THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: A ‘Jerry-mander’ primary?

LET’S FACE IT. A good deal of the way politics are practiced in New York is, at the very least, morally corrupt. Some of the people we have come to depend on to be honorable are anything but. The system is fixed. It has been fixed by the very people who purport to be our best democratic representatives. We can now clearly see just how the system has been fixed.

It turns out that Jerry Nadler, a Democrat who has served in Congress since 2013, has been protected by the corrupt way in which the districts have been drawn. Now that our courts have come to the remarkable conclusion that the gerrymandering of districts can no longer stand, people like Nadler who have always been protected by the way we draw our districts are at real risk. In fact, my old friend Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler may have to run against each other.

Maybe Nadler will beat Maloney since he has a reputation as a liberal icon and Maloney has had to ward off challengers for her seat. To be fair, I am a big Maloney fan since we both worked for Senator Manfred Ohrenstein at the same time. She has been in Congress for many years, as has Nadler. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: When will it end?

NEW YORK HAS GONE THROUGH another tragic ordeal as a gunman shot up a supermarket, this time in Buffalo. Every time we walk into a market or subway, there is always the chance that some insane person can pop up and kill you. So what do you do? You can put armed guards in schools and supermarkets but in the end, how can you stop someone who wants to harm (read that “shoot”) other people? Well, you could just stay home. That’s ridiculous because we all have to eat. I was in the supermarket this morning and I was thinking about the possibility of an armed gunman shooting the place up.

None of us can think of a sure-fire way to avoid being a horrible statistic. We all think that it won’t happen to us and we demand that the government keeps us safe. Governor Hochul was quick to point out that she, herself, was from Buffalo. Schools now have resource (police) officers stationed in them. I’ve heard people argue that “a good guy with a gun” can prevent this kind of gun violence but that just isn’t true. Such a person was shot in Buffalo.

Every time we see a heinous act of this type, people are quick to suggest what we might do to put a stop to these tragedies, once and for all. At the top of everyone’s list of preventive measures is placing stricter controls on gun ownership in this country. Yes, that is exactly what should happen, but we know that the American psyche is all about the right to own guns. It’s crazy, it’s despicable, and it’s incredibly dangerous to have so many gun toting individuals out there. Some gun owners would have us believe that their lives and their property need to be protected so they should have their guns at the ready. This, despite the fact that home invasions are a relatively rare occurrence. Read more…

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…