Any person.
Any study.
Any Cornelliana.

An alumni
blog about Ezra's
University. (more)


Suggestions? Tips?




[+] Cornell News

[+] Higher Ed News

[+] Campus Pubs

[+] Alumni Interest

[+] Diversions

[+] Blogs

[+] Sports

[+] Other Places


[+] By Month

[+] By Author

All Politics Is Local

So while the rest of the country may be peeled to the Vigo County, IN results and the ensuing celebrations on Lake Michigan tonight, (yes, I just called it for Obama at 8:30 PM EST, for the win with 353 electoral votes), it might make sense to turn ourselves to New York State politics and how the election might affect Cornell during these very grim economic times.

(N.B. Before I dive into the subject matter, be sure to check out our other election day post on Cornellians running for national office.)

In the Executive Branch, I think nobody would deny that Governor Patterson has performed absolutely admirably over the last year since Spitzer disgraced himself in such shocking fashion. And he has taken to addressing the structural issues affecting the New York State budget in a direct and necessary fashion.

But for anybody who is the least bit acquainted with New York State politics and all of its dysfunctions, the Governor cannot move the State without being in step with the Assembly and the Senate, and the Senate has long stood as a Republican stalwart in contrast to the more moderate or liberal tendencies of the Assembly and the Governor's Mansion.

But tonight there is the very real possibility that the Senate will go Democratic as well, providing Paterson and the Assembly the impetus for needed reform.

It remains to be seen what this means for Cornell. The longstanding concern among Upstate politicos is that the NYS Democratic party is controlled by Downstate interests, and that the political calculus of pork and re-elections will mean even less money being funneled to needed projects Upstate... especially needed projects at a certain land grant university with an egalitarian history.

On the flip side is the argument that the Upstate Republicans have presided over what has been effectively the worst economy in the country over the last thirty years, and that the Democratic party might bring needed perspective and reform to Upstate's woes. So, if the Senate Dems could bring more investment in urban infrastructure, industry, and research dollars Upstate, there might be a reason to keep your fingers crossed.

From a larger world view, I'll note that the challenges facing New York State's government in this economic downturn, particular its institutions of public finance and its governmental structure,are so grave and so immense that one can only hope that real, substantial change takes place over the next year or two. What type of change am I thinking of? Well, anything that might allow Upstate to effectively becomes its own administrative district with a separate tax, mandate, and regulatory climate from Downstate's needs would go a long way to jump starting Upstate's economy.

At any rate, if I step off my soap box, I'll just point to some interesting NYS Senate races with some Cornell connections.

Curiously, for being such a large force in the state, Cornell only has one alum in the NYS Senate -- Michael Nozzolio -- an ILRie out of Seneca Falls who also earned a graduate degree from Cornell and serves on the Cornell University Council.

Nozzolio is an Upstate Republican who faces a fresh-faced candidate in Paloma Capanna. And in an election year where every Republican is playing defense, we will not know the outcome until every vote is tabulated tonight.

The other interesting state Senate race featuring a Cornellian is in the 55th district in the Rochester suburbs, where another ILRie, David Nachbar '84, is running as a Democrat against a Republican. Nachbar is a former HR executive at Bausch and Lomb, and is running a competitive race.

Currently the Republicans have a two-seat majority in the Senate, but with a little bit of hope, anything can happen. And there is nothing false about hope.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on November 04, 2008 (#)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Other Recent Posts

-- WSJ: Cornell Wins NYC Tech Campus Bid (EBilmes)

-- Barrier Update: City Approves Nets (DJost)

-- Big Red Cymbal Guy (Nagowski)

-- New York Times Survey on Campus Recruiting is Flawed (KScott)

-- Barrier Update: Legal precedent suggests City of Ithaca will not be held liable for gorge suicide (DJost)

-- Despite MSG Loss, Big Potential for Big Red Hockey (EBilmes)

-- City Council Will Vote on Suicide Nets (DJost)

-- An Encounter on the Upper East Side (Nagowski)

-- Showing Off Your School Spirit (Nagowski)

-- Chipotle Ithaca? (KScott)

-- Cornell at the ING NYC Marathon (KScott)

-- Crossing Over a Fine Line: Commercial Activity on Campus (KScott)

-- Milstein's Downfall (Nagowski)

-- Can any Cornell-associated organization really be independent of the University? (Nagowski)

-- Slope Media Revisited (EBilmes)

-- Slope Media Group Approved for Byline Funding (KScott)

-- Occupy AEM? (KScott)

-- New campus pub to be good for both Greeks and non-Greeks (Nagowski)

-- Gagging the Election (Nagowski)

-- The Changing Structure of Rush Week (Nagowski)

-- Ivy League Humility in the Midwest (EBilmes)

-- Of Median Grades and Economics Minors (Nagowski)

-- Homecoming Recap (Nagowski)

-- My Cornell Bookshelf (Nagowski)

-- The Sun's Opinion Section Has Suddenly Gotten Good (Nagowski)

-- Remembering the 11th (Nagowski)

-- Cornellian Tapped as Top Economic Advisor (Nagowski)

-- Cutting Pledging, and the Good Which Comes With It (EBilmes)

-- Why Cornell Should Not Close Fall Creek Gorge (Nagowski)

-- Welcome to the Class of 2015 (Nagowski)