Its halloween! And I'm sure the first thing you think of when you think of halloween is voting, right? No? Well, perfect, that's why the smart folks at Chicktellectual.com have asked me to do a voter guide.
Andrew Cuomo (D)
or Howie Hawkins (Green)
Eric Schneiderman (D)
Julia Willebrand (Green)
Charles Schumer (D)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
Ballot Question 1:
Ballot Question 2:
Ok. Even if you've been living under a rock, you probably have heard something about the race for governor. Since Carl Paladino won the Republican Nomination, we have learned so much more about him:
On top of it all, he seems to have demonstrated a real ignorance of the issues he is supposed to be championing, like not knowing the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
All this is to say, while I am going to miss Carl Paladino's idiotic behavior, he cannot be elected Governor. That argues for voting for Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic nominee. At the time of this writing, Cuomo has a huge lead in the polls, so there's very little chance that Paladino will be our next Governor.
However, Cuomo is far from perfect. His time as Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary was not pretty. A name that should be known, but isn’t, is Andrew Farkas, a man who Cuomo’s HUD sued. Cuomo also called Farkas a “Con Artist” and personally condemned the "the abysmal conditions" in his "poorly maintained" projects. However, after he left HUD, he went to work for Farkas, and made over $2 Million.
Also, many people, (and not just those on the right) say his policies as HUD secretary also bear some real responsibility for the mortgage crisis.
However, he has done some good work as attorney general, particularly around student loans and going after corruption. That said, while his crusade against Albany insiders is a good thing, it also means he will be backing business against labor a lot of the time. Of course, labor is not always right, but Cuomo's Bill Clinton-style triangulating could easily go too far.
If you saw the debate, you also know, there are several other choices, none of whom have any chance of winning. If you are a progressive, Howie Hawkins, the Green Party Candidate is a good choice. I do not know a lot about him, but he seems to be a standard issue, honest, old lefty. I don't think it makes sense to belabor the facts about him because he is not going to win, but if you are looking for a progressive protest vote and you feel confident that Cuomo is going to win, he is decent choice. Plus, he talks funny, which I like.
If you are a libertarian, Warren Redlich seems to actually be a decent guy, but I am not a libertarian, so I say go with Cuomo or Hawkins.
This is a race between two major party candidates, Republican Staten Island DA Dan Donavan and Manhattan Democratic State Senator Eric Schneiderman, who are both seriously over-hyped by their supporters. Donavan is made out to be the next Elliot Ness (and perhaps he is, as Elliot Ness was seriously overrated). Eric Schneiderman is apparently the second coming of Bobby Kennedy.
His supporters will protest that he went against them once. That is true, but he has had their backs far more frequently. He also is getting support from other less than clean characters. This guy says he is going to clean up Albany, but he hasn’t done much to clean up Staten Island.
On the other hand, Eric Schneiderman is far from perfect. As I said in my Primary Voter Guide, he has been a part of the State Senate leadership for a long time, and while he claims to be ready to fight corruption, he hasn't done much to battle it in his current position. The most recent example showing this has been the controversy over the Aqueduct Racetrack deal. Schneiderman is taking a strong stand now, but was pretty quiet before.
He has done some good work in Albany however, and he did play a productive role moving against Hiram Monsaratte (as he constantly points out).
This would not be enough to earn him my support, but as former Boston Mayor Kevin White liked to say (and Joe Biden is fond of repeating), “don’t compare me to the Almightily, compare me to the alternative.” In this case, while both men have some pretty unsavory connections, one of them is a right winger, and one is progressive. Schneiderman favors Marriage Equality and the right for women to make their own reproductive choices. Dan Donavan says he favors Civil Unions but not marriage equality, and opposes a woman’s right to choose (except in cases of rape or incest). He is trying to back pedal on this, but it is out there.
Donavan also has basically said he does not want to go after Wall Street Corruption. He also supports continuing to count inmates in the county where they are incarcerated (and can't vote) and not in the counties from which they come and to which will likely return. This is a huge financial and political giveaway to the upstate prison communities at the expense for the poorest communities the City, and it is reminiscent of the 3/5th clause in the Constitution.
Schneiderman is not perfect, but he is the better choice. I strongly urge you to vote for him.
This has been the most disappointing race. The Democrat, Tom Dinapoli, has made some interesting noises about challenging some of the inherent corruption in Albany, but he has not done much, and not done his job well. He also seems to have given an excessive bonus to a close friend and employee in a pretty questionable way. Admittedly, those accusations come from the NY Post, so take them with a grain of salt.
All of this, in combination with the fact that his opponent, Harry Wilson’s financial skills and experience caused all three major New York City papers (including, most surprisingly, the Times), to endorse the GOP Candidate.
Its is true that Wilson does have some impressive financial experience on Wall Street (which could be useful in a job dealing with his financial people), and it seems he played a productive role in the GM bailout. But his firm invested in a sub-prime mortgage firm, and he seems completely deaf to people’s concerns about Wall Street and financial culture in general. So, it is impossible for me to endorse him.
In this one, I endorse the Green Party Candidate, Julia Willebrand, without reservation. She seems to be a nice old lefty with decent values. I did not research her very deeply, because she is not going to win. But in this race the Democrat is such a non-entity, and the Republican is not that bad, so I can’t do the “hold your nose and vote for the terrible Democrat” thing. I am voting for the Green Party Candidate, but I would understand if you wanted to go another way.
There is no real contest here, both Schumer and Gillibrand are going to win big. Neither of them is perfect, but I’m supporting both of them. Schumer has done a lot of good work over the years, and while Gillibrand has been a major disappointment on a lot of things, I think her work on repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” his earned her my vote in an election that is already decided.
The New York City Ballot will also include two questions. You can find the text of both the questions here.
Question 1 is on term limits, and as Clyde Haberman points out in the NY Times, it is a tough one. He mentions that while this ballot question reinstates the two-term limit for city politicians, it includes an exception for incumbents, which is pretty gross. However, voting against Question One could pretty easily be seen as an endorsement of the disgusting maneuver the Mayor and City Council took to override the will of the voters to end terms limits.
For me it goes beyond that, I am against term limits in principal, if people do not like a politician, they should just vote them out. On the other hand, there are so many disgusting politicians in this City and so few people vote, it is often hard to get rid of them. So I am torn. A Charter Commission member makes a good case for voting for term limits in the Daily News, despite its flaws.
I don’t have an endorsement on this Question.
As Haberman points out, Question 2 is a more confused grab bag, where you have to either vote yes or no on seven different changes to the City Charter. If you like some, and not others, you have to vote against the ones you like, or for the ones you don’t. Again, you can find the text of the questions here.
At first glance, they all look good to me, but I know the devil, or the angel, is in the details. I am voting yes, but I admit I didn't read the the 215 page report where the details are or done the extensive research that's really necessary to figure out if my conclusion is correct or not. So please take that "yes" with a gain of salt.
Another poll came out over the weekend that showed Cuomo still has a huge lead (25 points) over Paladino, and confirms that Schumer and Gillibrand, the two NY US Senators, are going to win handily.
However, according to this poll the Comptroller and Attorney General’s races are both tied. I am still not voting for DiNapoli (the Democrat for Comptroller) for the reasons I outlined above plus the fact he has managed to get $340,000 in campaign contributions from lawyers who do business with his office. His people insist it is a coincidence, but it does not smell good. By the way, Cuomo is trying to distance himself from DiNapoli, for whatever that is worth.
While I do not always agree with the sitting AG and future Governor (Cuomo), I do agree that this poll shows it is doubly important to get out and vote for Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General. This is particularly true if you care about same sex marriage and a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. Schneiderman will work hard on both these fronts, and his GOP opponent, Dan Donavan is on the wrong side of them.
Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.