The Political Hezitorial Telling
Primary Election contests in the City of Yonkers have revealed that the catalysts of abrupt chameleon-like political changes by Mayor Mike Spano were engaged after the Yonkers Mayor recognized that he best mitigate the perceived disappointment Governor Cuomo had of him. Governor Cuomo in most subtle fashion let Mayor Spano know that he would not stoop to engaging in a game of “chicken” with him or anyone else. Mayor Spano bungled the City of Yonkers’ political and financials prospects and thereby his own political viability by arrogantly believing he could discharge his responsibility to serve the public interest by instead serving his own. Mayor Spano must have believed his conduct of deceit and deflection of fact by spin would not be noticed. It seems as though Mayor Spano was unaware Governor Cuomo does not suffer from physical or political myopia.
The long-time Republican Assemblyman Mike Spano realizing his most prudent step slightly six-plus years ago switched his political affiliation and registered as a Democrat. He would go on to win his first term as a Democrat-elected Mayor. He made many promises to Yonkers labor, a city known as a union bastion. Alas, Mayor Spano’s polished patina has been tarnished by Mayor Spano reneging on his promises to friends and foes alike.
The least politically astute individual has long recognized that Governor Cuomo has a thoroughbred horse in the November 7th General Election contest between incumbent Westchester County Executive Republican Rob Astorino (Republican) and New York State Senator Democrat George Latimer challenging. Astorino’s fiscal prowess over Latimer is more than three to one. Mayor Spano, the top Democrat dog in Yonkers, timidly endorsed the Latimer candidacy with little public fanfare. Incumbent Yonkers City Council President Republican Liam McLaughlin has been handed a palpable and formidable challenge in the guise of Yonkers City Council Democrat Candidate Mike Khader. Mayor Mike Spano has not yet endorsed the candidacy of Mike Khader for Yonkers City Council President. Why?
Then there was the down low, quiet effort to drag Yonkers City Councilman Christopher Johnson past the finish line to win the Westchester County Legislator – District 16 seat when he was not considered the front runner because that is what Mayor Spano wanted. Not everyone was aware that Mayor Spano found Councilman Johnson a thorn in Mayor Spano’s side. Mayor Mike Spano entrusted his family soldiers to get the vote out. The ploy was simple; it was also successful. Chris Johnson will be sworn-in as Westchester County Legislator. Mayor Mike Spano’s intended successor for Chris Johnson’s Yonkers City Council – District 1 was intended to be Mayor Spano’s Scheduler Shanae Williams. The ever vacillating Mayor Spano’s intentions have changed again. He worked out a deal with former County Legislator – District 16 frontrunner Symra Brandon buying into being appointed to Yonkers City Council – District 1. Let us not forget that Mayor Spano had initially promised to support Republican Carmen Gomez Goldberg who switched affiliation to Democrat in anticipation of Mayor Spano backing her political aspirations. Instead, it seems Mayor Spano burned another bridge disappointing long time supporter Carmen Gomez Goldberg. Mayor Spano even leaned on Yonkers PBA and CLSA Union Trustees to endorse her campaign effort. It seems Mayor Spano may need some political Viagra or Cialis to recoup.
Thereafter, the Johnson, Brandon switcheroo was in play. It may nevertheless change at any given moment if it can serve Mayor Spano. Yonkersites are dismissed rather than a pertinent consideration in Mayor Spano finding a common denominator that serves him best, over that of all Yonkersites. perhaps Mayor Spano is confused, delusional, or worse, simply unaware. Is there a doctor in this house?
Yonkers Tribune has now learned from people in the know that Yonkers City Council District 6 is again in play. Initially Anthony Merante was the front runner. Adding to Mr. Merante’s prospects was former 10-year incumbent Dee Barbato who represented District 6 some 8-years ago. Her reputation is encapsulated by the sentiment that she was and still remains, “simply the best”. For some unknown reasons a few months ago, Mayor Mike Spano, among and within insular mayoral circles had lost faith over Ms. Barbato having the capacity to bring Mr. Merante across the finish line. Mayor Spano chose to reach out to Anthony Pagano to get a win. Neither Mssrs. Merante or Pagano agreed to a “deal” with Mayor Spano. In recent days, especially since Gov. Cuomo did not intentionally or could not attend the Columbus Day Parade in Yonkers, which he had initially intentioned to attend, Mayor Spano began to timidly promote a win for unknown and reticent Democrat-endorsed Matt Orefice for Yonkers City Council – District 6, raising his prospects somewhat. If Mayor Spano maintains his scruples with respect to Mr. Orefice vis-a-vis Mayor Spano’s perception of Gov. Cuomo’s desire, it may prove to be a win, win, win, or a failure engaged too late in the political muck fashioned by Mayor Spano’s inability to sense Gov. Cuomo view of the Gov. Cuomo’s bigger political picture. It could be a win for Mayor Spano, Candidate Orefice, and Governor Cuomo. At issue is whether Mayor Spano is suffering a political form of Asperger’s Syndrome. Is he emotionally bereft of reading the signals expressed by Gov. Cuomo? Interestingly, Mr. Orefice’s Campaign Manager is Tommy Meier, Jr., a member of the Westchestchester County Board of Elections, the son of Yonkers DPW Commissioner and Yonkers City Democratic Committee Chair Tommy Meier. The plausible inference by the politically astute will easily recognize the conflict of interest between Meier Jr, Orefice, and Spano, and the scam hurled against the unsuspecting Yonkers voters, because Yonkersites are not told the truth, they are instead fed the gruel of spin. only the privileged insular few are supposed to be in the know. Now all Yonkersites know the shifting sands that both cover and reveal all aspects of the skulduggery afoot.
Yonkers Mayor Spano has arrived at this juncture because he has been recognized as a dinosaur, that is, a Democrat in Name Only (DINO). He quietly clings to Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino over Democrat George Latimer, clings to Republican Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin over Democrat Mike Khader, promotes the candidacy of newcomer Republican candidate John Rubbo over newcomer Democrat candidate Maeve Scott for Yonkers City Councilmember to District 4.
When present Mayor Spano was vying to win the office of Yonkers Mayor, he switched his political party affiliation. The takeaway could not be disputed, Mike Spano was a Democrat and upon becoming mayor, even if not beforehand, the marriage between Mike Spano and the Yonkers Democratic City Committee was consummated. Alas, Mayor Spano could not keep his wandering eyes from veering off course and returning to his old stomping grounds. At first he was reticent about his longing to return to his Republican comfort zone. In time, his desires won over his being outed. He engaged in the political “nasty”. He was emboldened to slither about in the political muck thinking and then believing he would not be “outed”! But he was!!!
One can never second guess, much less subdue the amorous political desires of men who refuse to back off when asked to do so. Mayor Spano’s political desires could not be quelled within Democratic circles. He would return to the old stomping ground. Let us all recognize what passion can do to any man. Either Mayor Spano would resist proclivities of his past or another man would reset his clock. It seems an Albany power broker has done just that. The catalyst for Mayor Spano’s vacillating proclivities is New York State Andrew Cuomo. Did Mayor Spano forget the main man in New York State is none other than Gov. Andrew Cuomo?
Mayor Spano finds himself presently between a rock and a hard place. Mayor Spano can continue to hunger for political comfort and satisfaction which serves him and him alone, or he can rise to his responsibilities as Mayor of the City of Yonkers, serving its residents by making “nice, nice” with Governor Cuomo, the hombre who will not only decide the future political prospects of Mike Spano, and his extended family, but will also decide whether to look kindly on the City of Yonkers whose political and financial prospects have languished for the last six years under the guise of the public relations standard bearer who is now known as the lowly, ribbon cutter, and little else.
It seems Mayor Spano blinked thinking Governor Cuomo was playing. Everyone now knows Mayor Spano is a blinking chicken. Perhaps some form of political “rehab” or a chicken coop is demanded of our feathered friend.
TIP ME: Something going on readers should know about? Have a tip or a story idea? Email Yonkers Tribune Editor-at-Large Hezi Aris at eHezi@Hush.com