Friday, June 17, 2005

Steve Minarik Versus Everyone

Before I begin my tirade concerning Monroe County/New York State Republican Chairman Steve Minarik, I want to be clear on the nature of my politics and the role they play in this blog. I'm a Democrat. There, I've said it. And now, I hope with some of you, the healing can now begin.

However, this blog will attempt to stay away from partisan talking points that we regularly see in so many blogs that are out and about today. I like to focus on what I see that helps New Yorkers, specifically Rochester. I will comment on things that Democrats do wrong, just as often as I do Republicans. I am watching the current city property tax squabble and as soon as I can make some sense out of it, I'm going to talk about. Right now, I'm not too sure those involved even understand what they're doing. So I want to be fair. I've even appointed an ombudsman, SR-71, who is a staunch independent, to keep watch over me and keep me in line. Maybe I can persuade him to post sometime...

But for now, Steve Minarik has decided to tap-dance into my crossfire. Mr. Minarik has made some comments in the past concerning the Democratic party that haven't been completely true. And you know what? That's fine. The party chairman's job is to raise a ruckus, get the troops fired up, and make the party some money. In so far as this is true, there is very little difference between Minarik and Howard Dean. Which is why I get a kick out of Minarik when he takes on Dean. It's like he's chasing his tail. A little cute, and a little pathetic.

But then he has to go and do it at the expense of New Yorkers. Minarik decided to make political hay when NYS AG Eliot Spitzer lost a case against Theodore Sihpol III, a former Bank of America broker. Minarik says:

"This jury of New Yorkers exposes Spitzer as a politician whose ambition has steamrolled too many hardworking men and women of our state," Gov. George Pataki's hand-picked party leader added. "Looks like the so-called Sheriff of Wall Street had a gun full of blanks."

the article continues,
According to an earlier missive from the GOP leader, Spitzer's "reckless efforts to land himself on the front page" are "making it harder to do business and create jobs in New York."

Which on the whole is such crap. Spitzer has received numerous settlements and guilty pleas since he began his enforcement of laws upon Wall Street. The very thought that enforcing the law hurts business in this state is only true if you are hoping that your state can attract more criminals. In many national magazines that focus on business, Spitzer is lauded for enforcing the rules and keeping people honest. Remember, there are a vast number of business on Wall Street that are honest and are put at a disadvantage when dishonest firms break the rules. That isn't how you run an efficient market. An efficient market has rules, and those rules require enforcement. It is also important to note that in this case, Spitzer might have done some good regardless of not getting a conviction.
Spitzer contended in Sihpol's case that buying or selling after hours, known as late trading, was a crime because it diluted the return of fund members who were not granted the same advantage.

Sihpol's lawyers argued that late trading was legal and that their client never intended to commit a crime.

Regardless of the court cases outcome, I'm fairly certain the participants in that mutual fund weren't too happy with what was going on. Those fees on his transactions end up coming out of the pockets of the fund members as a whole, and the kind of activity Sihpol was going through would normally get you blacklisted from a fund.

Anyway, back to Steve Minarik. I don't care about him trying to get into the headlines to help his party out. That's fine. But lambasting Spitzer for a loss after all the great results he's had, is a lot like bashing Tom Brady for throwing a bad pass in last years Superbowl. My advice to Minarik? Put New York before your party. Spitzer is bound to lose a few cases. By trying to beat Spitzer up, Minarik ends up looking like an hyper-critical idiot for demeaning someone who has achieved something greater than he ever could.