Monday, April 14, 2008

Luke Henry--L.E.S. Artiste

The picture is of Luke Henry. He's running to unseat Sheldon Silver from the New York State Assembly, a hardly august body Silver has called home for 32 years (nearly the whole of Henry's life), the last 14 of which Silver has spent as Speaker, an immovable force who never saw a Republican budget he couldn't quash. In an age of vicious upstate party politics, Silver has made new strides in partisan intransigence. His inertia has earned him even the wrath of even-keeled Mayor Mike.

Notably, Silver killed the West Side Stadium proposal, the linchpin to Bloomberg's ambitious 2012 Olympics plan, in the process breaking the hearts of Manhattan Jets Fans--and, oh, by the way, the strongest opposition voice to the development of the project belonged to the Cablevision company, which contributes to the Assemblyman's coffers and hooks him up with Rangers tickets. Then, Silver killed the Mayor's congestion pricing plan, though it would have generated mad revenue fo the city, eased traffic, and made summer days in Manhattan slightly less carcinogenic. Though both Governor Spitzer and the Iron Sheik to his "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Joseph Bruno, endorsed the plan, Silver had reservations.

Many people seem to be fed up with Silver--and we are living in the age of hope and change, after all; so, who knows? Maybe this fresh-faced, marathon-running, Big-law-schilling, prep-school graduate newbie can find a chink in the armor of one of the two most powerful men in Albany, a man who is of counsel at a personal injury law firm, despite the obvious conflict of interest presented by his resistance to tort reform measures in the State Assembly. But then again, I wouldn't bet on it. Henry has a secret anti-weapon. He has been endorsed by AA, prized reader of this blog, supreme political operator, a miniature Bob Shrum, a man whose touch is more Grim Reaper than Midas. The odds are against Mr. Henry. Let's do him--and AA--a favor, and lend our support. We are the ones we've been waiting for.

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