Thursday, January 28, 2010

Parakeet Says What?

New York's junior senator whined quite a bit the other day when Hrold Ford called her a puppet and parakeet of Charles Schumer. Well, it sure seems Ford is on to something. How else can the unelected Gillibrand explain her voting record being 98% in synch with her puppet-master?
Tweet, tweet -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand really is a parakeet!

Her Senate voting record is a near perfect duplicate of her senior New York Democratic colleague, Sen. Charles Schumer, a Post analysis reveals -- with the two agreeing 98 percent of the time.

The two peas in a pod have been in near-perfect synch through the full gamut of issues since Gillibrand was appointed to fill Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate seat -- from the budget to climate change and hot-button social concerns like gun control.

Out of the nearly total 400 votes cast since she was sworn in one year ago yesterday, Gillibrand has parted ways with Schumer just eight times, according to an analysis of both lawmakers' records.

Gillibrand voted with Schumer, a powerhouse lawmaker who has helped clear the primary field for her re-election, even more closely than she did with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

She voted with Reid 95 percent of the time, disagreeing on several amendments when Reid backed Republican amendments to provide greater protections for gun owners.

Ex-Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who lives in Manhattan and is preparing for a possible primary challenge to Gillibrand, this week ridiculed her as a "parakeet" who mimicked what party leaders told her to say.

Earlier this week, Gillibrand insisted she was independent.

"It's absurd, it's insulting, it's very far from the truth," she told The Post in response to Ford's charges that Schumer tells her what to do.

"Certainly, no one tells me how to vote. I make my own decisions."

Critics beg to differ.

"Sen. Gillibrand doesn't speak unless Chuck Schumer allows her to talk," quipped GOP consultant Susan Del Percio on NY1's "Inside City Hall" this week.

While representing an upstate district in the House, Gillibrand achieved the lowest "party unity" score of any New York Democrat, earning a score of 91 out of 100 in 2008 rankings compiled by Congressional Quarterly which track party-line votes.

Her differences with Schumer don't appear to follow a strict pattern, and frequently came on votes Republicans set up to put Democrats in a tight spot.

They split twice on the left-leaning community action group ACORN, when Gillibrand opposed amendments to deny federal funding to the controversial group, while Schumer voted for them. Both passed.
ACORN is left-leaning? I really believe today's media would refer to Josef Stalin as left-leaning, or probably even call him a moderate.

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