An Open Letter to Tom Suozzi

Dear Mr. Suozzi:

You probably won’t remember me, since we have met only once, at Sharpton’s MLK-day event last February. However, I have been admiring your political activities from a distance, for many years now. You have built a powerful resume. I am very impressed with you as a leader in our political party. I find you refreshing. I have even spoken to Ms. Devlin (your manager) about working with you, especially on your “fix Albany” initiative. I have spent the last year defending your potential candidacy on the blogs, and I have publicly admitted to leaning towards voting for you in the upcoming primary. I have impressed countless others to give your candidacy a serious look, and they have. Most are impressed. With all this as a backdrop I write this letter, since today the petitioning process starts. This is the time to make real hard decisions.

There is an old adage that goes like this: “those who fight and run away, will live to fight another day”, I believe this was written for you, and for this year’s race. I humbly suggest that it’s time for you to withdraw from this race. Your chances are really really slim. Plus, I spoke to Slim yesterday, and it seems like he is going on vacation till next winter. So go figure.

I base this not only on the polls. I base this on what I have observed on the ground and in the political trenches where close races are run and won (and so far you aren’t even close in the polls); you are not situated to pull off an upset. You are going to get creamed in the city, and you cannot offset this upstate or in the suburbs. You just don’t have the support, or the organization. The unions alone will kill you come Election Day, and Spitzer has wracked up union endorsements by the dozen. Plus, your “great message” isn’t getting through to the masses, since they haven’t been politicized enough, and they are generally complacent and apathetic anyway. It would take more than the remaining 100 days left till the primary to get through to the masses. It will take loads of money and media buys. Even if you attempt this, Spitzer and his people will obfuscate your message with their media buys. And don’t forget he has loads of cash. I could go on and on like the energizer bunny, but it’s not necessary. You must know what I am talking about, without me having to go to the drawing board. Unless you have organized in 150 ADs statewide, with an apparatus imbedded deep into the grassroots, you are trying to spin your top in mud. This isn’t even rocket-science.

So, hear me out kid: pull back. Let’s give Spitzer a chance to show us that he is for real. It’s not like he isn’t entitled to his shot. No matter how much people like you and I are suspicious that he won’t reform Albany, he still deserves a shot based on his stint as AG. We can hope. Plus, we need to unite before the Republicans get their act together, and after 12 years of Pataki, it’s imperative that we Democrats regain the mansion. As I write this, Bill Weld is withdrawing to support John Faso. They are trying to make a run of this, let’s not give them an opportunity to regroup.

If you continue this run, you will further alienate party loyalists who now see you as Don Quixote, and this will be rather unfortunate for a guy with your potential. It could hurt you in the future. If Spitzer fails to address the many concerns of reformists, you will have the rationale to challenge him in four years. I will volunteer for that fight. Drop out now, endorse Spitzer with qualifications, and stay alive politically. Save some of the money you will waste by trying to take this thing further. It may come in handy next time out for Congress, or for governor, or some other office. You will be in a win-win situation if you drop out now. Thank you for your time.


Rock H. Hackshaw