Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New York State Republicans

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

When I woke up on Monday morning, my plan was to write a blog with respect to the implosion of the Republican Party in New York State. The Spitzer scandal broke as I was preparing it and I took two days to follow the scandal and to think over how the political landscape in New York has changed. It has changed but I am not sure it benefits the Republicans all that much. The Republicans in New York have been running on empty for a while. Toward the end of the Pataki administration it became clear that the Republicans had abandoned their conservative ideals and began their drift toward liberalism. It hasn't helped that our recent Republican nominees for statewide office have been absolute disasters. The big Republican hope during the last election cycle was Jeanine Pirro. Jeanine Pirro? After she couldn't find Page 10of her announcement speech, she decided to drop her bid for the Senate and run for Attorney General. In that race she drew less than 40% of the vote. It couldn't have helped that her husband was a convicted felon. The Democratic incumbent for state comptroller was Alan Hevesi, who was under investigation for corruption. He still won election (although he resigned before taking the oath of office for his second term). The Republicans do not have a single statewide officeholder, are in the minority in the Assembly and are hanging on for dear life in the State Senate. Even more disconcerting, there does not appear to be a rising star on the horizon to help the Republican Party in the near future. Will Spitzer's resignation help the Republicans? Probably not, since they are replacing the much reviled Spitzer, who had a disasterous first year in office with the likable David Patterson. Patterson comes into office with the advantage of an uplifting life story and of being perceived as Spitzer's opposite. It appears that if the Republicans want to turn things around they will have to do two things immediately: 1. Return to conservative principles (i.e. taxes and spending) especially in the State Senate where they control and 2. Begin a campaign to recruit the next generation of young Republicans to run for local office especially in areas that were once Republican but are no longer so (i.e. Nassau and Suffolk).