Dr. Chartock’s predictions for 2013

It’s time for my fearless New Year’s predictions. Here are the rules: some of these will be based on things that I want to have happen. Others will be conjured up to put a hex on things that I don’t want to see happen, while still others are things that I believe actually will happen. It will be up to you to figure out which is which. I predict that there will be utter chaos in the New York State Senate where the renegade turncoat appeasers known as the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) under Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) have made peace with the Republicans under Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre).

Together, these five so-called Democrats which include Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis), one of the men against whom the original IDC was rebelling, have come up with a Rube Goldberg plan that sees Skelos and Klein each serving as Senate President every two weeks. It’s a Faustian plan conceived in hell, and will surely collapse. That’s a prediction that I really mean. Governor Cuomo, on his way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, has to push through some liberal looking reforms, one of which is a hike in the minimum wage. He will certainly get his way on this long overdue reform but I predict that the Old Democrats that are in the minority in the Senate will NOT go along with the proposal that the New (IDC) collaborationist Democrats come up with. Senator Liz Kruger (D-Manhattan) will be heard to say, “We need a real hike in the minimum wage. This is disgusting.” She’ll be joined on the barricades by Senator Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria).

I predict that the same thing will happen on campaign finance reform. The Old or “true” Democrats will be confronted by a watered down bill, unlike the existing plan in New York City. It will be likened to the new, really weak Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE. The proposed bill will still give the Republicans and the Governor a way to collect a lot of money and will not equalize things for those with little or no money. Dan Cantor of the growingly important Working Families Party will go after the Governor hammer and tongs. The Governor will send two top staff members, Larry Schwartz and Drew Zambelli, to “negotiate” with Cantor. Someone will be heard to say, “Everyone has his price.”

The Governor will finally come out with his fracking plan. There will be no question that the anti-fracking movie starring Matt Damon will be a game changer but the Governor will allow “limited fracking.” His campaign coffers will swell with gas and oil money.

I predict that when the end comes for the Vichy-type arrangement between Klein and Skelos, Klein will be made chairman of the Finance Committee. The top two spots in the new Democratic majority will be denied to him because of the appropriate and ferocious objections of Senator Michael Gianaris.

A new book will come out about Andrew Cuomo. It will extol the Governor but the reviews will be very poor. The book will be replete with quotes from unidentified sources. About the same time, a new novel of political intrigue will appear which will have more New York State readers than Fifty Shades of Grey. It will not be written by Joe Klein and this time when he says he didn’t write it, he will be telling the truth.

Speaker Sheldon Silver will be unanimously extolled by his conference and will be crowned “Speaker for Life.”

Thomas DiNapoli, the superb New York State Comptroller, will be approached by the Cuomo people who will want him to know that they are now in full support of his work. He will receive an apology for their past aggression. He will accept the apology but keep a watchful eye on the second floor.

The self-contained but brilliant Eric Schneiderman, New York State’s Attorney General, will prepare to run for Governor when Cuomo goes.

Eliot Spitzer will run for and win a major political office. His mea culpa will be accepted by the people of New York State who treasure his brilliance.

Originally published in the Legislative Gazette, 12/28/12

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