Three Republicans are competing in the June 26 primary for the right to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand in the November U.S Senate race. We here give what information we can on each of the three candidates.
The three are Wendy Long, a lawyer from NYC, George Maragos, from Nassau County where he is County Comptroller, and Bob Turner, a freshman Congressman from Rockaway Point, Queens.
Wendy Long has by far the most aggressive internet presence. Unlike her competitors, she has been campaigning actively upstate to gather Republican support. Her background is primarily in conservative Constitutional law, having clerked for Clarence Thomas after graduating from Northwestern Law School, Dartmouth College and a brief exposure to Harvard Law School. Her resume does not explain why she left Harvard for Northwestern. She worked for Kirkland & Ellis where she became a litigation partner. She left the firm to work for the Judicial Confirmation Network dedicated to promoting conservative judicial candidates who hold views of constitutional law typified by Justices Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito. She claims to have played a role in the selection of the latter two.
Her website says she is a member of Mitt Romney’s justice advisory committee; she teaches Roman Catholic catechism in New York City for the Narnia program, and is a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary Unit.
She says her political views were formed when she worked for two Republican Senators during the Regan years. She calls Justices Roberts and Alito “great nominees.”
She writes: “our written Constitution [is]… I believe is our greatest export to the rest of the world.”
“There is nothing wrong with America, or New York, or the rich, or the poor, or our children, or our senior citizens. Something is very wrong with the elected officials like Barack Obama and Kirsten Gillibrand who wield power over them.” She blames Obama and Gillibrand for running up the federal debt; she also says their failure to follow the constitution resulted in the loss of jobs. She criticizes Gillibrand for supporting Dodd-Frank because it hampers Wall Street, one of the most productive job centers in the state.
She criticizes judges for ruling on stop and frisk laws. She says judges are making policy. She is against same sex marriage but agrees it is a matter to be decided by the states.
She is dead set against the Volker rule. She thinks banks, even banks whose deposits are insured by the FDIC, should be able to engage in proprietary trading (trading for their own account, risking customer’s deposits) . She also thinks banks should be able to deal in derivatives, writing naked contracts of the sort that pushed AIG into receivership and threatened the financial system.
Long has been picking up endorsement by the bucket load. John Faso, John Bolton, Grover Norquist, Steve Forbes, Conservative Party chair Mike Long and Republican county chairmen by the dozen. She is hoping to capture the right, socially conservative wing of the party.
“Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important that the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one’s sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.” This is what Wendy Long wrote in National Review Online.
Long has not made a point of being pro life in her campaign materials. Voters can infer, however, that as a Catholic and being to socially conservative, it goes without saying that she is pro life. As a supporter of Justice Alito, whose wife is one of the leaders of the pro-life movement, that assumption is not a risky one. In interviews, she makes a point of supporting conservative judicial appointments and a point of attacking liberal or centrist appointments. It is not yet clear to what extent her pro life Catholicism drives her politics.
This is an excerpt from an article in this week's issue. For the full story please see the newspaper.