Political gangs of New York making a mess of state govt

What a mess! Just when New York should have the strongest leadership team available, things have never looked worse. This is not one of those situations where the question is half full or half empty. Now the question is whether there is anything in the glass at all. Both political teams, Democrats and Republicans have blown it. Neither seems to be able to see the end of their own noses, nor even to blow them. Because we are in the greatest recession in modern history, we need good thinking; good public policy work. What we have been subjected to, instead, is the same old, same old, political gamesmanship that has not offered up solutions to get us out of the mess. Instead of creative solutions we have had what can only be described as political gang wars.

The Democrats have blown it big time. The situation in the Senate ended with a mess that has put some of the most morally corrupt politicians in New York history in the collective driver’s seat. For example, Senator Pedro Espada has just decided to pay the state what he owed it, partially because he didn’t follow the very laws that he is constitutionally obligated to follow. Now he is the beneficiary of a lot of money in the form of pork that has come his way because he had the deciding vote. To put it mildly, the Democrats, who should hold the light to lead the way through this morass, paid the guy off. Disgusting. Not only that, the ruling clique that is running the place can’t even decide who their leaders are. There seems to be a situation resembling something Woodrow Wilson once warned about, “Secret agreements, secretly arrived at.”

For their part, the Republicans, who should be picking up the pieces and running with it, have no real bench. Virtually every major statewide office is up for grabs in 2010, and the GOP has no one of substance to run. Rudy Giuliani, who knows something about playing hardball, has left himself vulnerable by his sponsorship of the hopelessly corrupt former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik. In fact, Giuliani pushed Kerik for the top homeland security job. I can just see the TV ads now, Kerik on one side, Giuliani on the other. “Are these the men who should be leading New York state?” the ad will ask. The blissfully retired George Pataki is being pushed and pulled out of retirement and pushed for everything. He can run for senator and live in Washington a couple of days a week under some of the most stringent conflict of interest laws in existence anywhere. As the kids say, “I don’t think so.”

John Faso, who ran and got beat (bad) by Eliot Spitzer for governor the last time out, is being called on to run for so many offices that he can’t afford the luxury of honing his message. Faso, who is a decent man, but a bit of an ideologue, should be talking state issues if he is running for a state office like comptroller. He should stay away from the Obama bashing that he is engaging in. You do that if you are running for the U.S. Senate and even that is stupid. Obama is still popular in New York and Faso should be talking like a moderate instead of an ideologue.

Chuck Schumer will get a free ride with only (maybe) token opposition while the Democratic big boys have assured that a fairly weak candidate in Kirsten Gillibrand will have the race of her life if the Republicans can convince a moderate big name rich guy (Bloomberg like) type to run against her.

We should all remember that a virtual no name, “who-he?” George Pataki came out of nowhere to beat Mario Cuomo who had overstayed his welcome. The Grand Old Party is trying to resurrect the body of Rick Lazio from Long Island for a gubernatorial run, and he could be the next Pataki if David Paterson’s numbers stay as low as they are. So you have a bunch of vulnerable Democrats, a no-talent Republican team and a bunch of losers of all political stripes running the state Senate.

The oft quoted Brennan Center at NYU spoke of dysfunctional government. They have been all for changing the rules but what they don’t get is that it isn’t about the rules alone. It is about the people. Freud would say it’s all about character. What a mess!

Originally Published in the Legislative Gazette, 8/13/09

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4 Comments on “Political gangs of New York making a mess of state govt”

  1. lois simmons Says:

    do not have a website don’t know how to create one but would if I could
    I am so disgusted with the state of bew york ‘s STATE I could kust upchuck.

    I am 78 railroaded out of the census job I desperately needed to help prevent losing my home-ill last year and deeply in debt for an old lady trying to stay independent on ss. and tiny and I mean tiny oil royalties.

    Medical care is broken- no doubt about it- doctors unfortunately do not follow their own principles and readily pretend they do not know procedures to get care for their patients not cover their expenses and standard of living as they think they deserve.

    As I said I am 78 last year given antibiotics I am allergic to and believe I have the unfortunate side effect of ruptures tendon which the establishment quickly applied ultrasound with outcome of pretending the visible palpable painful lump is in my wrist–no way to get assistance one doctor follows other-I have been labeled with “psychiatric” question therefore no one able to help me correct the problem.

    My self paid trip to the mayo clinic last December illuminated my diagnosis and situation but financially really threatened my ability to keep my poor little home and I am besieged by taxes and threats about future taxes penalties and fees for their late payment.

    So I had high hopes that reform of health care financing and electronic records and their use would control the runaway cost of same.

    I am increasingly depressed by the idiotic stuff opponents are throwing in peoples faces and the media reporting of this rot as something so enlightening and American. The fact that I am part of the aging population caught in this spiral is in the least discouraging.
    my income 1142.00 a month for medicate I belive 96 or 97 dollars before I get it-supplement with supposed extra discount for being AMA member(you got it right) American Medical Association-(still costs me more than AARP per month) 172.92 also had dental problems for which I have NO coverage in the last year of over $1000.00 and this must be paid up front and in cash, so you can easily see it is hard for me to live let alone pay off debt which I have accrued.

    Figure that out for percentage of income and I didn’t even include pharmaceuticals. HEALTH INSURANCE is such a large percentage of my income that my home is for sale and I pray someone will buy it so I can live in public housing and not be a burden to my children.
    In the not too far distant future I can be in a better place and be no burden to anyone.

    I wanted Obama to start getting us out of Iraq and out of all areas like Afghanistan, Korea and anywhere else they are stationing our soldiers to protect the “Oil interest”, very likely the cause of our world efforts to be Top Dog.

    So if this complaint and sorrow at losing everything I have left in independence and having no way to earn anything to replace it or protect my independence adds anything to the unrealized need for reform of health care. Use it with my permission and I will explain my reasons and needs to anyone who cares to use the information.

    God bless and yes I take comfort in the fact that there will be a day of reckoning which all of us face and mine gets more attractive every day.

    lois m simmons

  2. lois simmons Says:

    sorry lousy typist too meant to say medicare in above statement
    lois m simmons

  3. lois simmons Says:

    should have read the whole thing see I misspelled New for New York state abd made just “Kust” as I said lousy typist
    again sorry didn’t proofread better before filing comment.
    lois m simmons

  4. Mike Says:

    No surprises here. The GOP has sold out, so the US in effect has only one single washed-out political sludge-bucket, which is inept to do anything of any significance. I don’t expect anything to change for at least a decade, and after that, it will probably be only a change for the worse.


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