For our many readers who are registered Democrats, here our thoughts on that party’s race for the state’s top office.
Gov. Kathy Hochul took over from the disgraced Andrew Cuomo with New York in crisis . . . and promptly devoted her energies to winning the job on her own by pandering to the party’s base and raising a huge war chest from the state’s special interests.
She left the state’s remaining COVID restrictions in place for months longer than any science indicated was needed. She refused to push the Legislature for serious fixes to the recent criminal-justice “reforms” that have crime surging, instead using her political capital to win an unprecedented state subsidy for the out-of-state billionaire owners of her hometown Buffalo Bills.
Along the way, she happily went along with yet another state-budget blowout, bringing annual outlays to $220 billion and ensuring big trouble when federal aid slows and the economy turns south.
She tapped a hyperprogressive black state senator as her lieutenant governor, one of many moves that convinced Attorney General Tish James, a strong potential challenger, to drop out of the race. But that LG’s later indictment and resignation bring Hochul’s own judgment into question.
And for her new LG, she tapped a sitting congressman, risking the loss of a House seat that national Democrats desperately need. She also signed off on the outrageous bid to gerrymander New York Republicans into oblivion, and so shares in the blame for the mess Democrats face after the courts imposed a fair map.
Finally, she’s doubling and tripling down on New York’s insane effort to go carbon-neutral within a few years, a plan that not only imposes hundreds of billions in new costs on the public but guarantees regular blackouts in the near future.
Bottom line: If you’re happy with how New York is doing, Hochul is your gal.
Challenging her from the left is city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a smart and gifted politician who happens to believe in all the worst progressive nonsense, from crippling the police to curing all New York’s housing woes with socialism. (He is sound on preserving race-blind competitive exams as the main entry to the city’s top high schools, which shows an admirable independence of mind.)
So if you think New York’s not progressive enough, Williams is your guy.
But if you’re a registered Democratic voter who wants to save New York from disaster, your obvious pick is Rep. Tom Suozzi.
Winning office in 2001 as Nassau County’s first Democratic executive in decades, he cut spending, borrowing and debt, pulling Nassau out of a fiscal nosedive before losing in the national 2009 “red wave” election. In Congress since 2016, he’s been a coalition-building moderate as vice-chair of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (even as he has a perfect record of voting with President Joe Biden).
Crucially, this self-proclaimed “Common Sense Democrat” knows that New York needs to fix (and enforce) its laws to bring crime down, understands that tax-and-spend is no way to fix the state economy and realizes that environmental policy must be based on what’s practical and affordable.
For what it’s worth, he’s also Democrats’ best bet to win the general election in a year when far-left madness looks likely to earn the party a historic drubbing.