Pro­fes­sor has an­swers to your ques­tions

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Alan Char­tock Capi­tol Con­nec­tion Sun­day Free­man colum­nist Alan Char­tock is a pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the State Univer­sity of New York, pub­lisher of the Leg­isla­tive Gazette and CEO of the WAMC North­east Pub­lic Ra­dio Net­work. Read­ers can email him at alan@w

From Cuomo to Trump, Alan Char­tock of­fers some an­swers to the ques­tions he is fre­quently asked.

Here are some ques­tions I am fre­quently asked. I of­fer them so that you won’t have to write me, al­though you are al­ways wel­come to write.

Ques­tion: Will the elec­tors who com­prise the Elec­toral Col­lege de­cide to vote against Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as Pres­i­dent?

An­swer: This is one I get asked a lot. Elec­tors are CHO­SEN for their loy­alty to Trump and the Party. They are the Party big shots who gave their money to get Trump elected. Reince Priebus, the head of the Repub­li­can Party, is Trump’s new Chief of Staff. If Trump were to com­mit a high crime they might pos­si­bly have to re­think their vote but the chances of that hap­pen­ing are slim to none. I truly un­der­stand how frus­trated so many peo­ple are by Trump’s elec­tion but while protest­ing and marches are fair game as guaranteed by the First Amend­ment, the Elec­toral Col­lege gam­bit is not go­ing to bear fruit. For­get about it.

Ques­tion: Is An­drew Cuomo po­si­tion­ing him­self to run for pres­i­dent of the United States?

An­swer: Does a bear walk in the woods? Ev­ery­one who knows any­thing about Cuomo knows that he wants to be pres­i­dent. This is one way that he can distin­guish him­self from his fa­ther who could never get to the na­tion’s top po­lit­i­cal job. Of course, Cuomo has to run for gov­er­nor again in 2018. If he wins that elec­tion, he will have to start run­ning for pres­i­dent im­me­di­ately. Cuomo also has to sur­vive the stench of cor­rup­tion that now sur­rounds him, what with the in­cred­i­ble ar­rest of two of his clos­est as­so­ciates, Joseph Per­coco and Todd Howe. As­sum­ing these two and an­other Cuomo as­so­ci­ate, Alain Kaloyeros, have to tes­tify in open court about their as­so­ci­a­tion with Cuomo, the gov­er­nor could be se­verely dam­aged. To be fair, Cuomo has not been named by pros­e­cu­tor Preet Bharara, but since he ran on a plat­form of clean­ing up Al­bany, this couldn’t be worse for him.

Ques­tion: Will the Leg­is­la­ture clean up its act and pass mean­ing­ful ethics re­form?

An­swer: Not if they can help it. Ev­ery­one knows that this Leg­is­la­ture has be­come an eth­i­cal hell­hole. Mem­bers can use their power to per­son­ally en­rich them­selves by pre­tend­ing that there is a sep­a­ra­tion be­tween them­selves and pri­vate clients in any one of a num­ber of pro­fes­sions. Ob­vi­ously, peo­ple can ap­proach a leg­is­la­tor as a law client or a real es­tate client or a con­sul­tant, think­ing that they are ac­cess­ing power, as in, “I hired the sen­a­tor to rep­re­sent me in my di­vorce — that’ll fix her.” The only way to put a stop to this is to limit the amount of out­side money a leg­is­la­tor can make. No less an au­gust body than the United States Congress, faced with the same prob­lem, has se­verely lim­ited the amount of out­side in­come a con­gress­man or sen­a­tor can earn.

If Cuomo is to ex­tri­cate him­self from his cur­rent eth­i­cal dilemma, he will have to fi­nally de­liver, and mean it this time. The big ques­tion is whether Preet Bharara will con­tinue on as U.S. at­tor­ney.

As long as he keeps lock­ing up the er­rant leg­is­la­tors, it may fi­nally oc­cur to peo­ple that they bet­ter get their eth­i­cal act to­gether.

Ques­tion: What does New York stand to gain or lose with the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump? The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has a lot of dis­cre­tionary money to give away. Trump is talk­ing about a huge in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram. Some states will get more, some less. When you are con­sid­er­ing re­pair­ing sub­ways, bridges, and roads, that’s a lot of money. Of course, Chuck Schumer is about to be­come mi­nor­ity leader of the U.S. Se­nate, and he will be in a po­si­tion to trade with Trump for needed votes on cru­cial is­sues, Re­mem­ber, though, that Trump is thought to hold grudges and he lost a lot of face in his home state. At least we have that go­ing for us.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.