In a time of such heightened international tensions, Ebola outbreaks, and Walking Dead premiers, even significant tragedies can fall by the wayside. The membership of the New York Young Republicans would like to extend their belated sympathies to the family of Charlotte, the famed groundhog of the Staten Island Zoo, who recently passed. According to Fox News, Charlotte has died, most likely as a result of internal injuries sustained after being dropped by Mayor Bill De Blasio on Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2014.
The mayor is not at fault for her death, claimed neighsayers who have been quick to point out the Mayor’s preoccupation with banning horses in Central Park as evidence of his unyielding reverence for the City’s beloved animals.
Learning of Charlotte’s demise, a New York Young Republican spokesperson shared the Club’s sorrow, and stated “the Mayor sure dropped the ball -’errr groundhog – on this one.”
You might enjoy this ad from the Americans for Shared Prosperity (horrible name, but clever ad)
by Mona Salama
Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a primary this past Tuesday against little-known Zephyr Teachout, a progressive Democrat who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. Teachout gained some attention this summer when Gov. Cuomo tried to remove her from the Democratic ballot through the court system and refusing to acknowledge he even had a primary, even going so far as avoiding saying her name.
Even with a huge campaign war chest of over $35 million, Cuomo refused to participate in any debate against Teachout, stating that debates have “nothing to do with democracy” and are “a disservice to democracy.”
Rewind to 2010: Cuomo maneuvered in the opposite way with the same effect – freezing out his Republican opponent Carl Paladino unless all listed party candidates running appeared in a debate, leading to a circus-like atmosphere that left the Republican candidate lost in the nonsense. Cuomo won handily in 2010.
Was that debate a “disservice to the democracy”? These are the games Cuomo plays with democracy.
Now that Primary Day has come and gone, don’t be surprised if New York voters don’t see any debates between Cuomo and Republican challenger Rob Astorino. Or will we?
What’s he afraid of?
Cuomo was, of course, favored to win the primary by a large margin even without debating his opponent. But his 20+ points win was as underwhelming as a 20+ point win can be. There can be no doubt that his national aspirations took a hit. Astorino wants eight regional debates. With a few chinks in the “Rose Garden strategy” armor, it seems more likely than ever that Gov. Cuomo will avoid Astorino at all costs to keep low-information voters in the dark while portraying himself as a governor who cares more about governing than campaigning.
Why won’t Cuomo debate his challengers to discuss his record on the issues? Is Cuomo scared to show New York voters who he really is?
The answer is that while hiding from the people is not good for democracy, it is good for getting re-elected. Look what happened in the NYC mayoral race. Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t attend the first debate against Republican Joe Lhota. In the second debate, de Blasio focused on tying Lhota to the National Republican Party, the government shut down, and avoided all New York City issues.
The answer is that debates have more of an effect on voters because they see the candidates and hear where they stand on issues affecting their daily lives. In fact, debates have more of an effect on voters than media buys and palm cards.
So maybe Cuomo isn’t running from his opponents. Maybe he is running from his record. Is he scared to answer why New York ranks 49 out of 50 states to do business?
Is he scared of defending his position on the SAFE Act with upstate voters? Is he afraid of the scandal coming out of his Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption commission he established and later shut down that is now under investigation for his office’s interference with investigations into the Governor’s own campaign?
Explain, Gov. Cuomo. Don’t be scared.
If my recollection of Summer 2013 is correct, things were actually pretty quiet. There was the Snowden thing, Morsi got deposed in Egypt, and the biggest news story by far was Miley Cyrus’ dance with Robin Thicke.
What a difference a year makes. Summer 2014 has been a debacle filled nightmare. Obama calls ISIS the “JV” team of terrorism, and ISIS proves him wrong by storming through Syria and northern Iraq. Israel goes to war in Gaza. Missing Nigerian schoolgirls. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Ferguson. Executed reporters, Ukraine invasions, thousands of illegal immigrants – many of them children – pouring into Texas, Ebola, and another mysterious plague that struck the IRS’ hard drives erasing them completely… and Obama’s tan suit – The Audacity of Taupe.
But now summer is over, so let’s look at some good news. Al Gore, who predicted that the polar ice cap would be completely gone by 2014, was proven wrong – between 2012 and 2014 there was a 43% increase in artic sea ice, some 5.62 million more square miles – See! Ice! Polar bears are having a good time, with numbers 10% higher than expected. According to the folks at the New York Times, the Republicans are poised to seize the Senate, in what could be the largest net gain since 1986. And of course there are the leaked tapes of my favorite celebrity, this Lamb Hopping Down Hallway.
In a final spate of good news, the NYYRC’s monthly social is tonight. As usual, the NYYRC’s inestimable Events Chair has chosen a stellar bar, the The Hill at 416 Third Ave, from 7 to 10 PM. So come out, put some of that new Arctic sea ice into a cocktail, meet some fellow Republicans and have a good time.