Some facts, observations, and heard-on-the-streets

The pace of Elections 2022 has picked up considerably in recent days.  There is just over two months left until the primaries on June 28th.  Candidates are engaged in increasingly aggressive words and actions.  Here are some facts, observations, and heard-on-the-streets:

  • Kevin McCarthy wanted to throw Donald Trump under the bus, and then he lied about it. Then he for the hundredth time he kissed Trump’s butt, and all is forgiven – for now. Just another day in the Republican Party.
  • Republicans in Florida are in an all-out attack on Disneyworld. Whoever thought it would come to this? Reports are that the folks at Disney are heavy contributors to Republican politicians there, so they are biting the hand that feeds them. Evidently there will be collateral damage to property taxpayers in the counties surrounding Disneyworld. It’s all about the party’s wokeness.
  • Continuing his effort to make his own seedy past look passable, Donald Trump may campaign in Nebraska for a gubernatorial candidate accused of several instances of sexual assault. Trump previously endorsed candidates with sexual assault or harassment problems in races for the Senate in Pennsylvania and Georgia. He is considering supporting a Senate candidate in Missouri who is involved in a similar scandal.
  • The Republican primary for governor of New York is getting nasty as Rob Astorino and Andrew Guiliani accuse Lee Zeldin of trying to knock them off the primary ballot because of insufficient valid signatures. Zeldin denies any involvement in the petition challenges. Guiliani in particular could draw Trumpy votes away from the party’s endorsed candidate. Such antics are a time-honored tradition in New York politics; I am referring to Zeldin’s denial of involvement.
  • Brian Benjamin will remain on the June primary ballot for Lieutenant Governor regardless of his resignation from office and the suspension of his campaign. Moving to New Jersey would disqualify him from being a candidate but apparently that is not going to happen. As of January, Benjamin had more than $1.5 million in his campaign treasury, which now will be used to pay lawyers defending him.
  • Either Tom Suozzi’s candidate for Lt. Governor, Diana Reyna, or Jumaane Williams’ choice, Ana Maria Archila, are likely to win the primary, leaving Hochul with a running mate not of her choosing. Reyna is politically moderate while Archila is a progressive activist.
  • In 1982 Mario Cuomo won the primary for governor while the candidate who ran as part of the Ed Koch ticket, Al DelBello, won the primary for lieutenant governor. Following their election Cuomo would have nothing to do with DelBello and assigned no administration responsibilities to him. Two years into their term DelBello resigned the office.
  • State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs has announced that the party will not pursue an independent line, having instead reached some accommodations with the Working Families Party, post-primary. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor must be joined on the ballot, and the ballot must include a candidate for lieutenant governor.
  • Looking again not to be ignored in this year’s statewide political debate, former Governor Andrew Cuomo last week sent out another of his missives discussing state issues. The statement can best be summarized as follows: everything was just going great in the state up until last August, but since then everything has gone to hell.
  • Any day now we will learn what the state Court of Appeals has decided concerning the contested congressional redistricting plan approved by the Legislature in February. The state legislative districts are settled. If the Court throws out the congressional map or the Legislature does not come up with an acceptable alternative, the results will not only affect the congressional lines but also the petitions of statewide candidates who needed at least 100 valid signatures from at least 13 congressional districts. It seems that either the districts will be approved as drawn or we are headed for an August primary with some do-overs.
  • There will be four State Supreme Court Justice positions on the ballot in the 8th Judicial District this year. Judicial conventions will be held in early August. Incumbent Justice Tracey Bannister will likely be cross endorsed for one of the seats. Other names in the mix at the moment include Buffalo Chief City Court Judge Craig Hannah; Gerry Greenan, who has run and lost twice for the court; and Conservative Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo. Current annual pay for state Supreme Court justices is $210,900 with a fourteen-year term.
  • Investigative Post’s Geoff Kelly has a story on the lack of interest by India Walton supporters to contest for seats on the Democratic County Committee. Progressives take a pass – Investigative Post
  • Kelly also has an incredible piece of reporting on Russian oligarchs’ connections to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the form of large donations and business activities. It seems like there could be some conflicts with Governor Kathy Hochul’s directive on the subject. Kelly notes “Hochul directed state-run entities like Roswell to terminate, when feasible, all contracts with Russian companies, and even American companies doing business with Russian entities. The governor also said state agencies should enter into no such contracts in the future”. The Roswell-Russia connection – Investigative Post
  • Local Democratic primaries will be limited to the Sean Ryan/Ben Carlisle race for the Senate’s 60th District and Erie County Clerk (endorsed candidate Melissa Hartman versus DINO Mickey Kearns). Voter turnout in Western New York will be high as the party’s leadership works to build up a large margin for Hochul.
  • State Senator Ed Rath will not be a candidate for any office in 2022. Maybe 2023?
  • After having written in highly negative terms about the Buffalo Sabres for probably as long as Politics and Other Stuff has been published (seven years), I must admit that the team seems to be coming alive. I will not rush to judgment, but Coach Don Granato has the team on the right track.

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