Topic category: Elections - Politics, Polling, etc.
Wendy Long v. Kirsten Gillibrand, the Debate Moderators and the Liberal Media
New York's junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand debated her male Republican/Conservative opponent, Joe DioGuardi, twice in 2010, as she ran for the balance of the Senate term to which she had been appointed after Hillary Clinton resigned to become Secretary of State.
This year Gillibrand is running for a full term against another woman, Republican/Conservative Wendy Long. Theirs is the only woman on woman United States Senate race east of California, but Gillibrand deigned to accept only ONE debate, and that at the most liberal upstate New York college, Skidmore, to be moderated by Liz Benjamin and Errol Louis.
So much for the notions that Gillibrand is a champion of women's rights and the middle class and debate moderators should be neutral.
Commenters at The New York Daily News reported called Long the winner.
"Unfortunately, the debate format and most questions was reminiscent of a HS student council race. Fortunately for Gillibrand the moderators didn't allow Long to stay on topic with any of the issues mentioned above or this debate would have been front page news. I'm an upstater, have voted for Gillibrand in the past but came away believing Long handedly won the debate. She'd make a better Senator and offer some balance to fellow democrat Schumer. We really do need someone in Washington that will stand up to tax-happy Chuck. Wendy Long may not raise enough money to win the Senate race but the NY Republican Party may have finally found a star."
"Unfortunately, the debate format and most questions were reminsicent of a HS student council race. Fotunately for Gillibrand the moderators did not allow Long to stay on topic...or this debate would have been front page news. I'm an upstater, have voted for Gillibrand in the past but came away believing Long handedly won the debate. She'd make a better Senator and offer some balance to fellow democrat Schumer. We really do need someone in Washington that will stand up to tax-happy Chuck. Wendy Long may not raise enough money to win the Senate race but the NY Republican Party may have finally found a star."
"Long blew Gillibrand away in the debate. She was smart, forceful, direct and didn't sound like a canned politician, as Gillibrand did. I liked how she confronted Gillibrand about Sheldon Silver and Gillibrand tried to squirm out of it.
"Gillibrand has a babyish, little girl voice that does not lend itself well for a debate. Long's voice was stronger and more forceful.
"I was very, very impressed with Long. I am an Independent who will be voting for her."
Long is a star and she won last night's debate.
Unfortunately, under the debate rules each candidate got to ask the other only one question, Long used hers to raise the equally important "Silver issue" and neither moderator mentioned Gillibrand's other Achilles' heel--her relationship with ACORN and its political party in New York, the Working Families Party. After Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate in 2009, ACORN's political action committee endorsed her for election in 2010 and then she stood with it as one of the seven United States senators who voted not to defund it. Even Senator Schumer voted to defund, and President Obama signed the defunding bill into law. Gillibrand has been an ACORN favorite throughout her political career. The Working Families Party supported Gillibrand in all her campaigns, not only after she executed a stunning political transformation and earned non-partisan National Journal's designation as most liberal United Senate Senator, but also when she ran for the House of Representatives as a pro-gun Blue Dog Democrat type in an upstate New York congressional district.
The most notable part of last night's debate was Long highlighting Gillibrand's hypocritical deference to New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, but there was not enough time to fully explain and the moderators insisted on moving on instead of scrutinizing.
People who missed the debate but read The New York Daily News today can learn at least something about the subject today.
Ken Lovett, "Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and GOP Challenger Wendy Long Square Off in Lone Debate" (www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2012/10/sen-kirsten-gillibrand-and-gop-challenger-wendy-long-square-off-in-lone-debate):
"US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Wednesday said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was wrong for using $100,000 in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims against pervy Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
"Gillibrand, who made the comments during a televised Senate debate with Republican challenger Wendy Long at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, is the highest-ranking Democrat to criticize Silver for using public money to settle the allegations.
“'Vito Lopez should have paid those fines himself,' Gillibrand said. “Taxpayer money should not have been used.'
"But Gillibrand stopped short of Long’s call for Silver to resign over the matter, saying she first wants to see the outcome of two investigations into the matter.
"Long chided Gillibrand for pushing the concept of a Republican 'war on women' while cutting Silver slack.
"Long also noted Gillibrand’s wait-and-see stance on fellow Democrat Silver is counter to her calls six years ago as a congresswoman on former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign a decade ago over his handling of a sex scandal involving then Rep. Mark Foley.
“'Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, instead of addressing the matter, instead of bringing it to light and trying to remedy it, instead took over $100,000 in taxpayer money and used it as hush money to try and keep these young women quiet,' Long said. 'To my way of thinking, this is a big scandal.'
"Silver approved the secret deal after two Lopez staffers accused their boss of sexually harassing them.
"He later stripped Lopez of his legislative perks after two more women accused him of harassing them."
The situation is even more egregious that Long had time to explain and the brief report indicates. (Curiously, Gillibrand, a lawyer, misdescribed the Silver-arranged hush money as payment for "fines" instead of payment to settle civil claims.
If Long had as much campaign money to spend on the race as cash flush Gillibrand, Long's "Perfectly Poised" ad featuring Silver and Gillibrand would be all over television in New York: www.wendylongfornewyork.com/video.
Lovett called the Silver issue "one of several feisty exchanges in the only face-to-face matchup between the Democratic incumbent and her little-known underfunded challenger."
Gillibrand is enormously vulnerable on the Silver issue and a Republican running statewide in New York needs to carry Long island, so what did Newsday, Long Island's newspaper do?
Newsday ignored it!
First Newsday posted an AP article titled "Kirsten Gillibrand, Wendy Long face off in Saratoga Springs debate" (http://newyork.newsday.com/news/region-state/kirsten-gillibrand-wendy-long-face-off-in-saratoga-springs-debate-1.4124569 that summed up the debate as follows: "Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican challenger Wendy Long trad[ing] barbs over the economy, abortion and natural gas exploration in a sometimes heated debate Wednesday night."
Then Newsday posted a Yancy Roy article "Gillibrand, Long face off in debate" that appeared in the print issue today (www.newsday.com/elections/gillibrand-long-face-off-in-debate-1.4127301).
NOTHING ABOUT THE SILVER ISSUE!
Newsday did report on the dispute over the HHS mandate:
"In one of the most animated exchanges, Long spoke against the mandate that President Barack Obama announced in January requiring most employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control, a move opposed by many Roman Catholic groups.
"'If I'm just a private person with a business, and I have faith that tells me that abortion, sterilization and contraception are evil, will I be forced to buy such a plan, to offer it to my employees?' Long asked.
"Gillibrand countered that there is a movement to undermine women's basic rights.
"'To say that's evil shows disregard for the ability of a woman to make that personal life-and-death decision about her own body,' Gillibrand said."
The New York Daily News covered the HHS mandate issue as well as the Silver issue:
"The anti-abortion Long spoke out against President Obama’s mandate that religious employers who provide worker health insurance cover birth control, with limited exemptions.
"Long called it a threat to religious liberties to require people of faith and religious institutions who view abortion and contraception as ‘evil' to include them in insurance coverage.
"Gillibrand shot back that the overwhelming majority of women use some type of contraception. 'To say that’s evil shows a disregard for the ability of a woman to make that personal life and death decision about her own body and her family,' she said."
Did the moderator ask Gillibrand, who claims to be a Catholic, why she still makes that claim, given her rejection of fundamental tenets of the Catholic Church?
Instead, as soon as Long mentioned the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose Archdiocese is suing in New York federal court over the HHS mandate, the moderators cut her off and moved on.
Roy (but not AP) touched on the Gillibrand-as-flip-flopper issue:
"Long said Gillibrand had switched from a gun-rights supporter when she was an upstate congresswoman to a gun-control advocate as a senator -- noting that the National Rifle Association graded Gillibrand an 'A' then and an 'F' now. It was a charge Gillibrand did not dispute.
"'My values have never changed,' she said. 'What is different is that we have gun-violence issues in New York State that weren't as prevalent in my old district."
Brian Tumulty of the Gannett Washington Bureaau covered the debate in "Kirsten Gillibrand, Wendy Long spar in only debate of U.S. Senate race" (www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20121017/NEWS01/310180023).
He never mentioned either the Silver or the HHS mandate issues.
Victoria Balfour posted the only comment to Tumulty's article:
"Long was magnificent. I had never seen her speak before and I was stunned by her force, intelligence and her sensible calling for the resignation of speaker Sheldon Silver. She didn't come across as a canned politician, as Gillibrand did. Also, Gillibrand has a little girl voice while Long's is clearer and more adult. I think Long is a rising star."
Balfour was paying attention and she's right, even about Gillibrand's voice.
Gillibrand's "little girl voice" should not be an impediment to her reelection, but both Long's mind and voice are "clearer and more adult" and Long is the real deal, not another "canned politician" with interests instead of principles who throws her professed faith under the bus and takes political positions based on the way the wind is blowing where she is.
Michael J. Gaynor
Biography - Michael J. Gaynor
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.
Gaynor's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.