Common Sense: The blame game

It is incredible how the mayor and the governor play the blame game, going back and forth on who is responsible for the transit crisis that has made this the “Summer of Hell” for commuters.

I think there are several relevant points. Both de Blasio and Cuomo are to blame with each foregoing their responsibility and neither providing any leadership.

The public at the moment is far more concerned about getting it fixed.  There does not seem to be any plan in the short term that provides commuters with assurances that the trains will run on time or for that matter even run. Some of the fixes are incredibly disruptive.

The mayor says the MTA is controlled by the state. The governor says the city owns the system and is responsible for a far greater share of its funding than it currently provides. They are both right which in itself is the perfect argument for them working together. Yet the complete opposite has happened.  

Hypocritically, when it came to the opening of the Second Avenue subway, the production choreographed by the governor’s staff to cause the public to believe that he is completely responsible for the completion of the 20-year project left few stones unturned.  That week, it was his transit system.

Since de Blasio has been mayor, the MTA has requested that the city increase its minuscule contribution to its capital plan so that systems and stations can be updated more quickly. The city has during those three budget cycles made a minute increase of a few million dollars. Gigantic holes continue to exist in the MTA’s capital plan with de Blasio’s lack of leadership being a big part of the cause.

As I said, we all know the public simply wants it fixed. The blame game does not make the trains run better. It does however turn voters off. New polling numbers show that the governor has seen his popularity sink in the downstate area. This is relevant since the governor has never been popular upstate, losing almost every county two years ago to Rob Astorino. In fact, if the governor had not won New York City by such a lopsided number in 2014, he would have lost his bid for re-election.  

The transit crisis is his Achilles’ heel. It also is a good argument for Nicole Malliotakis against the mayor’s re-election as she argues he has shown no leadership during the crisis.

She has maintained for months that the city needed to contribute more to the capital plan. And she has shown disgust for the inability of the mayor and governor to work through their differences for the betterment of the public.

Hiring Joe Lhota to oversee the system was good move but he is limited. He needs the full cooperation of the governor and the mayor. And he should avoid getting into the middle of their little games.


As of this writing, the Mets have won four in a row. They have remained consistently inconsistent this entire year. They are now talking about some big trades to help prepare them for a brighter future.

If I were management, I would limit the trading and continue to work with the current roster. On paper and sometimes in the field, it is one of the finest in baseball. And then there are the other times.

Sure, Harvey is likely done and David Wright may never play again. Even then, we have three of the best starters in baseball, an improving relief staff and plenty of power at the plate.

Collins has a good team. He needs to work on making ita better team.


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