Republicans concede the NYC comptroller’s race


| lpenner@queenscourier.com |

While everyone is focused on current NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio who will most likely succeed NYC Mayor Bloomberg, little attention has been paid to the race to replace NYC Comptroller John Liu.

Republican NYC comptroller candidate John Burnett, who has raised less than $10,000 to date, is unable to communicate his message and offer voters an alternative in November to the Democratic Party candidate for NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Fioravante Perrotta ran on the Republican and Liberal party lines in 1969 for NYC Comptroller.  He lost a close race to Democrat Abe Beame.  The last effective GOP challenger for NYC comptroller was businessperson Richard Bernstein.  He ran with former Mayor Ed Koch, who was cross endorsed by the GOP in 1981. This also applies to former Brooklyn Democratic Assemblymember Jules Polenetsky who ran for public advocate with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1997. The last Republican NYC Council President Sanford Garelick won in 1969.

The last Republican NYC comptroller was Joseph D. McGoldrick who served from 1938 to 1945.

Money is mother’s milk of politics.  The only way underdog GOP candidate Burnett could have had a chance at overcoming history and the 6 to 1 enrollment advantage of Democrats to Republicans was to have quickly raised several million dollars months ago.  This is necessary to finance weekly television and radio media buys, newspaper ads, phone banks, direct mail and get out the vote operations.  Without money to compete, Burnett will become just another asterisk in municipal electoral history.

Democrats have rallied around Manhattan Borough President and former 2013 mayoral candidate Scott Stringer for NYC comptroller.

All Democrats are going to support one of their own to end the GOP’s 20-year control of City Hall.  In 2013, the GOP failed to field a candidate for the office of public advocate.   It is a forgone conclusion that Democrats will win the municipal trifecta.  The Queens Courier headline on November 7 will read “Bill de Blasio elected Mayor, Scott Stringer comptroller and Letitia James public advocate.”  There will be an inter-mural contest during November and December between the five Democratic County leaders and their loyal councilmembers to select the next NYC council speaker to succeed lame duck NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn.  Don’t be surprised if Democrats end up controlling 48 of the 51 NYC Council seats.  The GOP will be lucky to hold on to the seat being vacated by NYC Council Minority leader James Oddo.  Oddo is running for Staten Island borough president.  Steven Matteo is running to fill Oddo’s Council seat along with Councilmembers Vincent Ignizio from Staten Island and Eric Ulrich from Queens.   New Yorkers will have to deal with one party control of all three citywide offices along with the City Council.

Mayor Bloomerg’s legacy will be leaving the Big Apple as a one party politically correct liberal Democratic Party town.  History has shown that this a recipe for disaster.  It leaves the door to City Hall wide open for waste, fraud and abuse.  This will result in a spiraling economic decline as the business community and job creators continue to flee for more favorable climates elsewhere.  With continued unemployment and less tax revenue coming in, this will trigger a decline of basic municipal services.  Chaos and finger pointing will eventually be the order of the day. This will result in municipal corruption.

Partial credit goes to Bloomberg who abandoned the Republican Party whose ballot line he “rented” for convenience in winning a third term. He has continued his past track record up to today of doing little to help finance and run serious Republican challengers against incumbent Democrats.

Bloomberg’s 2009 reelection strategy was deliberate in not spending any significant time campaigning or fundraising for GOP challengers. He didn’t want to increase turnout of registered Democrats or offend incumbent Democrat Party public officials. As a result, he had virtually no GOP allies or minor league bench in City Hall to develop candidates for mayor, city comptroller or public advocate in 2013.

Losing 2013 Republican mayoral primary candidate businessman John Catsimatidis should have put his ego aside.  He could have dropped out of the mayoral race and instead run for NYC comptroller. Catsimatidis could have assisted the Republicans in running a real diverse city and borough wide group of candidates for the first time in decades Catsimatidis running a self-financed campaign could have given Stringer a run for his money.  This would have also helped the handful of GOP competitive NYC Council candidates in expanding their current four members to the old record of seven who served with former Mayor Giuliani during the 1990s.

NYC has a municipal budget approaching $70 billion dollars with 300,000 employees. This is greater than many states and nations. Stringer who also previously served as a legislative assistant to State Assemblymember and Congressmember Gerald Nadler along with serving as a member of the State Assembly has no private sector experience. He has never built a business, balanced a budget, created jobs, met a payroll or managed any significant agencies with large numbers of employees.  Stringer was running around town campaigning since November 2009 for mayor.  His dreams of becoming mayor never got off the ground. Stringer had been consistently polling at no greater than 5 percent among potential Democratic Party primary voters over the past three years coming in last among the four leading candidates. He decided in December 2012 to run for NYC comptroller instead. This hardly makes him a credible candidate. Stringer is just another career politician looking for his next meal ticket.  Watch for Stringer to come out of the closet and run for mayor in 2017 or 2021.