Friday, February 7, 2014

Wait One Minute, Mister Kassar ! Is Your Common Sense Column This Week Missing Something Big About Your Guy Marty Golden

Aptly titled  “Common Sense: We got your number”  —   Boy, do we ever !

Kings County Conservative Party Chairman and State Senator Martin Golden’s Chief of Staff overlooks his boss’s apparent support of the Universal Pre-K initiative after Kassar says the Governors’s numbers for that program really don’t add up...


Jerry Kassar was right on the money when he made these observations in his most recent weekly column: “Your government has numbers. All sorts of numbers. Unfortunately, the numbers often do not add up. And when they do not add up, we the taxpayers are usually the ones footing a new tax, fee or toll increase. ***  Let’s take two recent sets of numbers. Universal pre-K and the MTA’s vaunted East Side Access proposal. The governor says universal pre-K will cost around $350 million over the next five years to implement. The commissioner of educations says it is more like $1.6 billion. A noticeable difference I think would be the only point we could all agree upon....” (See “Common Sense: We got your number” by Jerry Kassar, 4/4/14, Home Reporter/ Spectator [http://www.homereporternews.com/opinion/common-sense-we-got-your-number/article_f2e7598c-8def-11e3-8d6c-001a4bcf887a.html). Kassar then goes on to look closely into the thing called the “MTA East Side Access” proposal/project as an even greater case of the numbers not adding up.  He tells us that the cost of this project, whose purpose is to help make the commuters’ movements from Long Island to the East Side of Manhattan more direct, was originally estimated to come in at $6.3 billion dollars with a 2013 completion date; and now, is estimated to cost $9.3 billion with a completion sometime in 2020. So far, so good, right ?

Okay, stay with this. Kassar then writes that, “Obviously, these enormous differences raise questions about the methods used to create the estimates which played a major role in green lighting these proposals in the first place. The governor’s entire state budget will be thrown out of whack if the five-year estimate for universal pre-K actually is closer to the $1.6 billion vs. the $350 billion he is using. ***  That has across-the-board implications on all aspects of the budget. And the MTA is talking about a possible 12 percent fare increase as it deals with various labor-related contract issues. A $3 billion capital budget miscalculation can go a long way in raising your debt service costs.”  Fine, that lays out the problem pretty well, doesn’t it

Well, it seems all of this was just a lead-in for Kassar to hype his boss, State Senator Golden, and a Kassar-endorsed office holder, as follows: “State Senator Marty Golden -- who I serve as chief of staff -- and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis have been asking a lot of questions, particularly on the East Side Access over-run. ***  Essentially, the project is the establishment of a new station deep underneath Grand Central Station. A $9.3 billion price tag for a single new transportation center which is larger than the entire transportation capital budgets for many states simply seems incredible.”

So where is the problem ?  What’s missing from Kassar’s column ?  —   It’s the Marty Golden money shot about “Universal Pre-K”....

You see State Senator Golden is apparently locked in as a supporter of universal pre-K.  We’ve mentioned that a few times here on this blog since a post on November 10, 2013, along with an UPDATE comment made later that day. Many other media outlets also have talked about Golden’s support for universal pre-K as well. In my main post of 11/10/13, I specifically asked this “What do you think Marty Golden has to say about all this ?   Just as interesting, what do you think his Chief of Staff Jerry Kassar, a so-called "conservative" with "common sense," has to say about it ?”

After this week’s Common Sense column by Jerry Kassar, I think I know some of what Kassar has to say about universal Pre-K; but, Jerry, what does your boss, State Senator Golden have to say about it; and what does he think of how your numbers on that program add up ?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tax and spend Golden talking out of both sides of his mouth. No shock there. Golden is rumored to favor de Blasio's plan for NYC to foot the whole bill for universal pre k in nyc. He can then blast away at state dems while supporting wasteful spending in nyc.

Didn't Golden attend de Blasio's get-together after he was sworn in?

Galewyn Massey said...

No, it's Kassar saying one thing and trying to make it look like two things; and his boss saying almost nothing, except that he likes Pre-K and needs to look at ways to pay for it.

It might be tough for SSMG to finesse this one.... The NYS Senate would have to pass any NYC rich people's income tax bill... That would probably require all the Democrats to be on board to avoid needing Golden's vote in the senate, but why would all of them want to give SSMG a pass on that? Now, you have Kassar saying the guv's Pre-K initiative doesn't add up.

Btw, yes, SSMG was at the insiders "breakfast" and he was there for some reason -- maybe, it was only to be Jeffrey Klein's plus one....

Another tidbit, Mayor de Blasio's main go-to guy to get the rich people's tax to fund Universal Pre-K passed is Josh Gold, Director of the Hotel Trades Council. That labor organization endorsed SSMG in his last go round against Democrat Steve Gounardes....
Sally Goldenberg put that all together in a December 19th post “De Blasio staffs up for pre-K push” in CAPITALPRO [http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2013/12/8537729/de-blasio-staffs-pre-k-push]

Would SSMG want to look ungrateful to Josh Gold and the Hotel Trades Council during this election year ?

Galewyn Massey said...

BACKGROUND & BACKFILL: THE “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE – OR – WHAT JERRY KASSAR WAS PROBABLY THINKING ABOUT” EDITION

A DAY BEFORE KASSAR WROTE HIS COLUMN, THE POST’S FRED DICKER SAID
“CUOMO MAY HAVE SENATE VOTES TO BLOCK DE BLASIO’S PRE-K TAX HIKE”

Maybe Fredric Dicker’s February 3rd article in the NY Post motivated or partially induced State Senator Martin Golden’s Chief of Staff to write his Common Sense column saying that Governor Cuomo’s Universal Pre-K numbers didn’t add up (See “Cuomo may have Senate votes to block de Blasio’s pre-K tax hike” by Fredric U. Dicker 2/3/14, NY Post [http://nypost.com/2014/02/03/cuomo-may-have-senate-votes-to-block-de-blasios-pre-k-tax-hike/]).

However, doesn’t that have the result of putting Kassar; and, by implication, probably his boss State Senator Marty Golden; on the side of Mayor de Blasio and his tax hike on New York City’s “rich people,” and against Governor Cuomo, who is against that specific tax to fund universal Pre-K in New York?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this article very much, but I hate to even waste time speaking about such an insignificant figure not only in Brooklyn, but anywhere. Kassar is a nobody, as is Marty Golden, but lets bash Marty Golden some more!

Anonymous said...

Golden lets his staff have an opinion.

That is to be commended.