by AWR Hawkins –  Breitbart

In January 2013, one month after the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) successfully pressed for the SAFE Act, a massive body of gun control legislation aimed at curbing violent crime. Just two years later, however, the number of shootings and murders have increased.

According to NY1, NYPD reported “151 shootings” in the first two months of 2015–a “20 percent increase” in the number of shootings in the first two months of 2014. There were also “54 murders in the first two months of the year,” which, too, represents a “20 percent” increase in the number of murders in the first two months of 2014.

Besides redefining and expanding the definition of an “assault weapon,” the SAFE Act banned the sale of all weapons so defined. Pre-owned weapons that fit the definition could be kept, as long as they were registered with the state by April 15, 2014. The act also limited magazine capacity for handguns, extended background checks to all gun sales, both retail and private, and created a new state-level database containing the names of people barred from buying/possessing guns, among other things.

The result? A “20 percent” increase in shootings and a “20 percent” increase in murders compared to the same time in 2014.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

Erasing e-mails proves Cuomo’s vow of transparency is a sham

By Bob McManus – February 26, 2015

Gov. Cuomo is conducting an early spring cleaning of Albany’s e-mails — all of them, right down to cyber bedrock.

But is this a big deal? If you can’t trust Uncle Andrew, who can you trust?

Never mind that US Attorney Preet Bharara — fresh from taking down Sheldon Silver — seems to be breathing right down the gubernatorial neck. “Stay tuned,” the prosecutor warned — with both eyes fixed firmly on Andrew.

Never mind that Cuomo’s former chief of staff, Larry Schwartz, who left as the noose was tightening around Silver’s neck, now can’t find a job — reportedly because of Bharara’s continuing probe.

Never mind that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman just opened an inquiry into Cuomo’s casino-siting commission.

And never mind that an administration that has cut as many ethical corners as this one — especially regarding campaign-finance regulations and related transgressions — long ago forfeited all presumption to the public’s trust.

What’s important is that Cuomo’s cyber scrubbers soon will have vaporized all e-mail generated by state government that’s more than three months old — eradicating evidence of, well, who knows what.

New Yorkers will never know.

Those who trusted Andrew Cuomo no longer have reason to. Those who didn’t have had their worst suspicions confirmed.

“We must use technology to bring more sunlight to the operation of government,” said Cuomo in 2010.

Two years later, the winds were shifting: “You can always have more transparency.” But “you can’t live your life in a goldfish bowl.”

Apparently not.

Now he says, essentially, all that ancient history is just clogging up government and nobody ever looks at it anyway. Which is sort of true — a critical exception being prosecutors tracking down prey.

Does Cuomo have any such concerns? Should he? A reasonable person might ask whether incriminating (or, at least, embarrassing) e-mails relating the administration’s policies, practices and politics are disappearing into the void.

To wit:
•What is it about the casino-siting procedure that has excited Schneiderman’s interest? He’s as political as Cuomo, to be sure, but this is now a matter of personal
•Why did Cuomo really decide so abruptly to terminate his self-initiated Moreland Act commission probe of ethical misfeasance? Is there an e-mail trail, as of yet unbeknownst to Bharara, that embarrasses the executive chamber? (Lookin’ at you, Larry Schwartz!)

•Were there e-mail exchanges between the governor’s office and Bobby Kennedy Jr., a former Cuomo brother-in-law and eco-freak opponent of fracking?

•How about evidence of extreme-green money influencing fracking policy or politics?

•In that same vein, is there e-mail evidence demonstrating collaboration between campaign contributors and state economic-development officials — the fellows and gals who shovel out hundreds of millions in grants every year?

•Also related, might something be learned about the $1 million-plus showered on the 2014 Cuomo campaign by real-estate mega-man Leonard Litwin — the 1 percenter who is such a prominent presence in Bharara’s case against Silver?

•Is there an honest estimate of the cost of the new Tappan Zee Bridge tucked away in somebody’s server? Probably.

•And what about this: Why does Cuomo so enjoy chewing on Mayor de Blasio’s leg? Betcha there’s an e-mail thread or two or three that speaks it (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course).

Let’s be clear: All of this is speculation, to be sure. But none of it is baseless. And the list could go on and on and on.

Cuomo dearly loves to dish out grief, but he has no stomach for it when it’s headed in his direction.

This time he’s earned it, in spades, and thus this conclusion is inescapable: Andrew Cuomo has a block of granite for a brain — or he’s hiding something.

Not to coin a phrase, stay tuned.

Bharara sees corruption “all over” New York State


Preet Bharara, United States attorney in Manhattan, at his office in New York. (New York Times file photo)

NEW YORK – The prosecutor who took down the speaker of the New York State Assembly isn’t finished.

Not even close.

Three weeks after charging Sheldon Silver in a bribe and kickback scheme that prompted the Manahattan Democrat to step down as Assembly speaker and after putting six other downstate legislators in prison, Preet Bharara told The Buffalo News last week that the evidence he has seen shows corruption is appallingly common throughout New York State – and not just in New York City.

“It’s all over,” Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in an interview in his office in Manhattan.

What’s more, he indicated that his current probes – based on the investigative files of the Moreland Commission, a state anti-corruption effort created and then abruptly shut down by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo – could lead to cases against upstate lawmakers.

“In the same way that we often prosecute narcotics cases and other kinds of fraud and conspiracies in the Southern District when the principals may live elsewhere, the same is true in public corruption cases,” Bharara said. “And a lot of business – including political and financial business – often takes place in Manhattan, for example, even if the legislators represent people in districts elsewhere.”

In fact, Bharara’s office already has charged one upstate lawmaker – Sen. Thomas W. Libous, a Broome County Repubican – with making false statements to the FBI.

Refusing to discuss the particulars of any of his ongoing investigations, Bharara nonetheless seemed aghast at what his investigators, in total and over time, are finding.

“It seems to be that every time effective investigators like the ones we work with begin to turn over rocks, they find creepy crawly things,” he said.

Bharara’s comments, in his first newspaper interview to be published since Silver’s arrest, would give no comfort to a state politician who might find himself or herself the target of a federal investigation.

It’s unclear exactly who those politicians might be. But former State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, acknowledged last year that federal investigators were looking at his campaign fund. He said he has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide.

And New York’s WABC-TV reported earlier this month that Bharara was investigating the real estate dealings of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, although Skelos denied any contact with federal prosecutors.

In any case, Bharara made it clear that his 12-member Public Corruption Unit remains very busy.

“If I could put 50 prosecutors on public corruption, chances are they would not be lacking for work,” Bharara said.

That’s partly because of Cuomo’s decision to disband the Moreland Commission. Nine months after appointing the state panel to fight corruption, Cuomo shut it down last spring in a budget deal with legislators that included new ethics reforms.

“I don’t believe we needed another bureaucracy for enforcement. We needed laws changed, and that’s what Moreland (Commission) was about,” Cuomo said at the time.

Soon after the shutdown, though, Bharara’s office seized a truckload of documents that the commission had gathered.

“We don’t think worthy investigations should die on the vine,” Bharara said in the interview. “What I knew at the time we took the files and confirmed since we took the files, is that there was a lot of good work there.”

The files contain evidence the Moreland investigators amassed about state legislators, but Bharara’s work may not stop there.

The New York Times has reported that the Cuomo administration meddled in the Moreland Commission’s affairs, and Bharara has said his office would consider looking into any attempts to interfere with the commission’s work.

At the time of Silver’s arrest, Bharara said, ominously, “Stay tuned.”

Asked to elaborate, Bharara declined to comment on any specific cases during the interview.

Sweeping probe

No matter what happens when Bharara and his team complete their examination of the Moreland files, experts who have been watching the situation say one thing is for certain.

An extraordinarily aggressive prosecutor will have taken an unprecedented deep dive into the goings-on in Albany.

“Preet has made it his mission to clean up Albany,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York.

Whereas most U.S. attorneys focus on one or two major public corruption cases during their tenure, Lerner said, Bharara already has filed charges against 11 state legislators – most of them even before he obtained the Moreland evidence.

“This is happening now because of the more aggressive stance of Preet Bharara,” said Seymour Lachman, a former Democratic state senator who left office frustrated enough to write a book called “Three Men in a Room.”

That, of course, is a reference to the troika that has ruled Albany for decades: the governor, the Assembly speaker and the Senate majority leader.

And it also appears to be one of Bharara’s favorite frustrations. He keeps a copy of Lachman’s book on his desk and has met with him about it, and in a recent speech at New York University Law School, he mercilessly mocked the concept of devolving democracy down to three men.

“Why three men?” he asked. “Can there be a woman? Do they always have to be white? How small is the room that they can only fit three men? Is it three men in a closet? Are there cigars? Can they have Cuban cigars now? After a while, doesn’t it get a little gamy in that room?”

Yet Bharara said there was a serious point behind his satiric imagery.

“When you have a lot of concentration of power, that can give rise, common sense will tell you, to a culture in which people take short cuts, people are not as open and transparent as they might be, people think they can get away with things, and that’s never good for democracy,” he said in the interview.

Bharara presses on

It’s no good for the people of the state of New York, either. Albany’s corruption shakes the public’s faith in democracy, Bharara said, and that’s just the start.

“A lot of things that affect people’s everyday lives and their kitchen table and their bank accounts comes out of their legislature, and if people are routinely compromised and serving some master other than the people who put them there, then in countless ways that you can’t even measure, that hurts average people,” he said.

And so, Bharara presses on.

Acknowledging that the Moreland Commission may include evidence of state crimes that he can’t prosecute, Bharara said he is happy to make referrals to district attorneys across the state. And noting that the files also could contain evidence of crimes that took place outside the bounds of the Second Judicial District, which includes Manhattan, the Bronx and six counties just to the north of New York City, he said he’s also prepared to refer cases to other U.S. attorneys across the state.

William J. Hochul Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York, declined an interview request for this story.

Impressive résumé

Bharara’s aggressive approach to public corruption should come as no surprise. A Harvard University and Columbia University School of Law graduate, Bharara has been taking a take-lots-of-prisoners approach to the law at least since his days as a counsel to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., a decade ago.

Impressed with Bharara’s work, Schumer recommended Bharara for the job of U.S. attorney in the Southern District – one of the nation’s most prominent prosecutorial positions – in 2009.

“Chuck Schumer is a tiger, and he hires tigers,” said former Rep. John J. LaFalce, D-Town of Tonawanda, a lawyer who has admired Bharara’s work from afar. “And Preet’s a tiger.”

Just ask former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Behind the scenes, Bharara guided Schumer’s investigation of the politically motivated firing of several U.S. attorneys in 2007, which culminated in Gonzalez’s resignation.

Or ask the 85 Wall Street figures who have been convicted or pleaded guilty in Bharara’s insider trading probes – which landed Bharara on the cover of Time magazine in 2012.

In that story, one of Bharara’s predecessors in the Southern District – former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican – said Bharara was doing a “great job.”

Not surprisingly, Bharara’s headline-grabbing prosecutions have spurred speculation that he, like Giuliani, will move into politics someday. Asked about that last week, the normally loquacious Bharara replied with a one-word answer: “No.”

Policing politicians

Instead, Bharara remains focused on policing politics, saying the state’s politicians can’t seem to do that themselves.

“As far as I can tell, there’s almost zero self-policing going on,” he said. “That may not seem bizarre, that people don’t want to police themselves, but I think you find less self-policing going on in Albany than in the legislature across the river in the state were I grew up (New Jersey), and including in the United States Congress.”

Then again, Bharara stressed that there’s only so much he can do to control corruption. Much of the responsibility remains in the hands of the legislature, which is the only body that can change its own rules to increase transparency and to deal somehow with the troubles that can arise when part-time legislators earn vast amounts of outside income.

“The legislature itself has to figure out what rules makes sense so they don’t become even more of a mockery, with indictment after indictment,” Bharara said.


News Flash

Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Sling Shot Violence, said there is “ample evidence” that the SAFE ACT is working. New York has the fourth-lowest rate of sling shot deaths in the country.

Disclaimer: The pictures of the assembled assault sling shot were taken in Vermont. At no point was the assembled assault slingshot possessed in New York State.

SECTION 265.01

265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:

(1) He possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shirken or “Kung Fu star”; or etc., etc,…

Violation of PL 265.01 is a Class A Misdemeanor



If you would like to purchase a compliant assault sling shot please COPY/PASTE this link:

P.S. It’s For Real!

Top 10 most common murder weapons

The order of most common murder weapons used in the US murder cases has not changed very much in recent years. But there has been a very significant down trend in the number of killings involving firearms. According to the FBI stats on gun crime stat, violent crime in the US has significantly gone down compared with earlier figures.
Although fire arms still stand on top of the list of the most common murder weapons used in homicides, at least in the US other object such as knives and bats in combination pose as tools that are used far more regularly in homicides than guns. In other figures as reported by various reports, Americans are more likely to be killed by a baseball bat than a rifle.

Unfortunately, in the face of all factual data there has been a lot of suggestions for gun control, it is however, debatable that banning fire arms will lower the number of lives lost. History and stats show otherwise.

Australia is just a minor example of what happens when corrupt politicians take personal firearms away or restrict them:

Protected by the 2nd amended of the constitutional Bill of Rights, many American lives are actually saved by the millions of Americans who use firearms only to protect themselves, their families. In any case we have provided a list of the top 10 most common murder weapons used as reported by FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

most common murder weapons

10. Explosives used in murder cases:

Noting that this data does not include acts of terrorism, use of explosives as a murder weapon averagely takes the lives of10 individual yearly. This, as one would expect, is low in number, since murderers rarely create a chaos and uproar around their crime scene.

9. Drowning victims:

Collected stats from 2008 shows 10 known cases of individuals who were murdered by forced drowning.

8. Narcotics used for murder:

A total of 33 people were murdered using narcotics in 2008.

7. Fire induced killings:

Fire has been one of the favorite methods amongst murderers to commit acts atrocity, where usually minimum evidence is left for investigation. In the US alone between 80 to 100 people die from arson induced fire as one of the most common murder weapons

6. Strangulation to death:

Strangulation or stranglingis literally the closing of a person’s windpipe by forceful compression, which leads to unconsciousness and subsequently death. The oxygen flow is cut off and the person’s brain is the first organ to die after a few minutes. Strangulation has taken the lives of 88 Americans in 2008.

5. Asphyxiation to death:

Asphyxiation is somewhat of different than strangulation in a sense that loss of consciousness is caused by impairing normal breathing using hazardous gases like carbon monoxide and sulphur. This common method has taken the lives of 89 in the US during 2008.

4. Use of blunt objects:

Let’s not be vague, these objects include anything from hammers, clubs, and baseball bats to bottles and tree branches, annually taking the lives of nearly 600 people in the States alone.

3. Personal body weapons:

The third most common murder weapons are body parts such hands, feet, fists and head. Throwing a punch, a head-butt or a kick against another person’s head usually has fatal consequences and unfortunately many people have been murdered as such. In 2008 it is reported that 861 lost their lives by fatal body blows in the US.

2. Knives and cutting instruments:

Cold arms usually in the form of sharp objects – mostly knives – have caused the death of 1897 people in 2008. There’s no way to regulate or stop people from obtaining sharp object and it is unfortunate that they are used in murders.

1. Firearms (misleading)

Nearly 75% of the cases involving firearms are actually gang related and another fraction of it are justifiable cases in self-defense. As stated in the opening paragraph, many lives are actually saved by those have them and use them for protection; hundreds of thousands of women use guns in the US to protect themselves against rapists and criminals. It is historically and socially proven that the more right to arms are taken away from the regular citizenry the more crime brews thereafter and more innocent lives are lost. Not only that, total freedom means freedom to protect one’s self without complete reliance on government, which in a majority of cases does not respond in time and is itself a threat when corrupted; the founding fathers understood this common sense.

Moreover, the states with the most strict gun control laws like Illinois and New York have the worst gun crimes simply because criminals can easily do what they want, whereas southern states like Texas with the least gun control have some of the lowest gun crimes since individuals can protect themselves against criminals. Ask this intellectual questions… WHY?

4. Blunt objects + 3. Body weapons + 2. Knives result in MUCH larger crime numbers than 1. Firearms

Also note that: Use of knives, bats, personal body weapons and blunt objects (#4, #3, #2) are the tools, which the criminals use to take far more lives that guns. Criminals will always get their their weapons, no matter what. That is a FACT!

Source Link:

Outline of Amendment, to NYS Constitution, to divide NY State into Upstate (New Amsterdam) and Downstate (New York) Regions.

Outline of Amendment, to NYS Constitution, to divide NY State into Upstate (New Amsterdam) and Downstate (New York) Regions.

While the approval of both Congress and State Legislature is needed to divide NY into two states, an amendment to our New York state constitution is all that is needed to divide our state into two completely autonomous regions which is almost the same as being separate states. Since Congress is unlikely give the Northeast two more US Senate seats a new state would require; the two autonomous regions plan, with a token state government, is more likely to succeed.

The New York Region shall consist of the counties Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens Richmond, Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester. New Amsterdam Region consists of the rest of NY State’s the counties.

This Amendment creates two fully autonomous regions. The token state government is needed to comply with the US constitution is kept small by limiting its taxing power to a three (3) percent sales tax; with all other taxing power to transferred to the regions. The token state laws are limited to those related to Executive (for the state only), Indian, Legislative (for the state only), National Guard, Retirement & Social Security, State Administrative Procedure & State Finance (for the state only), Civil Service (state employees only), Court of Appeals, State Court of Claims, State Judicial Conduct. All rest of the laws, which are about 3/4 of NY laws, become regional laws of each region and are deleted from the state code. Each region can then independently modify them.

Regional Senators from both regions will also serve as the New York State Senate; Regional Assemblypersons from both regions will also serve as the New York State Assembly. The regular sessions for regional Legislatures are limited to January, February, and March. Fiscal years of each region will be from March 1 to last day of February. The State Legislature regular session is limited to April and May; The State fiscal year, from May 1 to April 30.

Each region shall have an elected regional governor, regional lieutenant-governor, and regional secretary of state. The token state government will keep an elected-governor, lieutenant-governor, and comptroller. In order to prevent opposition the transfer of state departments/agencies/employees to regional departments/agencies/employees is explained in detail in the amendment and the pension system remains at the state level unchanged. The New York region would still pay for its residents attending New Amsterdam’s regional colleges and vice versa. Local Governments ownership rights are not affected by this Amendment so the City of New York retains ownership of its water system.

Most of the powers of the Court of Appeals powers are transferred to each newly created Regional Superior Court which has final say on ruling on its region laws. Felonies can only
be enacted under regional law. Judicial departments are adjusted so they do not cross
regional boundaries.

Cop Union to de Blasio: Stay Away From Police Funerals

Funeral Held For NYPD Officer Injured While Investigating Fire In High RiseA funeral for a police officer in April. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By Jillian Jorgensen and Ross Barkan | 12/12/14 New York Observer

You’re not even welcome at my funeral.

That’s the message the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is asking rank-and-file cops to send to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who the union has insisted are rolling out anti-cop policies and have not supported the police force.

“DON’T LET THEM INSULT YOUR SACRIFICE!,” a bold red message on the union’s webpage reads. “Download and sign a request that Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito stay away from your funeral in the event that you are killed in the line of duty.”

The form itself, which allows an officer to fill in their name, gets more specific for the reason behind spurning the presence of the officials.

“Due to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito’s consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve, I believe that their attendance at the funeral of a fallen New York City police officer is an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice,” the form reads.

A filled out version can be delivered to an officer’s union delegate, the website advises.

Mayors and other top city officials routinely attend funerals for police killed in the line of duty, which are rare but somber occasions in New York City. Mr. de Blasio delivered remarks at the funeral of Dennis Guerra, a police officer killed in a fire set by a bored teen at a Brooklyn housing project, in April.


Mr. Lynch has been outspoken critic of Mr. de Blasio, particularly in the wake of the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died on Staten Island as a police officer tried to arrest him. Mr. Lynch has been a strong defender of the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, and said Mr. de Blasio’s remarks about his son’s interactions with police left officers “thrown under the bus” by the mayor.

The union leader and others have repeatedly slammed the mayor’s police policies—part of Mr. de Blasio’s efforts to bring police and community closer together—as endangering and insulting police. Ms. Mark-Viverito, meanwhile, has been openly critical of a grand jury’s choice not to indict Mr. Pantaleo.

The mood does not seem to be getting less divisive: after weeks of protests in the city’s streets against police officers—and two more set for this weekend in Washington and in New York—cops are now planning their own pro-police rally next week.

The PBA is also locked in a contentious contract negotiation with the city, which has moved on to binding arbitration. It was not one of the eight uniformed unions accepting a contract deal this week.

In a joint statement, spokesmen for Mr. de Blasio and Ms. Mark-Viverito called the petition “incendiary” and “deeply disappointing.”

“This is deeply disappointing. Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics,” said Phil Walzak, a spokesman for Mr. de Blasio, and Eric Koch, a spokesman for Ms. Mark-Viverito. “The mayor and the speaker both know better than to think this inappropriate stunt represents the views of the majority of police officers and their families.”

Two-thirds support upstate separating from downstate

Rochester Business Journal
December 4, 2009

Two-thirds of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say Upstate New York should try to separate from downstate and become the nation’s 51st state.

The idea is not a new one, but it has been given fresh impetus by legislation introduced this year by state Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, and several other upstate lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly.

The bill would allow each county throughout the state to place a non-binding initiative on its ballot asking whether the voters of the county would support the division of New York into two separate states. A memo attached to the Assembly bill says it is needed “to separate the distinct social and political concerns between upstate and downstate New York.”

Currently, top statewide elected officials are all from the downstate region.

More than 1,010 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Do you favor the division of New York into separate states for the upstate and downstate regions?
Yes: 67%
No: 33%

Here are some readers’ comments:

Divorces are always about cash and/or custody. I suggest upstate keeps subsidy/tax support and in return downstate is free to date other states, such as CT and NJ. Upstate keeps the infrastructure, state name, state bird, Yankees and rights to license the name “New York.” Downstate keeps the legislators, state flower, Buffalo and the Mets.
—Ian Cunningham

This is something that should have happened long ago. Upstate New York has never held any political clout as compared with downstate. I am all for it!
—David Wagner

We all love to hate downstate, but it would be a bad deal for us. The increase in taxes for us to maintain our standard of living would be unbearable. One simple example: We have a lot more roads to maintain. Why can’t our politicians do some basic research before proposing such shortsighted ideas?
—Solon Barnard

As a much smaller state, we would still have two senators for federal representation and a much lower debt, providing the current state’s debt is divided equally. With the rapidly growing Finger Lakes wine region, western New York State would become a nice tourist destination.
—Al Schnucker

New York City will never let us go. They are the lords in their castle, we the poor serfs tilling the fields that surround them, doing the work and generating the money they need to live as they do. Some things never change.
—Fred Lucas, Duffy Rath System

This is the most ridiculous proposal yet. We need to financially restructure the entire state in order to become efficient and fiscally strong. There are strengths and weaknesses in all our geographic areas. What will be next, a Finger Lakes State? The state of Rochester?
—Nancy May, Alliance PPC

We are completely unrepresented both in state and national politics, and although it is not by any means ideal, the only solution to this problem is separation.
—Todd VanHouten

Upstate New York would thrive without downstate. The new state could eliminate the many mandates that the downstate legislators have imposed upon us. This would reduce the cost of government, schools, etc. Rochester could be the next Charlotte, N.C. The new state could become a low-tax haven for people and businesses. The economy would thrive and grow. In fact, we would probably attract many companies from the newly separated downstate area. Also, there is substantial support in downstate for the split. A few years ago, Peter Villone was president of the NYC City Council. Along with 20+ more City Council members, they supported a split. Let’s end the occupation of upstate by the downstate monarchy now.
—John Rynne, president, Rynne, Murphy & Associates Inc.

This is ridiculous. Analysis has actually shown that we benefit more from the tax dollars generated downstate than they do from the tax dollars we generate upstate. If this is all Robach is doing for us, it’s time for a new senator.
—Rick Corey, Penfield

Bravo. The best idea I have heard in years. It is about time.
—Vanessa Capogreco, Rainbow Talent Agency

I am proud to be from the same state that includes the great city of New York. However, New York City and its surrounding counties (Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland) have very different infrastructure requirements and have the ability to support very different taxation methods as compared with the remainder of New York State. By eliminating these disparate situations, I believe that separating upstate from downstate would allow our state government to operate much more effectively.
—Peter A. Pizzutelli, Parkside Professionals

Downstate is Democratic, and upstate is Republican. Downstate is so dominant, that upstate almost always gets the short end of the stick. I often refer to “Unshackle Upstate” as “Un-Shekel Upstate.” Being the 51st state would make for lots of new jobs for flag makers, new state employees and the construction jobs to build the wall to keep the downstaters out except during the fall foliage season. I’m also partial to numbers divisible by three (51 states).
—Clifford Jacobson,

You should poll a representative sample from all counties and publish results backed up by article pointing out pros, cons and alternatives. Could the current system be modified to get a better balance? The state’s main problems stem from flawed welfare system, continued deficit spending and non competitive total tax rates (when compared with other states).
—Ray McClure

Although emotionally appealing, the idea of splitting off from New York City and the three abutting counties downstate would be financially disastrous. Just one example, is where would upstate get the resources to reimburse the existing state for all the infrastructure, roads, dams, power plants, canals etc. that the state now owns? Where would the revenue come from to cover all the services all of us have come to expect without the help of downstate? What makes anyone think that the remaining non-downstate counties could reach any sort of consensus on anything? I’ve traveled to every county in the state, and I can say with certainty that rural, urban and suburban interests are not unilateral. It seems to me we can learn a great deal from the way five counties (New York City) have learned to function as a single entity to consolidate and cooperate for their common interest. Before we mindlessly run off a cliff to oblivion, maybe we should figure out how to make the government we currently have work better.
—Frank Orienter, Rochester

The proposal to split New York State is fundamentally wrong for several reasons. The first is that it is a gimmick that would be a distraction from solving the real problems of our state. We need to focus on reducing the cost of government, improving our business climate, and bringing our mid-20th century policies into the present. This is a tall order, and Albany needs to be focused if we are to have any chance of restoring our competitiveness with other states. The second problem is that Albany suffers from too much political theater and polarization already. Our politicians need to learn to cooperate and resolve differences, and this proposal would only result in more polarization and dysfunction in Albany. All states, and indeed all large organizations, have major differences. A successful organization recognizes differences and leverages the strengths of those differences. Unsuccessful organizations fight over differences. The third problem is that the entire upstate/downstate divide is greatly exaggerated. Upstate politicians who bash downstate want to create the image that upstate and downstate are two distinct homogenous regions. The reality is far different. In reality, there is as much difference between rural Southern Tier towns and upscale Rochester neighborhoods than there is between upstate and downstate. Downstate is also quite diverse, with the needs of Montauk being vastly different from those of Manhattan. It is impossible to find a dividing line between two distinct regions, because cultures morph continuously throughout the state. The fourth problem is that downstate (even in the depths of the recession) is an economic powerhouse that cross-subsidized upstate. We need greater ties to the business centers of downstate, not a severing of those ties. We need to face the reality that downstate is not holding back upstate. The failings of upstate leaders and the dysfunction in Albany are holding us back. We need to focus on resolving our problems. We can’t afford to distract ourselves with a tired and discredited proposal to balkanize the state.
—DeWain Feller

This question must arise from a discussion on the imbalance of revenues and costs of the state with a disproportionate share of costs going to the lower part of the state while a higher portion of revenues comes the higher. First, we need to be very careful in how we analyze those revenues and costs. We’ve a strong history as a state and we, like a lot of other states, are going to embark on tough times. I don’t believe we should do something rash. Secondly, NYC is the financial capital of the world. Why would we upstaters wish to separate ourselves from that? It has always benefited us in one way or another. Thirdly, we need to start thinking of how to make government more efficient, more productive and less costly. That will require some radical thinking like consolidating town and county governments. The duplication of costs is atrocious. I find it hard to believe that the creation of a new state will help us become less costly and more efficient. After all, it’s these same legislators we have today that would like to be part of the new state tomorrow. I believe we need to have a much clearer understanding of the goals of this creating a new state and the plan to achieve its success before we start voting on a non-binding initiative.
—Dyke Smith, Dyke Smith and Associates

I do not know all of the ramifications, but from what I see and hear, that could be a good thing. Can we leave the New York legislature with upstate and start a new one for ourselves? That has exciting possibilities!
—Emily Neece

While my heart says YES, my mind needs more information to see if it is feasible. Conceptually, it appears money inflows to downstate exceed outflows, but does Upstate New York have the ability to financially stand on its own. It would be a great test case though to start a new state and hopefully have the ability to shed many of the burdens that have built up in “Old” New York. Maybe we could be a pilot for many suggested reforms needed at the State level.
—Peter Short, Pittsford

Clearly upstate interests do not get adequate, fair representation based on the flow of resources. Some will say downstate provides commensurate inflow, but it would be interesting to see the facts and figures, especially in these years of lean time for Wall Street.
—David Lamb

A separate state will not solve the problems faced by upstate. The real problem facing NYS is an entrenched culture and practice of governance that has led to the creation of thousands of overlapping taxing and regulatory authorities. Despite the obvious inefficiencies and corruption that have resulted, more unified and cost-effective models of governance have failed to gain traction here or elsewhere in the state. If governance culture and practice remain the same, a new state will make little difference.
—Harry Merryman, president, Management Insight and Development

Give them Albany.
—Ron Johnson

We will never achieve representation that is meaningful while all the top elected officials are from downstate. Their issues are not the same as ours and I believe that upstate is not seriously taken into consideration when “our” top representation is from one of the largest metro areas in the world and doesn’t have a clue or doesn’t care about us.
—Jean Berry

Wow, I feel like a secessionist! Will I be hunted down by the downstaters? I hope we get to be blue and not gray! I sincerely feel it would be in our (upstate) best interest to form the 51st state. NYC is just too big, and too dominant in our easy-to-be-dominant-in State political scene. They get their way, and we suffer. Let’s secede!
—Hutch Hutchison, In T’Hutch Ltd.

This is a very poor idea. New York City is the only remaining economic engine in this state. Whether we like it or not, over time we get substantial subsidies from the city because of its robust financial industry. It would be a far better idea to adjust the costs of doing business (like taxes and workers compensation) for upstate and western New York to reflect our relative lack of economic opportunity.
—Rob Brown, Boylan Brown

Years ago I thought this was a good idea. (See: Then came 9/11 and it was clear we had bigger problems. Today it would be impossible to achieve, because far too many people in upstate (teachers, unions, lawyers, politicians, etc.) have a vested interest in the status quo. Best solution for business concerns is to seek “business friendly states.” The solution for our retiring population is to seek “retirement friendly states”. New York State will soon be bankrupt and thus, will have to extract dollars from anyone who has it.
—Jerry Lighthouse, C.P.M., CPIM Advanced Purchasing Technology, LLC

Though a long time in the coming, this is an effort whose time has come. With no disrespect intended, those in downstate truly live in a dramatically different world than those upstate. Different politics, different economics, different cost of living and lifestyles, different employment dynamics, different housing styles and land use, and different transportation realities. It would be a godsend to have a political boundary that enables Upstate NY to speak—and be represented—with a unified voice across our state without the tensions of trying to force-fit our decisions based on how “the other half” functions.
—Christopher Burns, Rochester

Aw, come on now! Mr. Robach is obviously not taking his meds in the proper dose. The state is broke now AND we are getting more upstate from downstate than they are from us. Just where does Mr. Robach think the money would come from to support us if we divorced from downstate? We can’t do it ourselves. Of course, if Mr. Robach thinks Arkansas, Mississippi or W. Virginia look like good role models, I guess we would do just fine. Getting serious for just a moment, we would need a plan to overcome the lopsided content of the legislature just to consider the proposal and then, develop a plan to finance it. As it is now, the proposal can’t be taken seriously at all.
—Rick Bradley

This discussion is a red herring. It’s a simple, clear-cut solution that entire avoids all the complex issues that exist in our state. This discussion invites us to occupy our minds and waste our efforts pursuing an effort that isn’t viable, and to neglect the actual problems in this state. Like fast food, we pursue this effort not because it’s good or healthy, but because it seems easy.
—Perette Barella, Devious Fish

Yes. Yes. Yes. Immediately, we free ourselves from the “downstate” control of the state capital. Such alone is worth all of the downside. We would gain two U.S. senators. Because of politics, Albany refuses to get its act together. It is time for the Rochester area to subscribe to a new play at a different theatre.
—Jay Birnbaum

As long as Sheldon Silver and his cronies live and breathe, Upstate New York will merely be a fiefdom to the New York City power hierarchy. The cost of government imposed by the downstate powers and their Wall Street tax sources cannot be sustained by a normal working class society like that which exists upstate.
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield

I should say I support looking into the pros and cons of this idea. Upstate NY does seem to get lost in the needs of NYC and should benefit from the separation. Would like to understand better the state revenue and expense flows geographically, this could be a case of be “careful what you wish for.” The downside for downstate is that no pro football team would actually play in that new state, unless of course they annex New Jersey.
—Kevin Weckesser

This is a distraction. We in upstate are still spending way too much on Medicaid and education without getting the results. Let’s address those problems first.
—Doug Lyon, Lyon Capital Management

For years, counties other than Monroe and the five Boroughs of New York have benefited from the corporate and personal taxes generated by those six entities—how would this proposal change that? Secondly, if this were to pass someone (taxpayers) would then spend billions of dollars to take apart the current New York State to create the states of New York and Not New York. Mr. Robach and his colleagues would better spend their time cleaning up their own houses as the first step to “fixing” the problems of New York.
—John F. Hurley, Web Seal Inc.

One of our big complaints upstate is school tax, which are some of the highest in the nation as a percentage of value. Thirty-one percent of all state aid goes to New York City, and 13 percent goes to Long Island. The reason? Downstate politics. We have no clout upstate when it comes to “revenue distribution” or controlling unfunded mandates. We have half the programs in our schools and twice the tax rates because the school aid formulas are tainted towards downstate revenue enhancement. Cut them loose I say and let them generate their own revenue. If not, the feds can bail them out like they do everyone else.
—Rob Bick, assessor, town of Clay

Although this is a good idea, and would definitely help upstate “unshackle” itself from the megalopolis NYC, and would economically benefit upstate in a million ways I’m afraid it could set a precedent across the U.S. as healthy states would try to shed loafing big cities. In corporate America, large corporations often spin off “loser” divisions in order to fix the bottom line. This is a tough choice. I’m afraid we (America) would wind up with a collection of welfare mini-states. They’d now be funded at a national level, and there you go—you’ve shifted the tax burden to all of America. Hey, on second thought, that’s not such a bad idea!
—John Malvaso, president, FSI Systems Inc.

While I am tempted to say yes to this question, I would rather see us work together to form a better equality plan between upstate and downstate. Additionally, New York State has to learn how to control spending better and start making some hard choices. Money spent should be an investment in the States future not “business as usual.” Having said that, I believe under the present administration, we can’t get there. It is time for a change all around.
—Grant Osman

I dare say it is not as simple as making two states. Downstate carries the burden of being a welfare “state” and the advantage of housing some of the richest people in the United States. The tax burden for the welfare portion is legislated by the relatively rich downstate legislators and largely paid by those upstate. The nation needs to embrace the issue of poverty and its myriad causes and address it as a priority. The draconian welfare laws perpetuate some of the poverty. The incarceration of addicts, the tax loopholes, the failing schools, etc. etc. need to be addressed. Splitting the state is a rallying cry that holds little promise other than passing the problem around. Consider real non-partisan reform—that is what I consider the legislature’s duty.
—Donna Cullen

This is an issue that needs further study and may prove to be necessary over the long term. The perception of Upstate NY residents is that taxation and benefits are not equitable with NYC/Long Island area taxpayers. A thorough analysis of the state budget would need to be conducted to actually proven this theory out. As an alternative to this move, a statewide mandate to have a consistent property tax assessment cycle (say every two-three-five years) and a standard calculation formula enforced by all NY state communities would remedy the inequities that exist. According to a recent presentation by Tom Golisano regarding this subject, he states that upstate communities perform annual property tax assessments and adjustments while downstate communities perform this same task much less frequently (like every 10 years). Another step toward balance and equity would be to have mandatory separate regional budgets for each region. Each region would have a balanced budget where taxation and benefits would need to be equal within each region.
—Scott D. Upham, president & CEO, Valient Solutions Market Research

I suspect this is too costly and would be a distraction from more important issues.
—Craig Epperson

We already have too many bureaucracies in New York. What we need is to eliminate government organizations. New York has 62 counties, each with dozens of towns, each with county boards, city councils, town boards, school boards, multiple police organizations, water boards, etc. What we need is to streamline New York. It is the only way to reduce taxes. New data released by the Census Bureau shows that over a three-year period (2005 to 2007) taxes paid by homeowners in New York and New Jersey counties were the highest in the country.
—Sergio Ruffolo, JR Language Translation Services, Webster

Rather than double the dysfunction, let’s put energy toward solving the issues in this state. Solutions are clear (cut spending, reduce size of government, increase transparency, benchmark against known best practices). The only piece lacking is courage amongst our elected officials.
—Dave Vanable

This is just another delay tactic. What needs to be done is to get all the politicians together 1) teach them civility. 2) Teach them what budgeting really is (revenue = expenses!). 3) Right size the government and its agencies for the current population of NYS both upstate and downstate. 4) Establish incentives and disincentives to getting the budget done. 5) Educate ALL of NYS stakeholders (businesses, people, institutions) about budgeting (revenue = expenses). We need downstate as much as they need upstate. It’s time to stop all the divisiveness. It’s wasteful of our time, our tax dollars, our politician’s time, and provides another us vs. them mentality that we don’t need.
—Donna Hickling, Wordeconomy, Inc.

Absolutely the areas should be split, and the decision is long overdue. I’ve lived on Long Island, and in the Capital District and in the Rochester area. Upstate has no commonality of need with downstate, and will always be whip-sawed by downstate politics and finances, have no voice in presidential elections, and be an “after-thought” of minimal bones thrown to quiet the growls and whimpers. Upstate especially lacks clout to effect the change so sorely needed in Albany. Congratulations to Joe Robach for having the courage to bring the issue to the forefront!
—Diane C. Harris, president, Hypotenuse Enterprises, Inc.

This is a ridiculous question. What would it be like if everyone who could not work out their problems wanted their own state or seceded from the union? We have established means of changing our government. It usually fails because the voters, you and I, do not have the courage to change it by voting out our elected representatives. We also do not insist that meaningful laws are passed either through our own representatives or through petition and special ballots. You should also remember that all elected representatives get there by MONEY. So if the party or its representatives do not do what you want DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM OR FUND THEM. The recent proposal of a constitutional convention was a good one but has stalled now. If we have on we should have representatives attend that are our elected representatives PLUS those outside the parties. Now, do you have the will to make a change in NY at the ballot box or by continually petitioning your representatives? If you don’t bug them enough, they think you don’t care and then deal-making starts. Everyone should get mad and force a change using our own due processes. If you don’t it won’t matter how many states you have because you have not changed the process.
—Bob Stein

Can we force New York City to keep Albany?
—Andy Vaughan

Upstate New York will never be able to survive if we are to keep on subsidizing for anything that New York City and its boroughs want. We just do not have the population to override their wants nor will be ever be able to have a majority in our Legislature. The following counties New York, Queens, Suffolk, Nassau, Bronx, Kings and Richmond should have their own state.
—John D. Coy, director of operations, We Serve It For You Process Serving Agency, LLC

To whatever degree the failure of NYC to levy enough tax to be self sufficient, that failure adds to the onerous tax burden of Upstate NY, without any of the related benefits.
—Joe Fabetes, Rochester

It’s a stupid idea. Maybe those who want to separate should join Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and form their own country and leave us altogether.
—Pete Bonenfant, Fairport

I used to think that the two separate states idea wasn’t a good one because at the time we were getting more tax dollars into upstate than we were putting into the kitty. However, upon reflection, it’s clear to me that the welfare and entitlement mentality emanating from NYC has been disastrous for the state as a whole and upstate in particular. As a separate state, we could establish rational tax rates and tie our entitlement expenses to the average of the 10 highest paying states instead of being the highest in the nation. We could break the hold of the trial attorneys on the state (through Sheldon Silver) and establish sensible liability laws. We could also reduce the power of the public employee unions and get rid of absurd “prevailing wage” laws. We could elect representatives who would actually represent us instead of acting as our rulers. I don’t think any of these things are achievable with the current stranglehold NYC has on the state as a whole.
—George Dounce

No! No! No! Nothing would change, except creating some more politicians in cozy jobs with public health options (mostly Republicans!). Upstate problems are mostly homemade, right here in upstate, and nothing would change. As far as the problems in Albany are concerned, upstate politicians are willing and sometimes eager co-conspirators. I think that upstate, including the Rochester area, would be better served by replacing the same-old/same-old thinking with revolutionary new-new. After all, the American Revolution was based on new thoughts, replacing old ones. Can’t we go back to those roots?
—Ingo H. Leubner, Crystallization Consulting

Is this a joke? Why waste our time with such a silly question? All states have diversity in regions…and it’s probably a good thing. Adding more complexity in government is just plain stupid.
—Andy Burke

It’s not the geography, it’s the politicians. This is the best solution for what? Getting the budget under control? We’ve been hot and heavy after every fairy tale project under the sun. We’ve wasted millions thinking of projects. Conducted studies, paid architects, and drew up the plans. For projects the public doesn’t need or want. Not to mention the current upside down ones, or just plain failed ones. WE are part of the NYS’s problem. Imagine what our politicians are doing, going on statewide! That’s the problem! This is just another playground for politicians. More Senators, Congressmen, staffs, stipends, lobbyists, and the world goes round. We don’t need another Governor; let the one in office cut the spending like he wants to! And I’m not a democrat! I’m a taxpayer. If you can’t get the job done, rat out the bad guys or step aside. This is spin for incompetence.
—Lou Romano

Interesting idea (again). A caveat to where the line is drawn defining “upstate.” Westchester and north, what about Nassau and Suffolk?
—Mark Davitt, ConServe

I think every major city should be on their own. Why should states be required to subsidize the out-of-control cities. Large cities have extra voting power.
—Gregory Clyde

I Love New York … all of it!
—Phil Beckley, SPLASH Marketing

It is a myth that more upstate tax dollars go downstate than downstate tax dollars go upstate. What we need is better/faster transportation to downstate so that commuting is an option for workers upstate and downstate residents can more easily vacation upstate. We need to unite, not divide.
—John Magee

Joe Robach’s idea of a referendum on this question is a complete distraction from the budget issues that the Senate is failing to address. This is an example of the lack of leadership on the part of the rank and file Senators and their failure to revolt on behalf of their constituents. The issue will never get out of a committee, won’t have a matching bill pass the Assembly, and economically a false premise. This is one of the ways Joe and other upstate legislators can try to distance themselves from the downstate clowns in charge of the legislature. Nice try Joe but your move is very transparent. This lack of attention to what’s vital and urgent for the Legislature on behalf of NY’s citizens and taxpayers is the reason Joe and all incumbents will not get my vote next November.
—Bob Volpe, Highland Development Services

An independent committee that would establish the assembly and senate districts plus a significant reduction in political fund raising would help shift the power from downstate to upstate. Given the population and economic mix, the creation of an upstate would not work.
—Mike Bleeg, Strategic Results

No, not the way you have mapped it in the question. Long Island should still be part of New York State, but the city should be a District, like D.C.
—Briget Grbic, CS Stars

Upstate needs real focus and investment. This will not happen in a dysfunctional Albany that is dominated by downstate politicians. In addition, a new state would give us two US senators dedicated fully to the region’s interests.
—Brian Kane

Separating from downstate would significantly improve upstate’s economy and lower our taxes, but it will never happen because downstate has been enjoying upstate’s money for far too long to ever give it up.
—Bill Wyatt, Fairport

It sounds “cool” to want this, but with the mass exodus of business from Western New York, there isn’t a sustainable economic base to support independent statehood. This is the same conclusion Quebec came to when they thought they wanted to secede from Canada: They didn’t have a large enough tax base to provide the same level of services they currently had, and I fear Western New York would be in much the same position.
—Scott Ireland

Cuomo’s Pyrrhic Victory

Friday, 05 Dec 2014 By George J. Marlin – Newsmax

Despite a national Republican tsunami in 2010, Democrat Andrew Cuomo was elected governor with a whopping 63 percent of the vote.

Armed with that mandate, with the White House in his sights, Cuomo initially governed from the center and began to fix the fiscal mess created by his three immediate predecessors, Govs. George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, and David Paterson. This approach to governing did not last. By the end of his first term, he managed to infuriate plenty of voters.

On the one hand, his anti-fracking, anti-gun, anti-traditional-marriage stands — not to mention his tax increases — energized opposition among suburban blue-collar conservatives and upstate rural Republicans. On the other, the angst he caused in New York’s bluest quarters forced the extremist Working Families Party to publicly condemn him, to make him beg for their nomination and to agree to expend his treasure and time on electing a Democratic state Senate.

Also, Cuomo’s overall attitude didn’t help. His contempt for retail politics and his micromanaging and bullying alienated most of New York’s political establishment.

Despite these woes, to keep his White House hopes alive — just in case Hillary doesn’t run, or she somehow falters — Cuomo’s main goal this fall was to best the 65 percent his father earned in his 1986 second-term victory.

To achieve that end, Cuomo’s campaign spent millions on negative advertising falsely portraying his Republican opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, as a felon. The campaign also limited Cuomo appearances to small, totally controlled, invitation-only events, and discarded those promises made to the Working Families Party.

This approach backfired. Cuomo was re-elected with only 53 percent of the vote, receiving 1 million fewer votes than he did in 2010. It was the lowest count for a Democratic victor since Franklin Roosevelt in 1930, when the state had 12 million people. It has 19 million today.

Upstate, Cuomo carried 13 counties, down from 37 in 2010. On Long Island, his margin in Nassau County was down 8 percentage points, for a total of 52.5 percent. As for Suffolk County, 4 years ago he garnered 58 percent, this time 47.5 percent.

Most interestingly, Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — whom Cuomo tried to knock off the party ticket in 2010 — humiliated the governor by leading the statewide ticket with 2.104 million votes. DiNapoli was re-elected with 60 percent of the vote and topped Cuomo’s total by 180,000.

Cuomo’s strategy depressed the Democratic turnout and helped Republicans pick up three Congressional seats — 25 percent of their national gains — and secure outright control of the state Senate. And Astorino, who ran a respectable campaign on a shoestring budget of $4.8 million, received 41 percent, the highest GOP total for governor in 12 years.

After analyzing the results, The New York Times rightly proclaimed on Nov. 5, “Cuomo wins a second term, but his aura of invincibility is gone.”

The next four years will not be happy ones for our governor. Vengeful Democrats, led by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and labor union bosses, will be plotting comebacks, counting the days until the Cuomo era ends. Republicans will strive to build on their gains and will block Cuomo’s leftist agenda at every turn.

There are two things you can bank on. First, there will be no third term for Cuomo, who is smart enough to know that in his weakened position, he’ll face a serious primary challenger in 2018. He also knows, from his father’s experiences, that third terms are not fun.

Second, Cuomo will devote most of his time to settling scores. He’s a man who never forgets or forgives a slight. He mastered the role of hatchet man during daddy Mario’s 12 years in office, and doesn’t fear utilizing those skills.

Expect plenty of gubernatorial theater in the next four years, but few accomplishments. Cuomo’s second term will resemble many gubernatorial third terms – marking time, and lackluster at best.

George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J., is the author of “The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact.” He also is a columnist for and the Long Island Business News.