Tuesday, November 2, 2010

vote, motherf*ckers

In 1994, Mario Cuomo ran for his fourth consecutive term as Governor of New York. While the state had suffered along with everyone else as a result of the latest recession, Cuomo was the relatively well-respected incumbent Democratic governor of a solidly blue state.

Because so many voters had grown accustomed to having Cuomo as governor, not many bothered to show up to vote. With roughly 30% of eligible voters turning out, George Pataki was sent to the Governor's Mansion as part of the 1994 Republican Revolution.

Pataki took an emergency stop-gap decision taken by Governor Cuomo in the face of financial crisis to reduce MTA overhead -- using credit to maintain the subways and buses of New York City -- and turned it into longstanding fiscal policy, something it was never intended to do.

As a result, all service cuts and fare hikes taken in 2009-2010 are because budget funding was never restored to its early 1990s levels, because an indifferent electorate allowed a public-service-slashing conservative win an election he would have no right winning had people been paying more attention in the first place.

The Moral: Midterm elections matter, despite your disillusionment/boredom/cynicism.

Bonus Moral: You can't bitch about fare hikes unless you are a registered and active voter in New York City.

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