Gillibrand’s father, Doug Rutnik, is an Albany insider and lobbyist whose ties to former GOP powerhouses Joe Bruno, George Pataki and Al D’Amato are legendary. In fact, Gillibrand won her seat when a state police domestic violence report about the GOP incumbent, John Sweeney, was mysteriously leaked, ostensibly with the acquiescence of the Pataki administration, which had its own reasons to oppose Sweeney.
Wayne Barrett also looks at where Gillibrand’s voting record has diverged from her own party (his commenters are already hopping as well on Gillibrand’s opposition to same-sex marriage):
Gillibrand has described her own voting record as “one of the most conservative in the state.” She opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, supports renewing the Bush tax cuts for individuals earning up to $1 million annually, and voted for the Bush-backed FISA bill that permits wiretapping of international calls. She was one of four Democratic freshmen in the country, and the only Democrat in the New York delegation, to vote for the Bush administration’s bill to extend funding for the Iraq war shortly after she entered congress in 2007. While she now contends that she’s always opposed the war and has voted for bills to end it, one upstate paper reported when she first ran for the seat: “She said she supports the war in Iraq.” In addition to her vote to extend funding, she also missed a key vote to override a Bush veto of a Democratic bill with Iraq timetables.
But it’s her votes on the bailout bills — which pleased no one but were widely seen as vital to the national and New York economies — that could become the most damaging ammunition against her should she run statewide in 2010. She was one of 63 Democrats to break with the other 172 party members in the House and vote against the second bill, which she called “fundamentally flawed.” Her argument against the bill seemed to be both parochial and political, contending that “upstate New York needs a plan that will actually work to stabilize our economy and protect taxpayers.”
Read the whole thing, including a look at where Gillibrand’s money comes from. Meanwhile, anti-gun crusading Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, elected after her husband was killed in the LIRR shooting, says she will challenge Gillibrand in a primary in 2010 or support someone else who will.