Former State Senator Alfonse D’Amato’s recent column “Don’t believe the hype – New York is a moderate state” (July 3-9) can only be described as one of the poorest assessments of hype (as it relates to political ideology) I have read about in years.
It starts with the following abbreviated clip, that while “it appears that our state is being pushed further and further to the left…despite the fact that the city has become much more progressive and socially liberal, New York State is much more moderate than it is progressive.” Why? He feels Republican State Senator Dean Skelos, and members of an Independent Democratic Caucus have changed “Albany from a place of utter dysfunction to a well respected center of government” while establishing an “admirable working relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo……they have gotten things done.”
Nothing could be further from the truth, and the use of multiple good-guy/bad-guy analogies is shop worn at best. Does he really expect the readers of The Herald to accept the thought that Republican Party influence actually capped state spending at 2 percent saving each of us $2,700 in taxes through ‘moderate” policies? How could he possibly claim that the Democratic Party alone is more riddled with scandal and corruption than the Republic Party in any set of years you wish to study?
The real story that he did not report on is simple enough to understand. During the past legislative session, Democrats gained considerable preeminence (at the expense of inert Republican Party leadership) by simply acceding to the demands and ambitions of ultra-liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. This transition process started right after his inauguration, during which he mentioned time spent with the governor at HUD (how big ideas can overcome big obstacles) gravitated to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Fiorello La Guardia (who battled the excesses of Wall Street) and even Harry Belafonte all champions of social and economic justice. I have listened to the entire taped interview which invoked memories of what I heard from President Obama a few years ago. That’s alarming!
The tenacity expressed could not be ignored in Albany, and the governor and his minions found ways to fund pre-K education at a cost of $300 million – without raising taxes, trend setting agreements were reach to feed middle school children lunch without income verification, rules may change to make it easier to qualify for welfare, affordable housing will be forced on property owners. All bets are off, grab on to the gravy train, fear not the future, better days’ are ahead.
While this is all happening Governor Cuomo has aligned himself with the Working Families Party (acceding to them concessions heretofore unheard of) and stated the above mentioned “coalition” failed to deliver on important progressive items” something that will end when the five Democrats co-leaders return to their respective fold after the elections. Senator Skelos’ reaction, as told to the Daily News on June 26th “I’m surprised with the governor for his capitulation to the Working Families Party and Bill de Blasio and their radical agenda.” Surprised, if you’re a republican, doesn’t cut it.