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Escape Inauguration Mania With Activism: Just Say No to Caroline!

Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy

Governor Paterson of New York has just a few more days to decide who will be appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. Reports are flying through the New York press – some say the Governor is dead set on appointing Caroline, whereas others say he is giving other candidates a second look, including the redoubtable and incredibly worthy Representative Carolyn Maloney.

We still have a chance to make a difference. Call, write, email or fax the Governor’s office, and disseminate the open letter below as far and wide as possible.

Governor Paterson’s Contact Information:

To Write To The Governor:
David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Call: 518-474-8390

Fax: 518-474-1513

To Email The Governor:
Click here to email the Governor.

———————————————————————————————————–

An Open Letter to Governor David Paterson:

Dear Governor Paterson,

The person whom you appoint to Senator Clinton’s seat should have two qualities:

1) She should be a woman; and

2) Like Hillary, she should be ready and qualified on Day One.

Satisfying the first requirement should be quite simple. However, it is the need to satisfy both requirements that seems to be escaping your attention.

To a certain extent, we need gender affirmative action in government. As a group that makes up 51% of the country’s population, women are severely under-represented in Congress, at an abysmal 17%. When Senator Clinton becomes Secretary of State, that already inadequate percentage will dip to 16%.

But in the case of the next New York Senator, there is no need to appoint a person who has literally no Congressional experience whatsoever; a person who has apathetically declined to vote in several New York primaries; a person who, with her fawning, disingenuous attempts to pretend Barack Obama was “a President like her father,” was instrumental in making sure that the highest, hardest glass ceiling was not shattered for women this year.

Yet that is what you may end up doing with Caroline Kennedy. And according to the Post story today, it is for no other reason than the Kennedy-Bloomberg money and connections she is promising you.

May I ask how this is ANY different than what Rod Blagojevich was arrested for doing? If you are unconcerned with the fate of your state, and only looking out for your own political future, then I say you are simply selling the Senate seat that Hillary Clinton worked so hard to earn, to the people with the deepest pockets and the most political influence. For shame, Governor Paterson!

Two outstanding Congresswomen, Carolyn Maloney and Kirsten Gillibrand, are more than ready and qualified on Day One. Should one of them be appointed, Ms. Kennedy could easily step into one of their seats and EARN her stripes as a New York Congresswoman before running for the Senate seat in 2010. Interestingly, Carolyn Maloney’s district is the same as Ms. Kennedy’s. It would be a seamless transition for both women, should you choose this path.

Honor the New Yorkers at whose pleasure you serve. Do not choose Caroline Kennedy as the next Senator from New York. Below are just a few of the many blog posts and articles stating that Caroline Kennedy would not be a good choice.

 Say It Ain’t So, Governor Paterson

Caroline Kennedy is Not Being Palinized

Say Good Night, Caroline

Caroline Kennedy No Whiz With Words

Caroline Kennedy Botches Debut

PUMAs Growl at Caroline Betrayal

Caroline Kennedy Lets Her Interest Be Known

Caroline Kennedy and The Bloomberg Connection

Bloomberg Maneuvers To Crown A Kennedy

Roundup of Caroline News

New Yorkers Saying No, NO, NO to Caroline Kennedy

Is Caroline Ready? No.

She’s No Jack Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy No More Qualified Than J. Lo

Caroline Kennedy Dismayed By Own Voting Record

Caroline Kennedy’s “you knows” Turn Into “You? No.”

In addition, here is a link to an online petition that has more than 100 signatures in support of saying no to Caroline and yes to Carolyn or Kirsten.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/qualifiedwoman/index.html

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

(add your name here)

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A Wrench in the Kennedy Machine

Hillary is 44 is following the labyrinthine maze that is the Caroline Kennedy for Senate campaign in NY and has turned up some very interesting connections.  Like, does anyone know why Charles O’Byrne, Gov. Paterson’s former right hand man, resigned about a week before the November election?

Charles J. OByrne (Source- NY Times)

Charles J. O'Byrne (Source- NY Times)

And who recently paid O’Byrne’s enormous back tax fines and does he have to pay taxes on it, seeing as it’s sorta like income?  (Hint: the Smith branch of the Kennedy family makes an appearance)

Curiouser and curiouser…

Just go read it all.  As Lambert would say, it’s full of “linky goodness”.

One more thing:  Alegre says another possible candidate for Hillary’s seat is Leecia Eve, one of Hillary Clinton’s former advisors on Homeland Security.  She is quite an accomplished woman, seems to have the blessing of party stalwarts like Charles Rangel and she’s African-American. She tried to line up support for a shot at Lieutenant governor of NY in 2006 but was told to take an old cold tater and wait while Paterson was nominated instead.  Hmmm, I wonder if that’s a move that will pay off for her now?

Leecia Eve, center, with supporters David Dinkins (L) and Charles Rangel (R)

Friday: Gov. Paterson, it’s CAROLYN, not Caroline

Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan

Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan

Lady Caroline Kennedy

Lady Caroline Kennedy

I have read persistent rumors that Caroline Kennedy is on Governor Paterson’s short list of replacements for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.  Now, I don’t live in NY.  I live in the next state down.  So, maybe Paterson doesn’t give a flying f^&* what I think, although our two states *do* share a common harbor and the WTC was a joint operation so you might say I am a concerned citizen.  Then there is the whole concept of the Senate itself, which is supposed to be a cooling saucer for hot blooded mob rule that is the House of Representatives (snort!).  The Senate is supposed to be a different kind of legislative body, one that by its very number and makeup is intended to transcend state boundaries.  So, the fact that we have only 17 females in this august body is very disturbing indeed and we can’t afford to lose even one.  Percentage wise, the Senate should be more like 52% female to 48% male and we are certainly going to work very hard to bring those numbers up.  But if the Governor plays a game where he appoints Caroline Kennedy because she meets the gender requirement, he might as well be sticking a fork in our eyes.

Why should he pass on Caroline?  Let me count the ways:

  1. She’s not a politician.  Never has been.  She’s never run for political office, never advocated for legislation (that I know of), never even expressed an interest.  If Hillary were close to an election cycle, one might justify appointing Caroline as a symbolic gesture.  But Hillary has four years left in her term.  That would make Kennedy a rather strong incumbent.  She hasn’t earned it.
  2. The Senate is not the House of Lords.  I know the argument against dynasties has also been made against Hillary’s run for president.  But in Hillary’s case, she did the whole campaigning thing.  She’s worked on health care throughout her tenure as first lady.  She went into the senate having *earned* her seat through a legitimate election and her own accomplishments.  We saw her on the campaign trail for president.  She is smart, tough, assertive, unflagging, eternally optimistic.  We *like* her.  Just because her husband was a president doesn’t mean we had to deprive ourselves of the best presidential candidate in the past 15 years.  But in Caroline Kennedy’s case, the name is everything.  She is the closest thing we have to an American princess.  She’s an aristocrat and nothing more.  Oh, sure, she’s a lawyer and she’s published books.  But for her, it almost like finishing school.  She chose to lead a more private life.  Good!  Let her enjoy it.
  3. There are other women who would be passed over who would be legitimately and righteously indignant.  Kirsten Gillibrand and Carolyn Maloney are perfect examples.  For the upstate vote, Kirsten is the way to go.  She’s young, intelligent, well liked.  She’s very much in the Hillary model.  For experience, go to Carolyn Maloney, who has been elected from her Manhattan district *eight* times.  She has a track record of championing women’s issues.  For either of these true politicians who have earned their way to be queue jumped by Caroline Kennedy is a real slap to the face.

Wake up and smell the Starbucks, Governor Paterson.  You have an opportunity to earn some major mojo by appointing a woman who has *earned* that right through hard work and accomplishments.  Appointing a woman because of who she is and not what she has done further undermines women in the eyes of the public.  A woman’s accomplishments are always held to a higher standard than a man’s.  Caroline Kennedy would send the worst kind of message about women in politics.  Women will once again be beholden to male benefactors and not merit to get a seat at the table.  Forget about Lady Caroline and appoint Carolyn or Kirsten.

Do the right thing.

[UPDATE by katiebird] – And please take a minute to sign MadamaB’s petition: Appoint a Woman to Senator Clinton’s Seat