Are New York Democrats Ready for Harold Ford’s Faithiness?

Amid a cacophony of news stories about the Democrats supposedly losing a grip on power because of the retirements of Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd, the Senate leadership is now fretting that Harold Ford, Jr., who faced the Tennessee Republican Party’s shamefully racist ads in his unsuccessful 2006 run for the Senate from that state, is now considering running for Senate in his new home state of New York.

Ford is thought to be considering a challenge to Kristen Gillebrand, who was appointed to the seat last year when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. But is New York ready for his brand of conserva-faithiness?

Take a look at this ad Ford ran in his 2006 Senate race. Filmed in a church, with a cross just over his shoulder (the same sort of imagery people howled about when Mike Huckabee used it in 2007), Ford testifies to church being where he learned “the difference between right and wrong.” Funny, then, that he went on in that same ad to brag about how he voted “against amnesty for illegals.” In another “faithy” vote, Ford, then serving in the House, was one of 47 Democrats who voted with the Tom DeLay-led Republicans in favor of federal government intervention to try to stop the removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.

LGBT and reproductive rights groups have already weighed in against Ford’s opposition to equality and reproductive rights. Back in 2006, though, when Ford was running in Tennessee, that record didn’t stop Faithful Democrats (the online community spearheaded by Burns Strider) from featuring Ford on its fundraising site. There, Ford declared, “This desire to serve and to put my faith and beliefs into action is why I ran for Congress and why I have been privileged to represent the people of Memphis in Washington for the last nine years. It is also why I am running for Senate to represent the state of Tennessee. I want to help make the lives of all Tennesseans better.”

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