Tag Archives: state politics

The Borscht Belt Debate

23 Oct

Courtesy WNED and CBS2 New York

Despite Brian Meyer’s desperate efforts to keep the format tight and moving, it was unwieldy. With four gubernatorial candidates being provided with equal time, it seemed at times that Cuomo and Astorino were afterthoughts. After all, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Party candidate Michael McDermott threw some good ideas at people last night at WNED’s studio.

McDermott liked to cut through the BS and had one of the best answers about fracking; that his philosophy was that it was important to wait and see what it does to the environment, because you’re allowed to do on your property whatever you want unless it harms someone else. For his part, Hawkins gave super-liberals the red meat they crave – single-payer, a hard no on fracking, social justice, funding for mass transit. 

Alas, Hawkins and McDermott don’t have a credible chance. 

The format gave candidates one minute to answer questions that often seemed to run on for twice that time, and then occasionally a 30 second rebuttal. One of the problems with contemporary political speech is that we’re too reliant on dopey ads and sound bites, and this sort of debate-by-one-liner exacerbates the situation. No one watched that and learned anything. It treated us like dumb assholes, and yet again we’ll get the Albany government we’ll deserve. 

Take my wife, please. 

Republican Rob Astorino came out swinging at Andrew Cuomo, and didn’t get an opportunity to tell us very much about what he’d do. Cuomo gave as good as he got. It was a good time, but not at all a substantive one. 

Where did you get your haircut, the pet shop?

Here’s how it went, as it went along. 

Teachout, Cuomo & the Dictatorship of the Bureaucracy

27 Aug

When I think of Zephyr Teachout, I am specifically mindful of the fact that she’s a protest vote for the liberal wing of the statewide Democratic Party.  Most of them in and around the 5 New York City Boroughs. When I think of Zephyr Teachout, I think of this classic scene from Annie Hall: 

Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu are bright and, as far as anyone can tell, beyond reproach. Both of them are Manhattan intellectuals, and Teachout has adopted statewide political corruption as a platform plank, and Wu is known for his work on behalf of net neutrality.  Indeed, he coined the phrase. 

Andrew Cuomo has disappointed a lot of left activists. While the right assail him for the mild additive restrictions on guns via the “NY SAFE Act”, the left is sick and tired of continued Albany corruption, the constant, unchecked abuses of power, the power of incumbency, the insidious poisoning of the process by money and electoral fusion, and – above all – the comical overnight dismantling of the Moreland Commission just as soon as it started really doing its job. 

The New York Times declined to endorse Teachout due to her rookie non-credentials and her ignorance on anything going on north of Poughkeepsie and west of Nyack. It also declined to endorse Cuomo because of his fumbling of corruption. I think this is something of a cop-out. 

I have no idea whether Teachout can win the primary – I highly doubt it, but stranger things have happened.

Here in WNY we have a unique position unlike other parts of the state. There’s no Billion for Binghamton; no Assets for Albany, no Riches for Rochester or Silver for Syracuse.  Yet Buffalo and WNY have come under special Cuomo attention for two reasons: 1. he lost to Paladino here in 2010, and he wants badly to win; and 2. if he can show the world that Buffalo underwent a turnaround under his watch, he can sell that to the rest of the country in some future run. Fix Buffalo and the world is your political oyster. 

So, it’s tough to ignore the attention that the state has heaped on our fair city and region and simply dismiss Cuomo out of hand. Indeed, it’s about damn time an Albany pol tried to un-fuck Buffalo. 

But from a less selfish point of view, Albany politics are just as ugly and problematic as they’ve ever been. Efforts to change that have not only been stymied – Cuomo has actively prevented them.  Our Democratic governor, whom gun nuts liken to Karl Marx, actively supported the notion of a Republican majority in the feckless State Senate. It took Teachout to get him to actually support the idea that Democrats should win elections. 

Last night, I received a call from a Cuomo phone bank asking for my support. I bluntly told them, “ordinarily I would, but this Moreland thing has really thrown me for a loop”.  She marked me down as “undecided”, but seriously – it’s tough for me to support a governor who so casually dismisses the root of all state evils – Albany dysfunction and corruption.  This is especially true given the clean mandate that Cuomo has had to do just that. Cuomo’s inaction and outright refusal to address these issues is disappointing to me as a Democrat, but should be disappointing to all New Yorkers. 

Bluntly put, you can take your “REPEAL NY SAFE” sign and shove it, because the size of your magazine isn’t the assault on liberty you should be concerned about.

Instead, get angry about Albany’s multipartisan conspiracy with the dictatorial bureaucracies to commit managerial and legislative malpractice. This perverse system ensures that state government works for the tri-state area and no one else. Manhattan’s own Teachout and Wu aren’t going to fix that. Neither is Cuomo from Queens or Rob from Mount Pleasant (really). 

There’s nothing new here. The Brennan Center’s blueprint for reforming Albany is a decade old. No one pushes it because it’s heady and complicated and not as shiny as a gun. 

You won’t do anything about it. Your village, town, city, Assembly, and state Senate won’t do anything about it. Andrew Cuomo won’t do anything about it, and neither will Rob Astorino. Zephyr Teachout is at least talking about the right things, but there’s zero chance that she would get elected in November.

So, suck it up, New Yorkers. No matter whom you vote for in September’s primary, you’re in for another 4 years of bureaucrats running the state for their own benefit.  Unfortunately, short of a governor with some balls or a Constitutional Convention, it’s never going to change. 

Carl Paladino: The Pride of Buffalo

13 Aug

Carl Paladino loves to send emails. Here’s one that went out Monday: 

I don’t really care about the substance of Paladino’s whining to his party’s state chairman. I couldn’t care less about Paladino’s political desires or expectations any more than I care whether Ed Cox is running that statewide gun dealer masquerading as a political party. 

What I care about here – aside from a licensed attorney not knowing how to spell “versus” – is Paladino’s endless hate parade against gay people in general, and State Senator George Maziarz in particular. In this case, he reckons Maziarz would be raped in prison, and wishes for him to be beaten by guards.

In 2012, Paladino stooge, liar (or criminal – one or the other), and perennial candidate for somethingorother Rus Thompson accused Maziarz of being gay, and that they would soon “open the closet”

Libeling George Maziarz ca. 2012

There was no closet to open, and there was never anything that these dummies could put forth except accusations and innuendo.  Maziarz may have a lot of faults – some of which are leading to his resignation from the Senate – but whether or not he’s gay is (a) irrelevant to anything he does in Albany; (b) not a bad thing, if true; (c) an accusation that Thompson and Paladino vomited in order to engorge the vicious gay hatred held by members of western New York’s tea party. 

Without a hint of irony, these malignant assholes don a mantle of good government purity yet throw around wild, false accusations and smear enemies based not on facts or policy, but on make-believe and hatred. Think: what is it about Maziarz that led Paladino to single him out as “not doing well in prison”? Why would Libous fare any better than Maziarz?

Paladino is harking back to his and Rus’ 2 year-old effort to smear Maziarz as gay. Not only is Paladino suggesting that Maziarz would be raped by other prisoners, he is reveling in that notion, going on to wish physical harm on Maziarz, hoping that he’ll receive “very special treatment”, whatever that means. Is Paladino just being a straight-up sadist, wishing not only imprisonment, but violent anal rape against Maziarz? 

What do you think Is the genesis of Paladino’s acute hatred and fear of homosexuals?

Paladino’s invocation of “Dannemora” refers to the Clinton Correctional Facility. Although conditions were found to have improved by 2004, in the 1990s, Clinton was notorious for extreme violence and brutality. Evidently, Paladino is not only hopeful that his foes be anally raped, but also that they be beaten by corrections officers for Mr. Paladino’s amusement. 

These are the twisted words of a sick, sadistic individual. Yet we in WNY treat him and his company like pillars of the community – at worst a crazy uncle, at best a point of civic pride. Check yourself, Buffalo – Carl Paladino repeatedly exposes himself for being unworthy of your respect.  

It takes a special kind of megalomania to demand “cleansing” of a statewide party committee that has to take into account not only the virulent homophobia of influential upstate millionaire emailers, but also of downstate moderates. 

It wouldn’t be a proper Paladino rant if there wasn’t a smidge of racial animus thrown into the mix. Yes, of course, Astorino should ignore leaders in the African-American community and only stick to the upstate fairs, this despite the fact that 4.6 million of New York State’s voters live within the 5 boroughs of New York City, while 7.1 million live everywhere else. Erie County, for instance, which has the biggest county fair in the state, boasts 612,000 registered voters – less than 10% of the 5 boroughs. The state’s largest concentration of minority voters is in New York City. 

Paladino lost to Andrew Cuomo dramatically in 2010.  Who is he to give Astorino advice? 

Corrections

3 Mar

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

Exposing Public Corruption in NY: Laughable

15 Oct

It’s only a matter of time before we see former Erie County District Attorney Mark Sacha’s evidence of election law violations perpetrated by Steve Pigeon and the minor fusion parties with which he brokers deals. In the meantime, we get to enjoy Sacha’s relentless criticism of Governor Cuomo’s Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, which is turning out to be nothing but a lot of show

State government in New York is a set of two compliant mafia families, and any effort to expose or repair the horrible, corrupt way New York operates is strictly forbidden – it violates the code of silence. Don’t kill the job. 

Letter to Moreland Commission, Erie County and NY State Boards of Election

Also – do you remember when Joe Illuzzi was alive, Pigeon would feed him articles and information to post? Then Bob McCarthy would get around to printing it in the paper in some way? Now that Illuzzi’s dead, Pigeon only has Parlato and the Niagara Falls Reporter, and no one really reads that regularly outside of the Falls. So, now, he funnels his advertorials about how influential he is directly to the News, which thankfully bothered to vet the information with other people. 

One of these days, the law’s going to catch up.