Not much needs to be said about the wisdom of voting for Andrew Cuomo for Governor. Carl Paladino probably never had much of a shot in the general election - but made things a lot worse for himself by continuously creating a negative personal presence in the news ever since he won the Republican primary in September. But the act of electing Cuomo for Governor alone won't be enough to really throw down the gauntlet for reforming New York State government.
In fact, on Tuesday the most important vote New Yorkers can cast to begin real post-partisan efforts to fix Albany -- would be to elect Harry Wilson State Comptroller.
I've previously written about Wilson in the Huffington Post: http://bit.ly/aierzt
as has Henry Stern: http://bit.ly/9IE2wT and Dan Collins: http://huff.to/cOZwax. Nearly all editorial boards of New York papers across the state have given full-throated endorsements to Wilson's candidacy.
Why? He's smart, he's a real outsider to Albany, and he has vision.
On Sunday, the Albany Times-Union endorsed Wilson highlighting his financial expertise and restructuring chops -- but perhaps most compelling, said:
While Mr. DiNapoli, to be sure, has been as outspoken on issues like the state's financial problems as any comptroller in memory, Mr. Wilson is a real outsider in a town where just about everyone, it seems, would like to pretend to be one right now.
He isn't beholden to the Legislature that Mr. DiNapoli came from and was appointed by.
He owes nothing to the state unions that have supported Mr. DiNapoli's campaign, and whose interests, it has seemed, have eclipsed those of ordinary taxpayers in state government.
As a Republican, he offers a balance to the Democrats who have ruled state government exclusively for the past two years and are likely to continue to dominate it after Tuesday's election. This post, remember, involves more than managing the state's money; it also serves as an independent watchdog that can audit agencies and public authorities. New York could use a comptroller who isn't, ultimately, another member of the ruling clan...
In fact last week the New York Post reported that outside law firms bidding for pension fund work have shown up on DiNapoli's campaign contribution list: http://bit.ly/9MxkUF. So Wilson's outsider status and independence from the political class of either party in Albany can turn the Comptroller's office into something of a transformative governing partner with Andrew Cuomo in dealing with the State Legislature.
Having a Comptroller Wilson alongside Governor Cuomo will likely incentivize the powers-that-be to move more forthrightly in dealing with the most intractable problems and issues facing New York State -- and this governing coalition could serve as a model for genuine, accomplishment-driven post-partisan state government for the rest of the country to emulate.