As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

NY-Sen: More White House Maneuverings To Stop Primaries

Carolyn Maloney represents most of the east side of Manhattan and Queens in Congress. She's been really good on women's issues and gay rights, but as a member of the Financial Services Committee and a Congresswoman from Manhattan, she gets lots of cash from Wall Street interests. Nonetheless, she has a decent record on the middle class and just shepherded through the landmark Credit Card Bill Of Rights reform. She's good but not great on labor rights or foreign policy. A good rundown on her record is here.

She wants to run for Senate to primary Kirsten Gillibrand. Both women could put their credentials before the voters and let them decide. But the White House doesn't want that, and they're trying to keep Maloney out of the race.

Vice President Biden this week sat down with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to urge her not to run for Senate.

Maloney has been making initial moves toward challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in the 2010 Democratic primary, hiring public relations strategists and fundraisers in both Washington and New York.

It would be a primary national Democrats had hoped to avoid. Earlier this week, Biden sat down with Maloney in New York City and urged her not to run, according to a senior White House official.

"We've made it clear we're behind Sen. Gillibrand," the official said.

I intuitively understand why national Democrats want to avoid a primary. Money is finite and why have a bruising primary, etc. But that's just not democracy. The Senate appointments process, which should be abolished, allows a constituency of one to make a decision affecting millions. Senators should have to face the voters and earn the votes. I don't know who I would support in such a race - Gillibrand has been pretty decent since coming to the Senate - but the voters ought to decide. In the long run, it would be better for whoever wins to have their candidacies affirmed by the base of the party.

As for the White House, surely they have more to do than to stop Democrats from choosing their legislative representatives.

...Carolyn McCarthy, who's from Long Island and who people often confuse with Maloney, isn't running. So Maloney-Gillibrand would look to be a one-on-one race.

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