What does New York have to gain or lose with a Trump presidency?

RVM Trump
Gazette file photo

Here are some questions I am frequently asked. I offer them so that you won’t have to write me, although you are always welcome to write.

Question: Will the electors who comprise the Electoral College decide to vote against Donald Trump’s election as president?

Answer: This is one I get asked a lot. Electors are CHOSEN for their loyalty to Trump and the party. They are the party big shots who gave their money to get Trump elected. Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican Party, is Trump’s new chief of staff. If Trump were to commit a high crime they might possibly have to rethink their vote but the chances of that happening are slim to none. I truly understand how frustrated so many people are by Trump’s election but while protesting and marches are fair game as guaranteed by the First Amendment, the Electoral College gambit is not going to bear fruit. Forget about it.

Question: Is Andrew Cuomo positioning himself to run for president of the United States?

Answer: Does a bear walk in the woods? Everyone who knows anything about Cuomo knows that he wants to be president. This is one way that he can distinguish himself from his father who could never get to the nation’s top political job. Of course, Cuomo has to run for governor again in 2018. If he wins that election he will have to start running for president immediately. Cuomo also has to survive the stench of corruption that now surrounds him, what with the incredible arrest of two of his closest associates, Joseph Percoco and Todd Howe. Assuming these two and another Cuomo associate, Alain Kaloyeros, have to testify in open court about their association with Cuomo, the governor could be severely damaged. To be fair, Cuomo has not been named by prosecutor Preet Bharara, but since he ran on a platform of cleaning up Albany, this couldn’t be worse for him.

Question: Will the Legislature clean up its act and pass meaningful ethics reform?

Answer: Not if they can help it. Everyone knows that this Legislature has become an ethical hellhole. Members can use their power to personally enrich themselves by pretending that there is a separation between themselves and private clients in any one of a number of professions. Obviously, people can approach a legislator as a law client or a real estate client or a consultant, thinking that they are accessing power, as in, “I hired the senator to represent me in my divorce — that’ll fix her.” The only way to put a stop to this is to limit the amount of outside money a legislator can make. No less an august body than the United States Congress, faced with the same problem, has severely limited the amount of outside income a congressman or senator can earn.

If Cuomo is to extricate himself from his current ethical dilemma, he will have to finally deliver, and mean it this time. The big question is whether Preet Bharara will continue on as U.S. Attorney. As long as he keeps locking up the errant legislators, it may finally occur to people that they better get their ethical act together.

Question: What does New York stand to gain or lose with the election of Donald Trump?

Answer: The federal government has a lot of discretionary money to give away. Trump is talking about a huge infrastructure program. Some states will get more, some less. When you are considering repairing subways, bridges, and roads, that’s a lot of money. Of course, Chuck Schumer is about to become minority leader of the U.S. Senate, and he will be in a position to trade with Trump for needed votes on crucial issues, Remember, though, that Trump is thought to hold grudges and he lost a lot of face in his home state. At least we have that going for us.