Here’s a look at opinion content published Wednesday, Nov. 3 and today, Thursday, Nov. 4:
Wednesday, Nov. 3
Andrew Cuomo: Editorial
We comment on the unsurprising election of state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and conclude that New York is in desperate need of a strong executive. We write:
… Only a strong governor, the thinking goes, has the wherewithal to move state legislators to act in ways that serve important long-term interests, rather than legislators’ narrow, short-term interests — e.g., winning the next election.
Now New Yorkers look to the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, hoping he can get legislators to think big and end our losing streak — amid the continuing gloom of recession, a polarized electorate, and a political discourse that inspires more dread than hope.
“We are going to start by cleaning up Albany, and cleaning up Albany means electing people to government, having people in government remember that you represent the people of this state,” Cuomo said prior to the voting.
His ambitious, five-point agenda includes: cleaning up Albany, restoring honor and integrity to a Capitol that’s been sorely lacking in both; getting the state’s fiscal house in order, in part by capping spending and local property taxes; shrinking state government by overhauling state agencies, and cutting the number of authorities and commissions; spurring job growth by cutting taxes and offering incentives; and protecting individual rights. …
Voting machines: Cartoon
Matt Davies examines the trouble voters had with new, optical-scan machines on Election Day.
Thursday, Nov. 4
New York voters and the GOP: Editorial
We comment on results of the region’s elections for state and Congressional offices. Many incumbent Democrats who represent the Lower Hudson Valley will return to Albany. Republicans did score a victory, however, in race for the 19th Congressional District seat in which Republican Nan Hayworth upset incumbent Democrat John Hall. We write:
… The reality is, Democrats and Republicans running for Assembly and Senate seats mostly sounded very much the same themes, in an election where social issues gained little notice: They pledged to cut spending, limit or reduce taxes, and trim the size of the sprawling state government. Many pledged as well to fight corruption and dysfunction in Albany. These aims matched the oft-annunciated marching orders from voters, Democrats and Republicans alike. The results indicate that voters were unconvinced that mostly inexperienced GOP challengers could do better.
So the Democrats — most of them anyway — return to Albany. …
… By contrast, the distinctions between the local Republicans and Democrats running for Congress could not have been more sharply drawn. Outside of Hayworth’s victory over Democrat John Hall — she lost Westchester but won in Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange — the voters passed on the GOP platform, which broadly rejected the health-care reforms, the financial industry bailouts, the federal stimulus package, regulatory reform, and virtually any government intervention in the economy. The winning incumbents did not run from their votes. They certainly ought not now.
Change, though, is on the way — again. Elusive compromise must come, or expect two years of failure and frustration, and lack of momentum on the jobs front and the economy. It will be up to Obama to chart a course that bridges the policy and political divide, takes account of the new calculus in both chambers of Congress, and holds on to the considerable policy gains achieved so far. And there should be no mistaking that both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress will need to be engaged in the process. The nation requires no less.
Obama and the GOP: Cartoon
Matt Davies comments on the results of Tuesday’s Congressional election, which delivered control of the House to the Republican Party.
Voting Machines: Reisman
Phil Reisman talks about the frustration he experienced while trying to vote Tuesday. He writes:
For all you voters who got royally screwed by the optical-scan machines on Tuesday, look at it this way.
There weren’t any hanging chads.
Actually, something worse was left dangling in the wind — and that was doubt. Rather than serving as technologically advanced instruments of democracy, the scanners amounted to nothing more than weapons of mass suspicion.
In a single day, it was learned that we buy more than just bananas from Guatemala. We’ve also imported their dubious system of choosing leaders. …