Governor discovers ‘there’s life north of Westchester’

As a follow-up to last week’s column on the quick turnabout by Governor Paterson and the DEC on the proposed closing of the State’s pheasant program, the appointment of upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hilary Rodman Clinton’s Senate seat seems to reflect that the governor has “discovered” there is more to New York, the state, than just New York, the city. Much more. The 2008 Urban Dictionary describes Upstate New York as, “Any place above Westchester, NY is considered upstate NewYork.”

Gillibrand was born Dec. 9, 1966, in Albany in a family that hunted and enjoyed the outdoors. She currently resides in Hudson with her husband Jonathon and their two children. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 1988 and U.C.L.A. in 1991. After law school Gillibrand served briefly as special counsel under Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, before going to work for a major New York City law firm. She was also a law clerk at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and worked one summer for Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. In 2006 she scored one of the big upsets of the elections when she defeated incumbent GOP Rep. John Sweeney for New York’s 20th District seat.

While this doesn’t sound all that unusual, what shocked many Democrats of the appointment, especially the most liberal ones, is the fact Gillibrand is pro gun and pro hunting. She received a 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association for that and also her support of the Second Amendment. Although that wouldn’t shock most rural upstate residents, those three things have some downstate anti hunting and anti gun liberals in a tizzy. What seems to bother them almost as much is the fact the governor chose a relatively conservative Democrat from upstate rather than a liberal from downstate. From some of their reactions, you’d almost think he’d appointed an ultra conservative Republican, the likes of Teddy Roosevelt.

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