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Analysis paints Gillibrand as liberal

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The Times' Washington correspondent Marc Heller filed this report.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who once cast herself as a conservative in Congress, is now among the most liberal.
That is the latest from National Journal, which found Mrs. Gillibrand tied with Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., for the most liberal voting record in the Senate in 2011.
Mrs. Gillibrand climbed the ratings from 10th most liberal a year ago, the magazine will report in its Friday issue.
The liberal rating further cements the senator's transformation from her days as a House member from the Hudson Valley from 2007 to 2009. Then, she joined the conservative House Blue Dog Coalition and took stances in favor of gun rights and against illegal immigration, among other issues. Her ideology shifted sharply after former Gov. David Paterson picked her to succeed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had been nominated as secretary of state.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., did not make the top-ten list. The most conservative senator was Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., National Journal reported.

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