Sunday, October 29, 2006

OpEd: Taking on the Post Star Endorsement

Go figure. The Post Star says that Sweeney is a bold faced liar who ignores us until election time while Gillibrand gets high marks from seniors and labor yet for some reason it has endorsed John Sweeney.

In spite of the fact that Gillibrand has been traveling the district and talking to voters here for over a year, the PS is not so sure that means that she has the experience to do the job.

That's idiotic, if Sweeney can "represent" us between his running to Florida to "shut down" a vote count, crashing into utility poles, making drunken appearances at frat parties and selling out to sweatshop owners, boat builders and other lobbyist donors, well then I say pretty much any average voter could do a better job than Sweeney has done in congress.

Kirsten Gillibrand is a qualified candidate. She will do a better job than Sweeney.

The fact that she's not been involved in congress is a benefit given the corruption there today. The Post Star's rationale here, is basically one that has to do with pork and time served.

All leaders send home pork. It isn't hard to do, and it is after all, our money, not theirs that they are "giving" or "getting" us. Often these giveaways are the result of the hard work of grant writers whose work is totally ignored when the funding is passed out by elected leaders. Why are the Grant authors ignored? Well, that was their job. And that is why I think we should ignore Sweeney's pork work when we consider his work - that is just one part of his job.

And when one looks at where the experience has taken the people in congress today - down a path of corruption, out of control spending, a mismanaged war and a much harder life for average families here at home - then it seems that not having worked in Congress before is a good thing not a bad one.

The PS was too worried that Gillibrand will win, so they included the following caveat:

The case against John Sweeney

For those not familiar with the congressman's record, you'd have a difficult time learning about it from the candidate. Rather than highlight his record in ads or by debating his opponent in front of voters, the congressman has lowered the tenor of the campaign by running attack ads and attack mailings almost exclusively.

He's not above hyperbole and even bold-faced lying -- whether it be calling his opponent's husband a "war profiteer" and her a "carpetbagger" in the face of facts to the contrary.

He hasn't been forthcoming about some of his past encounters with police, and his explanations for his frat-party escapades and his "fact-finding" jaunts to ski chalets and exotic islands with lobbyists are embarrassingly inadequate.

On legislation, he has sided with the Republican administration on many of its failed initiatives, including continuing the war in Iraq, extending tax breaks for the rich and opposing an increase in the minimum wage (which he eventually voted for). He has softened his position on the U.S. role in Iraq, but that's probably only because public support for the war, even among Republicans, is waning.

The case for Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand has a strong grasp on national issues, which will help her hit the ground running in Congress. As an attorney for 15 years, she understands the legal system and the legislative process.

It's possible she could end up in the majority party in the House, which will definitely help her more than being a Democrat in a Republican-controlled House. And even if she was a minority party member, the area has other representation in Congress to ensure our local congresswoman wouldn't come home empty-handed.

Gillibrand has offered a plan for gradually drawing down the number of troops from Iraq on a flexible timetable that wouldn't leave the Iraqis unprepared to defend themselves.

She has taken moderate positions on controversial issues such as gun control, and she's pushing for new uses of alternative energy and rail transportation. Her positions in issues affecting senior citizens and labor have brought her high marks from those constituencies.

While not articulating a strong local agenda [energy independence won't help locals? bringing our troops home won't help locals?], she plans to reach out to local residents by holding monthly town-hall-like forums in her district, whereas Sweeney only seems to show up around election time.

For the most part, she has tried to talk about the issues and has sought many opportunities to debate Sweeney, all of which he refused. She will be accessible to citizens, and has the poise, character and knowledge of issues to build consensus in Washington on issues important to the 20th Congressional District.

Gillibrand has offered a plan for gradually drawing down the number of troops from Iraq on a flexible timetable that wouldn't leave the Iraqis unprepared to defend themselves. She has taken moderate positions on controversial issues such as gun control, and she's pushing for new uses of alternative energy and rail transportation. Her positions in issues affecting senior citizens and labor have brought her high marks from those constituencies.

While not articulating a strong local agenda, she plans to reach out to\local residents by holding monthly town-hall-like forums in her district, whereas Sweeney only seems to show up around election time. For the most part, she has tried to talk about the issues and has sought many opportunities to debate Sweeney, all of which he refused. She will be accessible to citizens, and has the poise, character and knowledge of issues to build consensus in Washington on issues\important to the 20th Congressional District.

The Granville Sentinel did a better job than the Post Star did with its endorsement of this race.

Answer this: Are you better off today than you were when Sweeney took office?

For the voters of this district, the answer is a resounding NO. Sweeney does not deserve to keep his seat in congress for that reason alone. He's a Republican leader with a Republican governor, and a Republican congress, a Republican President - there is just no blaming anyone else for his failed leadership.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home