Word has it that County Executive Hein is acting real bitchy lately, lashing out at real/perceived enemies. What changed the Executive's usually sunny disposition?Just which word would that be? Has anyone heard anything about Hein acting thin-skinned lately? The Mojo continues:
Ever since Hein became golfing buddies with Lew Kirschner, he's moved up the political ladder at lighting speed. He was floated as a possible running mate for Andrew Cuomo, became best buds with a powerful U.S. Senator and cruised to reelection unopposed. But, just as suddenly, Hein hit a major roadblock.I don't think it would have been a risky race at all. As for the primary, the charismatic Hein would have clobbered both the bland Julian Schriebman and the non-establishment Joel Tyner. In the general, Chris Gibson is a first-term Tea Party congressman and is very vulnerable. But why would Hein want to become a back-bencher in a superstar-heavy NY congressional delegation?
With great fanfare, Hein announced interest in Ulster County's new congressional district. But, he decided against entering the race against Republican Chris Gibson. Don't believe any cockamamie reason Hein gave to explain his decision. The real reason: polling showed Hein faring poorly against Gibson and he didn't want to gamble his career on a risky race.
In the very next paragraph the Mojo then postulates that everyone hates Hein:
There are other factors at play that limit Hein's political upside. First, governing as a hardcore Republican hurt his standing with grass roots, liberal Democrats. Second, Hein angered labor unions with constant layoff threats and the pending sale of the county nursing home - which will eliminate 400 dues-paying union members from the county payroll. Third, Hein's fight with the NYC DEP over muddy discharges into the Esopus Creek may hurt him with NYC money men that might not appreciate an Upstater messing with their water supply. Has Hein made a powerful enemy (with tons of money) in Mayor Bloomberg?Okay. I'll concede a bit on the argument regarding Hein's left-wing credentials. He was a registered Republican at one time. But governing as a hard-core Republican? Hardly. More like moderate-to-conservative Democrat. As for the unions, ALL Democrats, pretty much, are having some trouble with the unions, what with their incessant pandering to big business. We'll see how this plays out, but my guess is that Hein, being far better than any alternative (does the Mojo really think the likes of Len Bernardo would be pro-union?), will have absolutely no trouble winning union endorsements in the coming years. The Mojo's last point, that Hein has taken on the NYC power brokers regarding the water issue, also won't matter -- especially given that Bloomberg is a Republican, and that a Democratic administration in NYC would be much more likely to work with on Hein on this issue (something which is very likely to occur in 2013).
The Mojo then concludes that Hein's career is basically over:
In summary, it's hard for any Democrat to rise up the ranks without the support of the liberal party base, labor unions, and NYC power brokers. It remains to be seen if Hein can overcome these challenges. So, unless a well-funded county Republican or liberal Democrat challenges him, it appears Mike Hein will be trapped in Ulster County for a long, long time.I have very serious doubts about this analysis. In fact, the Mojo makes all of my points for me. He's friends with Chuck Schumer, the number-three guy in the U.S. Senate; he's courting deep-pocketed players for financial support; and he's doing a good job of keeping his name in the news.
I've watched Hein operate and I think he's got a long political career ahead of him. My guess is that he's set his sights on statewide office. And all of the top spots -- senate, governor -- are at the moment filled by very capable Democrats who aren't going anywhere any time soon. I would say that Hein's next logical step would be to run for NYS Comptroller. DiNapoli is weak and could be defeated in a primary -- assuming he even wants to run again.
Whether you love or hate Hein is beside the point. The guy's a pro and is clearly going places -- even if the Mojo doesn't like it.