To The Editor:
While everyone is focused on the race for mayor between incumbent Bill de Blasio and challenger Republican Nicole Malliotakis, little attention has been paid to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s quest for a second term. Republican comptroller candidate Michael Faulkner has raised little money to date. As a result, other than public speaking engagements, media interviews and other free press, he is unable to communicate his message and offer voters an alternative in November to the Democratic Party candidate for comptroller Scott Stringer.
The last effective GOP challenger for comptroller was businessman Richard Bernstein. He ran with former Mayor Ed Koch, who was cross-endorsed by the GOP in 1981. This also applies to former Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Jules Polenetsky, who ran for public advocate with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1997. The last Republican Council president, Sanford Garelick, won in 1969. The last Republican comptroller was Joseph D. McGoldrick, who served from 1938 to 1945.
Money is the mother’s milk of politics. The only way underdog GOP candidate Faulkner could have had a chance at overcoming history and the six-to-one enrollment advantage of Democrats to Republicans was to have quickly raised several million dollars months ago. Without money to compete, Faulkner will become just another asterisk in municipal electoral history.
Democrats will continue to rally around Comptroller Scott Stringer in his quest for a second term.
It is a forgone conclusion that Democrats will win the municipal trifecta. The City & State headline on Nov. 7 will read, “Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer Comptroller and Public Advocate Letitia James all easily reelected to a second term.”
There will be an intramural contest among the five Democratic County leaders and their loyal council members to select the next council speaker to succeed lame-duck Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Democrats will end up controlling 48 of the 51 council seats.
New Yorkers will have to continue dealing with one-party control of all three citywide offices, along with the City Council. History has shown that this is a recipe for disaster and municipal corruption. It leaves the door to City Hall wide open for waste, fraud and abuse.
Stringer was running around town campaigning since November 2009 for mayor. His dreams of becoming mayor never got off the ground. Stringer had been consistently polling at no greater than 5 percent among potential Democratic Party primary voters over the past three years, coming in last among the four leading candidates. He decided in December 2012 to run for comptroller instead and won his first term in 2013. This hardly made him a credible candidate. Stringer is just another career politician looking for his next meal ticket. Should Mayor Bill de Blasio not run for a third term, watch for Stringer to come out of the closet and run for mayor in 2021.
Larry Penner is a longtime historian of municipal government.