Archive for the ‘NY Politics-SCC’ category

Gov. Hochul’s Nightmare Dream Book – By George J. Marlin

March 23, 2023

The following appeared on Monday, March 20, 2023, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website,

In conjunction with her State of the State address Jan. 10, Gov. Kathy Hochul released a 276-page book titled “Achieving the New York Dream.”

Calling this work a “book” is a bit of a stretch. It’s more like a term paper. Each page has wide margins, large print, and far fewer words than found in a real book.

But whatever one calls it, the proposals contained therein are a taxpayer’s nightmare.

“Achieving the New York Dream” is a compendium of ideologically driven schemes, that if implemented, would further accelerate the out-migration flight of upper- and middle-class folks.

One of Hochul’s plans, the “New York Housing Compact,” should concern every Long Island homeowner.

The governor makes the dubious claim that more people want to live in New York than there are homes.


Census Bureau statistics tell a different story. From July 2021 to July 2022, the state lost on a net basis 299,557 people. Only California did worse with 343,230 fleeing.

In calendar year 2022, a record-breaking 62,577 New Yorkers packed their bags and moved to Florida. In 2021, the number skipping town was 61,728.

And if taxes, regulations, utility costs, and crime continue to go up, the exodus will continue and there will be municipal deserts throughout the state with plenty of homes for sale or abandoned.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s go with Hochul’s housing assumption despite her faulty reasoning.

To increase construction Hochul would impose on municipalities “targets” (a/k/a quotas) “for new home creation on a three-year cycle.”

While municipalities “will have discretion on how to meet their new home targets,” the state will monitor them. When judging the localities, the number of affordable housing units built “will be assigned extra weight.”

To force the development of multi-family housing in neighborhoods near railroad stations, localities will be compelled to rezone areas around transit stops.

Big Brother in Albany will also establish a statewide database to track the progress of municipalities.

If municipalities fail to meet their targets, the state will override the will of the local elected officials and impose rezoning regulations. Town supervisors and mayors will be dragged before a state housing approval board and ordered to comply with Albany dictates.

Hochul wants to fulfill the longtime progressive dream: destroy suburbia.

The left hates the idea of people owning their own plot of land with a single-family home and a patch of green grass where they are free of the government’s watchful eye.

Progressives prefer large apartment developments where people are contained and can be monitored.

Remember the “Projects” built by that great Progressive social engineer, Robert Moses in the post-World War II period.

In the name of urban renewal, Moses bulldozed viable New York City neighborhoods and constructed high-rise apartment projects that have been mismanaged by the city and have turned into rundown, crime-ridden, dilapidated buildings.

Thanks to Progressive ideology, Urban Renewal became Urban Blight.

Fortunately, local officials have spoken out against the Hochul plan. Oyster Bay supervisor Don Clavin, said at a press conference, “We’re here to express outrage at Gov. Hochul’s attempt to take the suburban dream and turn it into an urban nightmare.”

North Hempstead Town supervisor Jennifer DeSena wisely pointed out that if the governor gets her way, the 300,000 new units that could be built in the next 10 years would “severely impact the quality of life” by straining local services and pushing up property taxes to pay for expanded government and educational services.

If Hochul’s “Housing Compact” becomes law, the winners will be real estate developers who make large political contributions. Assemblyman Jake Blumenkrantz put it this way, “This unprecedented proposal by the governor will now usurp [local] power and hand it to developers and special interest groups and Albany.”

The heat is on. I’m hearing from political wags that suburban Democratic legislators fear the governor’s idea may be the catalyst for a 2024 Red Wave that will sweep them out of office.

A comprise plan unveiled last week does not include the state board but maintains targets while offering more financial incentives.

Such incentives for localities, no matter how tempting, are always dangerous.  Once addicted to them, Albany will add more and more conditions that will lead to state control of zoning.

No, Long Island’s state legislators must reject these ludicrous proposals to preserve municipal governments’ most treasured right-home rule.

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

August 16, 2022

This article I wrote appeared on the 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,

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 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.


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.