Should Governor Cuomo be Reelected? Not if I have a say!

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Governor Andrews just fired his first shot across the bow of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro’s campaign ship. A hard-hitting 30- second TV spot bellowing “You can’t clean up corruption with dirty hands.”

The specifics, a local Industrial Development Agency gave a management and consulting service business (that Marc’s wife was working for) $227,000 in tax breaks. The ad further states the company benefiting gave Marc $5,000 in campaign contributions.

Getting in a tit-for-tat battle with the governor poses a significant problem for Molinaro because the Cuomo campaign has a $24.4 million war chest with which to bludgeon him. The candidate has less than $1 million on hand.

The quid-pro-quid dealing suggested in the TV ad is as common as fleas on the back of a hunting dog. The governor once again exhibits a great deal of chutzpah given his own problems in dealing with corruption.

There will be more salvoes as witnessed in his campaign against Cynthia Nixon. A reality check is called for. I’ll start with a remark made recently by WOR radio host Marc Simeon discussing national politics. He considered the governor “treacherous.” I would rachet that down a bit to disingenuous, proselytizing for political gain, hair-raising unaffordable amounts of spending, while destroying societal norms, and Judeo-Christian precepts.

Spending to quote the governor, “has been held to 2% or less for the past eight years.” Not so, according to a Citizens Budget Commission report, the purported number was only achieved after $3.1 billion was shifted to “off-budget” accounts, reclassified as less than spending, and shifted between fiscal years. With some $157 billion in spending a matter of record, $7,952 per person, the second highest in the Nation.  The limit cited is both misleading and troublesome.

State debt ranks the second highest in the nation. How so, according to our state comptroller, the governor and ‘State policy makers have chosen to meet the needs for capital investment using debt that circumvents the constitutional limits on the State’s own borrowing authority.”

The governor wears his “Santa Clause” hat all year, allocating $25 billion (by his own estimate) into recharging the states moribund economy, $100 billion for updated infrastructure (including $4 billion for the new Mario Cuomo bridge), $1 billion in added state and local subsidy programs, and $163 million for free college education. State debt (by law) is currently close to being maxed out.

The problem, our state is ill equipped to fund this spending without raising taxes, reducing entitlements or, reducing operating costs. Solvency is seriously being tested.

Beyond spending and debt, let’s next consider the torturous twists and turns the governors’ liberal, condescending changes are having on the totality of the people he represents.

Six months after taking office Governor Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act, granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry, guaranteeing rights, benefits, and protections to considerably more individuals. In 2015, he gained the political support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender organizations. Last July, he called on the Senate to codify Roe v. Wade etching it into the NY Constitution. Months ago, he wanted Albany to pass the Reproductive Health Care Act permitting abortions within 24 weeks of conception. Last but not least, over the past few years, he successfully orchestrated the amendment of our state constitution to allow the building of seven new casinos throughout the state, while also endorsing the use of recreational marijuana.

Once elected, he intends to pass the Child Victim Act opposed by the Orthodox Jewish Community, the Boy Scouts and the insurance industry, reform the criminal justice system, fight corruption, and help the business community reduce taxes, the 49th highest in the nation. He is obviously not my choice for governor. When asked last week why everyone was leaving New York, he responded “the weather.”

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