Well, it just seems that Governor Bully-boy just can’t stop himself. First it was political dirty tricks, now it’s policies that very few New Yorkers want or support. His latest arrogant “I know better than you” policy? Giving undocumented, illegal aliens NY drivers liscenses with no questions asked. It’s a bad policy, and one that he can’t really defend.
Yes folks, what was once a mere intellectual exercise on the part of NY’ers is now a major debate on state policy. For some reason, a reason I fail to understand, Governor Spitzer thinks that this policy is a good idea, and will somehow save insured NY drivers a boat load of cash. Ummm, how exactly? That part has never been explained, just thrown out there as a sound bite in a speach.
Let’s see if we can follow a bit of logic here. Spitzer and his cohorts believe that giving illegals a driver’s liscense will reduce NY auto insurance rates. That is a bit of a logical disconnect. The fact is that most illegals do not own cars, nor do they drive with any regularity. They get driven, as getting pulled over would run the risk of being caught and turned over to INS. Second, illegals in NY tend to be transient, that is they come to work the tourist seasons (ie Track season at Saratoga), then leave. Third, as many of the illegals in NY are transient, they don’t have permanent addresses, so can’t be billed for things like auto insurance. Add to this the general lack of auto ownership or regular use on their parts, having any sort of impact on insurance rates is ludicrous.
But there is far more to this than just some fantasy scenario by Spitzer. This little policy change has ignited yet another political fire storm, one that is staring to transcend the usual Republican-Democratic split. Just today, at an “emergency meeting” of the County Clerk’s Association, 30 of 33 members voted not to support or implement this new policy. As it’s generally the county clerks who run the DMV offices, this puts a serious crimp in the plans to implement the change. Some have gone so far as to state for the record that they will not even accept the new forms or equipment, preferring instead to send it back to the state. Others have said that they would not accept the proposed “valid passport” as an acceptable document.
This was just the latest in the shots being fired around. James Tedisco (R-Schenectady), Assembly Minority Leader, has taken th epoint in trying to stop this proposed policy change. He has correctly pointed out the security issues involved, ranging from validating passports (including the process of doing so, as well as training DMV employees to spot forged or altered documents), to border security, to identity theft, to voter fraud. Strangely enough, it was Michael Bloomberg who pointed out that this proposed policy could negate the use of a NY driver’s liscense as a valid form of ID at airports. And people thought delays at JFK, Laguardia, Stewart, and Newark were long already!
As usual in NY politics, there’s more! Tedisco, in a somewhat uncharacteristic turn, has dubbed Eliot Spitzer as “Illegal Eliot.” Though I myself prefer Governor Bully-boy or Idiot Eliot, it does have a nice ring to it. He has also stated that the Governor will have 28 days (Wonder if Spitzer has seen 28 Days Later?), to reverse or “revise” the policy, or Tedisco and his caucus will sue to have it stopped. And in case anyone was wondering, polling data released today shows that 60% of New Yorkers are opposed to Spitzer’s policy, with only 35% in favor, and even that 35% thinks that the policy may be too much.
So, here we have the Assembly Minority Leader and his caucus, the State’s County Clerk Association, the GOP, the Conservative Party, the Independence Party, Mayor Bloomberg, and probably several other groups all opposed to this plan. So far, only the Governor and his head of the DMV have come out in support of it. Though it should be noted that the DMV chief, David Swarts, did not actually voice his own opinion, but merely repeated what Spitzer had previously stated.
So how bad is it for Spitzer? Well, he’s stopped trying to defend the policy on it’s merits. Heck, that lasted less than 12 hours from the original announcement. Now it’s all about personal attacks and threats. Of course that’s just Bully-boy reverting to form. He can’t stand on the facts, or the merits of his position, because they are faulty at best, and fantasy at worst, so he has no choice, if wants to push this through, but to resort to belittling his opponents personally, and try to demeen them at every turn.
*SIGH* Would someone please tell me why they thought this chump was a “great choice for NY?”