Speaking of geriatric former Senators

Speaking of geriatric former Senators who have been thrust onto the comeback trail, the latest New York Times poll shows Frank Lautenberg leading Doug Forrester by a margin of 48 percent to 36 percent. According to the poll, Lautenberg has picked up the overwhelming majority of voters who were undecided when Torricelli was in the race, but who have now made up their minds. Moreover, many voters still do not know who Forrester is.
Meanwhile, in the New York gubernatorial race, George Pataki is running away from his Democratic opponent Carl McCall. Pataki is at 44 percent; McCall is at 29 percent; and billionaire businessman Tom Golisano is at 23 percent. My conservative cousin in New York is impressed but not pleased with Governor Pataki’s showing. He notes that New York’s bond rating is “almost as low as Louisiana’s, upstate is a disaster area economically and, with Wall Street in the tank, the City’s economic boom has ground to a halt.” How has Pataki managed to flourish? According to my cousin, by running as a “pro-organized labor Democrat.” Specifically, “in exchange for outrageous giveaways that will burden the state for years, he’s garnered the support of the Teachers and Hospital Workers unions. The Empire State Gay Pride organization has endorsed him. In exchange, the Republican-controlled State Senate will approve a gay rights bill that had been vigorously opposed by the GOP leadership for decades.” My cousin concludes that Golisano is the only candidate in the race who is running as a traditional Republican, “supporting tax and spending cuts while calling for an end to the corporate welfare and payoffs to union bosses that have contributed to New York’s economic decline. Golisano is doing well enough that Pataki will start running negative ads against him, but not well enough to have any chance of winning. Pataki is looking like the new Nelson Rockefeller from whose adminstration, my cousin will tell you, New York has never fully recovered.

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