Monday, June 8, 2009

City -- and State -- for Sale

Big news breaking in NYC and New York State tonight: a couple of super-opportunistic State Senate Democrats have made some kind of backroom deal and have given effective control back to the Republicans. This deal was apparently brokered by Tom Golisano, an upstate Republican billionaire who has run for Governor three times -- and lost each time.

The two sneaky Democrats who jumped shipped are Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate. They not only are self-serving opportunists but they're also ... well ... corrupt as hell. Espada is from the Bronx and apparently hasn't filed a campaign finance report in years. Monserrate is a former NYC councilman who was indicted recently for literally stabbing his girlfriend. Needless two say these are two really, really bad guys so you shouldn't be surprised that they did something nasty like this. The good news is, the maneuvering that took place might have been illegal and everyone agrees that this is going to court. Hopefully the law will subdue this little coup d'etat. We shall see.

In other news, another billionaire is actually having some problems. Most New Yorkers now think that Mayor Bloomberg doesn't deserve another term and that the city is moving in the wrong direction. Not good news for a Mayor who's been in office almost eight years and has already spent $30 million flooding the airwaves with campaign commercials. New Yorkers are getting restless and, in a fair fight, would like a change in leadership. But Bloomberg's money will probably make that impossible and it'll be more of the same for four more years.

It looks like government in New York City and New York State are very much for sale. Backroom power grabs financed by billionaires -- whether its overturning an election for the State Senate or a referendum for term limits -- is politics at its gutter worst. And it won't stop unless we the people punish their handpicked marionettes at the ballot box. Remember that in November.

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