Gov. Hochul’s horrible judgment results in one horrible day


Gov. Kathy Hochul rushed to the microphones Tuesday to reassure New Yorkers following the Brooklyn subway shootings. She ought to’ve stood in mattress.

Out tumbled a jumble of half-thoughts, unfocused and haltingly delivered, underscoring what has been obvious for a while now — which is that New York’s latest accidental governor can be out of her depth in a Buffalo mud puddle.

Which, in a fashion of talking, is the place she got here from.

Hochul’s horrible day additionally included information that her handpicked, staunchly defended lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, had simply been arrested on federal corruption prices. Benjamin can be passed by day’s finish, in fact, however the matter will linger.

Really, the scandal may have been predicted by anyone who pays even cursory consideration to New York politics. However Hochul, it appears, doesn’t take note of a lot. This may clarify her collection of Benjamin within the first place — and the amazingly ineffective state-budget cycle that she simply stumbled by.

It might additionally clarify, if that’s vital, why Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced her on to his ticket in 2014 — him having a factor for dim-bulb staffers. (Cuomo’s [probably] historical past now, however he’s received to be laughing up his sleeve at the moment.)

First, although, the subway-shootings press convention — a efficiency that challenges the flexibility of mere phrases to explain, although to not fear: It’ll be coming quickly to marketing campaign commercials close to you.

Right here’s a tiny style: “This morning, abnormal New Yorkers left their houses en path to a traditional day. Their sense of tranquility was interrupted by a person so coldhearted and wicked of coronary heart that that they had no caring …” and so forth. Not a lot in the way in which of consolation there, except it helps to know that coldhearted and wicked subway-shooters don’t have any caring.

Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin
Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin is dealing with prices tied to an alleged marketing campaign finance scheme.
Alec Tabak

Far more substantive, in fact, is the matter of how Benjamin grew to become the Empire State’s lieutenant governor. A ham-and-egg backbench state senator from Harlem, the guy has lengthy carried the odor of petty corruption that permeates official Albany, the Legislature specifically.

However he had the rhetorical chops to enchantment to Hochul — simply elevated to the chief chamber, in want of a lieutenant governor and major challenges from New York’s increasing radical left. Who higher to lift up than a black, vocal defund-the-police progressive?

In order that’s what Hochul did.

M/B on R train shot several people and injured more with a possible explosive device. The man, wearing construction close and a gas mask, fled northbound on the R line where he shot more people at 24th st. He is still outstanding.
Gov. Kathy Hochul didn’t supply a lot consolation along with her press convention concerning the subway taking pictures.
Gabriella Bass

Think about her chagrin Tuesday when she discovered that Benjamin had been arrested on federal bribery, conspiracy and associated wire-fraud prices following his indictment by a federal grand jury. 

Worse, it was no secret that the feds had him of their sights all alongside, even when the particulars weren’t well-known — but Hochul not solely picked him to run along with her for a full time period, she firmly defended his place on the ticket till Tuesday.

Loyalty in politics is laudable, if uncommon. But when there ever had been a mistaken judgment that would have been rectified with a discreet dismissal and a “Thanks to your service,” it was this one.

Now Benjamin is gone, besides that he’ll apparently be on the June major poll anyway — a unbroken embarrassment to Hochul and the social gathering usually.

Savvy politicians don’t get themselves within the soup like this — which once more amplifies Kathy Hochul’s startlingly skinny resume. Service on the Hamburg, NY, city board and a time period submitting authorized paperwork as Erie County clerk isn’t precisely job prep for the Empire State’s high elected workplace.

However perhaps extra to the purpose, Benjamin’s arrest is certain to focus consideration on Hochul’s personal ethics issue — her husband.

William Hochul, a profession federal prosecutor with no particularly relevant experience, grew to become common counsel to a Buffalo playing and leisure firm, Delaware North, lower than one 12 months after Kathy Hochul grew to become lieutenant governor. This may occasionally have been a coincidence, if one believes in them, however the truth is that Delaware North has spent tons of of 1000’s of {dollars} lobbying Albany since then — together with the lieutenant governor’s workplace itself.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul (L) with her husband William J. Hochul Jr. shakes hands with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore (R) during her swearing in ceremony at the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York on August 24, 2021.
Gov. Kathy’s husband, William Hochul, may doubtlessly make loads of cash with the brand new Payments stadium.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP through Getty Photos

Caesar’s spouse, please forgive the plain cliché, hasn’t been a consideration in New York politics for a really very long time — if ever. However the utility of being above suspicion — given the Benjamin arrest and the various Cuomo-administration corruption scandals — must be clear to all.

So whereas there are apparent points with the governor’s total competence — she was simply rolled for billions throughout price range negotiations, getting little or no that’s apparent in return — Tuesday introduced her lack of sound judgment into focus.

Additionally, her incapability to talk coherently in a disaster. All in all, Kathy Hochul had a really unhealthy day certainly.

Electronic mail: bob@bobmcmanus.nyc



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