Archive from April, 2006
6 Apr
2006
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Is Rudy Giuliani the cause of our Republican woes?

In keeping with the sky is falling on the Republican Party debate, I continue to reflect on just where our fortunes turned for the worse in New York. On the surface it’s easy to say it was when Senator D’Amato lost to Schumer. Schumer’s presence in New York has been monumental and the Democrats in this state owe a lot to him. We could say case closed but in the spirit of Steven Levitt, author of “Freakonomics”, which goes by his proven theory that what may appear as the cause of the effect is usually not so I decided to keep searching.

So I did and came up with a different turning point for the Republican Party in New York and it’s called Rudy Giuliani. One looking at the current problems in the party has to ask themselves what would have been had Rudy Giuliani not bailed out in the last minute against Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate. With Rudy’s popularity it’s hard to believe that Hillary would have won. Lazio, though a good man, never really had a chance with his late start in the race giving Hillary and Democrats the momentum they needed in New York.

If we sit back, close our eyes and envision New York with Senator Giuliani, things today could be dramatically different. He would be an amazing counter to Schumer in big races like Governor and would be a constant reminder to the people of the state that Republicans are a great party. Though still around, he is to far in the backdrop to have any material effect for the Republican cause today.

What’s worse is that the Rudy effect might still have ramification for years to come. We could easily suspect that if Hillary lost to Rudy, she would have had her political dreams delayed for years if not indefinitely. That didn’t happen and now she is the talk as the Democrat Presidential nominee for 2008. If she is the nominee and wins giving Democrats control of the White House, I think we will be forced to look back on what could have been had Rudy stayed in.

5 Apr
2006
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Opening up a hole:

Recently Governor Pataki came under attack as the frustrations of the Republican Party in New York came to a boil. The issue continues to be how can the Republican Party convince voters that their current Democrat representatives have reached a point of entrenchment where they no longer are concerned about the voter and instead are more concerned about the unions that fund their campaigns. One only needs to look at the arrogance of the City Council to see they have zero concern of getting voted out.

Unfortunately when humans get angry they also many times go blind and fail to see any positives in the situation, as is the case currently with the Governors critics. In the midst of the Governors budget battle with state representatives the Governor has put expanding charter schools and tuition tax credits at the forefront. I personally have gained a newfound respect for the Governor thanks to this issue. Here he is in his last year, he has no incentive to be aggravated and waste his time fighting the malcontents in our state government over the issue. He could easily say, “do what you want I’m out here anyway” but he’s not. He’s fighting for our children’s future because he’s a good man and knows it’s the right thing to do. He knows if he don’t get this done now, after he leaves it might never will, with only our children left to suffer.

Besides fighting for our children, could the governor also be fighting for the party? Is his battle over school choice also an opening for Republican candidates across the state especially Weld and Faso? There are very few issues that Republican candidates in New York can stand on that allow them to connect with the voter in a way Democrats can’t. One issue is school choice. Poll after poll and the lines of parents signing up for lottery’s every time a new charter school opens has shown parents are behind Republicans on the issue. Today the Governor is headed to a private school in Jamaica Queens to address hundreds of black parents on the subject as he continues a fight he doesn’t have too.

My disappointment is in our current and future candidates, those that attack the governor on his lack of support for the party and Republicans in office who are not supporting his plan. In case anyone has noticed Spitzer has been MIA on the issue as he is forced to keep his mouth shut thanks to his special relationship with the Teachers Union.

So here is our opening, the issue every parent can relate to and understand across all ethnicities, yet where is our call to arms? The governor like a good offensive tackle has opened the hole and is desperately trying to hold the line. The real test will be if those running for office or complaining about his efforts are smart enough to recognize, grab the ball and run through it. From my seat it looks like they’ll all get tackled in the backfield.

4 Apr
2006
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Evaluating Federal Programs:

The White House has just released a new website called www.expectmore.gov that will aim to inform taxpayers:

“the performance of every Federal program and hold ourselves accountable for improvement.”

The site ranks each federal program based on its effectiveness and what action plan is in place to make it better.

Check it out, it’s pretty interesting.

4 Apr
2006
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DeLay’s Final Day

I can’t say I’m surprised that Tom DeLay has decided to resign from the House and not seek reelection. It is the right thing to do. And whatever can be said about DeLay, he is an astute politician. His battle against Ronnie Earle is an epic legal struggle, and it has already threatened to engulf this year’s elections. Earle, if you’ll recall, is the superzealous prosecutor who’s had a portrait of DeLay on his dartboard for some time now, and the media attention given his case has only further fueled his desire to nail DeLay on conspiracy, money-laundering, perjury, jaywalking, whatever will stick. So he is not likely to give up the fight any time soon.

DeLay made the right decision in stepping down. The urge in such situations is to fight on, as he vowed to do last year. But this is bigger than DeLay, who has already lost his leadership position in the House because of it. Where it was once righteous to stand and fight, it has now become selfish because the whole Republican Party stands to lose in a big way if DeLay stays in the limelight over this case. The Dems are looking to make the public see the GOP as the party of crooks in this year’s elections, and they’ve already succeeded in doing that in many circles. If DeLay remained in office, every news cycle would have brought daily updates on his case and fresh ammunition for the Democrat propaganda machine.

So, thanks to Tom DeLay for his service in the House. And thanks for being magnanimous in what surely must have been the toughest decision of all to make.

4 Apr
2006
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Political Box Score:

With the new baseball season upon us, lets take a look at a different kind of box score, the one that shows how our representatives vote.

On March 30th Congress passed H.R. 609 to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965. The bill passed 221 to 199 with 12 no votes.

The purpose behind the bill was to:

Provide extra Pell Grant aid for high-achieving first and second-year students.

Provide year-round Pell Grant aid for students attending school throughout the year, and encourage students to make progress toward degree completion.

Simplify the financial aid process for needy students and families.

Strengthen minority serving institutions.

Improve repayment options for borrowers having trouble.

Remove barriers that may prevent home-schooled students from pursuing higher education.

Strengthen international and foreign language studies programs for the post-9/11 era.

Expand loan relief for nurses, educators, and other professionals in areas of national need.

Strengthen U.S. competitiveness through math and science programs.

And more…

So how did our New York Congressman Vote?

Democrats: 1 Yea, 18 Nay, 1 No Vote

Republicans: 9 Yea

Here is the breakdown per district. If you’re not happy with how your Rep voted let them know.

• Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-5) N
• Rep. Tim Bishop (D-1) N
• Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-24) Y
• Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-7) N
• Rep. Eliot Engel (D-17) N
• Rep. Vito Fossella (R-13) Y
• Rep. Brian Higgins (D-27) N
• Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-22) N
• Rep. Steve Israel (D-2) N
• Rep. Sue Kelly (R-19) Y
• Rep. Peter King (R-3) Y
• Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-29) Y
• Rep. Nita Lowey (D-18) N
• Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-14) N
• Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-4) N
• Rep. John McHugh (R-23) Y
• Rep. Michael McNulty (D-21) N
• Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-6) NV
• Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-8) N
• Rep. Major Owens (D-11) Y
• Rep. Charles Rangel (D-15) N
• Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-26) Y
• Rep. Jose Serrano (D-16) N
• Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-28) N
• Rep. John Sweeney (R-20) Y
• Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-10) N
• Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-12) N
• Rep. James Walsh (R-25) Y
• Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-9) N

3 Apr
2006
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If you are going stop immigration then you better start having babies:

Currently, the political topic of the day is how we’re going to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. As a staunch capitalist who believes in Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”, I disagree tremendously with the attempts by certain people in this country to stop our flow of labor and wreck the economy.

First immigration, illegal or legal is not a problem. Unemployment in this country is currently under 5% the amount considered to be full employment in a country, which means these immigrants are not hurting or taking away jobs. Secondly the jobs these immigrants do are typically unskilled or jobs Americans don’t want to do, like pick grapes in California vineyards.

These immigrants have nothing but positive effects on our economy. They for one keep the price of goods and services low for all Americans leading to higher consumption and more jobs. Without many of these immigrants more companies would offshore. Besides remittance to their home country billions of dollars stays in the U.S. every year thanks to these immigrants whose employers would most likely setup shop elsewhere if this portion of our labor force were not available. The millions of goods these immigrants purchase every year in this country helps fuel our economic growth and leads to many other higher paying jobs in the service industry.

Above all the most important reason why we need immigration is because sustainable population growth is the key to growing and maintaining a successful economy. Currently the biggest risk to Europe in the coming years is that their fertility rates are below 2.1 the number needed to maintain the population of a country. Across Europe the fertility rates are in the low 1’s with countries like Estonia and Italy projected to have less then half their population left by the year 2050.

The reason why shrinking populations are a concern is because fewer young people means less consumption and lower consumption means a shrinking economy. It also raises dramatic concerns for the housing market as when the backend of the population scale dies off there will be a glut of housing leading to a potential devaluation in the market, as there are more homes then people. The biggest concern though is that before that backend of the population dies it will far out weigh the younger front-end and when you throw in all our social programs like Social Security and Medicare that is a pay as you go system there will be not enough people paying in to sustain those collecting. One only needs to look to Japan at the negative effects on an economy with no population growth. Last year Japan started the first of many years to come of population decline. Looking at the years leading up to this decline, we saw Japan struggle economically for decades as consumption came to a grinding halt as the number of new people in society purchasing goods was dramatically lower than the decades before. Without a young population to buy homes, clothes and other items economic activity declined.

Currently the United States is fairing much better then the rest of the developed world when it comes to sustaining our population but we’re also at risk. Our fertility rate sits just at the 2.1 needed for sustainability and it is only because of our large immigrant population that generally have more children then the level needed, plus the immigrants themselves keep things level. Most people reading this blog only need to stare in the mirror and ask themselves how many children do they and their friends have. I would bet the number ranges from 0-1 making the chances of sustaining our population going forward impossible without immigration. These days many people are attacking immigrants I’m thanking them.

For further reading on the risks population decline has on an economy I would recommend checking out “The Empty Cradle” by Philip Longman.

1 Apr
2006
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RE: For this we need a panel discussion:

I’m putting my response to the comments of my last post here because it’s to long to fit in the comment section and frankly want to push this debate further in hopes to get more people involved because I like hearing peoples opinions.

When I left the last post I was hoping that I would get responses from people other than wacky liberals and I did, which is great. I appreciate your viewpoints and definitely can see how some people in the party could be upset with the Governor. I’m as frustrated as the next person that despite holding both the Governor and Mayor of NYC it hasn’t spilled over to other elected seats. The theory that a rising tide lifts all boats definitely didn’t hold true.

I think whenever anyone is looking for answers to why something didn’t workout it’s always easier to point to the top. I always compare politics to business and this time will be no different. When a company is having problems the CEO is always the one to get the blame. However many times no matter whom the CEO is the forces surrounding the market that company is in is to powerful for them to have a positive effect. As I have said in the past voters are like consumers, that’s your market and you have to know what your customers want. Is it possible that the consumers (voters) of New York like to purchase liberal politics which makes the brand of politics we’re selling harder to gain market share? I don’t know why people just can’t accept the fact that we live in a city and state that agrees with liberal politics. As I mentioned in my original post, we would laugh at the idea of a bunch of Democrats sitting around in Kentucky trying to figure out why they can’t get elected because we know why. The consumers (voters) in that state believe in the Republican creed or brand over what Democrats are offering.

Now no way does this mean we can’t turn this ship around, transform how we deliver our message and slowly pick away at the market share Democrats currently hold but it will take allot of work. Howard, you mention how Pataki didn’t win and Cumo lost and you are 100% correct. Pataki won because the consumer was disgruntled after years of poor service and wanted to try another option. However though he was handed his first election he earned his next two and you shouldn’t take that away from him. It’s the same reason Rudy finally won as mayor, our city after years of poor service said lets try purchasing the Republican brand of politics and see what the results are.

Why we haven’t been able to channel those results into local races could be for a number of reasons including maybe the people in this city view things as going well so don’t see a reason to change their local representatives. That’s why if we’re going to be successful I think we have to learn from Pataki and Rudy and look for when our competitor gives us an opening to exploit like Brian McLaughlin just did in Queens. Here is a guy who is a local assemblyman and head of the NYC Central Labor Union, can you say conflict of interest? Recently both his assembly office and labor office was raided because of his possible implication in bid rigging for electrical work in the city. Locally we should be all over this, mobilizing and pounding away now how the voters aren’t being served right and should choose another option. Besides the initial news of the raid I haven’t heard jack on our side.

Is this the governor’s fault, maybe, maybe not? Again in business, the CEO can’t possibly control everything that is why you have regional and local managers. For McLaughlin’s seat that direction in my opinion should be coming from the Queens County Chairman. My wife runs Manhattan and parts of Queens for a major retail company, when an opportunity comes up she doesn’t wait for the CEO to tell her to move on it, that’s what they pay her for. The Governor’s job is to run the state and delegate the responsibility of party growth to local leaders. If anyone needs to be criticized maybe it should be our county and district leaders.

Finally I just don’t agree that attacking Pataki is the answer just like I don’t agree with Republicans currently attacking Bush as the answer to their 2006 elections concerns. Trying to separate yourself shows dissention, implies weakness not strength as this panel discussion attempted to do and alienates the voter even more from our party, making it harder to deliver our creed.

Speaking of creed I would like to leave one last note, Daniel, you say the NYGOP creed has nothing of “substance” and I frankly have no clue what you’re taking about. Going to the website you directed me to, I read nothing but line after line of why I’m a Republican. If that list isn’t why you’re a Republican then I don’t what list does and maybe is a good look into why we’re having problems. If you can’t look at that list and be convinced why you’re a Republican how can you expect someone who always votes Democrat too look at it and change.