The Democratic Primary Process and Endorsements
The Democratic Primary to be held this September 9th engages only the political insiders. They are your Democratic ward and district leaders. It is only they who cast a vote for an incumbent or a challenger. There may have been a time when the process of challenge, despite its final outcome and pre-selected voters would and could be heard by the entire electorate, should they have chosen to be engaged in the slug fest for the purpose for giving expression to one stance or another. But those days are long gone.
No longer is the general electorate invited to hear supposedly lucid concepts and the rationale for their being expressed. Challenge within the party apparatus have decades ago strayed from the discourse nurtured by America’s founding fathers. Today, internal political party disagreement, even bitter strife are too often kicked down the road of time to be forgotten by the lack of attention an issue gets, no matter how deserving discussion and discourse is demanded.
The process today is meant to capture the passion and have it vented to exhaust issues and their gravitas. The metamorphosis of inclusion into the political party dogma is today eclipsed by maintaining the status quo with respect to every tenet, whether it be promises not kept, economic development in word rather than deed, growth revealed by their physical imprint about our cities and states, but obfuscated behind payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) that do not pay, much less deliver on contractual agreement years hence. This process of visually enticing the citizenry by adorned ribbons rich in red, blues, and whites, festooned onto premises that have cost the taxpayer a lot more than an affordable penny are de riguer. It is costing the taxpayer millions a year, and cumulative billions over those decade-long agreements that are accepted by the public by the inferred trust the voting public have, perhaps more appropriately today, had in our government overseers.
The community at large has only the word of its elected officials as to the integrity of contractual agreement(s). History has shown the veracity of too many in politics is to say what is hoped to be heard, rather than divulging the nature of such agreements. While some will say that an effort toward a Return On Investment (ROI) is a performance measure speculated prior to investment it is poorly, if ever realized. Nor is their legal remedy in its founding to be deficient in complying with contracts unseen.
It is such behavior patterns, call them deceitful, call them white lies, call them outright lies, or call them criminal; they have diminished voter turnout for at minimum 50 some-odd years, with only but a surge of interest here or there moving the political barometer. The trust factor is gone. The public has come to no longer be captivated by the talk; the public wants to see the walk. Truth be told, the public should like to see our politicos dance, as well as invite everyone to the dance floor. Alas, it is but a pipe dream. It will not happen as our elected officials, nice guys or not, lean toward serving themselves rather than the public interest.
That my dear friends is the culture of politics in our present day. Imagine if you will that it is now exactly two-generations since the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Great Society may have held promise then, but today it is more talk than substance. Rather than bridge people’s lives under one name, American, the political milieu has divided the American fabric more than it has strengthened its purpose or resolve. There are no Americans, albeit the Native American, too often forgotten. Today our people are hyphenated, African-American, Irish-American, Italian-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, etc. beyond that, groups are further differentiated into ever smaller so-called interests, shunning governance “For All” to serve the “chosen few.” If anything, the last 50 years have diminished the citizenry its capacity so much, one may consider our standing on the political pendulum in stasis. We have cajoled a state of mistrust, which brings us back to the election process, first the primary contests, followed by the November 4th National Election Day. We’ll speak about gubernatorial candidates Rob Astorino and Howie Hawkins after the primary elections.
The biggest challenge in the September 9, 2014th Primary is between incumbent New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Prof. Zephyr Teachout. Cuomo was considered unstoppable only a few months ago. His patina was tarnished upon learning of his dismantling The Moreland Commission [THE HEZITORIAL ANALYSIS: The New York State Budget, The Moreland Commission, Ethics Reform and the Gubernatorial Election By HEZI ARIS]. The potential of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issuing an indictment against Gov. Cuomo is real. Gov. Cuomo’s conduct of micromanaging municipalities, such as in the case of Yonkers, Yonkers Albany Delegation at the behest of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano to a great extent, and its Yonkers City Council went as far as one could to disenfranchise Yonkersites. The criticism has been muted because by being head of the party ticket, Cuomo asserted his dominance over opinion expressed by elected officials or by demanding their silence. Few would have considered challenging the incumbent Gov. Cuomo, whose consideration for even higher office, that of U.S. President in the 2016 contest has likely disintegrated by his inability to thwart being challenged for the Democratic Party line for governor in 2014.
Teachout is a credible candidate. She has earned her bonafides as an intellect, and in her ascribing to the tenets of the Democratic Party line that has been labeled progressive. She has immersed her beliefs by doing that which she believes. She must be judged by her Democratic Party credentials, and none other, because, and she will be judged under the prism of the Democratic standard bearers, Ward Leaders and District Leaders who will make those decisions. Shamefully, the local Yonkers Democrats exclude and deny media coverage to some but not to others. Typical in Yonkers, and some other Westchester County municipalities. The Conservative, Republican, Independence, Working Families, and Green Party may each have a position, but they are not considered in the Democratic Party primary contest.
And the contest is quite simple. The onerous micromanagement of governance outside and beyond Albany by Gov. Cuomo and his staff / team has caused great consternation and distrust of his leadership and put into question his many “non-aggression” pacts that are said by many to have already bought the November 9th Election. His “coverup” is in his dismantling The Moreland Commission which went toward placing a spotlight on Teachout’s one-time “inconsequential” campaign effort. Her challenge may by some be defined as Davida vs. Goliath.
There is however a kink in Teachout’s armor. She refuses to take a stand on Israel. On one of the most pertinent issues of the present day, that of a potentially dire and calamitous occurrence Prof. teachout, asserting Gov. Cuomo is quick to dodge and duck a debate between the two protagonists, refuses to take a position on Israel’s defensive actions against rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza strip. Her response was, “I think Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be focused on the questions facing New York.”
Pat Bailey of The New York Post captured a quote given by Joseph Potasnik, executive vice-president of the New York Board of Rabbis, who advised that Teachout’s silence won’t sit well with Jewish voters.
“They [Jewish voters] want to know if someone who aspires to be governor stands with the state of Israel, even though she is not a foreign policy architect,” Potasnik said.
Teachout advised The New York Post she won’t comment because the issue is outside the jurisdiction of the governor.
“As I’ve said previously, like most New Yorkers, what I want is peace. I want people all over the world to be safe from violence. My focus right now is on issues directly within the governor’s power,” she said.
Teachout is correct in noting that foreign policy is outside the purview of a New York State Governor, but that is not the demeanor of he Empire State. Yet in a state where 1.7 million Jews reside, the importance of Israel’s survival, especially vis-à-vis the bloodthirsty conduct of the Islamic State against Christians that is reminiscent of such treatment of Jews, she must respond. Does she also not respond to the genocide of Copts, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Yazidis and Kurds fleeing the Middle East to America under the radar screen of mainstream media. Would that not be her realm of concern and scrutiny, if only from an ethical perspective?
Learning of her reluctance to be clear on the magnitude of the issues staring the world in the face in our time, she loses my support, because one cannot claim to be forthright on some concerns and be dismissive of others. The People are the masters who demand an answer, denying the public interest is the definition of failure and should deny her the opportunity to be New York State’s governor.
Teachout must revise her ethical perspective over issues and people whose relatives reside in the mecca of the world; New York City. Every situation, in every corner of the world is pertinent of New York State residents and to the discourse demanded of credible governance. Skirting a question over the Gaza conflict causes her other attributes and accomplishments to disintegrate under her rationale and self delusion.
As “Davida”, Zephyr Teachout may garner 25-30 percent of the primary vote on the back of the resentment Gov. Cuomo has promulgated by his management style, especially if, like the Yonkers Tribune, we were at one time unaware of her perspective on the ticking time bombs ready to explode in targeted areas of the Western world. Will Teachout have a position on the Gaza situation when another 9/11 consumes New York City, Las Vegas, London, Paris, Madrid, The Vatican, Rome, or Berlin?
If “indictment” or “unindicted co-conspirator” and Gov. Cuomo are used in the same sentence, Teachout may win handsomely. Each vote cast for Teachout will be a slap against Gov. Cuomo’s face and sensibilities; it will sting and bruise his arrogance like nothing else imaginable except for the even greater potential for his Lieutenant Governor running mate Kathy Hochul losing to Teachout’s Lieutenant Governor candidate Tim Wu. The opportunity to cause Gov. Cuomo to suffer a sense of humility is for Prof. Wu to gain enough votes to become the eventual running mate of Gov. Cuomo. This scenario would be déjà vu for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It was his father, the Hon. Mario Cuomo, who was forced to accept Al DelBello, as his running mate. The winners were Mario Cuomo and Al DelBello. DelBello stepped down months later advising he was shunned and not permitted to engage in his responsibilities as Lieutenant Governor in Mario Cuomo’s Administration.
The “fix is in” for a Gov. Cuomo to win. Everyone of any political import is playing with a stacked deck of political cards, both Republican and Democrats alike. Those cards are worth more than hay, they hold the political map and demarcated lines of influence for which they insider interests have paid handsomely by their very influence. They expect to earn patronage, which begets money, and greater influence. They all get a piece of the “pie”; as Lieutenant Governor the public be damned.
Can you hear the Arsenio Hall chant “Wu, wu, wu” repeated over and over when Prof. Wu earns his place in New York State’s historical annals as Lieutenant Governor?
There are primary challenges against New York State Assemblymember Shelley Mayer serving Yonkers, Oliver Koppell, Esq., challenging to represent Pelham and The Bronx against incumbent Sen. Jeff Klein. Mayer has earned the wrath of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. Will Mayor Spano be able to control the Yonkers Democratic City Committee strings sufficiently to undermine Mayer? Not likely. Mayor Spano has chosen not to support Mayer’s candidacy. It may be best for Mayor Mike Spano to reassess his own future political prospects. NEWS FLASH: Mayor Spano supports the entire Albany Delegation, that is Assemblymember Shelley Mayer, Gary Pretlow, and Senators Andrea Stewart Cousins and George Latimer. Mayor will need the support of the entire Albany Delegation when Spano stands for re-election before Yonkersites in the 2015 General Election.
The Yonkers Tribune does not endorse Zephyr Teachout for New York State Governor and does not endorse Andrew Cuomo for re-election to New York State Governor. The Yonkers Tribune endorses Tim Wu for Lieutenant Governor. The Yonkers Tribune endorses the Hon. Oliver Koppell for election to the New York State Senate. The Yonkers Tribune endorses the Hon. Shelley Mayer for re-election to the New York State Assembly.
Each endorsement is based on the trust and transparency they respectively bring in differing degrees to the political process.
Should the primary process be maligned by political management of the election, heretofore mismanagement, denying the electorate choice among the candidates who stand before them vying for the vote, it will behoove the public to insinuate themselves more deeply into the hierarchy of each and every political party which espouses concepts most dear to the voter.
I should think The People must be engaged in changing the political party system to better serve the public interest espoused by their tenets with candidates that do as they say. False gods have brought us to this juncture.
Wu, Koppell, and Mayer can be counted on to follow through.