Saturday, November 05, 2011

SoHo Politics - Musings

"Don't be afraid to see what you see."
-- Ronald Reagan

The professional pundits are already busy picking the next horse for Mayor. Among the favorites (at least in terms of frequency of media mention) are Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, Bill DeBlasio, Ray Kelly and in the back of the pack, Scott Stringer. And, here's my reasoning, since it's anything BUT scientific, prescient, or even that reliable.

Quinn is always in the news, like her or not. The phrase, "I don't care what you say about me, as long as you say something and spell my name right" comes to mind. She seems to have alienated a portion of SoHo on issues like the DSNY garage, Trump SoHo (Quinn actually forced the developer to accept occupancy restrictions), -- and apparently Slushgate has either been dropped or is going nowhere.
CityTime, which clearly is a major scandal, appears to have been contained by Bloomberg. Bill Thompson, isn't all that much in the news, but he ran last time and the desertion of fellow Democrats still stings -- since he clearly would have defeated Bloomberg. Bill DeBlasio has been running since the day he was elected as Public Advocate. He's a nice guy, very tall, and seems truly progressive. He has traction.

Ray Kelly is a Republican, has become the face of Bloomberg, and apparently has a higher security clearance than Obama. While the NYPD scandals and treatment of Occupy Wall Street seem a little less heavy handed than they were, his communication skills leave something to be desired. What New Yorkers do not want is a Police State nor a mini-Homeland Security Department in Manhattan. Not even all of the Police want that - just the overtime. That may be tolerable for other boroughs or surrounding counties, but Manhattan is a little different. The ability to fire a missle to down hostile aircraft in Manhattan is not a consoling thought. Keep in mind that the outlying boroughs like Staten Island have consistently picked our Mayor with Fire and Police family populations. Both Guiliani and Bloomberg took office thanks to the Molinari's.

Lastly, Scott Stringer, has been running since his first election as Borough President. His Rabbi is Jerry Nadler but his press coverage has waned. His original "Affordable Housing" push was welcomed in the community but seems to have gone nowhere recently.

To call these comments a scientific evaluation would be ludicrous. But, the funny thing about politics is, the more you discuss a candidate, the higher his/her visibility.

Which brings us to the Governor's race. The Governor's race?


Cuomo is doing well, publicity-wise. He's even gotten decent grades from Ed Koch and Henry Stern. Two people who REALLY knows their politics. And, they're too old to worry about whether the politicians dislike their views.

But, what's next?
First, with the help of Suffolk D.A. Thomas Spots (via the roasting of former legislator George Guldi), Cuomo's major future opponent, Steve Levy (Suffolk CE), has been neutralized. Levy was a major competitor for the Governor spot but agreed to step down after a pay-to-play allegation in which he turned over $4.1 million to the D.A. and dropped out. His former roommate and wedding guest, Ethan Ellner, a title closer, was ostensibly trading campaign contributions for title work.

That leaves us with the following scenario. Cuomo wants to be President and may actually get there via the V.P. route in the election after this. Probably not on the coming election but on the following ticket -- perhaps with Biden. Or, he might try it on his own.
So, who would then take the Governor's slot?
Okay, so this is a long-shot but the most visible, and seemingly-aggressive, and effective State politician is Schneiderman.

His stance on continuing the investigations of the banks over the mortgage mess has put him at the head of the class. Having listened to his politics at a political lunch was instructive. Pragmatism, combined with political acumen is his forte. At this early stage of the game, he gets high marks. When Cuomo is termed out, Eric Schneidermen looks eminently electable. If he succeeds in dismantling the settlement talks that former HPD Commissioner Shawn Donovan is pushing for Obama, and pursues real investigations that yield prosecutions and benefits for victims of foreclosures -- he will be at the head of the class.

Not to mention the fact that Schneiderman had, and still does have a formidable internet presence. A key to success.

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