Archive for the ‘Political Issues’ category

Making the case for Zeldin – By George J. Marlin

September 20, 2022

The following appeared on Monday, September 19, 2022, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website, theisland360.com:

To adequately express my views on the upcoming gubernatorial election, my column this week is a self-interview. So here goes …

Why are you supporting Zeldin?

First, Congressman Zeldin has the knowledge and public policy positions essential to managing the state government.

Next, and this is key, one-party control of Albany is dangerous. Radical progressives, with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s approval, have been running wild raising taxes, increasing debt and anti-business regulations, and spending every dollar available.

Their reckless policies are driving the state to the edge of fiscal insolvency and driving hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to greener economic pastures in Florida, Texas, etc. As governor, Zeldin will check those radicals.

New York’s chief executive has vast powers over the budgetary process and, I believe, Gov. Zeldin will effectively employ that oversight authority to prevent a fiscal and economic cataclysm.

Any other reasons for supporting Zeldin?

Yes. I believe he will listen to the pleas of Mayor Eric Adams and civil magistrates throughout the state to fix the flawed cashless bail law that is letting criminals, who are a present danger to the public, back onto the streets.

Zeldin would also reverse the state’s ban on the safe extraction of natural gas. There is 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale rock formation and 38 trillion in the Utica Shale. Tapping into that natural gas will bring down the price to heat homes—which is up over 33% this past year—create scores of high paying jobs in New York’s western tier and bring billions of dollars into the state treasury.

When it comes to dealing with economic issues, Zeldin will be a breath of fresh air in Albany.

Isn’t Zeldin a dangerous 2020 election denier?

Absolutely not. Zeldin has said time and again: “I have never at any point ever made a statement calling Biden or the election illegitimate.”

True, he voted to reject the certification of Biden’s electoral votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. While I disagreed with him, in my judgment Zeldin’s votes were symbolic, a form of protest.

Remember, it was not the first-time members of the House of Representatives objected to an election outcome. In 2005, 31 Democrats, led by Congressman Jim Clyburn, voted to deny George W. Bush’s Ohio electoral votes, even though he carried the state by 118,000 votes.

Among those 31 Democratic election deniers was the present chairman of the home security and Jan. 6 committees, Congressman Bennie Thompson.

Now, I don’t recall any claims that our democracy was at risk of being toppled by those anti-Bush votes. In fact, Nancy Pelosi approved of and praised the objectors. “Debate,” she said, “is fundamental to our democracy” and it “is about the Constitution.” She dismissed Republican “talk about this as a conspiracy theory.”

What about Zeldin’s stand on abortion?

Zeldin is pro-life, as am I. He opposes late-term abortions and non-doctors performing abortions. He supports parental consent and informed consent. Zeldin also supports the Dobbs decision that permits states via the democratic process to determine abortion policies.

Sadly, New York has the most permissive abortion law in the nation. Hence, Dobbs has not had any impact whatsoever on the state.

Also, Zeldin vociferously opposes Hochul’s demand that millions of Christians and Jews who are not pro-abortion, move to Florida. He believes that every citizen is entitled to their views on the issue and should be free to express them in the public square. That’s called democracy at work.

What about Zeldin on education?

Zeldin, who is not a captive of the teacher unions, released a thoughtful “students first” plan that includes, promoting a parent’s right to be in control of their children’s education, lifting the cap on charter schools, creating tax credits for school choice, and maintaining merit-based entry exam specialized schools.

Any other thoughts on Zeldin?

Yes. New York’s executive branch has been controlled by Democrats for over 15 years.

It’s time to give a new lease on the executive mansion to someone who can clean house and add balance to addressing the state’s ever growing problems. I believe that Lee Zeldin is that person.

Dems lose NY Gerrymandering Game – By George J. Marlin

May 31, 2022

The following appeared on Monday, May 30, 2022, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website, theisland360.com:

In late 2021, Albany Democrats thought they were in the cat bird’s seat when the process began to redraw congressional lines based on the new census figures.

To determine the outcome, they made sure the Independent Redistricting Commission, which was evenly split between Democrat and Republican commissioners, deadlocked.

This occurred when the panel members were unable to agree on a bipartisan plan and came up with competing maps.

Due to that impasse, the Democratic-controlled state Legislature quickly exercised its authority to design and approve districts.

The lines they drew were anything but fair or neutral and failed to reflect “communities of interest.” Four of the eight Republican seats were essentially eliminated.

For example, the Staten Island-based congressional district, held by New York City’s lone GOP member, Nicole Malliotakis, was sliced and diced. South Brooklyn, a conservative leaning area, was cut out and replaced with a portion of the 100% Democratic South Bronx.

To ensure that Long Island’s North Shore’s 3rd C.D., held by retiring Congressman Tom Suozzi, remained in Democratic hands, the lines were stretched to include, believe it or not—the Bronx.

The gerrymandering in upstate New York was just as bad.

The only GOP seat that remained safe in that region was the 21st C.D. held by Elise Stefanik, which covers the northern most regions of the state.

To defeat the chair of the House Republican Conference, the Democrats would have had to include parts of Canada in her district.

Despite cries from good government groups that the new maps were egregious and discarded all pretenses of objectivity, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the recommendations into law.

But mirabile dictu, a Steuben County Supreme Court Judge, Patrick McAllister, struck down the congressional maps as unconstitutional on March 31. He ordered the Legislature “to go back to the drawing board and resubmit maps with sufficient bipartisan support by April 11.”

He also warned that if the Legislature failed to act, he would appoint a “neutral expert at state expense to prepare said maps.”

Outraged Democrats appealed the decisions and, to their shock and dismay, lost in both the Appellate Division and in the Court of Appeals—even though members of their party dominated those judicial forums.

On April 22, New York’s highest court directed McAllister to appoint an expert to assist in creating new maps. The court concluded that “judicial oversight is required to facilitate the expeditious creation of constitutionally conforming maps for use in the 2022 election to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of New Yorkers to a fair election.”

On May 22, McAlister released the revised congressional map proffered by the special master. The judge declared that the new districts are “almost perfectly neutral.” He added that “neither the court nor the special master received any information concerning where any candidate or potential candidate lives.”

While most seats in New York City will remain in Democratic hands, the lines threaten the careers of long-term incumbents.

In Manhattan, 15-term Congressman, Jerry Nadler, will have to face off with 15-term Congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney.

The fact that there are now eight of 26 New York districts up for grabs doesn’t matter to Democrats.

They are outraged because they didn’t get their way.

Democrats accused the judiciary—the very system they have turned to time and again to impose their will when they lost at the ballot box or lost a legislative vote—of “hijacking” redistricting.

An exacerbated congressman, Hakeem Jeffries, went so far as to make the ludicrous claim that the court’s new map is “enough to make Jim Crow blush.”

Gerrymandering has been condemned by New York Democrats as evil for decades—especially when Republicans controlled the state capital. But when they are in charge, the rules of fairness and equity do not apply to them.

It is their way or the highway.

Fortunately, the courts knew better and ruled judiciously that Democratic gerrymandered maps were “in violation of a 2014 constitutional amendment designed to rout out political gamesmanship in redistricting.”

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, theisland360.com:

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.

Bernie Sanders’ Future for America Has Arrived in California—And It Is Not Pretty – By George J. Marlin

November 1, 2021

This article I wrote appeared on the Newsmax.com web site on Friday, October 29, 2021.

For Hypocritical New York Democrats, Gerrymandering Is Back in Vogue – By George J. Marlin

October 16, 2021

This article I wrote appeared on the Newsmax.com web site on Friday, October 15, 2021.