Feeling somewhat emboldened since I stood in support of Roland Burris when others did not, I want to congratulate Burris who is now the senate-designate from Illinois. The incoming junior senator will be forced to hit the ground running since that elective body has many issues to tackle like the economy which is the prevalent issue at hand. But knowing he was once the state comptroller for the state of Illinois, he has the needed experience to serve his constituents proudly.
Now moving onto my state, which is the state of New York, it is the same experience I am looking for when Governor David Paterson makes his selection for the seat. This coveted seat is one that will be vacated by Sen. Hillary Clinton who will most likely be approved by the senate in her confirmation hearings to become our next Secretary of State in the Obama administration.
While I originally backed the Nassau County Executive, Thomas Suozzi, the man I can see filling that seat also has name recognition and it is none-other than the New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo. His father, Mario Cuomo served proudly as our state’s governor.
Newsday reported yesterday, “a poll last week found Cuomo far more popular than Kennedy, following her widely panned interviews and "listening tour," and a stronger candidate in a contest with Republican Rep. Peter King.” And that is highly important should the Democratic Party wish to retain this seat. King is a powerful congress member and is the only Republican serving in congress from Long Island which has turned Democrat over the years and is a force to be reckoned with. I just do not see Caroline Kennedy being a match if forced to face-off against King.
When Cuomo ran for the attorney general seat, he did so at the same time as former Governor, Eliot Spitzer and he out polled Spitzer in Suffolk County, the county in which I reside in and faired better in the general election.
Hank Sheinkopf who is a veteran operative within the Democratic Party had this to say of Cuomo versus Kennedy that he Cuomo, "has proven he can win statewide races. She's never done any such thing. The governor needs less risk - he needs to win." In the General election which was held back on November 7th, 2006 Cuomo received 58.3% of the vote as opposed to his Republican challenger, Jeanine Pirro who only received 39.3%.
Even Donald Campbell a Republican had this to say of Cuomo when he was former President Bill Clinton's housing director that he "was able to pull HUD out of its funk," This is highly critical given the nature of our economy.
Newsday also reported of Cuomo that his bona-fides, "include initiatives to clean up the student loan business, combat child pornography on the Web and tighten mortgage lending. Polls indicate voters like what they see." With child pornography and sex crimes against children being one of the issues I have addressed in the past, Cuomo is to be heralded.
With the mortgage crisis being the foundation of our current economic firestorm, tightening the reins when it comes to lending is something we as a Americans do need. As many look in Washington to once again put the brakes on and look for more regulation directed at the lending industries, we do need Cuomo’s experience. His voice will be valuable and he just may hold the key.
As Newsday also reported, some like Jay Jacobs who is the chair of the Nassau County Democratic Party had this to add in his reasoning why Cuomo should not be appointed to this senate seat, "Appointing Cuomo to Clinton's seat would create yet another vacancy, setting off yet another political scramble. "This is all about what helps the ticket in 2010,...And as of today, Andrew Cuomo is on the ticket." Yes, Cuomo would be a strong candidate for state-wide office, but we must look at the bigger picture here and the senate does need a senator with experience in order to undo the damage that has been done by the Bush administration.
In their reporting today, The Daily News cited Governor Paterson’s opinion of Caroline Kennedy when he said, "I was impressed with the effort that she seems to be making…She's trying to learn the issues, trying to meet the people, trying to move around." They went onto report, "I asked her about some of the things that happened, and I found the answers to be quite understandable." Quite and trying does not equate with actual hands-on experience that New Yorkers need representing them in the senate. We do not need someone “trying to learn”, but need someone who can represent us effectively and Cuomo fits that bill.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz had this to say of Kennedy, "I think she brings something nobody else does," citing her friendship with Obama. Again friendship with the incoming president should not be looked at as being part of one's resume.
Again and lastly, if we are going to undo the damage done by President Bush and the Republican majority who were in power within his first six years in office, this is where one must cry out for experienced senators to lead the way. Our citizens should be demanding this. The Democrats as the new majority in both the White House and congress need a senator in Andrew Cuomo.
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