Kirsten Gillibrand on Principles & Values

Democratic Senator (NY); Democratic Candidate for President (withdrawn)


Trump has torn apart fabric of this country

Donald Trump has really torn apart the moral fabric of this country, dividing us on every racial line, every religious line, every socioeconomic line he can find. We need a president who's not afraid of the big challenges, of the big fights. We don't need a liberal or progressive with big ideas or we don't need a moderate who can win back Trump-Obama voters. You need someone who can do both. And that's who I am.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

Women in America are on fire; not the time to play it safe

Women in America are on fire. Our rights are under attack like never before. I will take on the fights that no one else will. I've stood up to Trump more than any other senator in the U.S. Senate. I have the most comprehensive approach for getting money out of politics with publicly funded elections to deal with political corruption. Now is not the time to play it safe. Now is not the time to be afraid of firsts. We need a president who will take on the big challenges, even if she stands alone.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Pushed to oust Al Franken from Senate for sexual harassment

Source: Axios.com on 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 22, 2019

Weight has always been an issue for me

Weight has always been an issue for me. I don't like being judged on my looks and, frankly, I'd like to spend less time thinking about my appearance, but there it is. I suspect the same is true for nearly every woman in America.

When I was a girl, I was super-athletic, and didn't spend a minute worrying about what I ate. The end of my dieting innocence came right before my high school graduation, when I went on a 5-day liquid fast, to look as thin as possible for our graduation pictures.

I lost ten pounds in those five days, which I felt very virtuous about, until I gained it all back the following week.

[By 2009, after having two children], I was fifty pounds heavier than I was before I had children. That was enough.

[By 2012], I said yes to a Daily News for an interview request about my diet and exercise. Eating right and maintaining a healthy weight are nearly universal struggles for Americans. I wanted to connect with people; why not tell my story?

Source: Off the Sidelines, by Kirsten Gillibrand, p. 122-33 , Sep 9, 2014

Weekly "Sunlight Report" detailing how she spends her time

When I accepted President Barrack Obama's offer to serve as secretary of state, I wanted someone strong and caring to fill my seat in the Senate.

Kirsten was a great choice. As a congresswoman, she was a champion for families in her upstate New York district and a creative problem solver willing to reach across the aisle to get the job done for her constituents. And she was a leader on transparency, putting out a weekly "Sunlight Report" detailing exactly how she spent her time. The New York Times called it "a quiet touch of revolution." She was just what the Senate needed. A few days before she was sworn in, Kirsten and I sat down for lunch with Governor David Paterson and Senator Chuck Schumer. She told us, "I'm going to hit the ground running." And boy, did she. Practically overnight, Kirsten went from a junior congresswoman to a prominent and powerful senator.

Source: Hillary Clinton intro to "Off the Sidelines," p.viii-ix , Sep 9, 2014

Won in Republican district; Democrats outnumbered 2-1

[In 2004 I consulted] a pollster named Jeffery Pollock. "I'm thinking about running for Congress in the 20th Congressional District," I said.

He walked over to his bookshelf, pulled off a thick paperback, and started reading aloud statistics about voter registration, Democratic performance, and past electoral results. I didn't know what the numbers meant. He translated: In the 20th District, a Democrat could expect roughly 45% of the vote.

Jeffery said, "You can't possibly win. There aren't enough Democrats in that district. The district is two-to-one Republican," meaning it had twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats.

"What happens if I raise $2 million & really get my message out?"

Jeffery didn't budge. "It doesn't matter. That's not how campaigns actually work."

"What happens if Sweeney gets indicted?" I asked.

Jeffery didn't miss a beat. "Well, it depends what he gets indicted for!" [Sweeney was indicted in DWI & domestic abuse charges; Gillibrand won in 2006]

Source: Off the Sidelines, by Kirsten Gillibrand, p. 39-40 , Sep 9, 2014

It's a lie that ambition is counter to feminism

    I've learned a few things about ambition over the years, particularly in the months around my Senate appointment.
  1. Do not fall for the lie that ambition is counter to femininity. What creature is stronger and more motivated than a mother protecting her children? Use that feminine strength. It's a huge asset.
  2. Trust yourself. If you don't, nobody will believe in you. Confidence is infectious and builds momentum. Share your faith in yourself. You'll be surprised how quickly others will come to have faith in you, too.
  3. Draw your own map. Yes, take advice and learn from others, but also embrace the fact that no two people have the exact same background, experience, talents, or goals. Create your own plan and stick to it. Uniqueness is a sign that you know yourself and your situation.
Source: Off the Sidelines, by Kirsten Gillibrand, p. 91-2 , Sep 9, 2014

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

Interned for Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato

She comes from a politically connected family; her father is a prominent state lobbyist who once had close ties to Republican former Gov. George Pataki, and her grandmother was prominent in the formidable Albany Democratic machine. Ms. Gillibrand worked as an intern for a Republican senator, Alfonse D'Amato, and clerked for a federal judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
Source: Michael Powell and Raymond Hernandez, New York Times , Jan 23, 2009

Member of the "Blue Dog" Coalition of conservative Democrats.

Gillibrand is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition:

The 32 conservative and moderate Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition hail from every region of the country, although the group acknowledges some southern ancestry which accounts for the group’s nickname. Taken from the South’s longtime description of a party loyalist as one who would vote for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot as a Democrat, the “Blue Dog” moniker was taken by members of The Coalition because their moderate-to-conservative-views had been “choked blue” by their party in the years leading up to the 1994 election.

The Coalition was formed in the 104th Congress as a common sense, bridge-building voice. Since then, the Blue Dogs have successfully injected a moderate viewpoint into the Democratic Caucus. The continuing political success of “Blue Pups” in the 1998 and 2000 elections points to the public’s approval of the centrist, fiscally responsible message represented by The Coalition.

The Coalition has been particularly active on fiscal issues, relentlessly pursuing a balanced budget and then protecting that achievement from politically popular “raids” on the budget.

The Coalition’s proposals on welfare reforms served as middle-ground markers which laid the foundation for the bipartisanship necessary to bring about fundamental reforms, and helped set into law policies reflecting the “common sense, conservative compassion” so often attached to the group’s efforts.

In the 107th Congress, the Coalition intends to continue to make a difference in Congress by forging middle-ground, bipartisan answers to the current challenges facing the Country. A top priority will be to finish the job of truly balancing the budget without counting the Social Security trust funds. Other early efforts will include campaign finance reform, strengthening Social Security, and health care reform. The group also expects to be involved in education, regulatory reform, taxes, defense and veterans affairs.

Source: Blue Dog Coalition web site 07-BDC0 on Nov 6, 2007

Question Trump on Emoluments clause.

Gillibrand signed questioning Trump on Emoluments clause

Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization`s continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution`s two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:

Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, `Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire,` 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.

FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, `FOIA Request,` 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump`s conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn`t take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family`s business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.

Source: Letter from 17 Senators 17LTR-EMOL on May 18, 2017

Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.

Gillibrand voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote

Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.