THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: You’d want this guy in your corner

EVERYONE NEEDS A HERO and my hero is a man named Carmi Rapport. I love the guy. He is a valued member of the Board of Trustees of Northeast Public Radio, the public radio network that I head. If there is ever a problem, Carmi is the guy you want in your corner. He is reasonable to a fault. He never goes off half-cocked and because is a lawyer’s lawyer, he has the ability to keep his clients (I am not one) out of the kind of trouble that people can sometimes find themselves in. Every small town in America, like Hudson, New York and the surrounding Columbia County has The lawyer. Oh, there are others but anyone reading this knows exactly what I mean. For well over 50 years, Carmi was the go-to guy if you really needed help.

Here’s just one story that makes me wet around the eyes when I tell it (which is why I try not to tell it on the radio). I had another hero, a man named Aaron Mitrani. Aaron was a social worker who, for years, headed the Bronx House Emanuel Camps in Copake. When Aaron was dying, he called me and asked for a favor. Since I would have done anything for him, I set my mind to helping him. It seemed that as a social worker he didn’t have a lot of money, but he had a house in Ancram in Columbia County. The will Aaron wrote with his first wife left the house to the offspring in the family. Aaron had remarried and upon his death, his wife would have been left with virtually no resources. So Aaron asked me to figure out how his second wife could get the house. Of course, not being a lawyer or even that smart, I called the one guy who you go to, Carmi Rapport.

When I told Carmi what I needed, he said, “Of course,” and asked for Aaron’s address. When I told him, with some trepidation, that Aaron had very little money, Carmi said something like, “Shut up.” That’s why I cry. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Feeling sorry for the president?

SO NOW DONALD TRUMP says that he may not be president for another term because people don’t like him. I’ve never understood what the man thinks he is doing. I know he is a lying, lying, lying liar so no matter what he says, I’m pretty sure that he is lying. “To what end?” you ask. I have always believed in the concept of the double triple, quadruple fake-out. This is not a man who will go quietly.

Maybe he is trying to get the people in this country to feel sorry for him. Nah, that’s not possible. How could anyone feel sorry for Donald Trump? The guy is responsible for so many people dying because he refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and thus, we were totally unprepared. Instead, the most dangerous person in America suggested that we would only have 15 people who might get the disease. Today we lead the world in infections and deaths and he has abdicated all responsibility. As I have said on so many occasions, a kid who holds up a candy store can spend a lot of time in prison but Trump, who has the death of thousands of people on his hands, is immune. He can’t be indicted. He can’t be prosecuted. He knows that and acts accordingly. His friends are despots of the worst sort. The idea that we might feel sorry for him is out of the question. Read more…


YOU CAN’T TURN ON the television without seeing an advertisement from some kind of a dating service who suggest that they can find you a love interest. I would like to see myself as being that kind of a practitioner rather than that word which connotes something far more sinister. In fact, when I write something favorable about a politician, and I do that a lot, I am often called something unkind.

Sometimes those unkind words, or those hinting at that, will come from some of the other people who make their living covering state politics. Since I have been interviewing the governor for a half an hour every week, they will tweet each other, real time, during my interviews castigating my questions to the governor. I don’t want to be defensive but if you look up my columns on Cuomo the Younger, you will see that I have always been fairly tough on the guy. Not everyone does that, of course, just a few. I love the aggregator, The Empire Report, which has been very kind to me. But we are moving far afield of the basic reason for writing this column.

It involves a letter I received from a nice lady who wanted to be in touch with the governor. She asked me to facilitate a relationship with the guy. Now anyone, including me, who wants to send something to Cuomo can put it in an envelope and send it to the State Capitol in Albany, New York. Since it is safe to assume at a lot of people do that, one can only wonder why she chose me as the go-between. Perhaps she wrongly assumes that I have some special relationship with Andrew Cuomo, just as they thought I had with his father, who I interviewed statewide for so many years. Read more…