Thursday, July 02, 2009

Give Me Choice, or... God Knows I'll Live With It

When Hillary Clinton was named Secretary of State, we had an open Senate seat here in New York. The people of New York had been feeling pretty good about our new-ish Governor Paterson up until this point, but many of us were turned off by how he handled naming her successor.

We ended up with Kirsten Gillibrand, a Congresswoman from upstate, who had the reputation being relatively conservative. I still don't know much about her, except that she's shifted a little to the left in some of her positions since becoming Senator from a state that trends a little more liberal than her district in Congress.

Still, she was appointed not elected, and those of us who are fans of democracy bristle at this simple fact.

Because law requires Gillibrand to run for election in the next cycle (in this case 2010), a few New York politicos were considering a run against her in the primary. But the White House talked all of them out of it.

Except Carolyn Maloney. And the Democratic Party machine isn't terribly happy with her.

Long-time readers might recall that I've had some questions about who actually represents my apartment in Congress. I've only ever voted for Joseph Crowley, but I get mail from Carolyn Maloney, and most Political Action Committees seem to think that my zip code+4 puts me in her district.

Maloney is a pretty reliable liberal. I'm a fan. I still know very little about Kirsten Gillibrand.

But if not for the New York State law giving the authority to fill an empty seat to the governor instead of the people, we'd have had a robust Democratic primary to fill Hillary's seat. I want a robust primary.

It's a democracy, man. Run, Maloney! Run!

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