THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Reform? Don’t bet on it

ONE OF THE LEGISLATURE’S guiding principles is to never give the sucker an even break. That doesn’t change. Let’s face it—the legislature is replete with self-serving people and ethical problems. People who run for office have always wanted the upper hand. Every time there is an attempt to make the ethics rules stronger, the members of the legislature say “no.” Anything that will prevent them from ripping off the system is rejected. For the past hundreds of years, any time a “reformer” comes along with a fix to legislative scandals, they are run out for being naive and traitorous. It appears that any group that is established to keep an eye on the legislative zoo will get a big fat “nothing doing” from the legislators because they don’t want anyone cramping their style. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Gloves come off in gov. race

YOU GOTTA’ LIKE TOM SUOZZI. I know that I do. He really wants to be governor of New York. If he were on a Little League team, he would be the kid described as having “a lot of heart.” He gets up there and really swings away. It’s interesting—politics is truly a competitive sport but a lot of people do not like that idea. After all, the whole idea of democracy is that the people have the right to make political decisions. Some Democrats might suggest that it isn’t right for people in the same party to be attacking each other but that’s an ignorant position since the whole basis of our system should be competition. A few months back, Andrew Cuomo departed and Kathy Hochul came in. You would have thought that anyone who raised doubts about Hochul had committed a capital crime. But Suozzi has taken the gloves off. I’m sure some people will try to paint him as “anti-woman” because he might take the opportunity to be governor away from Hochul. That’s ridiculous, of course. It is surely un-American to think that a woman should not hold high political office or that a man should be punished for his gender.

I suspect that Suozzi knows he can prevail in an upcoming primary. I had an opportunity to speak with him for an extended interview on public radio, as I had with Kathy Hochul weeks before. The guy makes an impression. He is not afraid to call out Hochul. That may be opportunistic, but he does take advantage of her current political vulnerabilities. He certainly makes a lot out of her wish to spend a fortune on building a huge stadium in western New York which, by the way, recent polling shows is a project detested by New Yorkers. That puts Hochul in a tough spot. By supporting the stadium, she can claim to be delivering for the upstate crowd. On the other hand, the rest of the state can be depended on to say, “Why should We be responsible for building Them a stadium?” That may be irrational but it’s the way of politics.

Suozzi can also be depended on to credit Hochul for every bad thing that happens on her watch. That may not be nice but again, it is the way of politics. If you take a poll and find New Yorkers are predictably most concerned about crime in the streets, then you give them crime in the streets. If something is else is bad, you give them that, too. You can be sure that Suozzi will tell New Yorkers that they are paying too much in taxes and that there are too many rats in the streets. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: All new faces on state scene?

ANDREW CUOMO HAS NOW OFFICIALLY missed the boat. He had his shot, but his former lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, seems to be where she wants to be. She’s a smart woman and unlike Cuomo, she has not accumulated a lot of enemies and seems set for reelection. It would take more than a few mistakes for her to lose. She does have some things going against her. She comes from the upper, far reaches of the state. If the people of downstate New York were to see her favoring the Buffalo area, they might turn on her. So far, she seems to be playing her cards right and more importantly, who would replace her? No one seems to be making any such moves. I am quite sure that Andrew is plotting a comeback but I really can’t see how he’s going to do it. As I have said over and over, he sure doesn’t seem to have any friends left to help him advance himself.

In the meantime, a lot of people are talking about New York Mayor Eric Adams. He should be the top man in New York’s educational bureaucracy. It makes great sense to have the mayor at the top of the group. One can only wonder what other organization chart would work. It really can’t be any other way. If Adams messes up, he should be held responsible. He’s an interesting man who knows what it’s like to function in a political bureaucracy. Of course, we have to remember that Adams has a long history as a cop. That means he knows how to function in a top to bottom military organization. The man knows how to maintain a position of power and he is not going to let anyone walk over him. Read more…