“To infinity and beyond”

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

By chance, I happened to notice that on November 9th, The Huffington Post reported that a potential Republican challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a 2014 gubernatorial race, was defeated in his reelection bid for Erie County Executive.

Yup, it’s a fact. The governor has a “war chest” of $6 million set aside for a reelection bid. He is riding the crest of public acceptance of a revolutionary redefinition of marriage, the passage of a budget exercise that closed a $10 billion gap with no new taxes, sweeping ethics reform and, a property tax cap that will give homeowners significant relief from endlessly increasing local taxes, etc.

Additional details are provided in a “Promises Made. Promises Kept” report just issued by the governors’ office in e-mail format. Of particular note was the coverage of an upstate Regional Economic Development Conference announcing a “$4.4 billion private investment initiative” made by five high tech companies to build the next generation of computer technology.

Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at this conference and praised Cuomo’s role in “improving New York’s reputation among the international business community.” Last but not least, back in June the New York Post described what the governor has accomplished “nothing short of a grand slam of remarkable successes.” With Clinton’s support a fait accompli, lord knows what the future holds. Perhaps Buzz Lightyear’s classic line sums it up: “To infinity and beyond.”

Meanwhile back on plant Earth, the state is currently projecting, because on continued tumult in the financial markets, a gap of $350 million that could force legislators back to Albany to find additional spending cuts. Also, last week, the Democratic minority in the state Senate projected a $3.25 billion gap for the next fiscal year, up from the $2.4 billion previous estimate.

New York State Budget Director Robert Megna ordered all agency heads to find ways to cut spending next year by 2.5 per cent. He challenged those involved to “make government work better, smarter and operate more efficiently.”

“The news is grim,” Gov. Cuomo said in a recent radio interview. My next column will address some of the open issues that need to be examined in more detail. Stay tuned


Leave a Comment