WHERE THINGS ARE
A look at the political landscape in New York shows the inherent weakness of City and State government because of the fall of political parties as we know them.
There is no question in anyone’s fair-mind that the Democratic Party is more corrupt than it has been since the years of Tammany Hall at the beginning of the 20th Century. If office holders are not in jail, they are being arrested, or indicted or going to trial.
In the city, Democratic candidates are selected by Country leaders and if there are primaries, those not selected are most easily defeated but for the occasional upset.
The State party, totally controlled by the Governor, has been weakened considerably by Andrew Cuomo’s need to control every aspect of government. He has used the so-called Independent Democratic Caucus, to balance the votes in the State Senate so that he gets the legislation he really wants and ‘loses’ on those issues to which lip-service is given but little else. With 8 (s)elected Democratic State Senators voting on command with the Republican members of the Senate, the Governor is in control of the legislative process.
This arrangement so offends Democrats across the country that Cuomo, in an expected bid for the Presidential nomination in 2020, has all but given up the IDC-control for the time being. We shall see…but the Democratic Party suffers from this kind of moral corruption as well as the typical corruption – sitting officials stealing from the public in one way or other.
As for the Republican Party, one must look carefully to see if such an organization genuinely exists in New York.
Their inability to field strong candidates in the last two Mayoral and Gubernatorial races indicates a major shortage of acceptable leadership and a questionable party leadership which seems to find a much better return working not to defeat Democrats rather than winning on its own.
While this will be denied, the poor quality of candidates for State and City positions is obvious to anyone bothering to look over to the Republicans and wonder ‘what gives’. For Mayor four years ago, the non-smiling Joe Llohta. This past year it was a nice young Staten Island Assemblywoman with a big-smile Nicole Malliotakis. One could run the City but never get elected to anything and the other totally unprepared to run anything and in the race originally just to gain a little public recognition.
As for Governor, does anyone remember the names of the Republican candidates who ran against Cuomo? Someday it might be the big-money question on Jeopardy.
While the Democratic Governor is a formidable opponent who is about to bite off more than he can chew, the Democratic Mayor was a sitting duck four years ago and an all but dead duck in this past election even though the conventional wisdom said otherwise.
In every problem area – education, transportation, business development, public housing – his administration seems to still be trying to figure things out while he seeks a Presidential nomination. No reason to look for improvement in any area from these people. The Comptroller and Public Advocate have added little to the conversation in the past four years, but as they will undoubtedly seek to be Mayor in the next election we will begin to hear their voices…voices that speak louder than their actions.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE
Given the political landscape the Liberal Party will focus on specific policy areas and work to find leadership and candidates throughout NY State.
We have concentrated our efforts in the last three years on trying to win administration support to rebuild NYCHA…to make NYCHA a decent place to live. We have identified the failures, focused on the horrific attitudes that come from the NYCHA administration and the complete lack of interest within the governmental community at all levels.
Now we will work with local advocates to build a presence for NYCHA in the public mind. New Yorkers are great people…and unlike the political community they will respond when they understand what can be done with real support.
The Mayor will soon name a new Chancellor of Education. No question that his friend Carmen Farina will have much to say about her successor. We have no faith in her record or the Mayor’s understanding of what is wrong with education. We will be surprised if he picks anyone worth serving this great city and expect a real disaster…which will be supported by the State Board of Regents.
We expect to be vocal critics of their choice and to engage the community in a real effort to bring in a Chancellor who understands the rights of children to get an education they are not getting now.
Still hoping to find a leader who will run for Governor to point out the inadequacies of the Cuomo Administration, we will move across NY State making new friends, finding new supporters and organizing those already supporting our efforts
While we look for a candidate for Governor we will be talking to new friends about local races, we will be looking for candidates for local and State office who hold our views, building a new leadership group in counties throughout the State, and erecting the infrastructure of a growing Liberal Party convinced that the third-party influence is due for a major revival and a new life.
During the process we will continue to work with our former candidates for the NYCity Council, choosing areas of interest in communities throughout the city and building leadership support behind them.
It is apparent here and nationally that Americans must find and support a new level of leadership to run our government. We need a new caliber of men and women who truly believe that holding public office is a privilege and a public service…not a career whose demands – win at any cost – immediately compromises whatever truths individuals possess.
There is a good deal of alienation in America today. In a way that makes many genuinely uncomfortable, there is an awareness that the present national landscape which can appear so antithetical to what we know, believe and are comfortable with, is in fact, a mirror to an America we do not want to believe exists.
It does but it will not be sustained if those with character and genuine belief come together to make it better.