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Jon Cooper, an up-and-coming pol who is chairman of the Suffolk County Legislature, has decided not to pursue a primary challenge of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, after a long private meeting with her in D.C. (h/t Robert Harding at The Albany Project).

Cooper, like too many downstate Democrats, had bought into the phony cartoon Gillibrand created by NYC newspapers, and had set up an exploratory committee back in the spring.

Now he believes Gillibrand is the "real deal."

Join the ever-growing club.

Details, below.

Cooper was challenged by a mutual friend to meet her, and they set up a several-hours-long dinner meeting on a recent Saturday.

Cooper told Liz Benjamin of the New York Daily News:

The person I thought I was running against was not the real Kirsten Gillibrand.

I had always said I would do what was best for the Democratic Party, New York State and the nation. ... I thought it would be doing a disservice to all three if I pursued this primary. I decided she wasn't a flip-flopper after all.

I would only want to win if it was the old Gillibrand I was running against, but once I realized that she shared the same positions on key issues that I did and would fight for them like I would, I lost my rationale for running.

In an e-mail to supporters (at the TAP link), Cooper went into some detail about the issues that have been troubling Democratic readers of NYC newspapers:

Down I went to Washington, fully prepared for a "snow job" that I would easily detect and resist ... and pretty certain I would come back ... and declare my candidacy.

But what I found instead -- based on facts I subsequently verified -- is a woman quite unlike the one that has been portrayed in the press.

snip

In reviewing the "source materials," as you might put it, instead of relying on second-hand accounts, I determined that Senator Gillibrand is no more a tobacco stooge than I am ... that she was 100% pro-LGBT equality long before she was ever appointed to the Senate ... that her positions and votes on guns are not at all what that "100% NRA rating" had led me to assume.

Plus, as it turns out, Senator Gillibrand is smart, warm, energetic and committed to doing a great job.

Indeed, she has been doing a great job, and not just compared to other freshman appointed Senators.

Cooper's story is another reminder, as if we needed one, not to believe everything you read/hear about progressive Democrats in the corporate media.

Originally posted to devtob on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 05:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We'll still have bten to show up (9+ / 0-)

    and bash her for us.  

    For myself, I'd rather have a smart, hard-working, energetic Senator who really gets what representing your constituents is all about.   Like Gillibrand.  

    I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

    by Norbrook on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 05:52:43 PM PST

    •  lol (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, devtob, Norbrook

      I thought the same thing!

      •  The diary is off the front page, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, Norbrook, indubitably

        and nothing from bten.

        Maybe he/she has had a conversion experience like Cooper.

        A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

        by devtob on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 08:35:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  devtob, re: militias (0+ / 0-)

          I found this on an especially noxious winger site - I'd just link to it, but it's a private site and I don't want to lose access.

          2A is a thoroughly noxious proud militia person who claims to be a founder of Free Republic. His post (the final one) is especially interesting.

          The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          Moderators: SteveD(TX), oz in SC, antiquestuff
          Post a reply
           
          First unread post • 7 posts • Page 1 of 1
          The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          by andrew » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:53 am
          I wasn't sure how interesting this might be to anyone. I know there have been militia groups in the news in Texas occasionally, but I never gave them much thought before. Maybe we need to be more aware from now on because, according to this news article, their numbers are on the increase.

          Militia groups have seen a resurgence in popularity since Barack Obama was elected president, says Heidi Beirich, director of research for the Southern Poverty Law Center. "It's like they came out of nowhere with the election of Obama." she says.

          Her group has found 50 new militias in 18 months. "We added a group yesterday with 60 new chapters."

          These paramilitary groups, whose adherents believe the government doesn't have any power over them, are waging a war of "paper terrorism" by creating their own form of currency and using it to pay everything from debts to their taxes, the Southern Poverty Law Center in Birmingham, Ala. says.

          LINK
          We need to put the "family" back into farming with all that entails;
          friendships, cooperation, sharing, common values â€"
          in other words, COMMUNITY.

          andrew
          Site Admin

          Posts: 12046
          Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:44 pm
          Location: In the woods near the Llano-San Saba county line
          Top
          Re: The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          by Monterey » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:40 am
          I wondered how many militia-type groups were forming secretly. Our son joined a group that was not a covert operation but the head of the group was looking for ex-military men especially to form a group that would be on call if any type of disaster were to occur. After a few meetings it seems to have died off.
          Monterey

          Posts: 1300
          Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:31 pm
          Location: Tennessee
          Top
          Re: The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          by antiquestuff » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:57 pm
          The media is attacking them early. Primarily, they're pro-liberty, and conservative or libertarian, people who value their rights including gun rights. Nothing to fear, but of course, tyrants will fear them, and the radical marxists fear them (groups like the ADL, SPLC, etc., all of which have frequently lied and mislead the public on such groups). The SPLC listed the Constitution Party in Vermont once as such a radical group. To give an example of how they work...

          One militia leader (from Indiana I think it was) successfully sued the SPLC for libel for calling him a racist and extremist and forced them to take some of their lies off their site. The SPLC goes after any conservative, anyone who supports the Second Amendment, and labels them extremists...

          Everyone should have some training for how to fight if (God forbid) it is ever necessary for defense against enemies foreign or domestic. It was mandatory for all male citizens until the Dick Act created the National Guard.

          http://arctichomesteader.blogspot.com/

          The obomination is not my president!

          antiquestuff

          Posts: 2618
          Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:32 am
          Location: 20 acres in Alaska and a rat cage in Vermont
          Top
          Re: The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          by joan from zone 6 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:06 pm
          "SPLC" : a synonym for "crap" -
          abortion is not magic and cannot make your baby "disappear" - it can and will make you the mother of a dead baby
          joan from zone 6

          Posts: 4431
          Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:51 pm
          Location: south central kentucky
          Top
          Re: The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          by doglot » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:08 pm
          I figure Morris Dees needs a "booger man" to generate a little Christmas Club cash.
          doglot

          Posts: 588
          Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:57 am
          Location: Yes
          Top
          Re: The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          by doglot » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:12 pm
          joan from zone 6 wrote:
          "SPLC" : a synonym for "crap" -

          I'd write it out, but this site doesn't allow some of my mostest favorite words.
          doglot

          Posts: 588
          Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:57 am
          Location: Yes
          Top
          Re: The Resurgence of the Militia Movement

          by 2A » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:22 am
          The militias have just been biding our time. And I have personal experience with Morris(gee, I'm from Indiana, too...). He lives in a compound of his very own. And unlike those things portrayed in the media, it really IS a compound. Fenced, armed guards, dogs, etc. In his divorce he lost custody of his daughter(and everything else he had at the time http://www.saveourdixie.com/... ) when she admitted he molested her. His SPLC is the most profitable non-profit in the US, or was a few years back, with a hundred million or more in the bank and letters begging for donations going out all the time http://cofcc.org/... ... ight-them/ .

          Morris started his crap against the militias back in the Slick Willy days and gained lots of notoriety back then. I was editing the newsletter for the ICVM at the time and speechifying around Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois and got the pleasure of encountering this SOB. Suffice to say the meeting didn't go well, and since I am bigger, meaner, louder, smarter and better informed than he was it went far worse for him than me. To put it another way, I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire.

          On the subject of currency, yeah, that is one form of revolt gaining ground right now. But unlike the Freemen of a decade ago that the SPLC tries to use as a distraction the currency in question is silver. And we don't generally believe government has no power over us, only that said power is restricted by the Constitution. Not a difference the SPLC would care about since they have publicly stated in the past the Constitution is not the defining foundation of government in the US. So yeah, be aware of the militias. in fact, if you are unhappy with the current state of affairs, like the 2nd Amendment and believe we may be getting close to tipping over the economic edge, go join one.
          Not MY president

          http://www.obastard.com Tell a friend, or 5000 The Forum and Blog are up and running now...

          2A

          Posts: 2435
          Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:25 pm
          Location: Indiana
          Top

          FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

          by indubitably on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 09:55:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  She really has done a fantastic job n/t (7+ / 0-)

    Pragmatic progressivism is the future.

    by Pragmaticus on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 05:54:46 PM PST

  •  She could be better if.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, devtob, Tomsank, Norbrook, modwiz

    she did what Bernie Sanders does.

    I am pleased, though, with quite a lot that she has done but there is such a great need for more.........

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:00:22 PM PST

    •  Bernie Sanders has seniority (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, devtob

      which gives him a little more ability to not only get out in front of things, but to get them done.  Right now, she's the second most junior Senator, so there are some limits on what she can accomplish.  

      I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

      by Norbrook on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:03:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She could be a lot worse if (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, Norbrook, bobbiewick, MichaelNY

      she were the cartoon closet conservative created by the NYC press.

      Or if she voted and/or bloviated like LIEberman, Ben Nelson, Bayh, Lincoln, Baucus, etc.  

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:12:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's good news (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, devtob, Norbrook, modwiz, MichaelNY

    As a New Yorker, I've been very pleased with her.  She's been really good, and I look forward to voting for her next year.

    ======

    "Sick Around the World"

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

    Watch it, send it along to all you know.

    by oxfdblue on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:11:32 PM PST

  •  So, Jon Cooper has learned... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, Norbrook, bobbiewick, modwiz

    what many of us have learned over the past couple of years.

    "Plus, as it turns out, Senator Gillibrand is smart, warm, energetic and committed to doing a great job."

    She's the genuine article, despite what her detractors claim.

    BTW, Dev, I spent about an hour with Rep. Scott Murphy today. Interesting.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:16:35 PM PST

    •  Well, diary it up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NorthCountryNY, RonV, Norbrook

      Whether partly his doing or not, Murphy faces a very tough re-election campaign.

      The political atmosphere has changed significantly since early spring, but one thing hasn't -- Murphy is much better for NY-20 than Tedisco would have been (and still hopes to be).

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:43:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was all about economic development... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        devtob, Norbrook

        in the North Creek/northern Warren county area. Including the collaboration between the town and ORDA (Gore Mt.), and the local business community.

        I attended in place of the town supervisor as a representative of the town's interests.

        While interesting on a local level (he seems to have a pretty good grasp of local issues), we didn't get into national stuff like his HCR vote.

        So, it wasn't really worth a diary. But it was interesting.  

        Regarding his reelection chances... He's definitely got some of the Gillibrand charm and realism  happening. I'm optimistic. He visited four up-county towns today before heading to Saratoga to announce his legislative initiative to improve the educational benefits of the GI Bill.

        "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

        by RonV on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:13:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I always knew she was acting... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, devtob, Norbrook, modwiz

    moderate/conservative to represent her district but her true leanings were liberal...she will be a great Senator from NY...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:17:25 PM PST

  •  I guess you're on her staff? (0+ / 0-)

    The "real" Gillibrand?

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:29:05 PM PST

  •  Any news about Giuliani running? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, devtob, Norbrook

    Seems like that was the big story a couple of weeks ago, and then the story just went away.

    •  No news, but the longer he delays, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, Norbrook, bobbiewick

      the less likely it becomes.

      The conventional wisdom, FWIW, is that he won't run for anything next year, because he still wants to be President.

      Pataki might do it, but he also fancies himself a possible President. And is not that well-liked by Republicans.

      The list of nobodies who've made noise on the Republican side includes Liz Feld, mayor of tiny Larchmont in Westchester, Bruce Blakeman, and Marc Mukasey, who evidently thinks his father being Bush's AG is a credential for serving in the Senate.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:19:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        devtob, Norbrook

        I think he just signed a major new consulting contract might preclude him from running.

        That and being a year behind in fund-raising.

        Additionally, both he and Pataki would be serious targets of the Tea baggers.  

        "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

        by RonV on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:26:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It will be popcorn time if the teabagggers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Norbrook

          waste their energy on a hopeless primary candidate or a third-party-line-only candidate.

          They're doing some of that in statewide races in Florida, California, Texas, Colorado and Kentucky.

          New York should be so lucky.

          A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

          by devtob on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:36:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's a given... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            devtob, Norbrook

            Remember, the NY Conservative Party views Hoffmans defeat as a victory.

            I see Conservative/Tea Bag candidates challenging Repubs all over the state. From local to statewide races, they've got the bit in their teeth and they are going to run. And run hard. Much to the detriment of the state GOP.

            Just in my area, they've got three Repub assembly members (Duprey, Scozzafava, and Sayward) that they have pledged to primary.

            It's going to be an interesting silly season.

            "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

            by RonV on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:54:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A prominent Albany teabagger, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonV, Norbrook

              then just a Ron Paul activist, ran in the GOP primary in NY-21 last year against a longtime county legislator.

              And lost by more than 2-1.

              Teabaggers who challenge incumbents like those you mention next year will lose by similar margins.

              There really are not that many teabagger voters out there.

              A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

              by devtob on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 08:23:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Great News (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, devtob, Norbrook

    But what I found instead -- based on facts I subsequently verified -- is a woman quite unlike the one that has been portrayed in the press.

    That's what those of us who know Gillibrand as a representative (I am from the 20th), have been trying to tell others as the media created and fueled the caricature that he believed. We've seen this done repeatedly, and you'd think people would do their own research and verify what is/isn't true about candidates and reps. All too often, we use the distortions to justify our own biases, instead of seeing the person who is really there.

    Kirsten is working very hard, and taking politically courageous stands on sensitive issues like DADT and Stupak. I'm glad that others are starting to see her true talent, dedication and strength. As she gains experience and seniority, she is going to be a strong progressive national voice.

  •  Her pro gun voting record was very real (0+ / 0-)

    Not voting for someone who voted to repeal all of DC's gun control and was for the Tiahrt amendment. Who is the real Gillibrand?

    Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

    by bten on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 06:31:37 AM PST

  •  What is the real story (0+ / 0-)

    She has said her strongly held views on guns changed when she had to start representing New York City. Now Suffolk County legislator Jon Cooper said she showed him materials that implied she was not pro gun? Why was she saying what she said earlier this year that implied she was pro gun but had to adapt to representing New York City if she was always pro gun control?

    Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

    by bten on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 06:49:23 AM PST

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