An Endorsement For Comptroller

On September 26, 2006, I became the first prominent partisan NY Democratic blogger to declare he could not vote for Alan Hevesi’s re-election. This was two days before Rock Hackshaw, who given his September 18 endorsement of Jeanine Pirro, is obviously somewhat less driven than I am by rigid standards of ideology (and given that he still supports Pirro, is also seemingly somewhat less driven by rigid standards of morality, at least on subjects other than same-sex marriage)[OK Wonk, you owe me dinner].

On September, 28, 2006, after extremely limited exposure to evidence of Chris Callaghan’s anachronistic taste in neckwear, and his “formidable” intelligence, which seemed better suited to esoteric tasks, such as balancing the books for the bowling team sponsored by the Waterford Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, than to being the State’s Chief Financial Officer and sole custodian of its pension funds, I declared that I could not vote for Callaghan either. Do not take this as evidence of an urbane and urban prejudice against all things rural. After one afternoon watching Bill Lynch do his aw-shucks, “I’m country, ya unnerstand, so ya gotta talk real, real slow to me, cause I’m not sure I quite unnerstand whatcha sayin” routine, while he proceeded, without batting an eyelash, to cut some overconfident Harlem slickster with an Ivy League Diploma three new assholes and reach into one of them and tear out the guy’s heart, brains and balls, while scratching his own head, stifling a yawn and looking slightly puzzled, I’ve learned not to underestimate the shrewd native intelligence of those who’ve had the privilege to shovel horseshit, both figuratively and literally.  But Chris Callaghan ain’t just playin “country dumb”, he’s the genuine article.    

So, on October 11, 2006, I wrote:

“Consider the Alternatives: For State Comptroller, the Green Party is running hearty perennial Julia Willebrand (like Hevesi, taking a consolation prize after losing for Mayor), the Libertarians’ John J. Cain and the Socialist Workers’ Willie Cotton. Those interested in a Gatemouth endorsement are invited to submit an essay explaining why you are worthy of support from a Clinton Democrat to ”

Sadly, I have gotten no responses. What is wrong with these folks? I was seriously ready to take a Trotskyite icepick and impale the heart of the Albany establishment by picking Cotton. I was seriously ready to be Frank Sinatra, and speak out for Willebrand while crooning “It’s Not That Easy Voting Green”. I was seriously ready to vote right, by voting left. But, truth be told, I didn’t really expect better from them, and I wasn’t disappointed.

On the other hand, the Libertarians presented a nearly irresistible option; what better way for those of us who favor a strong, muscular, compassionate government to ensure that it does not abuse its authority or squander its resources, than by putting the watchdog function in the hands of those who, as a matter of principle, favor a government of limited functions (as opposed to putting the watchdog functions in the hands of a Republican Party, which seems to believe that since all government spending is a waste of money anyway, government resources are  best used to line the pockets of blue-chip shareholders in the Party’s interlocking directorate of opportunistic infections of the body politic).

Unfortunately, the Libertarians failed the first test of being a watchdog by completely missing the opportunity to fetch the bone I’d thrown in their direction. The prospective guard dog was caught asleep at the switch, allowing me the opportunity to disasterously mix my metaphors while Albany burned.   

What to do? A vote for Hevesi will be taken by the chattering classes as evidence that New Yorkers are more forgiving of grand larceny committed by the police, than they would be of a pol being caught in bed with either a dead girl or live boy (either of which is also probably forgivable, unless one is running in the suburbs of Buffalo). Frankly, I think a little more outrage about things outrageous might be of enormous benefit to our state government, and, more importantly, the lack of such outrage is an invitation to more of the same, when our cups have already runneth over.

I am less disturbed than I probably should be about the next Comptroller being picked by Sheldon Silver, but the Assembly Democrats actually did quite a decent job the last time they got the opportunity. Nonetheless, it is quite likely that the new Governor, if not afforded some input by the Speaker voluntarily, will obtain it by any means necessary. And, ideally, the things which change on day one should not include having a Comptroller handpicked by the Governor he is supposed to be monitoring, even if, as seems virtually certain, such a choice would be infinitely more competent than the second rate Rotarian currently being offered to us by what I like to call “The Party of Jefferson Davis”.

So, in the end, I urge a vote for a candidate who’s recently expressed sincere interest in the job, and clearly has no compunction about taking on deserving targets from every end of the political spectrum without fear of the consequences. In fact, he seems to relish it. Despite my sometimes harsh and well-earned past criticisms, in this year’s Comptroller’s race, I am urging people to “Vote Green”.  On Election Day, Gatemouth urges a write-in vote for Adam Green for New York State Comptroller. I am being as serious as a heart attack when I, in all sincerity, urge a vote for Adam Green, because, this time, the other guys are the joke!

John J. Cain, eat your fucking heart out!

(the article as originally posted has now been slightly modified to conform with the facts)