From the Daily Freeman:
RHINEBECK - U.S. Rep. John Sweeney said on Wednesday that it's important to support President Bush's Iraq initiative because of long-term leverage the United States will need in the region, especially in dealing with Iran.
Kirsten Gillibrand, Sweeney's opponent in the upcoming election for New York's 20th Congressional District seat, responded that regional powers Russia and China - not the United States - should exert their leverage to ensure Iran does not become a nuclear threat.
Sweeney, speaking during a Wednesday morning news conference at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, said Iran "is a threat, obviously - probably the pre-eminent threat now in the world - and we have to determine what gives us the best leverage with Iran, and that's the decision we have to make on how much further we go in Iraq and what we do.
"I think that we have to be very careful" in Iraq, the Clifton Park Republican said. "I think it is a critical time, and I think the Iraqis have to stand up."
Gillibrand, a Democrat from Greenport, called Sweeney "a rubber-stamp for the president's misguided policies" and said the responsibility for controlling Iran should fall to the powerful nations in that part of the world.
"Our next strategy should be to focus on working with China and Russia to exert their leverage in the region so that we can assure that there will not be an Iran with nuclear weapons," Gillibrand said. "I think that we haven't yet used our leverage over those two countries as effectively as we could."
Gillibrand said all sides involved in the current internal conflict in Iraq should be brought to the bargaining table for a discussion on ending the violence there.
She also said the Republican administration should be held accountable for invading Iraq on faulty intelligence - Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction that were Bush's basis for the war have yet to be found - and said whether the White House is guilty of "misleading" or "lying" to the American public is simply "a choice of words."
"We need to do (an) investigation ... to see if it was willful," she said.
"When you use the word 'lie,' it means that somebody willfully told a mistruth," Gillibrand said. "We don't know, and that's the question that Congress has been unwilling to ask, and that is the problem. What the Congress is supposed to do is provide accountability, and so what they should be doing is a full investigation."
Both houses of Congress have been in Republican hands for all but a few months of Bush's two terms, and Democrats hope Bush's low job approval rating will help them regain control of the House and Senate in this fall's midterm elections. ... (source)
Where is Sweeney going with his Iraq stance first he says he supports the president then that it is time for the Iraqis to stand up, his Iraq position is weak and unclear. It sounds like he wants to lay the foundation for backing off of the statements he made just the other day when Giulani was here when he was fully in support of the war.
I suppose one of the great things for Sweeney about not having a plan for Iraq is that you can just blow in the wind and say whatever people want to hear whenever you realize that they want to hear it.
Gillibrand's stance on Iraq has been consistent. She's seen what needs to be done since the beginning of her campaign.