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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Welch: Thumbs up on Gillibrand

There may be some liberal Democrats upset with N.Y. Gov. David Patterson's decision to appoint Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, but Rep. Peter Welch is clearly not one of them.

Welch was in town Friday to talk about how the federal stimulus package will shore up the state's beleaguered unemployment fund, and was overflowing with praise for Gillibrand, who joined the House the same year Welch did.

"She's sincere, incredibly energetic and politically savvy," Welch said. "She's also had tremendous success at fundraising, which is of course also very important." He called her a "very good member of Congress" during her two years in the House.

Gillibrand's selection, which was announced Friday, came hours after Caroline Kennedy withdrew her name from consideration and, apparently, somebody close to Patterson bad-mouthed Kennedy about the real reasons for her pullout to several New York political reporters -- off the record of course. Weird.

The reason some Democrats are bent out of shape about Gillibrand is that she lacks the credentials and name recognition of some of the other prospects for the seat (like state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo). Gillibrand is from the Albany area, she's pro-gun, no fan of gay marriage and voted against the federal opposed the federal TARP program to rescue banks. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is known to be no fan of Gillibrand.

Welch told reporters the fact Gillibrand was able to win in a traditionally Rebublican district -- twice -- in heavy-duty contests will make her a formidable candidate when she runs for the Senate seat outright in 2010. Maybe that's why Patterson picked her.

Anyone out there with opinions on the Gillibrand selection?

I thought so.

-- Sam Hemingway

First, Sam is dead wrong on her position re: gay marriage. She supports it. See item below.

I know you guys have a lot on your plates at the Free Press, but can you at least check your facts and proofread your copy? The blog postings today are full of typos and other errors.

2nd this is a bad pick for NY. She will have zero clout in the Senate at a time when NY is fighting for its economic life. Her press conference today proved she's a lightweight. Paterson picked her because he wants an upstate female on the ballot with him in 2010. There is a pattern of both parties turning to (using) inexperienced women to help the head of the ticket. Sarah Palin is the most recent example, but there was also Gov. Pataki's pick of Betsy McCaughey as Lt. Gov which was a disaster. And remember William Weld picking Jane Swift out of the state legislature in Massachusetts to be his lite gov? And remember how the GOP abandoned her and humiliated her in the run up to the next election? This is shameless tokenism and women should be offended.

There were several experienced, qualified female candidates for this job, and I hope they run against Gillibrand in two years.

Van Cappelle Says Gillibrand Supports Gay Marriage
by Jimmy Vielkind on January 23, 2009

ALBANY--Empire State Pride Agenda Executve Director Alan Van Cappelle is firmly behind the selection of ostensibly non-liberal Democratic congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand for the senate.

"After talking to Kirsten Gillibrand, I am very happy to say that New York is poised to have its first U.S. Senator who supports marriage equality for same-sex couples," said Van Capelle in a statement. "She also supports the full repeal of the federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) law, repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) and passage of legislation outlawing discrimination against transgender people. While we had a productive discussion about a whole range of LGBT concerns, I was particularly happy to hear where she stands on these issues."
Yeah Emma Willard!!
I will never vote for a dangerous gun extremist like Gillibrand. As a gun crime victim, I have a right to expect that all politicians support strong gun control laws.
"I will never vote for a dangerous gun extremist like Gillibrand. As a gun crime victim, I have a right to expect that all politicians support strong gun control laws."

You have a right to expect, you have no right have it happen though.

I have a Constitutional right to posses firearms for legal purposes:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Pp. 2–53.
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but
does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative
clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it
connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation
of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically
capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists
feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in
order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing
army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress
power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear
arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.
Pp. 22–28.
(c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous armsbearing
rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately
followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.
(d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious
interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals
that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms.
Pp. 30–32.
(e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts
and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the
late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.
(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation.
Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor
Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individualrights
interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not
limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather
limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by
the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.
2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.
It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any
manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed
weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment
or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast
doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by
felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms
in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or
laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of
arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those
“in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition
of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Pp. 54–56.
3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to
self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban
on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an
entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the
lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny
the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this
Cite as: 554 U. S. ____ (2008) 3
prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense
of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional
muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the
home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible
for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and
is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument
that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily
and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy
his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement.
Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment
rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and
must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.
478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.
I understand that little Lundeerville guy supports gay marriage. Does his boss know this?
Deb Markowitz for Governor in 2010
The second amendment crazies can always come up with a lenghty discussion about how the right to own guns is clear in said amendment. Try again. It is not that clear at all. The Vermont Consitiution is clearer, which is the one place our forefathers screwed up a bit. Guns should be limited to those who have hunting licenses or are sport shooters within organized clubs.
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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Markowitz for Governor
Markowitz for Governor
Racine for Lt. Gov
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Gee, you nameless nitwits really ought to post that slop more often.

Clearly, your little coalition of the clueless cretin campaign is workin' like a charm for ya, little fella.

Always a pleasure.
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