Friday, November 03, 2006

Gillibrand Endorsement from ADE

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise says

Gillibrand for the 20th District

The 20th Congressional District of New York has been ready for a breath of fresh air for a while now. Two years ago, we were eager to bid John Sweeney adieu and endorsed little-known Hyde Park politician and schoolteacher Doris Kelly, who had virtually no chance of winning.

This time around, the Democrats are offering a candidate we feel more confident about endorsing — Kirsten Gillibrand, a 39-year-old lawyer who grew up in Albany and moved back to upstate New York three years ago, buying a house in Hudson. She and her husband vacation regularly in Lake Placid, as her family has done since she was a child. Our needs, therefore, are known to her.

Mr. Sweeney, on the other hand, isn’t as familiar with Lake Placid and Keene — the northern tip of this oddly shaped district — as he should be after eight years of representing these towns in Congress.

We also agree with Ms. Gillibrand on many of the big issues:

¯Iraq — She says the U.S. should set a date to pull its troops from Iraq and, in the meantime, make a couple of promises to the nation to show that we have no imperialist designs: 1) that we will keep no permanent military bases there and 2) that we will retain no claim on the country’s oil.

¯Spending — Ms. Gillibrand claims to be a fiscal conservative, a hot trend among Democrats this election year. While it’s easier said than done, they can’t spend much more, with much less oversight, than Mr. Sweeney’s congressional Republicans. She at least has big plans: restoring pay-as-you-go budgets, cutting pork in half, cutting government spending on consultants, giving each budget line item a name and vote, doing a better enforcement job with tax cheats, reducing the federal workforce through attrition, etc.

¯Health — Mr. Sweeney’s votes have been good to drug and insurance companies, at a terrible price for the general public. We’re not sure about Ms. Gillibrand’s plan to open Medicaid up to anyone who wants to buy into it, but we do think she’s the candidate who’s open to a new nationwide approach to health coverage.

On top of all this, we don’t trust Mr. Sweeney’s ethics. His vacations with lobbyists have shown what one of our letter writers, Peter May of Catskill, aptly described as “a pattern of servitude to corporate fat cats.”

We’re happy for a change and excited to see how Kirsten Gillibrand will do.

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