Archive for the ‘NY Politics-SCC’ category

NY’s Mayor Adams Isn’t Up to the Job – By George J. Marlin

August 16, 2022

This article I wrote appeared on the Newsmax.com web site on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.

Gov. Hochul’s pork barrel spending – By George J. Marlin

July 29, 2022

The following appeared on Monday, July 25, 2022, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website, theisland360.com:

Recent disclosures indicate that Gov. Kathy Hochul is expending billions in our tax dollars to pave the road to a gubernatorial victory in November.

In a last minute “message of necessity” before the state Legislature closed down for the summer, according to The New York Times, Hochul pushed through legislation approving “billions of dollars in corporate subsidiaries to lure semiconductor plants to New York.”

The $10 billion was authorized without a debate or a public hearing.

One Democrat state senator, James Skoufis, said, “Sunlight did not exist in the room where this program was cooked up.”

Another Democrat senator, Liz Krueger, who voted against the chip proposal, complained that it is “the biggest economic development tax give away the state has ever seen—maybe any state has ever seen.”

She continued, “We did try to negotiate some structure and transparency into the language and some limits. I lost on that.”

This is not the first financial boondoggle the governor persuaded the Legislature to approve in the darkness of night.

Let’s not forget the $600 million of state funds she secured to build in her hometown of Buffalo, a new Bills football stadium.

There’s more—

On July 14, the New York Post reported that “a company headed by a big donor to Gov. Hochul is in line for up to $1.2 billion in tax breaks under an opaque plan to overhaul Penn Station.”

A “Reinvent Albany” report prepared by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School, reveals that this tax break would be given despite the fact that “the state has not made public the necessary information to determine if the [financing plan] can be successful, including projections of costs and revenues.”

The Penn Station project, which is expected to cost between $7.5 billion and $10 billion could have a shortfall of $3 billion. “In that case,” The Times reports, “New York taxpayers might have to fill the gap….”

Sounds like a great deal for Hochul’s campaign contributors but not for taxpayers.

There’s still more—

To get her dubious spending programs through the Legislature, Hochul greased the way by handing out more than $68 million in pork barrel projects between November 2021 and March 2022 to finance 276 projects.

Those dollars were expended from proceeds of bonded debt issued by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. As an independent agency, DASNY is able to issue debt and award grants without voter approval.

Thanks to a FOIL request by the Empire Center for Public Policy, the grants are listed on its web site.

Here’s a few of the awards handpicked by the governor and her allies in the state Legislature:

  • $1 million for renovations to the Cazenovia pool in the City of Buffalo;
  • $500,000 for improvements to the year-round farmer’s market in the Town of Brighton in the Finger Lakes region;
  • $275,000 for the construction of a splash pad at Veterans’ Memorial Park in the Town of Orangetown in the Mid-Hudson region;
  • $100,000 for the purchase of an electrofishing boat for Cazenovia College in Central New York;
  • $50,000 for the installation of structural bike racks in the City of Newburgh in the Mid-Hudson region;
  • $50,000 for the construction of a dog park in the Town of Parma in the Finger Lakes region.

Pork grants in Nassau include:

  • $150,000 for renovations to the Library’s Children’s Room in the Village of Garden City;
  • $100,000 for Creation of a Free Play learning area in Nassau County;
  • $500,000 for improvements to the Ice Arena bathrooms and locker rooms in the City of Long Beach;
  • $325,000 for park improvements to Williston Park in the Village of Mineola.

And there’s more to come.

The state budget department expects another $260 million in pork barrel grants to be distributed in the present fiscal year.

My guess is most of the money will be distributed between now and Election Day to entice voters to re-elect Democrats.

It is my hope that voters will reject attempts to buy them off and will punish incumbent pols at the ballot box for squandering their hard-earned tax dollars.

 

Manhattan’s ‘Soft on Crime’ Woke District Attorney – By George J. Marlin

February 3, 2022

This article I wrote appeared on the Newsmax.com web site on Thursday, February 3, 2022.

Will Gov. Hochul survive a Democratic primary in 2022? – By George J. Marlin

November 3, 2021

The following appeared on Monday, November 1, 2021 on The Island Now’s website:

During the past 50 years, four New York lieutenant governors have ascended to the office of governor, three of them via resignations and one through election.

The first was Malcolm Wilson. He was sworn in after Gov. Nelson Rockefeller resigned in 1973. Eminently qualified, the 35-year Albany veteran was highly regarded for his administrative and legislative skills. But as a candidate, he lacked charisma and lost to Hugh Carey in 1974.

Next was Mario Cuomo. As secretary of state in the first Carey administration and as lieutenant governor in the second, the extraordinarily talented Cuomo took on numerous governmental tasks. He was also free to travel the state and built a statewide political organization.

As Cuomo’s public persona grew, he even considered challenging Carey in a primary in 1982. And when Carey chose not to run for a third term, Cuomo went on to beat Mayor Ed Koch in the primary and Lew Lehrman in the general election.

Knowing how he effectively used the office of Lieutenant Governor, Cuomo slashed the staff of Lt. Governor Al DelBello and politically eviscerated him. DelBello resigned out of disgust in December 1984.

Cuomo’s next lieutenant governor, Stan Lundine, spent eight years in obscurity.

After Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace in 2008, David Patterson, known for his social charms but not his governing skills, became the state’s chief executive.

The hapless Patterson muddled through the remainder of the term, as Attorney General Andrew Cuomo plotted to replace him.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was like his father—a control freak. And like his father, he treated his lieutenant governors like dirt.

His first lieutenant governor, Robert Duffy, was a former Rochester mayor and top cop. After four years of being under Cuomo’s thumb, Duffy declined to run for a second term.

Cuomo chose Kathleen Hochul as his next lieutenant governor for two reasons: she was an upstater and her resume was pretty thin. Hochul’s claim to fame was winning a special congressional election in a traditionally Republican district and for being booted out a year later.

While in public life in the Buffalo region, Hochul was a center-right Democrat. She ran on the Conservative Party line in her race for Erie County clerk, and opposed Gov. Spitzer’s plan to grant undocumented immigrants’ driver licenses.

In Congress, she was for reducing the federal deficit and Medicaid spending, and was proud to be endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

Since becoming governor, however, Hochul has shifted to the far left in policies and appointments.

Also, she has been the anti-Cuomo, showing the door to the former governor’s toadies.

Oddly, one exception was Cuomo’s top Long Island political loyalist, Kevin Law, who Hochul nominated to become chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation.

Law was appointed by Cuomo to serve as co-chairman of the L.I. Regional Development Council, chairman of LIPA, and chairman of the Stony Brook University Council.

To be named to so many posts meant Law did Cuomo’s bidding.

We will soon learn if Law will now do Hochul’s bidding at ESDC, particularly when it comes to doling out hundreds of millions of dollars in ESDC political swag to state legislators.

Placating the radical leftists in her party will probably cost Hochul the governor’s chair next year.

Why?

Because no matter how much she gives in to progressive demands, it will never be enough.

In the end, the AOC crowd and the Working Families Party radicals will support one of their own–be it Attorney General Letitia James or Jumaane Williams, who came close to beating Hochul in the 2018 Democratic Primary for lieutenant governor.

By embracing the left, she also risks alienating those who should be her natural constituency, working-class folks in upstate New York and suburbia.

And if Congressman Tom Suozzi enters the gubernatorial primary in 2022, he will peel away from Hochul moderate Democrats on Long Island, Staten Island and upstate.

If Hochul continues down the leftist primrose path, I predict she will be moving out of the governor’s mansion on Dec. 31, 2022, and like Wilson and Patterson, will fade into political oblivion.

Joe DioGuardi not a Rockefeller Republican – By George J. Marlin

October 7, 2010

The following appears in the October 8-14  issue of the Long Island Business News:

Since winning the Republican primary for the special U.S. Senate election, early polls indicate former Hudson Valley Congressman Joe DioGuardi is within striking distance of Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

When asked about these startling numbers, the campaign staff of our unelected junior senator released this reply: “We … know that as New Yorkers get to know Congressman Joe DioGuardi, they will see he is way, way, way out of step with even traditional Rockefeller Republicans in New York.”

What a strange comment. First of all, most “traditional Rockefeller Republicans” are dead; the former governor died in 1979. Secondly, Nelson Rockefeller, who served as governor for 14 years (1959-1973), was a liberal who created most of the reckless fiscal gimmicks that have brought New York to the edge of bankruptcy. Third, DioGuardi is a mainstream conservative who has proudly been out of step with Rockefeller Republicans and proudly fought their big spending programs his entire career.

Gillibrand and her staff members are probably too young to remember the financial chaos Rocky wreaked on New York, so here’s a little historical background for them to ponder:

During his tenure as governor, Rockefeller went on the greatest spending spree in the state’s history. He earned the distinction of having requested more tax increases than any governor before or since he left office. No fewer than 18 tax bills were enacted between 1959 and 1973.

To maintain the “pay-as-you-go” front, Rockefeller utilized inaccurate revenue projections, tax deferrals and accelerated payment schedules – all fiscal gimmicks designed to achieve on paper the state constitutional requirements of a balanced budget.

To circumvent the constitutional mandate that general obligation debt be submitted for voter approval, Rocky started using various existing and new state agencies to issue debt to pay for his building schemes.
Rocky would persuade the board of an agency to construct a building that would be leased to the state. The lease payments, which coincidentally covered the principal and interest due on the bonds issued to finance the building, would come out of the state’s general operating budget. Although the state is technically obligated to pay off the agency’s bonds according to the terms of the lease, it is not considered a state general-obligation debt, and therefore – again technically – voter approval is unnecessary. Thus was Rocky able to have his cake and eat it, too.

The fearless Rockefeller began his first term by pushing through legislation called the New York Housing Finance Agency, the first of 230 agencies and authorities he created that incurred debt by 1973 of $12 billion.

When Rockefeller entered office, his first budget was $2 billion; when he left office, his last budget was $8.7 billion. New Yorkers were the most heavily taxed citizens in the nation, and their state had the highest public debt in the nation. Democrat Hugh Carey, analyzing the financial disaster he inherited when he was sworn in as governor in January 1975, concluded: “I’ve seen delicatessens in bankruptcy in better shape than the state of New York.”

Since 1975, Republicans have been exorcising the intellectually bankrupt Rockefeller tradition from the state GOP. For instance, in 1980, Al D’Amato – a Gillibrand mentor – knocked off the most notorious Rocky liberal, Sen. Jacob Javits, and went on to serve 18 years in the senate. In 1984, Conservative Joe DioGuardi proved how the tide had turned when he was elected to the Westchester congressional seat that included the ancestral home of the Rockefellers, Pocantico Hills.

Gillibrand is really out of touch if she believes painting DioGuardi as too fiscally conservative for Rockefeller. The last supporters of big government in this state are Gillibrand and the public employee unions who support her. And if she sticks to that line, expect a surprise Tea Party victory in November.