Friday, 13 November 2009 00:00
It is sometimes staggering what depths zealots and special interests will stoop to in order to advance their agenda.
Senator Craig Johnson took a realistic and principled stand on legislation that, while well intentioned, had the potential to hurt major employers on Long Island during this economic crisis. Instead of working with him, the radical environmental lobby chose to vilify him.
At issue was E-Waste legislation that would require electronic manufacturers to accept and recycle items that contain high levels of toxic materials, such as computer monitors, flat screen televisions and copy machines, when consumers purchase a replacement product.
This is a good concept that Senator Johnson has made clear that he supports. However, he believes that the bill, as drafted, could cause an undue burden on companies, such as Long Island-based Canon and Rochester-based Kodak, that employ thousands of residents across New York State.
The sponsor of the E-Waste legislation, who is currently the chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, agrees that the bill is flawed. He has introduced a chapter amendment that strikes a balance between the environmental and economic concerns that surround this issue.
Senator Johnson strongly supports this amendment, which has yet to be introduced in the Assembly. On July 16, the E-Waste legislation — without the amendment — was brought to the Senate floor for a vote. Senator Johnson stood up for Long Island’s economic health and opposed this bill, as did every other Long Island Senator in the chamber that day.
Instead of listening to Senator Johnson’s reasoned augment (which can be found on YouTube by searching “Senator Johnson” and “E-Waste”) the environmental lobby tarred him as anti-environment. This is despite their own environmental rankings that place Senator Johnson ahead of, or at the same level as 61 percent of the chamber, and higher than any other Long Island senator.
This out-of-the-mainstream onslaught is shameful and unfortunate. However, at the end of the day it means little. Senator Johnson was elected to represent the residents of the 7th Senate District — not the special interests. He is, and will remain, accountable to you and to no one else.
Director of Communications
Senator Craig M. Johnson