September 24, 2022

Last winter, New York State’s government bought 52 million Covid test kits for $637 million, or $12.25 each. Right after, California (with a bigger population) bought 10 million of exactly the same kits for $67.6 million, or $6.75 each, direct from the maker. New York spent nine times as much, buying through a middleman. Whose Tebele family just happened to have donated nearly $300,000 to Governor Kathy Hochul’s campaign.

She insists the one thing had nothing to do with the other. That she and her “team, they have no idea” who’s contributed. In fact, we now learn that Tebele threw an in-person fund-raiser for Hochul — only days before the Governor ordered that the state’s Covid test purchase be exempt from normal competitive bidding rules.

It’s also argued that the size of New York’s purchase required costlier production exigencies. Though ordinarily in commerce, a bigger order nets a bigger discount. And why did New York need so many tests, compared to California? Well, we didn’t. Seems somebody wildly miscalculated, and the bulk of them went unused and wasted.

Hochul seems to have devoted an immense amount of her time in office to campaign fund-raising, mostly from people doing business with state government. And I previously wrote about the Bills’ Billion — Hochul’s huge gift (at taxpayer expense) to the plutocrat owners of the Buffalo Bills football team to build them a boondoggle of a new stadium.

New York, New York, it’s a hell of a town. And state. No wondering why we have the highest costs and taxes, and the worst business climate.

In the last gubernatorial election, Andrew Cuomo was so odious — exemplifying the worst of New York’s rotten governing culture — that I reluctantly voted for the Republican, Marc Molinaro. But since then the GOP has become so much more hateful, a threat to democracy itself, that it must be opposed unfailingly. And their candidate for governor, Zeldin, is a Trumpster who voted in Congress to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

Sometimes in the past I’ve voted for Libertarian candidates; and their gubernatorial offering this time actually seemed appealing. However, New York has now changed ballot access rules in a cynically disgraceful ploy to lock out third parties. Yet one more way its political ruling class has conspired to make our civic culture better for them and worse for citizens. The Libertarians, despite a strenuous effort to gather the newly raised petition signature requirement, fell short. The Green Party, and several others, also failed. This will be our first election in 80 years with NO third party candidate on the ballot.

Still, voting is a sacred obligation. I must cast my vote against the monstrous Republican party. At least Hochul’s corruption is merely business-as-usual for New York, not as far down on the vileness scale. So I will vote for her. I’ll bring a barf bag.