“I have no message,” Gov. Kathy Hochul told ABC 7’s Bill Ritter about rumors that her disgraced predecessor Andrew Cuomo could play spoiler in this year’s election. Thing is, “no message” covers Hochul’s take on nearly everything.
She told Ritter that she is focused on “making sure people feel safe, reducing the cost of everyday living for New Yorkers.” How, exactly — and who’s opposed?
This follows her shepherding of the state’s largest budget ever, which in the long run will drive up taxes and thus eventually the cost of living for most New Yorkers. Her big “victories” were to push the Legislature into tinkering slightly with the disastrous no-bail and discovery laws (fixes that won’t remotely make anyone feel safer) and winning a near-billion-dollar taxpayer handout to the (out of state) owners of her hometown Buffalo Bills — a giveaway that polls poorly in Buffalo.
She’s also posturing on abortion, pushing a state constitutional amendment to secure women’s rights, though the 2019 Reproductive Health Act is already an ironclad guarantee that goes well beyond Roe v. Wade and an amendment will take years to pass.
Meanwhile, her outright political moves have largely backfired: Her first lieutenant-governor pick, Brian Benjamin, quit after the feds arrested him on campaign finance fraud and bribery charges. She fully supported the Legislature’s unconstitutional, voter-suppressing gerrymander that has state elections in chaos. She tapped Rep. Antonio Delgado as her new LG, opening up his seat to a serious Republican challenge.
Instead of becoming notorious for harassing women, she’s hired a host of talented women as her top aides, so she’s an improvement on her predecessor in one big regard. But her relentless special-interest fundraising and her general acquiescence in the Legislature’s tax-and-spend ways looks pretty Cuomoesque.
Maybe that’s why she has nothing to say to him, and so little substance to offer the voters.