She took office promising to be a different kind of governor. But on the first anniversary of Kathy Hochul’s promotion to Albany, New Yorkers are still waiting for proof that she is a better governor than her disgraced predecessor.
In a way, Hochul had an easy-to-follow act. Andrew Cuomo liked to be a sullen bully, preferred quarrels to friendship and repeatedly proved the adage that power corrupts.
Looking back, his last act of hubris, groping for help, seemed inevitable.
When it comes to personal behavior, Hochul is a big improvement. She smiles a lot, seems really graceful and deferential, sometimes mistakenly.
The problem is a fundamental one. What does it represent? What would she ultimately do to improve the lives of 20 million New Yorkers?
More importantly, what is she ready to fight for?
She hinted that New Yorkers won’t get full answers to those questions until after she’s elected in November. As one of her donors told me, she doesn’t want to do anything that might jeopardize her chances of winning.
This is the kind of fearful attitude that could bring defeat. And rightly so.
Elections are not meant to be guessing games. Voters have a right to know why she deserves four more years.
And the idea that she will do big, bold things that she doesn’t have the guts to campaign for is fiction. Without specific promises, there is no mandate, and even if she wins, she won’t accomplish anything.
The long list of purported accomplishments her office released on Tuesday reads like a bloated resume adorned with amateurish descriptions of how “she got to work”, acted “without delay” and “continued to produce results”.
His Republican opponent, Rep. Lee Zeldin says “she doesn’t want to talk about anything. She tries too hard to avoid key issues.
Zeldin, which aims to end the Dems’ absolute lockdown on Albany’s power, correctly put crime at the top of the list of missing issues. Hochul spoke forcefully about it early on, but did little about the scourge that is sweeping the state’s largest cities and most of its smaller ones.
His intervention in the case of the parolee who punched a bystander in the Bronx, then released even as the victim neared death, was welcome, but it was an exception. Given her silence on the heinous cases that fill police blotters daily from Gotham to Buffalo to Rochester, it’s unlikely she would have done anything about this one if the brutal crime hadn’t not been widely viewed on a video.
Other than changing the senseless bail laws that Cuomo signed into law, she has done nothing to improve public safety. She even refused requests from Mayor Adams and others to call a special legislative session to address how courthouses have become revolving doors where repeat violent offenders are immediately released.
It goes to the heart of the doubt about what she would fight for during a full term. Democrats firmly control both houses of the Legislature, and leaders have made it clear they don’t believe major changes to criminal justice laws are needed.
Why on earth would that change if Hochul won the election without raising the issue now? Legislative leaders would certainly recognize his inability to campaign on this as a sign of weakness and a lack of resolve, and therefore feel no qualms about changing their stance.
Then there is the crushing tax burden. The state budget was overflowing with billions of federal dollars, much of which was intended to compensate New York for pandemic tax revenue shortfalls that weren’t as large as expected.
If Hochul wanted to use some of that money to cut taxes, she kept it a secret, which means state levies will remain among the highest in the country and continue to contribute to high-income emigration.
Nor did she publicly push the state congressional delegation, which includes Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to raise the cap on state and local taxes that New Yorkers can deduct by $10,000. federal taxes.
What about the expansion of charter schools – is Hochul supporting that and lifting the cap that is blocking new ones in the city? Who knows?
What about the sudden influx of illegal cross-border commuters, with over 6,000 arriving in the city? Has she lobbied the White House for help, or will she just sit back and let New York be overwhelmed?
We know she wanted Adams to have four years of control of the mayor’s school, but gave in to a legislative demand for only two years, a major giveaway to rapacious teacher unions.
When it comes to Cuomo’s murderous order forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients when she was lieutenant governor, Hochul is trying to play both sides. She met with grieving families and promised an independent inquiry into the 17,000 deaths, but did not select a private company for the assignment, meaning findings will not be released until after the election.
Shades of Cuomo there, just like other weird things Hochul has said recently.
As she searched for a fellow Dem in the Hudson Valley, she called Zeldin, former President Donald Trump and other Republican ‘dictators’ and said they should ‘hop on a bus and head to Florida where you belong”. OKAY? Get out of town. Because you do not represent our values.
Hochul also used a Holocaust education bill signature for another Florida stunt, saying, “I just want to say to the 1.77 million Jews who live in New York: Thank you for calling New York at home. Do not go anywhere or in another state. Florida is overrated. I shouldn’t say this, but look at the governor. It starts from the top. »
Both incidents smelt of envy towards Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a successful head of state who has strong White House potential.
No one has ever accused Hochul of being either.
Eric not serious
Reader Lawrence Branca offers a suggestion to Mayor Adams, writing, “If he’s serious about the migrant crisis, he should call Biden on the southern border disaster. Adams should also realize that it is Biden who lacks compassion, not Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Burning irony over NYT pay
The New York Times runs the media encouragement section for Joe Biden, but newspaper employees are demanding raises to cover the cost of inflation caused largely by his politics.
“Thank you for your posts about the effects of inflation on your lives,” editor-in-chief Joe Kahn replies in an email I got. “Many of you have shared personal and candid examples of how the extended period without contractual salary increases and the sharp price spike we are experiencing today has led to hardship and disappointment.”
If the Gray Lady’s reporters and editors are as smart as they think they are, they’ll connect the dots with Biden. Or maybe they should learn to code.
New York Post