Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interested and Available, Governor Paterson!

An open letter to New York Governor David Paterson --

Dear Governor Paterson,

I understand you have a job opening for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. In light of some of the relatively unqualified people who have publicly expressed interest in the job, I'd like you to know that I am interested and I am available. I'm doing this booze-writing thing, but with the number of days off Senators get, and the number of aides you get to do the heavy lifting, I don't think it should interfere. It would certainly make it easier to write a new edition of New York Breweries, and require every library in the state to buy a copy.

I'm not just looking at petty perks, either, although unlimited access to that Senate Navy Bean Soup is a draw. I'd like to serve New York and the nation as The Senator From Beer. There are some excellent breweries in New York, and although you've given them the back of your hand lately with talk of putting the beer tax back up (after your sainted predecessor Gov. Pataki lowered it; you should inquire why), I'm sure once you appreciate the employment benefits from increased brewery business you'll be whistling another tune.

I realize it's not a new idea, what with Scoop Jackson having been the "Senator From Boeing," and I think Dick Gephardt was essentially the Representative from Anheuser-Busch, but I'd be more even-handed, and represent the interests of the entire industry. Even that Belgian outfit, you know, the big place up in Baldwinsville. Oh, and those Belgian guys in Cooperstown, too.

Before you dismiss my idea as not having enough to do with representing the people of New York, I'd remind you that Senator Clinton seemed pretty focused on the presidency from the start of her first campaign; the national media certainly seemed to think so, and she didn't disappoint them. She didn't even live in New York until she decided to run for the Senate. My wife's family goes way back in New York, and if Hillary claimed Pennsylvania solidarity based on a vacation cabin in Lake Wallenpaupack, I figure Uncle Johnny's place on Amity Lake, outside of Wellsville should count.

I have no interest in the presidency, either. I'd go so far as to say that if drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve. Sorry, but that's how it goes. I have my scruples. I refuse to run for office, because all that fund-raising you have to do compromises your ethics. I'll only accept an appointment.

But part of my appeal is that I'm not part of the paste-up new aristocracy that seems to think it has some kind of right to office. I'm not a Clinton, I'm not a Kennedy, and I'm not Ham Fish XVIII. I'm a Bryson, dammit, and we've never held any office, or expected anything handed to us because of something our father or mother or uncle did. Really, I think I have every bit as much right to serious consideration as the other "candidates."

And, lookie here, I have a blog. Which I understand you were asking about when you talked to Andy-boy Cuomo this weekend. I've been blogging for two years, and a lot of it's about taxes and policy. There's some serious thought for you.

Think about it, Governor. I could be your man in Washington. I mean, what the hell? Why not?

Sincerely,

Lew Bryson
Future Senator from New York

23 comments:

Matt said...

If I was a NY resident, you'd have my vote!

Ryan said...

You'd have my vote! The craft brewing industry definitely needs a voice in Congress... or, at the very least, in the New Jersey Legislature.

---Guy said...

With all that free time you'd have, maybe we'd see you more often in the NBI???

leoorl said...

A beer in every glass and a Corgi on every lap....

You have my vote.

Ric Hoffman said...

Love it, Lew, good stuff.
I'm also a big fan of Senate Soup... we make the potato version, as found in The All New Joy of Cooking. The potato combines with the ham collagen to give a wonderful richness and mouthfeel to the dish.
mmmmmm. Senate...

Anonymous said...

When Kinky Friedman was running for gov, one of his slogan was: "How hard could it be?"

Okay, the Kinkster didn't win but you might consider the idea of a slogan. Maybe "A beer in every pot!"

Anonymous said...

Hey Pumpkin Head
If the craft people keep raising their prices and blamning the hops they may need you to auction off their bottling lines and brew tanks.
All kidding aside congress may be a step down from the beer industry,we in the business could not think of someone with your knowledge and expertise to lobby the boys in goverment to part with some of that money they pissed away on the banks and put it to good use in the beer economy...
Cheers

bill mc said...

Hell, I'd vote for you, why not. I sure as blazes don't want Caroline Kennedy...althought her grandfather was a rum runner....Hhhmmmm.

zythophile said...

I'd vote for you, Lew - and I'm not even an American citizen ... (although a distant relative of mine founded a university in New York state ... does that help?)

Rich said...

Yet another reason I would move to New Yawk, ya know, besides the beer. And the Brooklyn and Staten Island pizza. And the beef on weck. And the wings. And the Dinosaur BBQ. And the garbage plates. And the speedies. And that Italian bakery in Endicott, Battaglini's.

jp said...

nice photo you look extremely senatorial. Does the senate have rule on beards BTW?

Anonymous said...

Get ready to have a lot less fun!

Anonymous said...

That pic looks likes the PA capitol not NY

Lew Bryson said...

Good eye, Anon! That is indeed the Pennsylvania Capitol Building. Just another example of how damned experienced I am: I've been to a state capitol building! Hell, I've been to the U.S. Capitol and toured the White House, I've toured the back rooms at the Library of Congress and already lived in the District of Colombia! I was Student Council VP, too.

Chuck Cowdery said...

I hope you have better luck than I did, trying to buy the open Illinois seat. Topped out all of my credit cards in the process.

By the way, you missed one: "if drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve; and if impeached, I will not leave." (Pat "Not As Funny As Hank" Paulson)

TheAleReport said...

Yeah, that's what the New York political environment needs. More free booze.

Brilliantly written, Lew.

BDS said...

I have dozens of relatives in NY. They could be swayed.

Lew Bryson said...

Hey, no free booze! I just want it to keep costing what it does: Paterson's talking about upping the beer tax, which is really what set this whole thing off.

TheAleReport said...

Right, but tell me that if you were in office and a brewery sent you a complimentary case to say "thanks for not taxing us into non-existence" that you wouldn't enjoy a few with some of your peers. Not that the idea of a Senatorial Beer Garden isn't amusing, or anything, but...

Lew Bryson said...

Thanks to the incredibly strict gift laws the Senate operates under, I'm pretty sure I'd have to donate it to a charity. Though it reminds me of a comedy bit where the lobbyist thanks the senator for his help with a bill, and offers him a bottle of Scotch as a token. "Why, I couldn't take that, it would be like taking a bribe!" the senator protests. "How about I sell it to you for a dime, then, Senator?" the lobbyist coyly suggests, to which the Senator quickly responds, "In that case, I'll take two."

Reform, that's my position!

Junior O'Daniel: "A lot of people like that reform. Maybe we should get us some."

Pappy O'Daniel: "I'll reform you, you soft-headed son of a bitch. How we gonna run reform when we're the damn incumbent? Is that the best idea you boys can come up with? Reform?! Weepin' Jesus on the cross. That's it! You may as well start drafting my concession speech right now." (from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, of course.)

prince of pale said...

Ha! Now Lew is just trying to make a point

Matthew said...

O Brother, Where Art Thou quotes are the Royal Flush of beer-related debates. Well played, sir. Well played.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to break it to you Lew, but it looks like the granddaughter of a rum-running, bootlegger will be the new Senator from NY.

Of course, I guess a blind governor would make that choice....

$#!+...and other curse words....