Primaries get ugly; it is why parties should try to avoid them at all costs. You always hear the politically safe jargon that primaries get the electorate informed and they prepare candidates for the general election. Those things can happen without the political polarization and money that comes with a primary.
The race between Councilman Eric Ulrich and Juan Reyes for the GOP nomination in the 15th Senate District is heating up right before this Thursday’s primary. It is a tough race to report on comparatively since Ulrich’s record is public and Reyes has made his career in the private sector as a successful attorney.
Last week, the Reyes camp made an issue about a joke that Ulrich tweeted about Sen. Bob Dole’s endorsement of Reyes, noting the last thing Dole endorsed was Viagra, referring to a recent ad campaign for the drug featuring Dole.
Count me among those who feel that the WWII generation does not get enough respect. I was volunteer number 1,072 in the Dole for President campaign in 1996. I have nothing but admiration for the man, but when you purposely go very public about endorsing products like Viagra, you have to allow for a little humor.
If some people do not get this, Dole himself does get it. When Dole ran for president, famed liberal scribe Gore Vidal said that Dole couldn’t be president because he had too much of a sense of humor.
Bob Dole deserves us defending him, but mentioning that he endorsed the drug Viagra is not a very big deal. Reyes wants you to know that he was more than volunteer number 1,072. He was with the man, advising him when he ran for president, which is understandable.
What is important, however, is that there is a whole generation that should (and does not) know Dole’s contributions to the country, but Ulrich cannot be faulted for that. The upshot is that most people who use Twitter think our first president was Ronald Reagan anyway, so patriotic Dole supporters should rest easy.
The electronic media allows us to say a lot things that seem funny at first, and are not as funny later on. You would not believe how funny this column is before I edit it down. I would also have included a photo of me with Mrs. Dole from 1996, but on review I realized I was a little too far north of 200 pounds.
The Government Payroll
Check any of the websites for major city agencies, and you will see numerous jobs posted as available. The good thing about government jobs is that you get the salary range posted and most of the responsibilities listed as well.
These positions often sit unfilled often for a long time. Why? Nobody knows. Is there a shortage of talented applicants in New York City? That is doubtful. The issue is that cities all over the country are wary about hiring people.
In all sectors that are growing slowly, the government sector is in a holding pattern. We want the government to spend less, but if there are spots that need to be filled – services that need to be provided – waiting might be a bad idea.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently released a report that claims local governments dropped over 80,000 employees since August 2011. You might be thinking that it is about time government trimmed its payroll, but remember that our city workers are spread thin. Before August of 2011, there were already scores of layoffs.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how there is a legitimate argument being made by some (City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. and candidate for Mayor Tom Allon, in particular) for amping up the ranks of the NYPD. While most government employees do not like being lumped in with other government employees, this is a good example of how we can wait to hire people, and regret it later.
If a government waits too long to hire talent, it risks being stuck with what is left. Skilled employees may be drawn to the private sector, especially as the economy gets better.