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Gubernatorial Disaster? Anemic Lazio Campaign Not As Bad As Cox’s Poor Leadership

May 8, 2010

Say what you want about Rick Lazio, but Ed Cox has so far failed as a chairman, in my opinion.

We have no major accomplishments from either of these men or any of the other gubernatorial candidates to speak of now six months before what should be at least a decent November for Republicans in New York.

And the governor’s race is a key part of that November dream of victory.

Let’s face it: people coming to vote this year are looking to pull the lever (or tap a screen) for a governor. It’s a fact.

Unless you have a particular reason to step into that booth to support a particular candidate, you’re going for the man or woman at the top of the ticket. Heck, that’s in large part why we refer to the chief executives of the states (and of the nation, for that matter) as the heads of their parties. When an executive’s party is suffering, chances are the performance of the guy or gal on top is the cause.

And so, when I see stories like this from the Associated Press, I get irritated:

GOP divided on gov race as polls favor Democrat

NEW YORK — If the national political climate this year is supposed to favor Republicans, participants in the New York governor’s race apparently haven’t gotten the memo yet.

Polls show Democrat Andrew Cuomo overwhelmingly favored at the start of the race to replace departing Gov. David Paterson, even though Cuomo, the state attorney general, hasn’t even announced plans to run. Vying to challenge him are three Republicans engaged in a battle heavy on back room drama even as their candidacies barely register with voters.

To be sure, New York isn’t immune to the prevailing political environment; voters here are freighted with some of the highest taxes in the country, and frustration with state leaders in Albany runs high.

“New York is a long-term blue state; everything, demographically, is moving that direction. But the way the economy is going, a Republican running against Albany could have a chance,” said Richard Flanagan, a political science professor at the College of Staten Island.

The question is whether any of the Republican candidates in this field is strong enough to capitalize on the public mood and slow the Cuomo juggernaut.

There is Rick Lazio, a former Long Island congressman best known for losing badly to Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2000 Senate race. Lazio has the support of top Republicans like former Gov. George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who’s scheduled to host a campaign fundraiser for Lazio at a midtown hotel Monday night.

But Lazio’s candidacy has been viewed as so weak by many party insiders that the Republican Governor’s Association and state GOP chairman Ed Cox recruited Steve Levy, the Democratic Suffolk County executive, to switch parties and seek the GOP nod.

Levy has won praise for trimming taxes and spending in populous Suffolk County, and began the race with a $4.1 million in the bank. But after he launched his campaign with great fanfare in March, he has failed to show any significant momentum just weeks before next month’s state GOP convention where the party’s nominee will be selected.

Because of his recent party switch, state law requires that Levy win the support of at least 51 percent of convention delegates to run as a Republican — a threshold even his most ardent backers worry he may not meet.

Lazio insists at least 51 percent of delegates have already committed to him — a claim Levy denies as he travels the state urging party leaders to shift their support.

“I am in a much better position than I thought I would be, and we definitely have an ability to win this thing in June. That’s all we could have ever expected,” Levy said.

Then there’s Carl Paladino, a wealthy Buffalo real estate developer who pledged to spend $10 million of his own money on the race when he joined the field last month. Almost immediately, he was forced to explain pornographic and racially provocative e-mails he had sent to friends, including one depicting President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dressed as a pimp and prostitute.

Paladino has refused to disavow the e-mails, calling their release a Democratic smear. He attempted to change the subject this week in a YouTube video channeling Cox’s late father-in-law, former President Richard Nixon, to ask why Cox, the GOP chairman, would support Levy.

“Ed, have you lost your mind?” the Nixon character intones, suggesting Levy was “still peeling the Barack Obama bumper sticker off his car.”

Lazio, who has been campaigning for a year, has also expressed frustration over Levy’s emergence and said he worried of unfair favoritism at the convention.

“It’s not been a perfect process,” Lazio told The Associated Press. “I expect, and people will demand, that the rules at the convention will be evenhanded and not manipulated. If that’s not the case, it’s going to lead to a fracture that could be very damaging.”

The decision to back Levy has definitely been a gamble for Cox. He took over the moribund state party last September and immediately suffered a very public humiliation when a Democrat, Bill Owens, won an upstate Congressional seat long held by Republicans in a special election.

Cox’s support for Levy has also irked Mike Long, the influential chairman of the state Conservative Party who supports Lazio and has said publicly he could never back Levy. An endorsement from the Conservative Party is generally considered crucial for Republicans running for office in the state.

Still, Cox insists the debate has been healthy for the party and will help select the best candidate to challenge Cuomo in the fall.

“It’s not a feud that’s dividing the party, it’s a discussion that’s going on among party leaders about who is the best person to head the ticket and serve the state going forward,” Cox told the AP.

Andrew Cuomo is not even an entity in the race yet, and Ed Cox has somehow managed to foster a divisive Republican gubernatorial feud that has only attracted negative attention. Sure, you can criticize a “liberal media” for their agendas, but the fact is our party is putting on a disgraceful show.

First we saw Rick Lazio lose traction.

Then, we had Steve Levy forced upon us.

After that, Carl Paladino’s email debacle was a statewide embarrassment.

The subsequent spat between Paladino and Cox has been amusing but does nothing to instill confidence in our party’s ability to win anything this year.

So far, Ed Cox has not a single victory he can truly claim as his own. He has made questionable deals and has turned a blind eye to the needs of so many in our party, both constituent and candidate, from what we’ve heard.

Statewide, things are not as bad as here in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn GOP has been engaging in conduct reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York:

But no amount of dissent changes the statewide party’s one and only one priority this year: winning.

So far, from what I can tell, Mr. Cox has fostered divisions and discord among the ranks of the party. Mr. Lazio has not inspired enough confidence to justify his name at the top of the ticket. Mr. Levy still has not told us why he would make a decent Republican governor. And Carl Paladino has not done anything to make us feel confident in his ability to govern well.

So, with that being said, I invite Andrew Cuomo to go vacationing for a month or so.

It’ll give him some rest, and give the players in our party some opporunity to get their act together.

God knows we need it.

  1. No Time Outs permalink
    May 8, 2010 7:33 pm

    Sorry, Mr Riordan, there are no timeouts in this game.

    The clock goes tic-toc-tic-toc,
    The week goes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday….
    The calendar flips May, June, July, August, September
    Primary Day! Hooray, pip-pip, onward…
    September, October, November
    Election Day. Ugh!

    In New York State from the top of the ticket down the Republicans are:

    [Fill in your best guess(es)]

    and the winners in November will be:

    All Democrats… and a few broken valise Republican incumbents in the NYS Assembly and Senate.

    What about the 2010 Republican Revolution in Brooklyn?

    (Yawn) Who cares? Without new candidates in 2010, the new or old Republican Party in Brooklyn is dead. Death is not revolution. Without new candidates in 2010 there is no Republican Revolution in Brooklyn. Without new candidates in 2010 we all can just go to the beach all summer long and let the Democrats worry about all the political stuff. Atlas can Shrug and get a nice tan at the same time.

    The problem is that any time spent at the beach is on the clock, because there are no timeouts in this game.

    • Time Out permalink
      May 8, 2010 8:24 pm

      Uh, the victory is kicking out the deformed and failed GOP leadership. That in and of itself is a moral victory.

  2. The Great Santini permalink
    May 8, 2010 8:21 pm

    Hello, sports fans!

    Ever since I took that F-4 flameout into… I exist outside of the normal constraints of time and space.

    Big shout-out to my buddies over at the Jig is Up Atlas. I love your work, keep it up.

    And to all my little Meacham’s here at Atlas Shrugs… The Brooklyn Revolution Blog and anything that ROY Protoun is putting out. Keep pounding those keyboards– it makes the bad guys CRAZY.

    Take it from an airguy like me, wars are won by “boots on the ground”– victory, even by coup de main requires the ass of one of your guys on the other guys’ throne.

    Keep up the good fight, guys.

    Santini, Santini, the Great Santini sees all!
    Semper Fi!

    • Santobello permalink
      May 8, 2010 8:25 pm

      Well said, sir.

  3. Lora permalink
    May 8, 2010 9:06 pm

    The Jig is so desperate over this blog!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

    They go after people’s children, people’s religion, people’s race, and people’s weight.

    And Gerry is misspelling words left and right. He keeps saying people have blood on their hands. Has he been drinking or taking medication?

    One wonders…

    It doesn’t change the fact that he and his blogs are IRRELEVANT.

    Kiss kiss, Gerry baby!

  4. Lora permalink
    May 8, 2010 9:36 pm

    Gerry, here’s a quick grammar lesson (as I continue to laugh at your lack of intelligence):

    “It is not grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with ‘or’, ‘and’ or ‘but’, and never has been, although it used to be discouraged. Now, thanks to the advent of email, and the proliferation of blogs and other on-line resources, public acceptance is much more forthcoming.”

    Guess you screwed that up, kind of like Ken Rice’s campaign?

    Anyway, I happen to be home and a little under the weather; otherwise I’d be out enjoying myself. Says more than you. Aren’t your fingers getting tired from typing so many comments one after the other?

    And by the way, why do you hate Jonathan so much?

    Why do you say such nasty things about Susan Cleary’s family. I’ve already said I’m not her. And you’re just being so cruel.

    Are you jealous of people’s children because you don’t have any of your own? Your wife said no? You did? Given your hatred of Young Rodents, I can’t say I’d blame either of you.

    I think so dear.

    And how is that political consultant thing going for you? Business been slow since you started hate blogging, or are Craig and Marty still throwing business your way? Shameful.

    People are on to you. They know all about you. The walls are closing in, Gerry. The writing is on the wall. The truth is out there. You’re living it every day.

    What a hateful person you are, Mr. Jig.

    It’s so nice to know you’ll be wiped off the face of the political map soon enough…

    Kiss kiss…

  5. No Time Outs permalink
    May 8, 2010 11:03 pm

    The Republican leadership can’t be thrown out in 2010.

    Marty Golden can be, but you can’t beat somebody with nobody. At very the least you need “a nobody” to run against him.

    If Marty Golden wins re-election, he’ll continue to control the Republican Party in Brooklyn through the next leadership fight, and his side will win that one too.

    Blogging, whining and YR meetings don’t win elections. Organizing and campaigning for candidates win elections, sooner or later.

    For all of the wrong reasons, Marty G and his cohorts have staying power. Let’s see how long the rest of us stay.

    • Time Out permalink
      May 8, 2010 11:15 pm

      You’re a real wierdo, you know that? LOL

      Uh, I never said 2010. And as for “staying power,” I find the use of the word “power” quite hilarious.

      The notion that this band of brothers has any power and/or competence is seriously misplaced and misinformed.

  6. Gerry is Using Hide My Fat Ass.Com permalink
    May 8, 2010 11:20 pm

    Hey Gerry! Using HIDE MY FAT ASS DOT COM????? LOL!!!!!

    • Gerry is Using Hide My Fat Ass.Com permalink
      May 9, 2010 11:11 am

      I love it! This comment merited an entire post on the Jig blog. Its a joke fellas. I had no idea what Gerry uses. I saw the link on his blog and thought, hmm what a great joke LOL but Obviously you’re too dimwitted to see that. Then again, why would anyone be surprised by that?



      • I Blog As "Anonymous" on The Jig permalink
        May 9, 2010 11:25 am

        “On a side note, we suggest that none of you leave comments on their site since they can not be trusted to debate like grownups. Feel free to post your opinions or start your arguments here.”

        That’s what the Jig said. LMFAO!!!!

        “Debate like grown-ups”? The Jig? That’s so fucking hilarious, I can’t even stop laughing.

        This is a blog that goes after children, like Lora said, goes after people’s freedom of speech rights (like Justin Lee Brannan), pioneered insulting Brooklyn GOP candidates for their weight and nationality, engenders lies about every detail of people’s lives on a daily basis, wouldn’t know Christianity if the Lord Himself went up and tapped them on the shoulder (they’d demand to see the wounds and stick their fingers through btw), and that forfeited any moral high ground it could have possibly held the moment Gerry and Russell’s fingers first touched the keyboard.

        Now, they can’t stand the heat when one little comment goes up about Gerry’s weight?

        Awwwww. My answer? Get the fuck out of the kitchen then LOL

        Sayonara pond scum.

    May 8, 2010 11:24 pm

  8. It's Worth Seeing permalink
    May 9, 2010 4:34 pm

    The Jig is Up Atlas and BKpolitico have crossed the line today, Mothers Day, May 9, 2010. They have outdone themselves, thoroughly. Their overseers at the Kings County Republican Party, whose chairman is Craig Eaton, and their real boss, Marty Golden, the only Republican elected wholly in Brooklyn, needs to correct these lunatics or claim them as all their spokespersons and agents.

    Those blogs now look now like something that could have been described in Aldous Huxley’s “DEVILS of LOUDON”, if anachronistically he could have provided the internet to that convent of Urseline Nuns and to Cure Urbain Grandier (or if anachronistically Aldous Huxley would have perceived the internet, himself and used it to describe what went on in 1634).

    Both of those blogs continue to propagate a quite profane image of what THEY openly describe as the “Blessed Mother”. Now, they have appropriated and chosen to award themselves a “Medal of Valor” for having done so. That “Medal of Valor” clearly is intended to resemble the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for military valor given in and by this country, often postumously.

    Until this afternoon, I thought that the managers of “The Jig is Up Atlas” and “brooklynpolitco” were just cynical, hypocritical and nasty, now it’s clear that they are insane.

    May 9, 2010 5:33 pm

    The latest news about Marty Golden being actually at the Kettle Black may have been the reason that the bloggers who do his bidding had their melt-down today.

    Distraction and diversion….not insanity after all?

    Look and see, then you make the call.

  10. Forwarded Here By The New York Observer permalink
    May 10, 2010 9:49 pm

    I love this blog! You guys are both funny and serious, a hard combination to make these days. But you achieve a great balance.

    I was forwarded here by the Observer, and I’m glad I was!

    Great commentary on Lazio and Cox btw. Totally agree

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