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Clarification on Gillibrand

I should have made it clearer that I wasn’t taking the position that Kirsten Gillibrand was changing her position on guns in my post yesterday, and actually meant to use a question mark in the post title.  I agree with both Bitter and Uncle about what the Times is trying to do here, and that’s she’s given little indication she’s changing her position.

What she is doing is trying to find some cover on the issue as a pro-gun candidate in a very anti-gun media market (Downstate New York).  Because of the intense media pressure, and pressure from within her own party, to change her position, I think it would be a bit bold to count her as a reliable pro-gun vote, largely because I don’t like how the politics work out for her if she continues to vote with the NRA.

This is why originally Bitter was an advocate of donating to her campaign.  She has a record on the issue, and while it’s not long, it’s good. Gun owners will wield more influence over her during a critical vote if they are on board already.  If they are not, her fellow Democrats are going to tell her “Those cousin-humpers upstate will never vote for a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Democrat, so you can forget about them and vote the way we expect you to,” and she will have nothing to fight back with.

Politicians pay considerably more attention to campaign donors than they do ordinary constituents, and the threat she could use that kind of support might be enough to keep her with us.  My fear, however, is that New York gun owners will take a wait and see approach in regards to Gillibrand, which I think is incorrect.  The time to influence and help her is now, because she’s politically at her weakest.  If she keeps voting with us, and wins in 2010, it’s likely she’ll stay with us.  The New York Times is doing their level best to take advantage of Gillibrand’s weakness, and tie her hands on the gun issue.  What are gun owners willing to do for her?

One Response to “Clarification on Gillibrand”

  1. countertop says:

    Remember, the first rule of politics is to win. The issues themselves are meaningless.

    Based on my considerable experience in this area, here’s how – generally speaking – a candidate will prioritize the interests of stakeholders – all in the name of winning elections and diminishing the effort they need to undertake to win.

    1) Ability to organize and deliver large numbers of constituents
    2) Ability to organize large numbers of campaign volunteers
    3) Ability to raise money from large numbers of donors
    4) constituent who donated money and worked on campaign
    5) constituent who donated money
    6) constituent who worked on campaign
    7) non constituent who worked on campaign
    8) non constituent who donated money
    9) constituent who is known to member and is a member of same party
    10) constituent who is member of same party
    11) constituent who actually votes (and voted for member)
    12) constituent who actually votes
    13) constituent

    As you can see, a little effort and organization on our side can have a huge impact on Gillibrand.

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