By George Capsis
“There is a beautiful young lady out here who wants to see you— do you want to talk to a beautiful young lady?” called my wife Andromache (Maggie) from the hallway on her way to put out the garbage.
I shouted back that I was always interested in talking to a beautiful young lady and in walked Sarah Jessica Parker to explain that her Sex in the City co-star Cynthia Nixon was very active in the de Blasio campaign for mayor and had asked her, Sarah Jessica, to support him. In desperation, Sarah Jessica offered the backing of our little community paper as a sure way for de Blasio to win.
As chance would have it, attorney and Democratic District Leader, Arthur Schwartz, had booked an interview with de Blasio in his office across from City Hall the very next week. I insisted that he had to save the hospitals that were closing one by one as the cost of medicine exploded. I got up and put my arm around him as he sat and said, “you’re the same age as my son.” Despite being 42 points behind Chris Quinn, he won (we take credit for the victory of course).
And recently I read in the Times that Cynthia Nixon was the second most important person in the de Blasio victory and here she is running against Cuomo in the Democratic primary. Oh wow.
Last night on the TV news, I viewed a sneering Cuomo on tour of public housing neglect. He was being shown effulgent leaks that had induced swollen and crumbling walls. Cuomo by implication blamed de Blasio and demanded that “an outside private company be brought in” with the further implication that the de Blasio controlled city maintenance was not doing the job.
(Of course he’s right—the law for a civil service job is as long as you are getting your paycheck do as little as humanly possible, and if you’re the guy who keeps bringing in a list of problems for which there is zero budget, you get fired as the only way to eliminate them.)
News cameras displayed open ovens and pots of water on the range to provide heat after the central heating system had long exhausted its operational life. A heating expert examining the huge system offered that these heating plants had a finite life and you had to anticipate replacement because when they went down there was not a replacement waiting on the shipping dock—it could take a year or more to replace it.
Being Governor is politically much easier than being mayor. I mean, you’re sitting up there in Albany amongst the trees with nothing to worry about except building another bridge over the Hudson you can name after Dad.
The Times also offered that New York City is growing in population by 5.5%. We now have 8.6 million people, so while the State manufacturing wanes, New York gets Google and a Tech Center.
And then there is corruption. “He is like one of the family,” offered Cuomo referring to the $300,000 “take” by convicted aide, Joe Percoco.
Ahh, but if you are going to run against somebody for political office you have to identify something your opponent is not doing or not doing well, so I called Cynthia’s administrative assistant and asked what the issue weapons were, and she offered that it was too early and the issues on which Cynthia would run would emerge as the campaign moved to the Fall election date.
OK, I got one and that is corruption. I mean if Cuomo’s “brother” goes to jail for taking bribes you have to accept that the green handshake is rampant in Albany.
But how to stop it? “Pay them more money,” is one answer I hear. “Hey, they only get $79,500.” But they are allowed to do this part time, so they can have another job to supplement their income—but that job is often a bribery ramp.
Come to think about it political corruption is globally rampant and the poorer the country the more corruption.
Corruption is probably inevitable so the question is how much corruption can a government take and still get the job done?
Suppose Cynthia Nixon asked to make the tax returns and bank transactions of our politicians public. Hmm, we have to assume that any paper system to prevent political corruption is going to be circumvented because greed is more powerful than the sex drive.