Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010 N.Y. Senate Debates

On Corporations: Access to capital for small business will create jobs

Gillibrand says she doesn't think it's possible to tell how many jobs a politician has created, adding, "The number one thing we should be doing to create jobs in this state--in this country right now--is getting access to capital into our small businesses."

DioGuardi counters, "Not only did you not create jobs, we've lost many jobs. You've got to be aggressive about what you do to change that and one of the things is: we're in a toxic environment in this state--mainly because of your party."

Source: Fox News 23 coverage of 2010 N.Y. Senate debate Oct 21, 2010

On Gun Control: Shifted to left because "I fight for my constituents"

Gillibrand explained her sharp shift to the political left--particularly on gun control and immigration--since Gov. Paterson appointed her to the statewide seat last year. "One thing that's clear is that I always fight for my constituents," she said; noting that she's now focused on keeping illegal guns out of cities.

DioGuardi said voters could get "whiplash" watching Gillibrand's policy changes. "She sounded like Annie Oakley, and now she's somebody different," DioGuardi said.

Source: New York Post coverage of 2010 N.Y. Senate debate Oct 16, 2010

On Principles & Values: Accused of hiding facts connecting cigarettes and cancer

The pair traded their toughest blows over jobs each had held outside public office. DioGuardi accused Gillibrand of shilling for Big Tobacco, while Gillibrand expressed "serious questions" over reports that federal regulators were investigating his ties to a business deal. DioGuardi insisted he was merely a bit player in the deal described by a Gillibrand ad as a "Madoff-style $1.7 billion Ponzi scheme."

He returned fire by highlighting defense work Gillibrand did as an attorney for tobacco giant Philip Morris in the 1990s. "She was actually the architect of everything that company did to try to hide the fact that cigarettes cause cancer," he said.

"Your arguments are absolutely fantasy," Gillibrand scoffed. The senator characterized her tobacc work as something she got stuck with when she was "a junior associate in a big firm."

She pointed out that DioGuardi, too, had represented Big Tobacco, as an accountant. DioGuardi objected, and she shot back: "Oh, so you didn't choose your clients?"

Source: New York Post coverage of 2010 N.Y. Senate debate Oct 16, 2010

On Health Care: Investigate insurers until full program initiates in 2014

Gillibrand said the health care bill she helped pass last year is a strong one. But she said she's concerned about insurance companies raising premiums before the changes kick in. "It doesn't really start until 2014, and I will tell you many insurers have raised their rates," Gillibrand said. "I want a full investigation."

DioGuardi said the health care law should be repealed and restructured to rein in spending. "Health care reform did not reduce the cost of health care." he said.

Source: WNYC News coverage of 2010 N.Y. Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Immigration: Government IDs for illegals as part of comprehensive reform

Immigration reform was among the issues that drew sharp contrasts between Gillibrand and DioGuardi. DioGuardi said he supports legal immigration. "But it seems to me right now that I would not look to reform anything until we looked at the whole picture and until we shut down the borders," he said. "We cannot allow porous borders in America."

But Gillibrand said the time is ripe for comprehensive immigration reform. She defended her previous opposition to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to issue government IDs to undocumented immigrants, saying it's an issue best addressed on the federal level. "That is something I would certainly look into, and we want to make sure that folks have the ability to get an ID," Gillibrand said. "But it's best done in a comprehensive bill because these are all the issues that we need to actually address."

Source: WNYC News coverage of 2010 N.Y. Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

On Tax Reform: Extend Bush-era tax cuts, except earners over $250K

DioGuardi called for the extension of Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire early next year. Gillibrand said she'd support an extension for those who earn under $250,000 a year, but not for top earners.
Source: WNYC News coverage of 2010 N.Y. Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

The above quotations are from 2010 N.Y. Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 N.Y. Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts by Kirsten Gillibrand.
Click here for a profile of Kirsten Gillibrand.
Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues:
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
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Page last updated: Nov 01, 2010