David Paterson

That Was The Week That Was #3.

The week started with the Drudge Report headline “Mosque Mess Monday”. It was to get more messy as the week progressed, especially for the fragmenting Democrats.

The previous Friday, Barack Obama had openly declared, at the White House iftar, that it was a constitutional right to be able to build a mosque. Naturally, this greatly pleased the mostly Muslim dinner guests. When challenged on his statement the following day, during a family visit to Florida, Obama explained that he had not been commenting on the wisdom of the decision to place a mosque there. Wisdom was far from the minds of the perpetrators of this odious scheme. It’s a shame that Obama did not use some of the vitriol that he has in abundance for those that seek to serve and support the American people and way of life.

Make no mistake, the choice of the former Burlington building is no sheer coincidence. The name ‘Cordoba’ itself should ring alarm bells. Why would they purposely choose a site that will cost $100 million to develop, which, by all accounts, is money they do not yet have?


Harry Reid

On Monday, Harry Reid stated his belief that the mosque should be built elsewhere. I never thought I’d say it, but well said, Harry. It wouldn’t have anything to do with your slipping election prospects, by any chance?

On Tuesday, it was announced that New York State Governor David Paterson planned to meet with the project developers with the intention of offering them alternative state-owned land for the building. This was rapidly followed by a statement from lead developer Sharif El-Gamal, who insisted that the subject was not up for debate. More proof, as if any was needed, of their determination to build in this particular part of Manhattan.


Nancy Pelosi

The most ridiculous item of the week came on Wednesday, with Nancy Pelosi’s call for an investigation into who is funding the mosque opposition. Funding? It doesn’t take funding to voice your opinion on plans which are an affront to the memory of the victims, the grief of the surviving families and the sacrifices of the rescue services on, and after, 9-11. I get the distinct feeling that, as this affair rolls on, some unpleasant realities will come to light. Every Trojan horse eventually reveals its contents.

The end of the week saw some more bad news on the economy. New claims for unemployment benefits rose to 500,000, the highest since November 2009. The number of people on emergency benefits also increased by 260,105 to 4.75 million. Sounds like more change for the worse, and very little hope.

Finally, on the subject of statistics, a Time/CNN poll revealed that 24% of Americans believe that Barack Obama is Muslim. Surprisingly, given the political leanings of the pollsters, it was found that 75% of those surveyed hold a favorable impression of the Jewish faith, just above Catholicism and Protestantism. The Muslim cult came last at 44%. With Obama’s current Presidential approval index at minus eighteen points, could it be time for a change of faith?

(Editor Dee is in for Skip today)

NY Republicans: Get off your duff and do something about David Paterson!

The latest chapter of New York's descent into political and governmental hell is all over the press.

Governor David Paterson's top aide beat a woman in the Bronx, and then sent the state police out to intimidate her. And right before her court hearing on a protective order, the Governor himself called her.

The civilian in charge of public safety in New York, Denise O'Donnell, abruptly resigned after she determined she had been lied to by Paterson's head of the State Police. And the state budget is due in five weeks.   

Democrats are urging Paterson not to run so as to grease the skids for the Andrew Cuomo coronation. Guess what. That's not enough and it's painfully self-serving.

Republicans ought to stop fearing the race card and demand much more of New York government.

Paterson shouldn't drop his doomed re-election bid.  Republicans should demand he resign--yesterday-- over this scandal.

Paterson never was much of a leader. Now he has less credibility running the government than Tiger Woods has on the topic of marital fidelity. LG Richard Ravitch is an unelected technocrat. And as former head of the MTA he has the respect of both parties and might cobble a budget together that gets the state through to the next year in one piece.

Barring that, they should demand the Democratic controlled legislature convene impeachment hearings over what it appears to me to be a rather open and shut case of obstruction of justice.  if Eliot Spitzer's patronizing a prostitute was impeachable, what pray tell is using the State Police to subvert the court system? 

Republicans sadly have had their share of corrupt officeholders. But the first day to change for the better is always today.  Now's the chance to rebrand the party and stop being apologists and enablers of the "Bear Mountain Compact" of bipartisan bad actors in the state capitol.

That's what Republican can do on the state level. Beyond that, New York Republicans should demand that the federal Department of Justice commence an investigation into whether  the complaining witness in this matter has had her civil rights violated under color of law.

Based on what the Times has written I believe a number of officials have potential criminal liability under 18 USC 241 and would be well advised to lawyer up ASAP.

I'm sure some folks might suggest a black Attorney General working for a black President won;t investigate a black Governor. Might I suggest this is exactly the time for the Obama Administration to prove it will not allow partisan politics or racial issues stand in the way of the search for justice.  

And what if Paterson and his clique play the race card and dig in their heels.  Let them take the blame for not letting the state move forward. Let them  force the Democrats into an expensive bloody primary.

It's time for the Republicans to demand more. And if Ed Cox, Rick Lazio and Dean Skelos can't bring themselves to do this, the party rank-and-file should demand more.

David Paterson----You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

  

    

Battle of Saratoga: Groundhog Day Update

NY Democrats have chosen their candidate to try and replace Kirsten Gillibrand in the NY 20th District special election.

The have have selected "political newcomer" Scott Murphy a venture capitalist from Glens Falls to take on Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco.

I'm not sure holding a nominating meeting at a diner on Super Bowl Sunday was the best way to drum up awareness of a candidate whom the Democrats admit was unknown, but I'll take Democrat bungles as well as Republican brilliance on this one. In picking Murphy, the Democrats passed over well known former news anchor Tracy Egan, so evidently they think Murphy  can overcome the lack of name recognition.

An editorial in Rensselaer County's daily paper, the Troy Record, opined that "Tedisco is going to be tough to beat." noting Murphy's arrival out of political nowhere.

Murphy is going to try and argue he has created jobs in chronically depressed upstate New York.(His firms webste indicates only a handful of his investments are in upstate NY)  Redstate's Brian Faughan however, points out a lot of checkers in Murphy's record such as deep ties to Missouri politics (quite unlike uber-Albany Gillibrand) and a Geithner-esq record of meeting his NY state tax obligations.

I note that Murphy's firm is deeply involved in "affordable housing" projects in St. Louis. I'm not going to spend my morning dissecting the balance sheet of these deals; but my experience in CT projects of this type suggests that the per unit taxpayer subsidy for these deals probably exceeds the average value of owner-occupied single family homes in the 20th District. Mowever , such deals provide tax credits to large corporations to offset their other liabilities. His firm also is deeply involved in the heavily subsidized Midwestern biofuel industry

(Note to NYS Republicans: Talk to tenants and take pictures of these housing developments.  Don;t ignore this sort of issue like the McCain campaign;slumlords don;t last in politics.)

Governor Paterson has yet to set a date for the special election.  I suspect he may put it off to try and let Murphy get around this sprawling district first. 

Democrats have had a good time running high tech businessmen in open seats. I'm not sure this counterprograms someone with Tedisco's resume well, though.  

Game (sorta) On!

Ironman goes Panasonic on NY State Senate pick?

Japanese electronics maker Panasonic used to use the slogan

"Just slightly ahead of our time"

Readers of this blog have been treated to similar ahead-of-the-curve intelligence regarding various economic issues. And now, might I remind you what I wrote when Hillary Clinton announced she was stepping down from the Senate to serve as Secretary of State 

 

New York's next Senator? by Ironman | November 23, 2008 at 1:21 PM

But with Eliot Spitzer and now most likely Hillary Clinton out of statewide office, Governor Paterson now gets to decide who will be the next great NY state politician.

The Albany Times-Union has a story about the choices facing Governor Paterson. He has taken his own name out of contention, but there are plenty of ambitious Democrats eager for a move up in the world. http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=742556

A few crass political calculations come to mind here. Appointing Attorney General Andrew Cuomo removes a possible primary opponent to Paterson. Having failed in 2002 to win the gubernatorial nod, Cuomo may try again; but as of yet Paterson's ratings are pretty good and he obviously would have a huge bloc vote supprting him in a primary race. 

The other element here is the 2010 NY Democrat ticket violates the time honored "balanced ticket" approach.  David Paterson and Chuck Schumer are both from NYC; which casts less than 30% of the statewide vote.  Therefore there will be great interest in considering an upstate/suburban candidate; especially as Daniel Moynihan and Hillary Clinton were perceived as non-NYC candidates and the state legislature is now controlled by NYC Democrats.

The other demographic concerns are that the huge white Catholic bloc in NY (which frequently votes Republican) may not have a prominent statewide Democrat candidate in '10; nor is there a woman incumbent seeking re-election statewide for the Dems in '10. Hispanic  political figures are also arguing it is time for a statewide Hispanic officeholder, but a candidate like Nydia Velasquez might struggle upstate trying to hold the seat.

Given those considerations, don't be shocked if suburban Albany Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Gillibrand    gets picked by Paterson. She fits all the necessary balancing factors as an upstate catholic woman, who has a centrist record for a Northeastern house Democrat (She is a Blue Dog). She also has been a fundraising machine in her races.   

Gillibrand would need to resign her Republican oriented house seat.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York%27s_20th_congressional_district_election,_2008  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York%27s_20th_congressional_district, but we might do well to get a stronger candidate  for the special election than millionaire Sandy Treadwell, a rather low intensity figure.

One thing we should now be painfully aware of is the Democrats have stopped doing things for self-gratification that don't make political sense.  I think David Paterson will help himself with his senate appointment; even if it is perceived as yet another step away from vocal leftism.  

So, I saw Kirsten Gillibrand on the radar weeks ago. And now she's been seen again

Confirmed: Kirsten Gillibrand Chosen to Fill Clinton's Senate Seat

January 22, 2009

 

PIX11 News ExclusivePosted 6:02pm | Updated 7:35pm

 

PIX NEWS is being told that Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand is the reported choice of Governor David Paterson to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.  Two Congressional sources say members of the New York delegation have been invited to join Governor Paterson for the announcement in Albany at noon tomorrow. 

Of course, there's the usual NY State political intrigue. Gillibrand's awareness the Consitution contains a 2nd Amendment offends some downstate liberals, and LI gun grabber Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is making noise about a possible primary.

I expect Chuck Schumer will put the kibosh on this; especially as McCarthy hasn;t shown any recent fundraising prowess ( Think SE PA libs whining about Bob Casey, circa 2006)  

But, grab the popcorn!

Only the little people need to vote

Breaking news from the Northeast--where we are expecting a foot of shovel ready global warming.

There's been a speed bump on the way to the Caroline Kennedy coronation.

Evidently she doesn't bother to vote in a lot of local elections.

  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081219/ap_on_el_se/kennedy_voting

NEW YORK – Caroline Kennedy, who wants to fill Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's seat, has not voted in a number of elections, including one race for the very job she is seeking.

The Democrat registered at her current address on Manhattan's Upper East Side in 1988. According to Board of Elections records, she missed several Democratic mayoral primaries in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2005.

She also skipped the 1994 general election, when Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was running for re-election. It is the same seat she hopes to take over if Clinton is confirmed as secretary of state in the new administration.

So let's see, the Koch-Dinkins race didn't catch her fancy. The other races might be explained away as snooozers, but that one?

And evidently Mario Cuomo's fight for his political life in 1994 wasn;t enough to motivate Sweet Caroline to amble down the block to her polling place. I'm sure his son Andrew will be quite appreciative of this attentiveness to the state's management. Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, ahhh, whoever.. and wasn't there some big issue that year?... the "Contract with America"?...naw, why bother

This of course is on the heels of her trip upstate this week, where she appeared to be far more eager to be in Bordeaux than in Buffalo.   If the goal was to assauge the fear of upstate voters that they were not going to be neglected by a star struck downstate celebrity, well, it failed.

I'm not one of these hard-wired Kennedy family bashers; I actually have a bit of a warm spot in my Irish heart for them for having roguish charm.  But there are plenty of public servants in NY state in both parties who've paid their dues and would sweat blood to get and hold a U.S. Senate seat. it's not like politics is just entertainment for NY State these days post 9/11 and Bear Stearns.

RFK and Hillary Clinton at least went out and won an election for the seat.  Now, the political lifestyle of the rich and famous is to petition the Governor just to hand you a seat. In these troubled times, we are to presume we can count on your vote in the Senate when we couldn't count on you to vote in elections.

 

The iPod Tax: This is How We Win

This is a gift on so many levels. New York governor David Paterson doesn't seem to have the stones to hike sales and income taxes across the board, so the result is a series of 88 tax increases on services people use every day -- like iTunes downloads and taxis:

The record labels couldn't do it, but New York's Governor wants to make Apple (AAPL) iTunes shoppers pay more than 99 cents per song.

Much of Wall Street is gone now and so are the fat tax revenues it used to earn for New York state.

In order to close a resulting $15.4 billion budget gap, New York Govenor David Paterson wants proposed 88 new fees and taxes.

Among them, an "iPod tax" on the sale of downloaded music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services."

The Daily News reports that the the Governor also wants to tax movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages. Clothes under $110 would also lose their tax exemption. Cable and Satellite TV would become subject to sales tax.

This is eerily reminiscent of the sky high Dinkins-Cuomo hotel occupancy tax rates. When Rudy Giuliani cut them, it sent an immediate signal that New York was open for business, literally and figuratively. Our candidate for governor, and it could be Giuliani, now has a ready-made issue: kill the iTunes tax. And restore a sense in which New York is one state, not an agglomeration of petty interests to be bought off by tax differentials. Comically, Paterson is going to force you to drink diet soda by taxing it less and directing the proceeds to obesity prevention. (No word yet on Albany's obese state budget.)

This is a template that could resonate state-to-state. As Soren has detailed, the states face an unprecented fiscal emergency. And most statehouses are now controlled by Democrats. Many governor's seats will be open -- a lingering impact of the 1994 tidal wave when so many states pressed the reset button, electing and re-electing Republicans. Their 2002 replacements, mostly Democrats but some Republicans, are now largely term-limited.  

This necessitates three things. First, governor's races should be a massive focus of attention in then next two years. Instead of being a sideshow for the next RNC, in their typical DC-centric quest to prop up our numbers in the Senate and House, we should be putting most of our eggs into winning statehouses and salvaging what we can out of the 2010 redistricting cycle in state legislatures.

Second, Republicans at the state level need to get their story straight on tax increases and bailouts. No Republican looking to run statewide in 2010 should have any complicity in "revenue enhancements" or any suggested federal bailout of the states so we can plausibly seen as agents of change and claim a mandate for smaller, more responsible government at the state level.

Third, with out-of-control health care costs being a big driver of spending at the state level, will the GOP put forward a compelling agenda on controlling health care costs? The health care debate at the federal level has focused mostly on the question of access -- but the problems people experience most directly are on different axes: cost and quality. With waste accounting for up to half of U.S. health care spending, it is the states -- as the biggest direct consumers of health care -- that have the biggest incentive to do something about it. Will any of them step up and do something radical?

New York's next Senator?

Just one year ago it would be hard to have imagined the obscure Lt. Gov of New York, David Paterson, having the power to make or break a national level political career.

But with Eliot Spitzer and now most likely Hillary Clinton out of statewide office, Governor Paterson now gets to decide who will be the next great NY state politician.

The Albany Times-Union has a story about the choices facing Governor Paterson. He has taken his own name out of contention, but there are plenty of ambitious Democrats eager for a move up in the world. http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=742556

A few crass political calculations come to mind here. Appointing Attorney General Andrew Cuomo removes a possible primary opponent to Paterson. Having failed in 2002 to win the gubernatorial nod, Cuomo may try again; but as of yet Paterson's ratings are pretty good and he obviously would have a huge bloc vote supprting him in a primary race. 

The other element here is the 2010 NY Democrat ticket violates the time honored "balanced ticket" approach.  David Paterson and Chuck Schumer are both from NYC; which casts less than 30% of the statewide vote.  Therefore there will be great interest in considering an upstate/suburban candidate; especially as Daniel Moynihan and Hillary Clinton were perceived as non-NYC candidates and the state legislature is now controlled by NYC Democrats.

The other demographic concerns are that the huge white Catholic bloc in NY (which frequently votes Republican) may not have a prominent statewide Democrat candidate in '10; nor is there a woman incumbent seeking re-election statewide for the Dems in '10. Hispanic  political figures are also arguing it is time for a statewide Hispanic officeholder, but a candidate like Nydia Velasquez might struggle upstate trying to hold the seat.

Given those considerations, don't be shocked if suburban Albany Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Gillibrand    gets picked by Paterson. She fits all the necessary balancing factors as an upstate catholic woman, who has a centrist record for a Northeastern house Democrat (She is a Blue Dog). She also has been a fundraising machine in her races.   

Gillibrand would need to resign her Republican oriented house seat.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York%27s_20th_congressional_district_election,_2008  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York%27s_20th_congressional_district, but we might do well to get a stronger candidate  for the special election than millionaire Sandy Treadwell, a rather low intensity figure.

One thing we should now be painfully aware of is the Democrats have stopped doing things for self-gratification that don't make political sense.  I think David Paterson will help himself with his senate appointment; even if it is perceived as yet another step away from vocal leftism.  

Ahhnuld's latest science fiction blockbuster

Thought I'd post this little AP story about the big Governor's Global Warming summit, where the once promising Arnold Scharzenegger joined a host of other RINO and Democrat governors in endorsing a grandious solution to the global warming problem.

Hey, what's $500 billion a year between friends?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081120/ap_on_re_us/schwarzenegger_summit_10

Now, with the Dow in free fall and GM on the verge of shutdown, you might think there are slightly more pressing immediate problems than whether the temperature in 2050 is going up 0.2C or 0.4C?...especially for the Governors of the epicenter of the financial crisis (NY) and the auto crisis (MI)....naw, got to make sure the media get their "green" moment while their constituents lose all their green.  

By the way, it's mid November. Tomorrow's weather forecast for central CT is a high in the 30's with snow showers http://weather.courant.com/US/CT/Meriden.html.

Central FL has a freeze warning for tonight http://www.weather.com/weather/alerts/localalerts/USFL0163?phenomena=FZ&significance=W&areaid=FLZ036&office=KJAX&etn=0014

Guess that too is an "Inconvenient truth".

NY-GOV: Rudy Do-Over?

The Politicker is reporting that Rudy Giuliani and his top political aide met with the GOP state chairman. The topic of Rudy for Governor came up, and Rudy didn't say no.

I asked him if the subject of Giuliani for governor came up, since it's been the subject of some recent speculation.  

"Of course it did," Carbonetti confirmed during a telephone interview yesterday. "But Rudy was like, 'Lets worry about getting through this cycle.'"

Mr. Carbonetti continued: "Joe said, 'I'm with you if you want to run.' You know, the usual stuff." He added, "Rudy said our main focus is winning all the local races we can and getting John McCain elected. And we'll look at all that when the time is right."

I'm a bit of a fan of this idea (in fact, I briefly worked for Rudy last year), but there are a few questions that need answering.

First, what lessons will they learn from the Presidential campaign? This is New York, and Rudy will be more in his element here. Presumably, Rudy will be more direct in attacking David Paterson, something he obstinately refused to do to John McCain, effectively handing him the nomination. Will we see a return to the combative, happy warrior Rudy we saw battling the New York City press corps, or will it be the 2007 wonkish Mr. Congeniality?

And they should probably stop pulling stuff like this. (Update: His team says there will be no strings attached to fundraisers.)

If the lessons of 2007-8 are taken to heart, then this could be Rudy's shot at redemption. His national star dimmed a bit with the Presidential race, but knocking off the corrupt and incompetent Spitzer-Paterson regime and governing successfully would restore the shine and more. And this is the job he probably wants.

Join the Rudy for Governor Facebook Group.

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