THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: In the matter of Rudolph Giuliani

When he was mayor of New York, they called him “America’s Mayor.” He ran the biggest city in the country and when the World Trade Center was attacked, he was the symbol of resistance to the really bad guys throughout the America-hating world. No other politician could touch him when it came to popularity and the guy was a Republican in Blue State New York. That’s all pretty hefty stuff. His romantic exploits were seized upon by the tabloid press and I personally could never understand how any woman could kiss that ugly puss, but such was his position that people were attracted to the guy. Power is an aphrodisiac.

From his former position as one of the most important politicians in the world, he has fallen hard. When I see his inevitably smiling, toothy face so needing the adoration of the public, I suspect that I am seeing a man desperately trying to recreate his former life. Once you’ve tasted from the fountain of fame, you’ll always need more.

I have noticed that when my grandchildren are here, their parents often comment, “Good decision” or “Bad decision.” To put it mildly, Rudy has squandered his good name by making bad decisions. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: True or false

T or F: SPEAKER HEASTIE has a better job than Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

True: The speaker is king. He and his people will tell you about the power of his conference. He might say, “They tell Me what to do, not the other way around.” They may say that but it is, of course, boo-shu. Look at it this way: when the final meetings on the budget occur among the major players and their staff, the principals sit down and make decisions. They can’t go back and ask at every juncture. They may well know the sentiment of their people but in the end, these leaders know the parameters of what they are allowed to do. The position of speaker is forever, unless, of course, they are indicted. As for the Senate, it’s smaller and each of the players has more power.

T or F: Sheldon Silver almost got off the hook.

True again: Donald Trump was pardoning his supporters and sycophants. I still can’t believe that he got away with it. However, in the last group that he pardoned, there was a White House appetite for pardoning Silver. The word got out and it looked like Silver would be a free man. I suspect that it was designed to protect Trump’s rear by saying, “See, we pardon Democrats, too.” This was really cruel to Shelly. At the last minute, the Trump people had major pushbacks and the decision was reversed. I’ve interviewed Shelly many, many times. He once was reported to have said that he would give campaign contributions to the DA in Manhattan and if the checks were cashed, he would know that he wasn’t going to get indicted. As Freud was reputed to have said, “There is no joke.” Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Is Gov tough enough for 4th term?

I AM WRITING THIS COLUMN just to show that I have been right about Tough Guy Andrew all along. It is so clear that Andrew has done what most of us could not. As his “Tough Guy” appellation suggests, he hangs tough no matter what hell is going on around him. I know—I have been watching the guy for years. When it looked like his bust up with Kerry Kennedy would spell the end of his political career, it didn’t. Similar story with his celebrity girlfriend, Sandra Lee. He toughed it all out and has served three terms. If I am right, he will run for a fourth. If he doesn’t win, so what? He has plenty of money, including $4 million advance he received for the self-praising book he wrote claiming credit for the way he handled the pandemic. He’ll take his chances, just like his wonderful father did when he ran for a fourth term and lost. Incredibly, Donald Trump held onto his base no matter what despicable things he said and did regarding women. None of that stopped his political followers for voting for him. The accusations against Andrew have dropped lower and lower in the public spotlight while those against people like Matthew Gaetz have taken the top billing.

The truth is, there’s been a concerted effort among anti-Cuomo people all along to take the guy out. What with the newspapers and his female accusers and people like the majority leader of the New York State Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, calling for his ouster, his troubles seemed formidable. You or I might be hiding in the corner with our eyes closed if we were to find ourselves in his spot. The pain would be intolerable. But not Andrew.

If you heard his budget address, you could figure out what he was up to. He spoke well of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. Heastie is the key. He’ll be calling the shots on a Cuomo impeachment. Speaker Heastie has been playing his Cuomo cards very deftly. Not so much Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who told him to get politically lost. If he spoke at all about the Lieutenant Governor who would take his place, at least temporarily, I must have missed it. For now, Andrew is hanging tough. If another woman were to come forward, it doesn’t seem to matter. It has reached the ho-hum stage. Read more…