Written October 17, 2014     
 

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© 2014 Bob Lonsberry

 
 
ANDREW CUOMO'S IN PUERTO RICO

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The governor of New York will be in Puerto Rico today.

“As a sign of respect.”

Those are his words.

He will leave his state, he will leave the continental United States, he will visit an offshore territory.

To pay his respects.

In Puerto Rico.

Before flying off to the Dominican Republic.

To do the same thing.

Which is kind of odd. Because there are a variety of people back home in New York to whom he has shown no respect whatsoever.

Like the members of the Working Families Party. In return for their endorsement, he promised to be a Democrat – to actively campaign for his fellow Democrats running for the state Senate.

That’s what he promised.

But that is not what he has done.

Since giving his word to the earnest progressives of the Working Families Party that he would campaign to help Democrats take control of the state Senate, Andrew Cuomo has done nothing whatsoever to keep that promise.

Nothing.

He hasn’t campaigned for a single Democratic Senate candidate.

Instead of keeping his word to the Working Families Party, in fact, he has organized another party whose purpose is apparently to derail the Working Families Party and shove it off the ballot in future elections.

Cuomo’s newly created Women’s Equality Party has a similar name and ballot abbreviation, and the governor is actively campaigning on it while ignoring the Working Family’s Party.

Again, Andrew Cuomo is paying no respects to the progressives who gave him their ballot line and endorsements.

Nor is he paying any respects to the parents and teachers of New York who have risen up against Common Core.

The state’s teachers – whose unions have always supported Governor Cuomo and his party – have had their workplace and their job security turned upside down by a ramrodded, Cuomo-backed program that neither trusts, respects nor empowers them. Rather, it puts them under an impossible scrutiny and a punitive accountability.

Parents of every political philosophy have also been disrespected, with their concerns brushed aside by a governor whose only priority seems to be the $700 million in federal aid he got for forcing Common Core onto New Yorkers.

Another group getting no respect from the governor are those concerned about fracking – on either side. For six years, Andrew Cuomo has been “deciding” whether or not to approve fracking. For those who see fracking as a financial windfall for the troubled Southern Tier, his indecision has been a backbreaking and bankrupting disappointment. For those who see fracking as an environmental threat, that indecision has been a stunning failure to protect New York’s water, soil and air.

By pleasing no one, he has disappointed everyone.

Likewise getting none of the governor’s respect are the hardworking people of upstate New York who see their region’s economy as arguably the worst in the nation. Looking to the governor for help, he offered up casinos – meaningless to the economy but beneficial to his big-money donors. His other ideas include tax benefits for distillers and hard-cider producers, boutique businesses with no potential whatsoever to ignite an economic upswing.

Finally, his grand scheme to resuscitate the upstate economy is to offer temporary tax-free zones for new businesses in limited areas. That bright idea forces existing taxpaying businesses to subsidize the competitors who will put them out of business.

Andrew Cuomo has shown no respect whatsoever for the economy, workers and businesses of upstate New York.

Nor has he shown any respect to the upstate New Yorkers who simply happen to disagree with him. It was Andrew Cuomo, after all, who said “there is no room in New York” for conservatives.

And there is certainly no respect for their traditions, values and culture.

Not the tradition of firearms ownership, not the tradition of conservative religious values, not the tradition of private control of private property.

Andrew Cuomo has gone to Puerto Rico “as a sign of respect.”

But he hasn’t gone for similar purpose to Binghamton.

Or Syracuse or Rochester.

Or any number of towns in between where New Yorkers feel that their governor neither values, understands nor likes them.

He has never paid his respects to upstaters.

Or even to the more progressive members of his party.

But he knows that a big Latino turnout in New York City makes him electorally unbeatable. So he has gone whoring to San Juan. Not that he gives a damn about the wonderful Puerto Rican people and their heritage, but because he wants to use them two weeks from Tuesday.

Use them two weeks from Tuesday, and then throw them away like he has done so many other New Yorkers.

He believes that if he shows up and waves a Puerto Rican flag, after four years of completely ignoring Latino issues, that New Yoriquens will vote in lockstep for him.

And maybe they will.

Or maybe New Yorkers will cast a protest vote. Howie Hawkins for the progressives, Rob Astorino for the moderates.

And maybe New Yorkers will teach Andrew Cuomo a little something about respect.

The governor of New York will be in Puerto Rico today.

Unfortunately, he won’t be staying.


- by Bob Lonsberry © 2014

   
        
   
 
    

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