Is NY's New Senator Really a Conservative Democrat? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Is NY’s New Senator Really a Conservative Democrat?

Kristen Gillibrand, Gov. David Patterson’s pick to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, is being described in media accounts as a “conservative Blue Dog” Democrat. The National Journal gave her a 58.7 liberal rating for 2007, putting her to the right of most House Democrats. Her conservative streak appears to be most pronounced when it comes to gun rights and immigration. The NRA has given her an ‘A’ rating, and last year, she opposed comprehensive immigration reform, telling the Times-Union of Albany that it was, “an amnesty program that’s the wrong approach…” (I accessed on Nexis so the link is unavailable). Her website also includes pro-enforcement language:

Our immigration system is broken and hard-working Americans often bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure to secure our borders and provide adequate protections for the American worker and the shrinking American Middle Class. I believe the first step to fixing our immigration system is to stop the flow of illegal immigration. This can be accomplished by securing the Southern border, enforcing the employment laws on the books and ensuring that our farmers and businesses have the adequate number of legal workers after they have exhausted their search for American workers. I am firmly against providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. In my first year in Congress, I passed legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives that would bar employers, who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, from receiving federal contracts.

In addition, I am a sponsor of the SAVE Act, which will hire 8,000 new Customs and Border Patrol agents, while utilizing new technology and fencing along the border. I have also sponsored the Legal Employee Verification Act, which would require all employers to verify, through the Social Security Administration, that their employees are legal.

But if you move beyond her stances on guns and immigration, and look at her voting record on abortion, taxes, and labor issues, she’s a more reliable liberal Democrat. She has received a 100 rating from NARAL, a 96-percent rating from the AFL-CIO, and an ‘F’ from the National Taxpayers Union. The question is whether she’ll become more liberal now that she’s no longer running in a relatively conservative district, and needs to position herself for a 2010 Democratic primary.

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