Forget about next week’s Democratic primaries. The nastiest political race raging these days is the one to replace Joe Mondello as head of the near-moribund New York State Republican Party.
On one side are what New York Post political editor Fred Dicker, in a nicely over the top op-ed column today slugged “Lobbyist Attack,” dubs the “forces of destruction.” Who might those be? Hold on to your Page Sixes, folks, it’s all the ex-state leaders that the Post has been promoting for years: Al D’Amato, George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Bruno. Even that footnote of an ex-attorney general, Dennis Vacco. What these exes all have in common, writes Dicker, is that “they all became rich after achieving public office, in large part because of their continuing ties to the Republican Party.” (Now you tell us!)
This cabal is backing Henry Wojtaszek – “the little-accomplished Niagara County Republican chairman,” as Dicker puts it – to retain power over the GOP so they can keep raking in the boodle, “no matter what the consequences” for their party.
Meanwhile, the real grassroots campaign to rescue the party from this cynical crew, Dicker writes, is being waged by none other than Edward R. Cox – the white shoe Manhattan lawyer from an old-line, blue-blood family. An accomplished lawyer, Cox’s chief claim to fame remains his 1971 marriage to Number One Nixon daughter, Tricia.
Despite his regal upbringing, Cox has demonstrated the “common man’s touch”, says Dicker, by traveling around the state talking with frustrated local Republican leaders. “He’s a Wall Street guy with a Main Street personality,” one Cox backer says.
Don’t tell Fred but Fast Eddie might also have picked up some tips on his down-to-earth approach back in his law school days when he worked as one of the original Nader Raiders for consumer advocate and now outright radical, Ralph Nader. He also spent the crucial Woodstock summer of 1969 writing for the then ultra-liberal New Republic.
Good thing a Voice endorsement is a kiss of death in any Republican race (some Democratic ones as well), or we’d join Dicker in endorsing Eddie too! Our kind of Republican!