Archive for April 2022

Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party is Now The Party of Jackson — Jesse That Is – By George J. Marlin

April 22, 2022

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, April 22, 2022.

Hochul stumbles on crime and corruption – By George J. Marlin

April 19, 2022

The following appeared on Monday, April 18, 2022, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website,

In his masterpiece, “The Wasteland,” Nobel Laureate T.S. Eliot forewarned “April is the cruelest month.” And so it has been for Gov. Hochul.

First, there was the governor’s rather lame reaction to the April 12 shooting horror on the N train in which a man wounded 29 with a 9mm semi-automatic gun.

At a press conference with the city’s top cops and FBI agents, she said, “This morning New Yorkers left their homes en route to a normal day. That sense of tranquility and normalness was disrupted, brutally disrupted, by an individual so cold-hearted and depraved of heart, that they had no caring about the individuals that they assaulted as they simply went about their daily lives.”

Not a caring person? Good Lord! You think the governor at such a moment would call the mass shooter for what he is—a vicious evil monster.

If nothing else, it proves Hochul has a political tin ear.

Events surrounding the resignation of her lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, on the same day as the shooting incident provides additional evidence to prove my point.

Benjamin was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly taking part in a bribery scheme. He is accused of “falsifying campaign donations forms, misleading city authorities and giving false information as part of a background check to become lieutenant governor” in 2021.

Benjamin agreed to accept the lieutenant governor appointment even though he had received a federal subpoena.

Concealing that fact from the governor and the state troopers was just plain old dumb.

But for the governor not to catch wind that an investigation was afoot and to say as recently as April 7 that she had the “utmost confidence in my lieutenant governor” indicates to me just how isolated she is in the governor’s mansion.

Anyone who has spent time in Albany knows that the primary activity in the halls of the capital is gossiping.

So, I find it hard to believe that there weren’t any murmurings about Benjamin’s troubles. Particularly when there were already published reports in The City that Benjamin’s failed campaign for New York City comptroller had “benefitted from suspicious donations as well as ethical concerns about his use of campaign funds for a wedding celebration and car expenses.”

Hochul’s statement announcing Benjamin’s resignation was also lame. Instead of denouncing Benjamin as a scoundrel for deceiving her, she meekly said: “While the legal process plays out, it’s clear to both of us that he cannot continue to serve a lieutenant governor…. New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them.”

That statement doesn’t increase my confidence in the Hochul administration.

Hochul’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Congressman Tom Suozzi, succinctly described the governor’s precarious situation: “Kathy Hochul’s poor judgment and lack of executive experience are on full display with her handpicked running mate. Why did she pick someone who not only had [an] impending ethics complaint but also a vocal supporter of defunding the police?”

To add to Hochul’s woes, the lieutenant governor she runs with in the general election might be a political foe.

Because it’s too late to replace Benjamin on the primary ballot, the winner may be the radical leftist Ana Maria Archila, who is aligned with Hochul’s primary opponent Jumaane Williams.

The last time a Democratic candidate got stuck with a lieutenant governor not of their choosing was in 1982 when Mario Cuomo was saddled with Ed Koch’s running mate, Westchester County Executive Alfred DelBello.

But Mario Cuomo never forgot a slight, and for DelBello to have supported his opponent was unforgivable.

To make life miserable for DelBello, Cuomo slashed his staff in half and kept him on a short leash.

When DelBello publicly complained that Cuomo ignored his advice, the governor told The New York Times, “He obviously chose Koch over me. He had to adjust to his own delusional expectations.”

DelBello resigned his post out of disgust in December 1984.

I doubt Hochul, if elected to a full-term in November, would have the tenacity to pull a “Cuomo” on an unwanted lieutenant governor who may work against her and oppose her policies.

Finally, there was another April cruelty that will soon haunt Gov/ Hochul and every taxpayer: the disastrous, reckless $220 billion state budget she signed into law.

But more on that mess in my next column.

Do Elephants and Men Have Equal Rights? – By George J. Marlin

April 9, 2022

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, April 8, 2022.

Can Cuomo beat Gov. Hochul in November? – By George J. Marlin

April 5, 2022

The following appeared on Monday, April 4, 2022, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website,

Lately, there has been plenty of nervous chatter in Democratic circles that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo will seek a political comeback.

Political wags tell me that Cuomo may attempt to resurrect the defunct New York State Liberal Party and nominate himself as its candidate for governor.

For the under-50 folks unfamiliar with the Liberal Party, here’s a little background: Founded in 1944 by leftists who abandoned the Communist-dominated American Labor Party, the Liberal Party provided the margin of victory for many like-minded Democrats and Republicans. Democrats endorsed included Hugh Carey, Mario Cuomo, and Robert F. Kennedy. Republicans were Jacob Javits, John Lindsay, and Rudy Giuliani.

Ironically, the Liberal Party went out of business in 2002 when its gubernatorial nominee, Andrew Cuomo, failed to receive the 50,000 votes required by law to maintain its ballot line.

Cuomo may have convinced himself that by running on the Liberal Party line he could win in a four-way race because sexual harassment criminal investigations into his behavior have been dropped by five district attorneys due to a lack of evidence.

Theoretically, that outcome is possible if the following were to occur: First, the Working Families Party candidate Jumaane Williams would have to receive at least 5 percent of the vote. Next, support for the Republican-Conservative candidate Lee Zeldin could not exceed his base, which is about 30 percent.

That would leave 65 percent of the remaining electorate for Gov. Kathy Hochul and Cuomo to tussle over.

If Cuomo’s traditional supporters—minorities, center-left Democrats and Independents—were to stick with him, he could get the 33% needed statewide to win.

Then again, such a plan could easily backfire and put Zeldin over the top. Yes, if enough centrists, particularly in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley area, say a pox upon the houses of Hochul and Cuomo and support Zeldin, he could pull off a surprise victory with a 33% plurality.

Frankly, I believe a Cuomo comeback is unlikely.

In my judgment, his coverup of nursing home COVID-related deaths will destroy his chances.

An audit released in March by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Cuomo’s COVID performance explains why Cuomo has much to fear. DiNapoli reported that “the public was misled by the highest level of state government and given a distorted version of reality that suppressed facts when they deserved the truth.”

Cuomo’s Department of Health:

  • Understated the number of nursing home deaths due to COVID-19 by at least 4,100 and at times during the pandemic by more than 50 percent.
  • Was slow to respond to a federal directive to conduct surveys of nursing homes for infection control problems, surveying just 20 percent of facilities between March 23 and May 30, 2020, compared with over 90 percent for some other states.
  • Imposed impediments on the audit, including delaying requested data, limiting auditors’ contract with program staff, not addressing auditors’ questions during meetings and not providing supporting documentation.

The audit also revealed that the Department of Health was delinquent in performing its duties. Instead of being dedicated to promoting public health, it “conformed its presentation to the executive’s narrative”, (i.e., the former governor and members of his staff) “often presenting data in a matter that misled the public.”

Andrew Cuomo’s management of the reporting of COVID-nursing home deaths throughout the crisis “lacked transparency, and was at times, inaccurate, inconsistent, incomplete, and/or not amenable to analysis,” the audit said.

DiNapoli’s report concluded that consistent with Cuomo’s governing style, his DOH was “plagued by a threatening environment, closed ranks and lack[ed] commitment to openness—at the expense of the public’s trust.”

That’s quite an indictment!

If Cuomo jumps into the governor’s race, I am certain his opponents, and the families and friends of the more than 15,000 New Yorkers who died in nursing homes from COVID-19, will brandish the devastating DiNapoli report.

And that would sound the death knell for Cuomo’s restoration hopes.