Two articles this week in the New York Post will tell you all you need to know about the sad state of New York and its GOP. Revolution is coming everywhere EXCEPT New York.
NY GOP: Gang that can’t vote straight
By DAN MCLAUGHLIN
Last Updated: 4:00 AM, September 17, 2010
Posted: 11:39 PM, September 16, 2010
It’s shaping up to be a disastrous year for Democrats all across America — ex cept in the Empire State. And for that you can blame the New York Republican establishment.
The top-of-the-ticket disaster will make it pretty tough for the Republicans to recover the state Senate. Even a national GOP tidal wave in November can’t get New York Republicans off the beach.
The causes are legion. The party is top-down yet organizationally weak and lacking a clear identity — leaving it easily captured by moneyed opportunists like Bloomberg and Paladino.
For all their years in office, neither Mayor Rudy Giuliani nor Gov. George Pataki left behind a strong organization, and Bloomberg’s never been interested in building a party to which he has no loyalty. The infrastructure of the old Nassau County machine has never been adequately replaced.
If you live in Manhattan, you have not one single Republican representing you anywhere. Not in the city council, not in the NYC mayor’s office, not in the NYC comptroller’s office, not in the NYC public advocate’s office, not in the NY state assembly, not in the NY state senate, not in the NYS attorney general’s office, not in the NYS comptroller’s office, not in the NYS governor’s office, not in the US Congress, not in the US Senate, and not the US President.
George Pataki (a former NY Republican governor) and Michael Bloomberg (NYC mayor, once a Republican) have completely destroyed the Republican brand. Bloomberg still spreads his bucks around to favored RINOs, however few there now are.
The party has neither the strong bosses needed to force a candidate like Lazio into the right race, nor the open primaries and vibrant grassroots that might have headed off disastrous nominations like Tedisco and Scozzavafa.
Certainly, a principled person of money (not Michael Bloomberg, but someone like Ron Lauder, who established NYC term limits, or Tom Golisano) could have come in this year and helped run the show. The Republican party and Conservative party could have announced certain basic principles for New York’s much-needed reform. It was not to be.
Chuck Schumer’s Republican challenger has about $11,000 in the bank. A mediocrity like Kirsten Gillibrand is easily favored to win. Both Schumer and Gillibrand are terrible lefty senators and deserve to lose.
Fred Siegel’s New York Post opinion piece pulled no punches:
Throw the bums out! (Offer not valid in New York)
By FRED SIEGEL
Last Updated: 4:38 AM, September 12, 2010
Posted: 12:27 AM, September 12, 2010
New York has become what America fears. Crushed by costs imposed from Albany, the state suffers from the highest taxes, the largest budget, the greatest debt and the slowest rate of job creation in the country. The polls show America will fight back against Washington in November. But New York state is by now so thoroughly swayed by Gotham — a city characterized by Latin American levels of inequality and a Soviet level of political participation — that there is little talk of revolt here. Unlike America, New Yorkers have meekly accepted their fate.
Ouch! I left New York, with the rest of the middle class.
In a state where the two parties are constituted by billionaires who buy interest groups and public-sector unions that buy politicians, the very idea of the public interest has been vacuumed out of politics.
Both Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have been missing in action as Obama attempts to push the effective combined state and local tax rates for New Yorkers over 50%.
If New York democracy had any life, if the state’s Republican Party had a pulse, then the unelected and little-loved Sen. Gillibrand, Schumer’s acolyte, would, with her barely 50% approval rating, have a strong challenger.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
In 2008, a year of intense political activity across America, only four of our 62 incumbent state senators and three of our 150 members of the Assembly were defeated for re-election, while the vast majority were returned with 20-point-plus margins.
There is so little interest in what is essentially an insider’s game that over the past decade, of the 2,130 electoral contests for members of the Legislature, only 25 were voted out of office in either a primary or general election.
Oh, for term limits!
How do you turn New York State around?
People re-elected Michael Bloomberg to a third term, despite being double-crossed on term limits. They realized that even an awful Bloomberg was better than the Democrat. New Yorkers also oppose the Ground Zero mosque, despite what their political leaders tell them to think. New Yorkers reached out to George Pataki when he gave them a reason not to vote for a Cuomo.
Maybe you have to sink to the very bottom and lose it all to see a political re-birth.
Bankrupt New York has not much more to lose.