The NY Governor’s Democratic Primary

I wrote this piece, in April, shortly after Cynthia Nixon announced she was running for the office.

One Upstate New York Democrat’s View on Cythia Nixon and the Governor’s Race

Last night, I watched the debate.  What did I learn? Not much. Cuomo is pretty smug and likes being seen as a tough New Yorker. It’s a really bad look, and I wish he’d see it doesn’t really endear himself to voters. His dad seemed to know this. I was much younger, but I remember Mario Cuomo having more grace and humility to his ways.

Andrew Cuomo would have been way better focusing on her lack of experience, instead of taking cheap shots at her incorporating or sending a letter to the Governor’s office.  Citizens are supposed to ask our elected officials and government offices to help with our complaints. He didn’t make her look bad, as much as he made it look like he was using his office to find any dirt he could find on her. I get that he doesn’t want her to just look all progressive and squeaky clean, but she does. It’s not a fight he’s going to win. Instead he should have focused on his experience at doing the real work of being Governor. We need people with expertise.

I see people going after Senator Schumer and Rep Nancy Pelosi, calling them establishment. People like to demonize expertise as a bad thing, but in the face of a corrupt administration in the White House, we need people who already know where the proverbial lights are. We need people who know the rules and how to resist this administration every time they do something horrible to citizens and refugees.

I think Cynthia Nixon has some fantastic ideas. I think she sounds like an excellent progressive. She still has absolutely no experience in public service, and I think it’s dangerous to elect her as Governor of our state, without first having her run for a lower office. Her name and celebrity status shouldn’t preclude her from making that kind of commitment, if that’s what she really wants to do. Run for Mayor or State Legislature, and then run for Governor, after you get some experience. If you apply to a company, do you apply for CEO, without ever even being a Manager at any company? Or do you apply for the position of Manager and work your way up? We shouldn’t shortcut that hard work. The experience gained is invaluable. It cannot be bought.

I do think it was a bogus question, to ask her if she would donate her salary.  Public servants should get a salary, because we don’t want wealthy autocrats running our government for no pay. If we have that, they will be lining their pockets in other ways. That salary is a drop in the bucket of our state budget, and I would have so much preferred a question on the state’s agricultural concerns, what she even knows about upstate needs, and how we don’t really give much of a crap about the MTA. There is no MTA in Albany, Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester, Buffalo, or Niagara Falls (yes there is a US Niagara Falls; not just one in Canada).

So here is where I am at. I will vote for him in the primary, but I walked away from the debate finding him smug and quite possibly a sexist guy. I hate to say that, but I really want him to answer for that donation from the Weinstein lawyer, right as he suspended the investigation. Why did he suspend the investigation? I want a good reason, and I can’t imagine one.

I think it’s dangerous to vote for someone with 0 experience, for Governor of an entire state, so I’m going with our incumbent Governor, who has been on the ground helping Puerto Rico, offering legal assistance to detained immigrants, and who has done a lot of good for this state. If a more progressive candidate comes along, with experience, he better watch out, but for now his experience trumps her progressive desires.

Without the experience of how being governor and fighting a state legislature actually works, that’s all it is. It’s what she would love to do. I have a lot I’d love to see done. Getting it done is the hard part. If it was easy, everyone would do it.  I will say this. If Cynthia Nixon wins the primary, she will get my vote in November. No way will I allow this state, that I love, turn to red.

Neither of them is perfect, and neither is a bad candidate. We aren’t picking between the lesser of two evils or two bad candidates. We are choosing between two decent candidates. This isn’t a purity test. This is a representative democracy, by the people and for the people. We are all human, and we must keep that in mind, when we look to our elected officials and candidates to pass our litmus tests.

Either way, I hope Democrats and Independents and people who don’t register with a party, all show up to vote. I hope Republicans vote. I hope everyone votes for the party that wants to ensure there is accountability and transparency. We need a blue Congress, not just to stop Trump, but to stop McConnell. He is a poison pill in the Senate, and he must be stopped. We need Democratic Governors, to ensure that states protect their people’s rights, if the federal government tries to not protect them. We must be united, in the face of a faction of people relentlessly trying to divide us.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your thoughts.

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