As a keen observer of the New York political scene and devoted fan of the state’s Conservative Party and its Chairman Mike Long, I’m keeping a close eye on the gubernatorial and Senate races there, and watching with glee as Long stands up to the state Republican party which, after years adrift under the sad leadership of George Elmer Pataki, has probably never been further to the left. It’s like the Rockefeller era all over again up there, but with more distasteful individuals around.
The great thing about Long and his party is that the Pataki people don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being successful in retaining the Governor’s mansion nor defeating HRC if they cannot field consensus candidates for the two seats. Pataki clones just ain’t gonna cut it this time around, as the Conservatives have been there, done that, and are not all that interested in doing it again.
To this end, the GOP has already screwed up the Senate race by anointing Jeanine Pirro over Long’s reservations, and it may be on the verge of making the same mistake twice with regard to the governor’s race.
I’ll write more about the New York stuff in the weeks ahead, but I wanted to quickly weigh in on this piece by the New York Post‘s esteemed political reporter, Fred Dicker. Seems Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and State GOP Chairman Steven Minarik are scheming to assuage conservatives by naming a conservative running mate for Weld. But the job “Lt. Governor of New York” might as well be a no-show job.
Months ago, Long made it abundantly clear that Weld would not be well-regarded by the Conservative Party of New York. He has since strongly hinted that there will be no Weld running on the Conservative line in the 2006 Governor’s race. Again, despite Long’s concerns, Minarik endorsed Weld over the summer, pretty much setting a course for collision with the Conservative Party.
Now it appears the hapless GOP Chairman is trying to get Weld to offer the Lt. Governor nod to former Assembly Republican Leader John Faso, the failed 2002 candidate for Comptroller on the Pataki ticket. Faso is a good guy, a good conservative, and would, I think, be quite acceptable to Long as a gubernatorial nominee. But if I know Mike Long, I do not think Minarik’s Weld-Faso stunt will fly.