New York has so many play­ers

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Alan Chartock Capi­tol Con­nec­tion

New York­ers fig­ure promi­nently in the po­lit­i­cal power grid and the sides are drawn. It’s re­ally amaz­ing how blue state New York has so many play­ers, both reds and blues, in the po­lit­i­cal wars. Let’s start with for­mer mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani. The man was once re­spected as “Amer­ica’s Mayor.”

Now he is de­spised and per­ceived as one of the coun­try’s worst po­lit­i­cal mis­cre­ants by New York­ers who, by large pro­por­tions, also de­spise Don­ald Trump. We’ll get to in a mo­ment. Gi­u­liani must sus­pect that Trump will turn on him as he has on so many for­mer al­lies.

He has not been quiet about hav­ing “in­surance” should that hap­pen. Adding in­sult to in­jury, Gi­u­liani has been spend­ing time in Ukraine do­ing God knows what. Two of his as­so­ci­ates have been ar­rested and at least one of them, we hear, may sing like a ca­nary. That may be true but Gi­u­liani has gone from a New York hero to New York goat, big time.

Of course, we re­ally should list Don­ald Trump as a New Yorker, even with his re­cent an­nounce­ment that like so many other New York­ers, he is mov­ing to Florida. He said he’s chang­ing his state of res­i­dency be­cause New York­ers don’t like him. He cer­tainly got that right. His po­lit­i­cal sins are so nu­mer­ous that I won’t spend my time out­lin­ing them here. We all know what they are and like so many oth­ers who have been com­ment­ing on his de­par­ture, I can only join in with a hearty “good rid­dance.” He is truly the an­tithe­sis of a New Yorker.

Then there are the two United States Sen­a­tors from New York. Chuck Schumer has done well. If the Se­nate flips to the Democrats, he will be one of the most pow­er­ful men in the coun­try. I’ve al­ways like the guy and re­spected him but I think he should be more force­ful when it comes to Trump, He is joined in the Se­nate by another Demo­crat, Kirsten Gil­li­brand, who re­cently re­signed from the pres­i­den­tial race where she got nowhere. Ap­par­ently she thought that she would har­ness the “Me-too” vote but that never hap­pened.

Then there’s Jerry Nadler, the Chair of the pow­er­ful Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. He’s done well in that role but it is clear that Speaker Pelosi does not have him at the top of her most fa­vored list. The top spot there ob­vi­ously goes to Adam Schiff, fol­lowed to some de­gree by my Con­gress­man here in western Mas­sachusetts, Richard “Richie” Neal. Once the bad boy of New York pol­i­tics, Nadler has played a sup­port role and was one of the first Pelosi lieu­tenants to an­nounce for an im­peach­ment in­quiry. If you know any­thing about pol­i­tics in New York’s West Side, you’ll see that Pelosi had to let Nadler “off the hook” on that one. Even he wouldn’t have sur­vived any­thing less than his proim­peach­ment stance.

Another prom­i­nent New York player is Carolyn Maloney, now the Chair of the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee. I have known her for years and she is one tough lady and not to be tri­fled with. Leav­ing the House is the Chair of the Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, Nita Lowry. That’s a tough one since her Com­mit­tee is in a unique po­si­tion to bring home the New York ba­con. She’ll be missed.

So New York has some pow­er­ful play­ers in the game but some will get more pow­er­ful if Trump loses the elec­tion and the Se­nate flips to the Democrats. Some peo­ple be­lieve that An­drew Cuomo may be lick­ing his chops if the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date loses in 2020. They used to say that about his fa­ther, Mario, who I knew fairly well. True to his word, he never ran even when he had the chance to do so.

Don­ald Trump tried his best to woo New York­ers with the ice skat­ing rink and carousel in Cen­tral Park. They haven’t fallen for it. Hey, New York­ers are smart.

Alan Chartock is pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the State Univer­sity of New York, pub­lisher of the Leg­isla­tive Gazette and pres­i­dent and CEO of the WAMC North­east Pub­lic Ra­dio Net­work. Read­ers can email him at [email protected]

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