Friday, 10 July 2009 00:00
(Editor’s note: This letter was sent to State Senator Craig Johnson and to the Manhasset Press for publication.)
I read with interest and some disgust your column in the July 2 issue of Manhasset Press. New York State has the worst legislature in the country (see the Brennan Center for Justice reports from NYU) and recent past and present events in Albany certainly support this view.
The recent NY State budget is a joke that pays almost no attention to making any kind of attempt to curb spending, as usual raises taxes and fees, has the usual cave-ins to special interests and is, in effect, a finger in the eye of NY State taxpayers. The budget’s creation was the usual three men in a room with no transparency and I am sure zero input from the rest of the state legislature, including you. Interestingly, at least from what I gleaned in the newspapers, you went around defending this indefensible budget and I only can fathom that there is something wrong with your judgment or there are the usual secret machinations going on that rewards “good soldiers.”
Getting to your July 2 column, which adds no light to the deadlock going on in the Senate, I read only overly partisan rhetoric how somehow the Democrats are the rational good guys and the “Espada-Republicans” the bad. This kind of stuff cheapens politics.
The fact is the Democrats (which I am almost ashamed that I am one) had control in the State Senate for half a year and did nothing in terms of any kind of reform, ethics or otherwise. Your old senate leader, Malcolm Smith, appeared incapable of running anything and the new one, John Sampson, doesn’t seem much better and in fact appears to be the usual tool of the special interests (look at his attack on the NYC Mayor’s control over education that runs afoul of the Teacher Union’s wishes).
The bottom line is that nobody in the state Senate and Assembly deserves to remain in their jobs. Term limits, where are you when we need you?