Common Sense: “A Catholic problem”

Reading the comments by Cardinal Dolan as well as other Catholic Church leaders in the days following the demise of the Educational Investment Tax Credit, one might wonder if Governor Andrew Cuomo is developing a “Catholic problem.”

Although there is certainly plenty of blame to go around, with Assembly Speaker Silver deserving his share, Cuomo seems to be the focus of the church’s anger.

The Catholic Church leadership is essentially saying that he broke a commitment. They are suggesting he had the ability to move the issue into the final budget, but choose not to apply the significant powers of his office in the final push. The leaders have thrown around a lot of tough words to describe his actions including betrayed.

It is well known that Andrew Cuomo would someday like to be president. It is an ambition that, together with being a U.S. Supreme Court judge, his father Mario harbored.

Back in the day, it was said that Mario Cuomo’s “Catholic problem” due to his liberal positions on social issues prevented him from becoming a serious contender for national office or the Supreme Court. Mario Cuomo’s actions in the intense New York media market received widespread national attention. This certainly hurt him.

Cardinal Dolan and the New York Catholic Bishops — as evidenced by their intense and well-documented battle with President Obama over certain Affordable Health Care Act mandates on the Catholic Church — know how to fight on a political field when there is a need.

Could the demise of the Educational Investment Tax Credit become a national talking point against another Cuomo’s national ambition? Time and Cuomo’s future approach to this issue and other issues will tell that unfolding story.

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It is also worth noting that Democratic Senator Simcha Felder was so outraged with the credit not making the final budget that he has threatened to endorse Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino over Andrew Cuomo.

Felder’s statement received a great deal of coverage and can act as a reminder that some elected officials are willing to stand their ground against even powerful members of their own party if the issue is important enough.

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I find the proliferation of internet gambling disturbing. To my mind, there is nothing social or entertaining about gambling on the internet. In fact, it is a real quick way to separate you from your money without leaving the comfort of your home.

The New Jersey internet gambling commercials airing in New York should provide ample notice to New Yorkers that a whole new wave of advertising hailing and encouraging behavior that will certainly result in you losing substantial amounts of money over time is heading our way.

New Yorkers have an increasing number of opportunities to gamble in their backyard, if they are willing to take a short trip by car or mass transit. In fact, some would say there are already too many ways with the resulting social problems becoming a growing concern.

Internet gambling will simply compound these issues and in my opinion should never be legalized in New York State.

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