Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Carl Paladino's website, which is pretty well done, has a big banner that says, "The last NY governor from Buffalo became president of the United States." It's a cheap shot to note that Grover Cleveland also fathered an out-of-wedlock child, but what the hell, why not? The New York Times is not above it, and the guy is bulletproof the way that David Paterson tried to be. Poor Paterson got it all out there too, but Carl is bringing a special elan to it all. He is going to be hilarious, because he has no filter, and I respect that. Carl is bulletproof on the crazy, but it would be a big mistake to duck a debate. Cuomo has to engage him and what he should probably say is along the lines of 'I agree with him on essentially nothing, except for one big thing: New York's government is profoundly broken."

I think what Carl is likely to discover is that nobody has the stomach for change. You know how many New York State legislators lost in the primary this week? Four. Out of 212. Tell me about yer tea party, anti-incumbency, anti-Albany vote. Who were they? A woman from Lewiston that I'd never heard of before, Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, a 10-year veteran. I don't know whose dog she ran over. Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, who the NYPost describes as "the poster boy of Albany corruption". Bayport Assemblywoman Ginny Fields lost-- I haven't seen anything that explains why. The fourth, William T. Stachowski, I understand. Stachowski was invisible for 28 years, a Democrat in the Republican majority Senate. He suddenly became important when the Senate changed hands, and bobbled every opportunity. He became ensnarled in the budget mess, and got nothing out of it. People may not know what UB 2020 is, but they know that UB is important, and Stachowski looked like a chump after he made a grandstand play and ended up with nada. He was on the wrong side of history when marriage equality came to a vote, and he somehow managed to become the person identified with the failure of that bill to pass. It was gutless of him, and it put a target on his back.

But that's it. Four people. Carl Paladino can rail all he wants to-- if there isn't more change than that in the legislature nothing will be different, and I doubt that there is going to be. Bill Stachowski lost, but there are 208-- give or take-- members that are returning, and they are all just like like Stachowski, people who go along to get along, legislators who reckon they've done a good job if they bring a slice of pork home to their districts. In fact, most of the time that is the yardstick that voters use. On the evidence of Tuesday's returns it looks to me like that hasn't changed a bit.

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