Remember last year, when that guy and gal posed as a pimp and a prostitute and dropped by some offices run by that taxpayer-subsidized “community activist” group ACORN? They captured on video ACORN workers advocating and offering assistance in such matters as tax fraud, money laundering, falsifying public records, setting up a brothel, and smuggling girls aged about 14 into the country to use as sex-slaves to raise money for a congressional campaign.
An ensuing public uproar caused the House and Senate each to vote for measures to strip ACORN of taxpayer dollars. Even Democrats as liberal as Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, and Harry Reid were among the 87 senators who voted to deprive ACORN of federal funding.
Twelve months later — with taxpayers up in arms over shifty politicians and their reckless spending, and with control of the Senate so uncertain — Democrats are hoping and praying that New York voters don’t realize that one of the only 7 senators to stick up for ACORN and vote “no” was their Kirsten Gillibrand. Her behavior regarding that ACORN vote is a perfect illustration of the self-serving cowardice, narcissism, deceit, and sleaze that voters are saying they just can’t wait to punish at the polls this year.
Leading up to the vote, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis denounced the videos as “a scam,” claiming they had been “doctored.” When this was demonstrated to be false, she then hurled unsubstantiated accusations of “racism.” That didn’t work either. Finally, Lewis admitted that the charges against ACORN were “indefensible.”
Still, Gillibrand backed off from offending, let alone punishing, ACORN. She was terrified that if she dared offend ACORN and its friends on the extreme left, they just might attempt to try to take her out in the 2010 Democratic primary, costing her money and causing her grief even if she beat them. Bertha Lewis, you see, was a power among left-wing Democrats, and also the boss running New York’s ACORN-front “Working Families Party,” whose line Democrat Gillibrand hoped to run on this November — and she now is.
Misleadingly referring to ACORN as “a charitable organization” and whining that failure to continue to rain taxpayer money down upon ACORN would be “harmful to hard-working New York families,” Gillibrand suggested this alternative as sufficient: “Ask ACORN leaders for a full investigation.”
Don’t vote to stop throwing more good money after bad. Don’t ask the Justice Department, state or local law enforcement, or Congress to investigate. Let’s just ask ACORN to investigate ACORN.
This U.S. senator who said such a stupid thing is an Ivy League magna cum laude, and a lawyer to boot. It’s not that she lacks brains — it’s that she lacks character and convictions and cares a whole lot more about holding office for the sake of holding office than she cares about her country or her self-respect. As the country’s most widely quoted academic, University of Virginia professor of politics Dr. Larry Sabato, put it: an analysis of Kristen Gillibrand’s performance in office does not turn up any evidence of her having much in the way of principles.
Super-vain (friends reveal she fancies she could and should be president) and nakedly ambitious, Gillibrand portrayed herself as a moderate, conservative Democrat while seeking and serving in an upstate House district, even joining the “Blue Dog” coalition. But when Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat opened up and New York’s scandal-stained governor was deciding whom to appoint, Gillibrand let it be known that her beliefs could become pretty much whatever they wanted them to be.
At the same time, perhaps just by remarkable coincidence, Paterson’s campaign operation suddenly received very sizable checks from Gillibrand’s former law firm.
Senator Chuck Schumer leaned on the governor to back her. Today one rap on Gillibrand is that the way to get her to speak out on something is to “talk to the ventriloquist,” Schumer. As the NY Post quipped, instead of having two senators like other states do, New York currently has one senator with two votes. This may explain why on September 20 at a ritzy private Democratic Party fundraiser in Manhattan, desperately trying to think of something both positive and credible to say about Gillibrand, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blurted out is that she is the Senate’s “hottest” member.
Reid’s remark was sufficiently unimportant to qualify for massive media coverage, and part of the fallout from this particular instance of media pursuit of the trivial has been to make New York residents suddenly much more aware of her and curious about her record. This has been very bad for her and very good for her Republican-conservative opponent, former Congressman Joe DioGuardi — a shrewd, feisty, highly energetic professional accountant who has the numbers down pat and who can point to a very long, very solid record of sounding alarm bells about Washington’s fiscal follies. The usually reliably SurveyUSA poll reports that DioGuardi, a Tea Party favorite who bucked the Republican establishment to get on the primary ballot and then beat them, is now running neck-and-neck with Gillibrand — down only one point, 45-44. Being under 50 is always bad news for an incumbent, and especially bad this late in the game. Who would ever have thought that New York might be the state that tips the U.S. Senate into Republican control?
As the ACORN vote illustrates, Gillibrand is not someone who will fare well if there is sufficient scrutiny of her character and performance in office. This is a woman with a record of flip-flopping that would embarrass even John Kerry:
— Against gay marriage as a member of the House. For gay marriage since the day her appointment to the Senate was announced.
— For keeping “don’t ask, don’t tell” in place while in House. Against as senator.
— Against gun control while in the House (100% NRA rating). For gun control as senator.
— Against any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants as a member of the House. For as senator.
— For withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities while in House. Against as senator.
— For making English the official language while in the House. Against as senator.
— For empowering local police to enforce federal immigration laws while in House. Against as senator.
— Against the McCain and Obama endorsed Bush $700 billion TARP bank bailout in a vote in the House, calling it “fundamentally flawed.” For the Obama $787 billion “stimulus” bill four months later as a senator.
And her positions on the issues that matter most this year make her what the military likes to call “a target rich environment.” The issue, of course, is the financial mess. Look for DioGuardi to soar as he begins educating New York voters about Gillibrand’s key role in helping to cause the meltdown. When that wacky wrecking crew of the Clinton administration, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Andrew Cuomo were smashing the banking system by foisting destructive subprime mortgages on the banks, right there in a key supporting role at Cuomo’s side as HUD legal counsel was … Kristen Gillibrand.
Gillibrand was the person that gang tasked with promoting “new products” for HUD, a euphemism that means forcing banks to provide subprime mortgages to millions who could not afford them. Now that Cuomo is running for governor on the same ticket with Gillibrand, watch what happens when Joe DioGuardi and Republican-conservative-Taxpayers Party candidate for governor Carl Paladino expose the duo as the Bonnie and Clyde of the banking collapse. Unlike Bonnie and Clyde — whom gangster John Dillinger said gave bank robbing a bad name — the team of Gillibrand and Cuomo stuck up not just banks, but all of us.
That old “I feel your pain” line liberals love to use won’t work for Gillibrand. She and her husband profited big-time by selling short companies heavily into sub-primes. This is something not very many New York voters are aware of, but soon will be. DioGuardi may well be able to send Gillibrand packing just by fully exposing her role in the financial meltdown. But she’s also a defender of ObamaCare and other policies just as unpopular with voters, including tax-increasing, job-destroying “cap-and-trade,” and the wildly disliked idea of denying workers the right to a secret ballot when deciding whether to unionize, something even George McGovern has denounced as un-American.
Gillibrand is prone to falsifying her record on issues and even her resume, alleging that this or that flip-flop was no change at all, and that during the period when she was performing questionable lawyering for Big Tobacco that she’s been caught lying about, she was somehow engaged in “public interest” legal work.
Her strategy for countering DioGuardi’s surge in the polls seems to be to scream that he is “against a woman’s right to choose.” The problem with relying so heavily on hurling that incomplete sentence around is that what is angering most voters this year is not that we are not aborting enough babies, but that Washington is so corrupt and so recklessly endangering our economy and our national security.
Currently DioGuardi has a 7-point advantage among independents and a 2-1 advantage among younger voters, and leads everywhere in the state … except in the five boroughs of New York City. But wait until it really sinks in with voters in those five NYC boroughs where Gillibrand stands regarding the matter of the Ground Zero mosque. She’s joined Mayor Bloomberg as a cheerleader for it. Bloomberg’s approval ratings plummeted to a five-year low when he took up that cause with such self-congratulatory scorn for those of us who do not share his wild enthusiasm for it. Most New York City residents now disapprove of him. The Ground Zero mosque issue just may play a deciding role in this race.
So Gillibrand needs to go — but what about DioGuardi?
Well, I know Joe DioGuardi. Joe DioGuardi is a friend of mine (served with him in Congress). And Joe DioGuardi not only is no Kristen Gillibrand, he’s her mirror-opposite — a conservative who understands what’s gone wrong and who will stand up and vote right to fix things.
In endorsing Joe DioGuardi for senator, the New York Post said what I know is true: that Joe is “reliably conservative” and “common-sensical (sic)”; that during his four years in the House he “proved himself to be a capable legislator; and that he “would bring fiscal expertise to Capitol Hill at a time when unrestrained spending has inflated the federal deficit and long-term debt to unsustainable levels.” Check out his book, Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn’t Add Up (Regnery, 1992), and visit the website of Truth In Government, the non-profit organization he founded twenty years ago.
Joe DioGuardi can win, possibly being the upset that tips the Senate into Republican hands. But conservatives and Republicans across the country must pitch in and make sure he has the resources necessary to communicate to New Yorkers the clear and compelling difference in both content and character between him and that “hot” senator with the not-so-hot record.