David Paterson

Former New York Governor George Pataki: Ignored, Forgotten, But Most Sensible, Centrist Republican In Presidential Race

It used to be that New York Governors, whether Democrats or Republicans, were well respected and regarded in national politics.

Just in the last century, we had Charles Evans Hughes, Alfred E. Smith, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas E. Dewey all Presidential nominees; and Nelson Rockefeller and Mario Cuomo seen as possible Presidential choices.

Such was not the case with George Pataki, Governor from 1995-2007, who did the magical feat of defeating Mario Cuomo, who no one thought could be defeated for a fourth term in 1994; and who was then overshadowed by two New York City Mayors, Rudy Guilani and Michael Bloomberg, who were more exciting personalities.

But Pataki, after being forgotten for nearly a decade, and after a Governorship that looks a whole lot better after the disasters of his successors in the Governorship–Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson—is now back in politics as number 16 out of 16 Republican Presidential contenders, with ZERO chance of being the nominee, and in the bottom of the polls, often not scoring even one percent.

Having said that, Pataki is truly a “profile in courage”, in that he is challenging Donald Trump’s hate filled comments about Mexican immigration, in a way no one else is doing so, and has challenged Trump to a debate on that topic.

Of course, Pataki wants to be seen as significant, and it is clear Trump will not answer the challenge.

But Pataki represents the now dormant “Rockefeller” wing of the Republican Party, the moderate centrist Republican, who actually believes in immigration reform, abortion rights, acceptance of gay marriage, belief in environmental protection. and sensible gun control.

With a candidate such as Pataki, the GOP would have a revival back to its glorious past, instead of teetering on the brink of disaster, and its demise in the near future!

Black Politicians: Failure To Reach Higher Office A Reality :(

With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, it seemed as if America was ready for a Renaissance on race, that black politicians could expect to reach the Governorships and the Senate in noticeable numbers!

When it comes to the House of Representatives and the mayoralty of cities, African Americans have been able to make a substantial record of success! With 42 members in the House of Representatives, and many African Americans who have served and are serving as Mayors of their cities, there is much to be proud of!

But when it comes to Governorships and Senate seats, the record is paltry! 🙁

There have historically been only three Black Governors and six Black Senators. Douglas Wilder was Governor of Virginia in the 1980s, and Deval Patrick is presently the Governor of Massachusetts. David Paterson succeeded Eliot Spitzer as Governor of New York when Spitzer resigned in 2008.

Hiram Revels served one year in the Senate from Mississippi during the Reconstruction period, as did Blanche Bruce for a full term from the same state in the same era. They were, of course, not elected, as the 17th Amendment, providing for direct popular election of the Senate, did not become part of the Constitution until 1913.

Since then, Edward W. Brooke served two terms as a Massachusetts Senator from 1967-1979. Carol Moseley Braun served one term from 1993-1999 as Senator from Illinois, so far the only Black woman in the Senate. Barack Obama, of course served four years from 2005-2009 from Illinois, and finally, Roland Burris was appointed to fill out the term of Obama in 2009-2010.

Meanwhile, the news recently has not been encouraging on the issue of Blacks at the top level of government, state and national! Roland Burris has been under suspicion since his appointment by disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich and is not running for a full term. David Paterson is also under attack and is not running for a full term as NY Governor. Deval Patrick has been running behind for reelection in Massachusetts, but seems now to be recovering.

Unfortunately, Artur Davis, Congressman from Alabama, gave up his Congressional seat to run for the Democratic nomination for Governor, and was expected to win, but in a tremendous upset, his opponent won overwhelmingly in the primary, by 62-38 percent!

And Kendrick Meek, Congressman from South Florida, was thought to be the Democratic nominee for the US Senate by default, until billionaire Jeff Greene suddenly entered the race on April 30, and has pulled even with Meek.

Even more problematical for Meek is that he runs a poor third against Republican Marco Rubio and Independent nominee Charlie Crist, the Governor of Florida. Crist is appealing for Democratic backing in the race, and is a threat to Meek in gaining backing of a majority of his own party in the Fall campaign, even if Meek defeats Greene in the primary in August!

So there is a good chance that there will be no Blacks in the Senate, and at most, maybe just Governor Deval Patrick winning a second term in Massachusetts!

This is not exactly what many African Americans hoped for just a short time ago! 🙁

Andrew Cuomo Announces For NY Governorship: Harbinger Of The Future?

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the older son of three term Governor Mario Cuomo (1983-1995), announced his candidacy this morning for Governor at a time of great trouble and turmoil for the Empire State!

Cuomo has no opposition for his party’s nomination, but faces, if he wins, a daunting challenge financially, as the New York budgetary situation is one of the worst in the nation, and the state legislature is in stalemated condition, particularly in the State Senate, which has been an embarrassment to the state’s image.

But so has been the disaster represented by Eliot Spitzer, elected Governor from the position of Attorney General in 2006 by a landslide, and throwing it all away in a sex scandal within 15 months. Then, the Lieutenant Governor, David Paterson, succeeded and became embroiled in scandal and controversy of his own, and was forced out of consideration to run for a full term.

Meanwhile, Cuomo, formerly Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the second term of President Bill Clinton, made a distinguished record for himself as Attorney General, aggressively pursuing scandals on Wall Street and otherwise during this four year term. And he has indicated great plans to reorganize the state government bureaucracy in a way not seen since the Governorship of Alfred E. Smith in 1919!

Cuomo will face one of three opponents on the Republican line–former Suffolk Congressman Rick Lazio (who ran against Hillary Clinton for the Senate in 2000); Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy (who just switched parties to announce his candidacy); and Carl Paladino (a Buffalo property developer who advocates very conservative ideas after also switching parties a few years ago but has no political experience).

Cuomo is the heavy favorite to become the next Governor of New York, and IF he does a good job in a difficult time, and is reelected in 2014, he will likely be a possible candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, although, of course, he would not now entertain such ideas! 🙂

So the 2010 New York Governorship race could be a harbinger of the future!

Time For Governor David Paterson To Resign!

New York politics is in such a mess, an embarrassment to all New Yorkers and particularly Democrats! 🙁

First, the very intelligent and capable Eliot Spitzer was forced out on March 17, 2008 after only 14 months in office, due to a call girl scandal. This is a tragedy, as Spitzer, who has tried to redeem himself since through participation in news programs on MSNBC and Bill Maher’s HBO program, could have been one of the future stars of the Democratic party if only he could have behaved in a proper manner!

Lt. Governor David Paterson succeeded him, admitted to extramarital affairs right away, and proceeded to botch up the search for a replacement for Hillary Clinton in the Senate, including alienating the Kennedy family in the way he mistreated Caroline Kennedy, before selecting Kirsten Gillibrand, who is likely to gain reelection, but is not at all inspiring.

Now Paterson has been stupidly involved in a criminal case involving a top aide, taking steps to ask the woman, who was assaulted by his aide, to avoid pursuing the case.

As the NEW YORK TIMES makes clear, this is unacceptable behavior, and it is time for Paterson, almost two years in office, to resign, making for three governors in one term.

The problem is that the appointed Lt. Governor, Richard Ravitch, former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was appointed by Paterson in a way seen by many as illegal, since there is no provision in the state constitution for an appointed replacement for Lt. Governor , but the appointment was upheld by the state courts.

Ravitch would be a caretaker governor, finishing out this year, until the election of the next Governor, likely to be Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of the former Governor Mario Cuomo, in November over Rick Lazio, the former Long Island Congressman who also ran against Hillary Clinton in the Senate race of 2000.

With all the budgetary problems faced by New York, this is a real tragedy, but in order to move ahead, it is time for Richard Ravitch to become the caretaker governor, and for David Paterson to disappear into the woodwork, as a disgraced governor, in many ways worse than Eliot Spitzer!

Time For NY Governor David Paterson To Bow Out Of 2010 Gubernatorial Race!

NY Governor David Paterson has been a disaster area for most of the time since he succeeded disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer in 2008.

His poll ratings have been horrid, and a new advertising campaign has not helped one bit. He is 60 points behind Attorney General Andrew Coumo in a Democratic poll, and 20 points behind former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani in a matchup for the fall election less than a year from now.

Under the circumstances, it is time for Governor Paterson to announce his withdrawal from the race, to allow Attorney General Coumo to begin the campaign to keep the Democrats in control in Albany, as every polls shows him winning over Guiliani or even former Congressman Rick Lazio.

For the good of the Democratic party and New York, Governor Paterson needs to face reality and show some statesmanship and back Andrew Cuomo now, and insure the party’s future in a crucial race, in which both Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer will be on the ballot. Do the right thing now, Governor Paterson!

The New York Political Scene And Barack Obama’s Intervention

New York is a strongly Democratic state, with all but two Congressmen now being Democrats, and two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor.

But New York has been tormented by controversy–first with former Governor Eliot Spitzer being forced out of office because of a sex scandal involving a prostitute; then the controversy over the replacement of Hillary Clinton in her Senate seat; and then with the quick rapid collapse of public opinion around Governor David Paterson, who succeeded Spitzer when he resigned.

Paterson has come across as inept and ineffective in the Governorship in the nearly 18 months he has been Governor, and there is real concern that the Democrats could lose both the Governor’s office and the Senate seat of Kirsten Gillibrand, Hillary Clinton’s appointed successor, in 2010.

The loss of the Governorship could hurt some Congressmen state wide as well, and that could affect reapportionment of seats both in the House of Representatives and in the state legislature, if the GOP wins control of the State Senate, which they briefly controlled this past summer when a couple of Democrats briefly switched parties before going back to the party that elected them. The state legislature came across as totally inept and chaotic, and New York does not present a very impressive image right now, which is an embarrassment to many who regard New York as one of the premier states of the Union.

The danger is that it is likely that former Mayor Rudy Guiliani may challenge Governor Paterson, and in any poll, wins over the governor, who only has in most polls about a 20 percent rating. Also, the possibility exists that former Governor George Pataki may challenge Senator Gillibrand, and has a lead in polls on that race.

This situation would greatly change if Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of the former governor Mario Cuomo, and very popular in all polls, was to be the nominee for Governor. The belief is that if he was the nominee and did not have to deal with a divisive primary race against Paterson, that he could beat any opponent, and that Guiliani might not even run if Cuomo was known to be his opponent. Also, Cuomo could help Gillibrand, and might convince Pataki not to run for the Senate, and hopefully, most of the congressional seats and state legislative seats would be safe, as well.

So the fact that there has been pressure from the Obama Administration for Paterson NOT to run may be embarrassing, but makes sense for the long term future of the Democrats in New York and nationally. The hope is that Governor Paterson will see the handwriting on the wall and will withdraw from a race for election, and maybe end up with some position that President Obama can offer him in 2011.

Rudy Guiliani As Candidate For NY Governor?

The word is out that former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who had a total collapse of his Presidential campaign in 2008, is mulling the idea of running for Governor of New York.

Guiliani has been out of office for eight years now, and has become very prosperous in two different capitalist ventures, and it is hard to imagine his willingness to give that all up to run for the thankless job of becoming governor of the third largest state, one of the more dysfunctional state governments of late.

While it is true that if Governor David Paterson runs for reelection, Guiliani would have an excellent chance to win the office, it is much more likely that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, with a very high visibility and extremely high public opinion rating for going after Wall Street, is likely to run and would easily swamp Paterson, and would make mince meat on Guiliani.

The question that arises is what would Guiliani run on? To campaign on 9/11 as he tried unsuccessfully to do in his 2008 Presidential campaign would not work, but what else is new regarding Rudy Guiliani?

And the hint is that he might still be interested in the Presidency for 2012–that he did not get the message that the GOP is not attracted to him as an Eastern Republican. But would New York wish to elect a man who would have one eye on the Presidency immediately after being elected the executive leader of his state?

The best scenario is that Andrew Cuomo is the Democratic nominee and Rudy Guiliani goes about making money and continuing to talk about 9/11! 🙂

Governor David Paterson And Andrew Cuomo’s Future

It is highly unfortunate that David Paterson, the Governor of New York by succession after the sudden resignation of Governor Eliot Spitzer due to a sex scandal, has tried to make his low popularity rating connected to the fact that he is African American.

This is a sign of his desperation as polls have indicated that he has an extremely low rating for his performance and his plans to run for reelection in 2010.

His attempt to appoint a Lieutenant Governor, Richard Ravitch, to be in line of succession, went against the NY State Constitution, and after just 43 days, a state court has ruled that the appointment was illegal under state law. It only adds to the sense of futility that this Governor can do anything correct or successful.

Every indication is that Paterson could not defeat a Republican opponent for Governor, were he to run for a full term. The hint is that former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani would be likely to run if Paterson is the nominee, and that Guiliani would defeat him easily. Even if former Congressman Rick Lazio (who lost the Senate race to Hillary Clinton in 2000) were his opponent, the indications are that Lazio would easily defeat Paterson.

Under the circumstances, the best result would be Paterson’s decision to decline to run for a full term, and there are hints that he is considering doing just that.

If Paterson does not voluntarily back down, it seems highly likely that he will lose the nomination for Governor to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of the former Governor Mario Cuomo. The Attorney General has established an outstanding record in his office, pursuing corporate corruption on Wall Street and showing evidence of his commitment to basic reform in many areas of public policy.

Cuomo has a background of having been Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Clinton. Every poll makes it clear that he would win a landslide victory in a Democratic primary against Paterson, and would easily defeat either Guiliani or Lazio for the Governorship.

With him on the ticket, along with Senator Charles Schumer, it would also guarantee a victory for appointed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was a controversial appointee by Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. Despite a lot of opposition to her appointment, and the likelihood earlier of one or more members of the NY Congressional delegation challenging her in a primary, her switch from being a more conservative Democrat for her upstate district to adoption of more liberal positions on many issues has led to her being lucky enough to avoid a primary. But if Paterson was on the ticket as Governor, he would probably bring her down with him, so Cuomo guarantees a straight Democratic ticket at the top of the ballot, and the likelihood of legislative gains by the Democrats, who desperately need to gain a clear majority in the State Senate, which was subjected earlier this summer to total gridlock and deadlock for a month, presenting an image of total chaos and anarchy, and making NY state government appear to be one of the most dysfunctional in the country, no easy feat! LOL

To top it off, it can be expected that IF Andrew Cuomo is elected Governor of New York, we could easily put him on the long range list for possible nomination for President in 2016. By that date, he would be 59 years of age with a record of serving a President, and being Attorney General and Governor of the third largest state.

It is about time that New York recovered from what has been a disaster under Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson, and that Andrew Cuomo be nominated and elected Governor, and restores the image and reputation that his father had as Governor from his election in 1982 to his retirement in 1994.