In broad stroke, David Dinkins and Christine Quinn have some meaningful similarities: adept career politicians, successful one step below the mayor’s office, from Manhattan and powerful symbols of the political progress of their respective communities. Dinkins, a smart, steady politician and decent person, was ultimately overwhelmed by the City’s challenges and perpetually played political defense. “Dave, Do Something” still echoes hauntingly.
Today Jacob Gershman reports in the Wall Street Journal that “Wall Street and insurance groups are organizing an effort to overturn a New York ethics regulation requiring trade associations that lobby state government to publicly disclose their sources of funding.” Part of the New York Bankers Association’s argument against such disclosure is that it chills their right to free speech. They essentially argue that the right to free speech is really a right to anonymous free speech.
Continue reading Anonymous Free Speech: Bankers & Actual People
According to recent news reports, Governor Cuomo is considering seeking changes in New York’s campaign finance laws. In anticipation of the governor’s proposal, which has not yet been publicly revealed, here are a few observations on Andrew Cuomo 2014, Inc.’s most recent campaign finance disclosure statement and the campaign finance reform issues which it frames. Continue reading Andrew Cuomo & Campaign Finance Reform
In his 60 Minutes interview broadcast Sunday, Mitt Romney gave many interesting answers. Here are a few:
Self awareness: Scott Pelley, with a reference to David McCullough, asked Mitt Romney about what he has “learned from the history of presidents in the White House”. Romney spoke a bit about McCullough’s biography of John Adams and approvingly described Adams as “an individual who was less concerned about public opinion than he was about doing what he thought was right for the country” and who “did what he thought was right for America” even though it cost him reelection. Presumably Romney sees himself in that mold, or at the very least aspires to it. If the American people saw him that way, he would be coasting to victory. They don’t, and that’s why he isn’t.
That was the Wall Street Journal’s A1 headline exactly four years ago, with the lede; “Fear coursed through the U.S. financial system on Wednesday, as hope for a resolution to the year-old credit crisis faded.” A true financial panic, with the proverbial chickens hatched during the Bush administration coming home to roost.
The Romney campaign has tried to recycle the question that helped propel Ronald Reagan to the White House: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
Mitt should ask that question at his fundraisers. The financial services executives in attendance should be the first to answer.
~ John Kenny
Is Mitt ready? It’s a pretty simple analysis. Here is what Al Gore said in September 2001: ”George W. Bush is my commander in chief. … We are united behind our president, George W. Bush, behind the effort to seek justice, not revenge, to make sure this will never, ever happen again. And to make sure we have the strongest unity in America that we have ever had. … We come together tonight not as partisans but as patriots. We come together not only first and foremost, but solely as Americans at a time our county has been attacked.” (NY Times 9/30/01 “Bush ‘Is My Commander,’ Gore Declares in Call for Unity”).
Is Mitt Romney ready? Seriously?
~ John Kenny
In Mitt Romney, the Republican party has it’s first presidential candidate since Tom Dewey without any military experience. What will this mean for the Republicans and their narrative as the Party of War?
Every Republican presidential nominee from Dwight Eisenhower to John McCain served in the military. Eisenhower, of course, had the ultimate military background as a West Point graduate who rose to five-star general and Supreme Allied Commander. Bob Dole and John McCain suffered grievous wounds in combat, with McCain additionally suffering wounds from torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors. For both of them, their military service was a modest amount of time in their professional lives yet had a profound impact on them personally and in forming their professional identities. For others, such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, serving in a supply unit and a film unit respectively, their World War II military service was a minor part of their professional identity, but a part nonetheless.
Continue reading The Party of War & A Non-Warrior
Today’s news brings Mitt Romney’s grudging repudiation of a Republican supporter’s plan to revive the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an attack avenue on the president. Townhall.com quoted Mitt as saying, in part:
“It’s interesting that we’re talking about some Republican PAC that wants to go after the president [on Wright]; I hope people also are looking at what he’s doing, and saying ‘why is he running an attack campaign? Why isn’t he talking about his record?'”
Continue reading Do as Mitt says, not as Mitt does
Just read about Romney’s comments opposing marriage equality because “the best setting for raising a child is where this is the opportunity to a mom and a dad to be in the home,” but saying that same-sex couples adopting is “fine”.
New York observation: Romney is David Paterson with a movie star chin. Whatever he says, wait a minute, hour or day and he’ll say something opposite.
~ John Kenny