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DAN'S PAPERS, February 27, 2009 Page 17 www.danshamptons.com

A New Senator, for ALL New Yorkers?

ing, “What I’d like to do legislatively, on the federal level is actually make civil unions legal in all 50 states, make it the law of the land.” A conservative pro-gun stance and liberal progay stance? In the former, Gillibrand upholds

one of her own family traditions; in the latter, she breaks with her religious family upbringing in an effort to extend protection to all families. Her positions, unpredictable, seem to be thought out individually, personally rather than along party lines. Yet they’re based on higher laws of the land, namely, the second amendment and the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that all men are created equal. Since her appointment, Gillibrand has done a little soul searching and a lot of meeting with downstate constituents and groups in support of immigrants, resulting in a shift in her think(continued on next page)

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By Susan M. Galardi After much drama, New York State has its new Senator: 42-year-old Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaces Hillary Clinton. There’s been plenty of debate over Gillibrand, but one thing’s for certain: She sure looks a lot like Hillary. The blue eyes. Blonde hair parted on the same side. Same face and eyebrow shape. A propensity for wearing pants suits. If Patterson was going for a cookie-cutter replacement, or simply succumbing to the expectation that he appoint a woman to fill a woman’s pumps, he certainly did better than the GOP in its VP choice. None but the brain dead could’ve thought that adding a woman, any woman, to the Republican ticket would fool all those Hillary supporters. But if McCain had chosen someone who LOOKED more like Hillary, just maybe, all those women voters would have been fooled. But we New Yorkers are smart. We see that the similarities between the two women are largely skin deep. And while Hillary was for the most part a friend to Long Island, there are questions about what effect, if any, up-stater Gillibrand will have. Upon her appointment, the state comptroller issued a statement saying, “Hillary Clinton was a fighter for New York and Kirsten Gillibrand will be that same kind of fighter. She knows … the struggles of New York families.” Not exactly ringing endorsement. So we have to look at her short voting record. She supported stem cell research, the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act, the 2008 Farm Bill, and the extension of 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for middle class families. She was against even partial privatization of Social Security, and rejected both bailout packages. That caused Gail Collins in The New York Times to bill her as Public Enemy #1. Gillibrand opposed Spitzer’s plan to issue New York State drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants. In fact, she’s been pretty unsupportive on immigration — a hot button on the East End, where the murder of an Ecuadorian worker in Patchogue and subsequent state investigation of the county has brought the issue to a high pitch. Whichever way Gillibrand swings ultimately on immigration, she’ll have supporters on the East End. Her stance on two other issues, guns and gays, seemed odd to have come from the same person. Gillibrand, born in Albany and raised in a family of hunters, wholeheartedly supports the rights of hunters and gun owners. By now, everyone knows about her 100% positive rating from the NRA. Here on the East End, where hunting is controversial, Gillibrand’s pompom shaking at that tradition could be welcome by many. But not by Representative Carolyn McCarthy of Long Island, who built her political career on gun control and who called Gillibrand “A very bad choice.” In a more liberal turn, and flying in the face of her Roman Catholic upbringing, Gillibrand wholeheartedly supports civil unions. In a meeting with the Empire State Pride Agenda the night before her appointment, Gillibrand went on record to support marriage equality for same-sex couples and the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. She was quoted as say-

Dan's Papers Feb. 27 & Mar. 6, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

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