Monday, January 26, 2009

Strange Bedfellows

News was made a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that Mike Bloomberg and Tom Golisano were going into business together-political business, that is. The NY Post described the union as a tag team: "Mayor Bloomberg is teaming up with upstate billionaire Tom Golisano to revamp the state Independence Party as an "issues oriented" group focusing on government reform, The Post has learned. "They want to combine their resources," said Golisano adviser Steve Pigeon of the effort, which is expected to be a multimillion-dollar endeavor. "It means a lot in New York state politics to have them come together."

If, as the old saw suggests, politics makes strange bedfellows, than these two billionaires-united by little else but money-have to be the political odd couple of the year. The incongruity of the union was underscored last week by the following news: "Upstate New York's economy every year is drained of a hefty amount of cash in the form of property taxes, said B. Thomas Golisano.To slow that drain, the Paychex Inc. founder turned political activist has started a petition drive through his Responsible New York political reform advocacy organization to register support for cutting property taxes, as well as an advertising blitz to promote the drive."

So, let's get this straight. In the first foray since the two announced an unlikely alliance, one of the big bucksters announces a petition drive that places him diametrically opposed to his partner; since Mike Bloomberg is the consummate taxer and big government advocate. This incongruity is underscored by the following: "Golisano made property tax cuts a centerpiece of his most recent gubernatorial campaign."

We are now awaiting the Golisano-led drive to get NYC to reform its government and lower local property taxes. Mike Bloomberg has taken exception to the new senator-select because of her stand on gun control; now let him do the right thing-dissolve the Golisano partnership because of irreconcilable philosophical differences.