A Dionne Warwick song from days long gone by offers these words of wisdom: “Go while the going is good. Knowing when to leave may be the smartest thing anyone can learn. Go!” This being a blog about politics I think we have some real life political applications for those words, nationally and locally.
We can start with the obvious: it is time for Donald Trump to leave the presidency. It’s over. He’s done. His goose is cooked. Time to start packing. Don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out. Go!
It should be obvious even to Trumpkins that you are in trouble when the best you can do to fight to hold on to the presidency is to have your most bombastic and incoherent lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, stand with second son Eric in front of a landscaping business, next to a sex shop, to proclaim that you are winning after Associated Press and all the networks, including Fox, have called the race for Joe Biden.
Eric recently emailed: “There are ridiculous discrepancies in the votes all over the Country, so my father has formed the Election Defense Task Force to FIGHT BACK against this corruption… Can my father count on you? Please contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to join the Election Defense Task Force and to increase your impact by 1000%.”
Note to potential contributors: none of your money will actually go to “election defense” activities unless you contribute more than $8,333, a pesky little detail.
As has been widely reported, the “Election Defense Task Force” is actually for Donald Trump’s collection of money to pay off campaign debts, undoubtedly in the millions, and then to finance a new leadership PAC, Save America, that Trump has created. The Republican National Committee gets a 40 percent cut of the proceeds. The new PAC will also pay for Trump to set up a political structure to fund his super spreader rallies and to dole out a few bucks to favored politicians who will line up to kiss his butt.
All of that, of course, will freeze the ball on Republican 2024 candidates who will be too timid to challenge fearless leader. How long will wannabees like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, etc., etc. stand idly by waiting for their chance at the brass ring?
Maybe there are some other plans for the “Election Defense Task Force.” “Individual 1” could be facing a legal day of reckoning concerning possible violations of election laws, tax laws, or business laws. The Task Force money could come in handy for paying legal bills.
And then there is the matter of paying off $421 million in debt. It has been suggested that Trump might divulge national security secrets. Hmmm!
Knowing when to leave may be the smartest thing anyone can learn. Trump may be clever and cunning but he isn’t too smart, so such advice is wasted on him.
On the local front
It is not too early to start looking ahead to 2021. There will be a couple hundred local elected positions on ballots in Erie County next year.
Changes in the Election Law which moved up party nominating processes leave little time for a political break before the next round of petitioning, fundraising and primaries are upon us. Petitions for those 200+ positions will need to hit the streets in February. That means that the parties need to line up the candidates by about late January, which is just ten weeks away.
Most of the 200 offices, which include county legislators plus town and smaller city offices, will not attract much attention; many will not even have two candidates. The marquee races will be for mayor of Buffalo, Erie County sheriff, and Erie County comptroller.
Serving as mayor for going on 16 years and then considering a race for a fifth term is quite an interesting proposition. Is there a shelf life or sell-by date for that key executive office?
At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any obvious alternative candidate to Byron Brown. State Senator Tim Kennedy might want to seek the office someday, but Brown and Kennedy are allies so Kennedy will defer for the time being even while adding to his one million dollar war chest.
Soon to be Senator and current Assemblyman Sean Ryan might also have some future interest in the office but he does not seem likely to take a shot in 2021. City Council members are either not inclined to run or don’t have the resources to do so. Those holding various judicial positions are paid too well to give it up for a chance to become mayor. There are no non-politicos waiting in the wings. So it will basically come down to “you can’t beat somebody with nobody.”
Word on the street is that Sheriff Tim Howard will be a candidate in 2021 – for supervisor of the Town of Wales. Various names are circulating in political circles for new candidates for sheriff, including former Buffalo Police officers, the wife of a judge, and a former candidate, but none have emerged as anyone who might be considered the front runner at this stage.
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw may very well be a candidate in 2021 – for supervisor in the Town of Hamburg. Or maybe run for a seat on the County Legislature. Or maybe he will seek a private sector job. After burning his bridges to the county Republican Party in his congressional campaign the least likely scenario for Mychajliw would be a run for another term as comptroller. Perhaps Deputy Comptroller Lynne Dixon will take another shot at countywide office. Ten weeks out from party endorsement time there are no major Democratic candidates on the horizon.
Go while the going is good. Great advice, not always followed in politics.
Money in politics
Check out the latest edition of Investigative Post‘s “Money in Politics.” In the current post Geoff Kelly and I discuss the political contributions of brothers Jon, Jeffrey and Jerome Williams. You can also click on the our latest podcast. Here’s the link: http://www.investigativepost.org