In a seemingly shocking display of independence, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, a Republican, last week endorsed Democrat Andrew Cuomo for governor over GOP candidate Carl Paladino, the successful Buffalo real estate developer.
Cuomo supporters would have you believe that the endorsement was a repudiation of GOP politics and Paladino's abrasive ability to polarize statewide issues.
More than likely, it was a cynical election bet. Mahoney is gambling that by time the election plays out, New York voters will slide into the Democratic tank, as usual, and shoo-in the Mario Cuomo heir.
The wager is that by turning on her own party, she will endear herself to Cuomo and the overwhelming Democrat establishment in Albany thereby enhancing the ability of the county to attract more financial support for the county and more political support for her public agenda.
The gambit just might work, but Mahoney should also remember that few people like a quisling no matter how they feel about an issue or a personality.
Given the ungracious behavior of Democrats in Albany on other issues, and if the public discomfort with all things Albany plays out...and should Paladino capture the governor's office, Mahoney might start looking for a new line of work. She will find it very difficult to find cooperation going forward. This will be especially true should the GOP post the expected wins in Congressional elections.
Onondaga County will likely benefit little from Joanie's gambit no matter who wins the election -- unless she chooses to realign her politics with her preferences.