Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Spitzer And Paterson Would Be Doing Well Today If They Had Treated Women In A Respectful Fashion

Above you see, in better days, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer–on the right— with his 2006 running mate as Lieutenant Governor David Paterson.

Mr. Spitzer had to resign his office because he was visiting prostitutes.

His successor as Governor, Mr. Paterson, may now have to resign because he may have pressured a woman to drop a complaint in a domestic abuse case involving one of his aides.

Both of these men would be in good shape today if they had treated women in a respectful fashion.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Spitzer/Paterson Worst Political Ticket Since Nixon/Agnew

Above you see, in better days, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer–on the right— with his 2006 running mate as Lieutenant Governor David Paterson.

Mr. Spitzer had to resign because he was visiting prostitutes.

His successor as Governor, Mr. Paterson, may now have to resign because he may have pressured a woman to drop a complaint in a domestic abuse case involving one of his aides.

The team of Spitzer and Paterson was the worst political ticket since the criminals  Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Liberal Gets It Right On Tolerance Bridge & Upstate Senator

This blog got it right on two questions in the news yesterday. One a local matter here in Houston, and the other a national story.      

photo

First, I recently said that tolerance was a lousy name for a bridge. The bridge you see above, to be built here in Houston, was going to be called the Tolerance Bridge.

I said that was a bad name because we should aspire to do more than just tolerate people. Yesterday it was announced that the name of the bridge was again an open question for pretty much the same reason I offered.

I think the bridge should be called the “I Love You Bridge.”  Or, maybe, the “I Love You Very Much Bridge.”  Something nice and friendly. Or, since many bicyclists will be riding over the bridge, maybe it could be called the “Why Don’t You Stop At Stop Signs You Self-Righteous Elitist Bridge.”

In another recent post , I said that New York Governor David Paterson should select someone from Upstate New York to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. I said that Upstate was an area moving towards Democrats and that people in New York City sometimes had a snobby view of Upstate.   

Governor Paterson selected U.S. Representative Kirsten Gillibrand (above) to take the seat. Ms. Gillibrand represents Upstate communities such as Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs.

Representative Gillibrand is a money-raising machine much like her soon-to-be Senate New York colleague Chuck Schumer.  She also pals around with former Republican U.S. Senator Alphonse D’Amato. Mr. D’Amato, as you may recall, was a super sleaze.  

Ms. Gillibrand may already face a primary fight to hold the seat in 2010. Democratic U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy from Long Island says she will run. Ms. McCarthy lost her husband in a commuter train shooting in 1993. Her son was also hurt. Ms. Gillibrand has actively sought the support of the National Rifle Association.

So am I complaining about Ms. Gillibrand’s selection? I said I wanted an Upstater and that is what I got. I guess what I should have more clear about is that the person I really wanted was my aunt in Utica.

In any case, these two issues–the bridge and the Senate seat–show you that this blog is never wrong in cases where it is correct. Please read Texas Liberal often to see if I’m ever able to get two things right at the same time again.

January 24, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Next Senator From New York Should Be From Upstate

I have no problem with Caroline Kennedy in the U.S. Senate (Though some do)  but I believe the next U.S. Senator from New York should be from upstate New York.

(Above–Utica, New York.)

Governor David Paterson must select a replacement for Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton. Ms. Kennedy is seen as a leading contender for the spot.  

My mother’s side of the family is from upstate and I know this part of New York to be one of the great parts of our nation. I’ll also note it has been moving towards Democrats in recent years after many years of voting strongly Republican.

New York’s other Senator, Chuck Schumer, is from the city.

The need for a senator from upstate was highlighted by the idiotic comments of New York City Democratic U.S. Representative  Gary Ackerman. Mentioned as a possible candidate for the vacant seat, Mr. Ackerman said he does ” not do Utica.” ( Mr. Ackerman is now, inevitably as these things go, planning to visit Utica.)

Yet the people of Utica and the Utica area elected a Democrat to Congress in 2006, and again in 2008, after a number of years of Republican representation. The Democrat in the House from Utica is Michael Arcuri.

My mother’s family is from Utica and I have been to Utica many times. It is a fine city that has been welcoming to a number of refugees from around the world in recent years.

I’ll also note that the wife and I took a summer vacation to Niagara Falls a few years back and that we enjoyed seeing the sights of Buffalo.

I’ve not spent much time in New York City, but I’m glad to say I have good memories of Utica,  Rome, Buffalo, Albany, Cooperstown and Lake Placid. As upstate follows the general trend of the Northeastern United States away from Republicans, let’s help that trend along with a Democratic U.S. Senator who shows that all people in New York State matter.

Here is a view from Rochester in favor of a Senator from upstate.

(Below—Geneva, New York in Ontario County. Geneva is the Gateway to the Finger Lakes.)

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Black Governors Since Reconstruction—Who Have They Been?

(Blogger’s Note 3/7/12—Four years fater this post was written, there have still been only three black post-reconstruction governors. Mr. Paterson is no longer Governor of New York. He did not run for reelection in 2010. Also, Mr. Wilder is no longer Mayor of Richmond. Governor Patrick won reelection as Governor of Massachusetts in 2010. Maybe somebody reading this post can be the next black governor, or will work hard to elect such a person.)

Newly inaugurated New York Governor David Paterson is America’s third black post-reconstruction governor.

Who are the other two black governors in American history and who is Mr. Paterson?

( Please click here for a post on black U.S. Senators and reasons why there have been so few black Senators.)

Click here for information about black statewide officeholders in the United States.

It was only relatively recently that any U.S. State elected a black governor.

It is often difficult to elect a black to statewide office.

Douglas Wilder was elected Governor of Virginia in 1989 and served the one term a Virginia Governor is permitted.

(Below–Douglas Wilder)

Here is what it is says about Douglas Wilder and Virginia in the 2008 Almanac of American Politics

In the 1980s, three moderate Democrats were elected governor–Charles Robb in 1981, Gerald Baliles in 1985, Douglas Wilder in 1989–because they no longer represented an attempt to impose a labor-liberal agenda on an unwilling Virginia, and because they argued they could use government effectively to improve education and build Virginia’s economy. Wilder’s election was a national breakthrough, a successful attempt by a black politician to campaign and govern on equal terms. His fiscal conservatism, which resulted in sharp spending cuts in the early 1990s, like his elegant manners and thick Richmond accent, echoes Virginia’s elitist and libertarian tradition; his insistence on the rule of law helped him win election as Richmond’s mayor in 2004.

You can make of that what you will.

The following description of Mr. Wilder is from the Virginia Historical Society

Lawrence Douglas Wilder was born on January 17, 1931, in Richmond, Virginia. The grandson of slaves, he was named after abolitionist-orator Frederick Douglass and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Wilder attended Richmond’s racially segregated public schools—George Mason Elementary and Armstrong High School. In 1951, he graduated from Virginia Union University with a degree in chemistry. He served in the army during the Korean War, during which he won the Bronze Star for heroism in combat. After the war, Wilder returned to Richmond and worked as a chemist in the state medical examiner’s office. Using the benefits provided under the G.I. Bill of Rights, he studied law at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He received his degree in 1959 and after passing the bar in Virginia established his own law firm, Wilder, Gregory, and Associates.

In 1969, Wilder entered politics, running in a special election for the Virginia state senate. He won and became the first African American state senator in Virginia since Reconstruction. Wilder spent ten years in the General Assembly and was recognized as one of its most effective legislators.

Mr. Wilder is the current Mayor of Richmond, Virgina. Here is his homepage as Mayor.

In Massachusetts, Deval Patrick was elected in 2006 as the second black Governor.

Here is information about Governor Patrick from the Almanac.

“Patrick grew up in a tough South Side Chicago neighborhood, and lived in an apartment where he shared a single room with his mother and sister; his father left the family when he was a child. As early as grade school he showed tremendous promise and a teacher recommended him to A Better Chance, an organization that identifies and sends gifted minority students to college preparatory schools. Patrick received a scholarship and was sent far from home to the tony Milton Academy in Massachusetts. “[It] was like coming to a different planet,” Patrick would later say. He attended Harvard College and after graduating spent a year working in Africa on a United Nations project in the Darfur region of Sudan. When he returned, he enrolled at Harvard Law School and then clerked for a federal appeals court judge in Los Angeles. In 1983, he joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York and in 1986 Patrick went into private law practice; in 1994, he was appointed as the Justice Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights by President Bill Clinton. After three years in that post, Patrick returned to private practice in 1997 and later served as general counsel for Texaco and Coca-Cola…. Patrick was a long-shot in his first-ever run for elected office but his grassroots campaign quickly built support among liberal activists who liked his outsider message and his criticism of the state’s “backroom” political culture. He won the state party endorsement at its June 2006 convention, and after holding a steady lead in the polls throughout the summer, won the nomination decisively in the September 19 primary….Republican nominee was Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, who sought to become the state’s first female governor….Patrick pointed to his credentials as a Justice Department prosecutor and highlighted his executive-level experience at two Fortune 500 companies as evidence of his business-friendly background. Late in the campaign, Patrick was put on the defensive when Healey’s campaign ran tough ads criticizing him for his advocacy on behalf of convicted rapist Benjamin LaGuer. Patrick declined to respond with an aggressive counterattack, insisting that his success so far was the result of avoiding such conventional political tactics. His instincts proved correct: the ensuing publicity surrounding the negative ads—which featured a woman walking alone in a parking garage—muted the charges that Patrick would weaken criminal justice laws. He won a sweeping 56%-35% victory….In office, Patrick set about unraveling ( former Governor Mitt) Romney’s initiatives. He restored $383.6 million in budget cuts made by Romney, rescinded an agreement with the federal government that empowered the state police to arrest illegal immigrants, and put the brakes on a Romney administration plan to revamp the state’s automobile insurance system. He refused to sign a proclamation commemorating February 6, the late president’s birthday, as “Ronald Reagan Day.” But Patrick’s honeymoon period ended quickly as a series of missteps tarnished his image. Lavish spending on his official state car, helicopter travel, a renovation of the governor’s office that included $12,000 drapes and the hiring of a chief of staff for his wife led to weeks of bad press and harsh criticism. In March, Patrick acknowledged making a telephone call to Robert Rubin of Citigroup, which has significant business interests in the state, on behalf of the controversial mortgage lender Ameriquest; Patrick had served on Ameriquest’s parent company’s board of directors as recently as 2006. “   

Here is the website for Governor Patrick

Governor David Paterson of New York State has been in office for just a short time since taking over for the disgraced Eliot Spitzer.

Here is a photo essay on Mr. Paterson’s life. 

Here are a variety of facts and links to learn more about Mr. Paterson.  

(Below–David Paterson. Photo by MMR Dad)

Here is some information about Mr. Paterson from the New York Times–

David A. Paterson was elected lieutenant governor of New York in November 2006, a position with no power and little prestige, then propelled into the governorship by Eliot Spitzer’s shocking fall from power after the revelation of his involvement with a prostitution ring. Taking office on March 17, 2008, Mr. Paterson became New York’s first African-American governor, and the first legally blind person to serve as the governor of any state….As the leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, Mr. Paterson tried to make up for his lack of power with wit, flurries of reform proposals and unusual bursts of candor, a combination that has made him a quotable presence in a Capitol where such leaders are often ignored as irrelevant….Mr. Paterson was born to politics. His father, Basil, represented the same Harlem district that his son later did, and ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1970. The younger Mr. Paterson was raised at the knees of much of Harlem’s old guard. He also grew up legally blind, after an infection as an infant that left him totally without sight in his left eye and with severely limited sight in his right. His family moved to Long Island, where they found a school that agreed to educate him in regular classrooms. He graduated from high school in three years, went to college at Columbia and graduated from Hofstra Law School.

Here is a longer New York Times story reviewing Mr. Paterson’s career.

March 21, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments