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10/18/06

4:20 PM

Attack of the Day 

No One Spared in the Twentieth District

We've been following the congressional race in the Twentieth District, between Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand (of the self-aware ironic ads) and Republican John Sweeney (of the folksy, authentic ads), partly for entertainment value and partly because it's turned into one of the more exciting contests in the emerging battleground region that is upstate New York.

The race is either pretty close or neck-and-neck, depending on which poll you consult, and things might just get a whole lot squeakier. Incumbent Sweeney, a guy who already had some character issues, is again having his relationship with House ethics questioned. The Albany Times-Union is reporting that "U.S. Rep. John Sweeney may have violated congressional ethics rules by failing to reveal who paid for a trip he took to a Pacific island with a lobbyist hired by convicted Washington influence peddler Jack Abramoff."

Oochie.

Not to be outdone, Kirsten Gillibrand came in for a little criticism today as well, though of a somewhat less damning nature. A veterans group in the Capital Region took her to task for attacking Sweeney's voting record on the war and veterans benefits. A National Guardsman named Matthew Tully, recently returned from Iraq, offered this remark.

"We are the new face of veterans in the Capital Region. We are sick and tired of politicians politicizing the Iraqi war for their own personal gain. Ms. Gillibrand has never served in the military and yet she is making veterans benefits and the Iraqi war a top priority," Tully said.

Not to get overly technical about the relationship between government and the armed forces, but if only lawmakers who'd served in the military were allowed to have oversight regarding military affairs, wouldn't that be like sorta how it is in one of those, uh, whadya call 'em…fascist military dictatorships? Either we can't handle the truth or someone needs to undo the bunch in Col. Nathan R. Jessep's olive-drab undies.

Sweeney Trip in Question [Albany Times-Union]
Veterans Group Criticizes Gillibrand [Capital News 9]

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