Archive for November 2020

Minority Voters Are Rejecting Identity Politics – By George J. Marlin

November 20, 2020

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, November 20, 2020.

What happened November 3? – By George J. Marlin

November 17, 2020

The following appeared on Monday, November 16, 2020 on The Island Now’s website:

For months, pundits, pollsters and Democratic Party spokesmen were insisting that on Nov. 3, a blue tsunami would wash away Donald Trump and his Republican sycophants.

Joe Biden’s landslide victory, they told us ad nauseum, would make Chuck Schumer majority leader, increase Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House membership, topple GOP governors and turn numerous red state legislatures blue.

Well, the blue tsunami turned out to be nothing more than an electoral trickle.

True, Trump lost. Nevertheless, he received more votes than any Republican in history. His total, 73 million was 10 million more than he received in 2016.

Working-class folks and seniors of every race and creed came out in droves for Trump. Those voters—once the key constituencies that elected Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy—deserted the party of their parents and grandparents because they were tired of Democratic Party elites who frowned upon their bourgeois values and ridiculed them as uneducated “deplorables,” “irredeemables,” and “chumps.”

As a result, Biden won the popular vote by only 4 percent, not the 8 percent to 10 percent polling experts preceded.

As for the Senate, it is likely Sen. Mitch McConnell will remain majority leader. Predictions that Sens. Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins and Joni Ernst were slated for defeat were wrong.

Senator Collins of Maine—the key target of Democrats because she dared to vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination—easily beat her opponent by 12 percentage points. Polls that had her losing by  9 percent were off by an astounding 21 points.

Democratic expectations in the House failed to materialize. Instead of picking up 20 additional seats, Democrats are currently down 11 and that could grow once all the ballots are counted.

Speaker Pelosi’s majority will be the narrowest since the 1940s.

On state levels, contrary to predictions, Republicans gained one governorship and on Jan. 1 will control the governor’s mansion in 27 states.

In state legislature elections, Ballotpedia reports that “Republicans won new majorities in at least two chambers: the New Hampshire State Senate and House of Representatives. There were no chambers where Democrats won new majorities in 2020.”

Republicans will continue to have majorities in at least 60 state legislative chambers vs. the Democrats at 38. This will give the GOP an edge in redrawing congressional district lines next year.

Most interesting, Trump made significant gains with working-class minorities.

Overall, he received 26 percent of non-white voters. Among Latinos, 32 percent cast their ballots for Trump, up from 28 percent in 2016. Support among black voters went from 8 percent in 2016 to 12 percent. An astounding 18 percent of black men voted for Trump.

In Florida, Trump made incredible gains in Latino communities. He won 55 percent of Cuban-Americans and overall Latino support for the president totaled 47 percent, up 12 points.

These numbers explain why in heavily Latino Miami-Dade County, Biden carried it by only 7 percentage points vs. Hillary Clinton’s 30-point lead four years earlier.

Texas witnessed similar shifts.

In Starr County, located along the Mexican border and over 90 percent Latino, Democrats have routinely carried it by more than 43 percentage points. This year Starr County residents, The Wall Street Journal reported, “voted for President Trump in a red wave that moved the South Texas county from Hillary Clinton’s 60-point margin in 2016 to a 5-point win for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the largest swing to Trump of any county in the U.S.”

In neighboring Zapata County, which Clinton carried by 33 points, Trump beat Biden 53% to 47%.

As for deep blue New York, Democratic expectations were also dashed. Donald Trump received 41 percent of votes cast vs. 36.52 percent in 2016. His vote total is up at least 300,000.

Republicans are poised to pick up two Congressional seats, and five Assembly seats. Democratic plans to obtain a veto-proof state Senate appear to have failed.

Yes, even in New York, many voters made it clear they reject the plans of extreme leftist Democrats led by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez to raise taxes, to defund the police, and to eliminate bail, charter schools and private health insurance.

Reading the election tea leaves, State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, took a shot at AOC.

“AOC,” he said, “has no standing on how to run a general election in the suburbs and upstate. AOC is in a district that’s 6-1 Democrat and she couldn’t find a Republican in her district with binoculars … I invite AOC to come to Long Island and stand for election in one of our districts. You’ll see different results.”

While Trump may be on his way out, the conservative movement is not down and out.

And if Biden succumbs to pressure form the radicals in his party and enacts the far-left programs outlined in the Sanders-Biden 110-page Unity Manifesto, don’t be surprised if the GOP makes an even stronger comeback in the 2022 mid-term elections.

Book Review of George Marlin’s new book Mario Cuomo: The Myth and the Man – By Vincent J. Cannato

November 7, 2020

This book review of Mario Cuomo: The Myth and the Man by Vincent J. Cannato, appeared on National Review’s web site on Saturday, November 7, 2020.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mario Cuomo and the Catholic Church – By George J. Marlin

November 6, 2020

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, November 6, 2020.

New York election boards mired in patronage – By George J. Marlin

November 2, 2020

The following appeared on Monday, November 2, 2020 on The Island Now’s website:

Writing 48 hours before the polls open in New York, I am devoting this pre-election column to describing my anxiety about the ability of election boards to properly tally the results.

As a conservative commentator on 1010 WINS after the second presidential debate, I voiced my concerns about the possibility of an absentee ballot counting crisis in New York. I pointed out that I was confident the U.S. Post Office would deliver the mail-in-ballots but had little faith in the abilities of Board of Elections political appointees to handle properly the increased volume throughout the entire state.

I’m worried because county election boards are best known for being populated with political hacks. The fact is, when political bosses can’t find jobs for party faithful in village, town, city or county governments, they dump them in Board of Elections offices.

New York election law permits county leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties to appoint local election commissioners and scores of their minions. This means that in Nassau County, GOP boss Joe Cairo, and Democratic boss Jay Jacobs appoint loyal lieutenants to the top jobs that pay six-figure salaries and recommend people to lower level jobs.

For example, in the 1980s, then Democratic County leader John W. Matthews appointed himself election commissioner. He also received a government car. Why did the commissioner need a car paid for by taxpayers? Got me. It’s not as though there are emergency elections the chief must rush to.

In 2017, days after Hempstead’s Republican Town Supervisor Anthony Santino lost re-election to Democrat Laura Gillen he was rewarded for failure. He was named to an administrative assistant job at the Board of Elections that paid $160,000 annually.

When Newsday asked Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, about the Santino appointment, he replied, “It’s business as usual.”

Political cronyism at the county Board of Elections is pandemic, especially in New York City.

In 1940, a government investigation concluded the city boards were afflicted with “illegality, inefficiency, laxity and waste.”

And since then little has changed.

A 2013 report issued by New York City’s Department of Investigation noted that in the five borough offices, 10 percent of employees were related to one another and found “illegalities, misconduct, and antiquated operations.”

As for the current cronyism problem, The New York Times recently reported a long list of relatives of public officials who have patronage jobs at the Board of Elections.

“It’s like being in line at a concert,” said one former employee who received her job through a City Council member. “People just get swept in.”

The Times article noted that the Board of Elections “is chronically dysfunctional” and “has a culture where ineptitude is common and accountability is rare.”

It is not unusual for staffers to show up late, punch in and go shopping or to watch Netflix on their computers, The Times said.

Pervasive incompetence may help explain the disgraceful Election Board antics in recent years which included the improper purging of 200,000 voters from the New York City registration rolls.

As for this year, The Times has reported that the city Board of Elections “failed to mail out many absentee ballots until the day before the [June] primary, disenfranchising voters, and sent erroneous general election ballot packages to many other residents, spreading confusion….”

Counting absentee ballots after the low turnout primary took over a month in Manhattan’s 12th Congressional District represented by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney.  One can only imagine how long it will take in a general election with voter turnout that could break 70 percent.

While Biden will likely carry New York by a very wide margin, delays in vote tabulations may not matter as much as it will in the tightly contested states of Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Michigan. Nevertheless, that does not excuse the astounding incompetence of Boards of Elections employees throughout the Empire State.

But whatever happens on Election Day, don’t expect pols to rush back to Albany to implement reforms.

They will continue to tolerate the “semi-functioning anachronism” because protecting the patronage jobs of their family members, friends and political sidekicks is the first priority of the political class.

In other words, expect “business as usual.”