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The lunatics are running the asylum

June 11, 2009 - John Stack

This coup by the NYS Republicans is my favorite type of political theater. A group gets in, thinks they can run everything however they want, get fat and complacent and BAM! they get shocked back to reality. Politics is a blood sport, not for the feint of heart. This also reminds us that the only time politicians do the will of the people is when they are running for election. This is a pure power grab, plain and simple. I am truly impressed that it was pulled off so well and quickly.

            The claimed reasons for the coup are that they Republicans wanted more reforms, they thought the Dems were spending too much, it wasn’t the will of the voters, etc etc…  Please! And the moon is made of green cheese! The two turncoats are poster children for why we need reform! Espada hasn’t filed election papers in 6 years! No one knows where he gets his campaign money or where it goes. He’s under investigation for a number of shady ways he ‘uses’ his campaign cash. Monserrate is just a power hungry thug. I’m figuring he assumes he’ll be thrown out of office when he’s found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend, so he wanted a little taste of power.

            The whole coup was orchestrated by Billionaire Tom Golisano. The same Golisano who spent millions in the last election to get Democrats elected in NY, the same Golisano who just changed his official address to Florida (to escape NY taxes purportedly). Come on. Golisano is out millions because of the new ‘tax on the rich’. Just a one percent change in the tax rate is worth around 1.7 million to him. I’m sure he was acting completely selflessly though.

            The coup though, seems to have come at a horrible time (or a great time, I guess, depending on how you stand on certain issues). There is a lot of legislation that was due to be passed soon, but when that will happen, if at all, is anyone’s guess. Currently, NOTHING is happening in the Senate. Plus, this coup could be very short lived. If the GOP can do it, why not the Dems? Its way too close (32-30) to take anything for granted. in the next election cycle, what if the Dems get 1 or 2 new members? Espada and Monserrate will spend the rest of their terms as the least powerful members of the whole Senate or Assembly. The bathroom attendant will get more respect.

            But, this coup can be for the better. I’ve advocated before that the dems holding all majorities was an opportunity to get things done that couldn’t get done with a split. Unfortunately, other than pension reform, the democrats have totally blown their chance. It seems Malcolm Smith (the tenuous Senate Democratic leader) is completely out of his league as a majority leader. Read the story about how he spent a long meeting with Golisano completely absorbed in his BlackBerry!


Now, hopefully some real reform or new ideas can emerge. If the GOP mucks up, Golisano will be there with his checkbook to plot another overthrow. Hopefully, the idea of real property tax reform can really be followed through on now. Unfortunately, the GOP is still using their old populist pranks, such as reinstating the STAR rebate checks. They keep saying that people depended on these checks (for all of 2 years) and can’t afford not to have them. Well, what saves people even more money (my rebate checks – as most in this area were $100 and $200 the last 2 years) is keeping budgets DOWN! We don’t need another billion thrown at taxpayers just to buy their votes. The average taxpayer saved significantly more this year as school districts passed budgets with very small increases than the rebate would have given them!

            I would feel better about this coup if it had happened earlier. I would also feel better if Skelos wasn’t one of the leaders. He’s completely bad for anything other than bashing Democrats and getting himself power. True reform would be to get rid of him. Espada and Monserrate? What are the chances of ANY democrat working with them? I also bet most of the GOP regards them as complete rats, but that in a Machiavellian way, the means justify the ends for them.


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