TIME FOR ANGER AND OUTRAGE
This is going to be an interesting year regarding the state elections. Every Assembly and Senate seat is up for grabs and traditionally, the reelection rate is more than 90 percent. With the districts so gerrymandered, change usually has to come from primaries. Also Governor Andrew Cuomo is also running and incumbency is usually a big edge.
However, New York has been facing a lot of bad publicity and the governor is in the middle of it. It has been 96 years since an upstate candidate was elected to that office, and decades since the leadership in the Senate and Assembly came from west of the Big Apple.
This year there could be a change because of a couple of big issues. The first one is the corruption trial going on where Cuomo’s close friend and confidante is being tried for bribery and other misdeeds. The evidence is very believable and it must be a tough time for Joseph Percocco and the others who are being charged.
Cuomo ran his last election on the promise to clean up Albany and get rid of the corruption stigma. After all, the national news puts New York in the upper echelons of states with corrupt government. Strange that the former Speaker of the Assembly and Majority Leader in the Senate were convicted of corruption and sentenced. However with a glitch in a judicial decision made in Virginia, the verdict was overturned and the two will be tried again later this year.
It is amazing what a good team of lawyers and a lot of money can do to redefine “justice.” It also is interesting to see that when Democrats are involved in crimes and chicaneries they don’t seem to get as much press as Republicans do when they are misbehaving. Is it possible that there is bias in the news?
It is all about power and money and from the times of Tammany Hall, New York has perfected the art of corruption. Many partake and few are caught. Whether it is bribery or sexual harassment the punishment seldom gets to fit the crime. Those who are caught and jailed get to keep their lavish pensions while doing time.
Along with the tip of the iceberg getting bigger in the Cuomo Administration corruption scandals, there are still questions waiting to be answered, one of which is about a $90 million factory built in DeWitt with taxpayer money. Now, the company doesn’t want it, so it sits empty.
The Buffalo Billion is a bigger outrage regarding the perfection of the “pay to play” tradition where large sums of taxpayer money are involved. For those in the game it is “spend a dime and get a dollar.” This one should be a real interesting story if the truth gets out and the players identified.
Along with these scandals we look at the $375 million spent for ads for economic development. Since New York is at the top of the heap for taxing businesses, that doesn’t seem to be a good investment. Not many businessmen care to start a business that takes a big chunk of money just to exist.
Then, there is the “chicken feed” expenditures of taxpayer money like the $10 million to settle sexual harassment lawsuits and also the money to put up the illegal signs on the Thruway.
The Feds will withhold $14 in highway funding if they are not removed. Besides the money wasted on the signs, it will also be expensive to remove them. Not much use for an illegal sign, but maybe there will be a way to make a few bucks if the scrap metal prices hold.
The startup tax breaks so far have not shown much value for the taxpayer investments. This is in a state that is already running a $4 billion deficit. Yet, Governor Cuomo is looking for ways to give away more money for his pet projects.
These are some of the problems the Governor will face if he does not get indicted in the corruption investigations. Sometimes people get fed up with being the patsy of schemes that enrich the favored few. Sometimes people get angry when their rights and freedoms are compromised or taken.
The SAFE Act is now bringing the chickens home to roost. The recertification of pistol permits has gotten big news coverage and a lot of gun owners are very angry at the way the law was passed and the way it has been administered.
The gun owners resent the Third Reich type of attitude in its inception and its enforcement. A big resentment is that the gun owner can lose four constitutional and civil rights without due process after being falsely reported as being involuntarily admitted to a hospital, or by an opinion of a person who is not a qualified mental health expert.
It is an expensive procedure to correct the state’s mistake and we found out that the state does not have to obey HIPPA Laws. They also don’t have to correct the mistake of putting the person in the Federal NICS data base which prevents them from buying or owning a gun. The false report is almost impossible to remove.
Gun owners are skeptical of the true motive for this action. Many believe that it is a means to require the registration of rifles and shotguns as well as handguns. This is already the law in New York City. With the database of all the guns, of course, the next logical move for corrupt politicians would be to tax them. The power to tax is the power to destroy.
Already, the gun clubs and Second Amendment organizations are beginning a voter registration effort to get the gun owners ready and primed to change the makeup of the legislature, at least in Upstate New York. The math is simple. If 75 percent of the gun owners come out to vote, Cuomo can lose.
Anger and outrage are powerful motivators. It should be an interesting year for an election.