Thursday, May 22, 2014

Autumn in New York, starting early this year

Trump University campus as visualized by Darrow at Vanity Fair.
New York Times trying to create some drama over the local elections in June, suggests that attorney general Eric Schneiderman could be in trouble:
New York Republicans, vastly outnumbered and hungry to reclaim a statewide office after years of famine, are energized at the prospect of taking on Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat, and say they have a realistic chance of dethroning him in November....
“How are you in office for three years and nobody knows who you are?” said E. O’Brien Murray, a conservative political operative who is leading a “super PAC” seeking to unseat Mr. Schneiderman.
(Wonder what E. O'Brien Murray's friends call him—E? O'Bri? Oey?)

Disclosure: I think I've mentioned this before, but back when Schneiderman was a mere state senator his daughter went to the same (public) elementary school as my kids, and although I didn't actually hang out with him at PTA meetings, at which he did not show up as far as I know, it means something to me.

It is unlikely, anyhow, that E. O'Brien has anything in mind other than collecting money to keep his party on life support, since in New York State it is clearly in a persistent vegetative state from which it will no doubt one day awaken if they just keep feeding it, but it won't be this year.
Mr. Murray said Mr. Schneiderman created an unfriendly atmosphere for businesses, among other things, by pursuing legal battles against Airbnb, the online apartment-sharing service, and Trump University, Donald J. Trump’s for-profit institute.
On the Airbnb (pronounced "Air Bee and Bee", not something like "Airbnub"), a kind of eBay of hostellery in which hipster apartment dwellers try to squeeze a little money out of their rooms by renting them out by the hour or day to passing business travelers while they themselves crash at their girlfriend's place, in generally complete violation of zoning laws and lease agreements, I believe I can speak at least for the residents of mediocre coop buildings in saying that however we may feel about the possibility of doing such a thing ourselves, we are united in our fervent belief that nobody else in our building should. On the subject of Trump University, I can say only HAHAHAHAHA. If you know what I mean. Bring it on, Republicans.
Via Steve M,  who was wondering why Rupert Murdoch loved Andy way back then, in 2010.
Much more interesting as a New York politics issue, to my mind, is the big question of Schneiderman's (and Bill de Blasio's) real enemy, the other Democratic party of the hedge fund liberals, who love charter schools most and in second place any liberal initiative (same-sex marriage, minimum wage hikes) that doesn't show up on their tax bills, and who are, as the brilliant Andrea Bernstein at WNYC radio was reporting this morning, into governor Andrew Cuomo in a gigantic way, providing a large majority of his financing while the contributions of the 99% are little more than a rounding error.

Cuomo is in no danger of losing either, of course, running on sheer famousness, but like his colleague over in New Jersey in 2012 he apparently wants to win really, really big, and as Christie longed memorably for the endorsements of all the Democratic mayors in all the boros of his overly incorporated state, with the consequences of which we are slowly becoming aware, so does young Andrew yearn for the love of the Working Families Party, which will prove when he starts running for president that he is liberal enough for, um, voters, as well as billionaires.

I think Cuomo, with his tax phobia and union bashing and ideas on the development of upstate that are indistinguishable from those of any Republican in the last 50 years, is a much more dangerous representative of the hedge fund Democrats than the Clintons or Obama have ever been, and while I'm resigned to having him do another term as governor, I'd really appreciate having a chance to vote for somebody else, preferably not a Trotskyist, so I kind of hope Working Families (the line I normally vote on) holds out on him. On the other hand, Bernstein's report had it that what they are asking in return is public electoral campaign financing, which would be maybe the best political thing that could happen to my state.


While we're on the subject, a little piece of relevant news from The Observer: former New York City comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu is going to contest the State Senate seat of another Queens politician and ex-mayoral candidate, Tony Avella, one of the somewhat bipartisan cabal (the Republican caucus plus enough Democrats to make it a majority, four I think) that's been running that poisoned legislative body with Governor Cuomo's blessing. Liu is a fiery liberal (he was originally my candidate over de Blasio though I'm not at all sorry de Blasio won) who was in my view railroaded out of the mayoral contest and I hope he does well.

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