Letter: Moderation in no things

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There has been a lot in the papers and elsewhere lately from supporters of U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson and State Sen. Steve Saland claiming they are moderate New York Republicans in the tradition of Rockefeller and Javits. Don’t you believe it.

Both Gibson and Saland have opposed legislation preserving lower taxes for middle-class Americans, ending tax breaks for the super-rich and raising the minimum wage – now a poverty-level $7.25 an hour in New York. Both are called anti-choice by groups supporting a woman’s right to choose in childbirth, and Gibson voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides many health services for low-income women. Both supported far-right Republican Carl Paladino for Governor in 2010 and back another Tea Party favorite for the the U.S. Senate this fall.

Gibson voted to gut Medicare and has voted repeatedly to repeal the law extending health insurance to 30 million Americans now without coverage and to ensure that all Americans, including those who have insurance, have access to preventive screenings for breast cancer and other diseases and cannot be thrown out of their health plans if they become sick or denied coverage if they are ill.

As for “moderate” Saland, he voted against women’s health care funding and comprehensive campaign finance reform and against bills to protect domestic workers and allow unmarried partners to adopt children, both of which passed the state Senate with support in his own Republican party.

If these are moderates, heaven protect us from the “real” conservatives.

Jeffrey Antevil

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