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From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins

Weeding Our Political Garden     

Admittedly, I do not have a green thumb.  If our home is verdant it’s entirely by my wife’s efforts but I do recall once reading some gardening advice that seemed useful: you can’t get rid of weeds by simply pulling them out.  You must plant something in their place to prevent their return.         

 

I think of that advice when I hear people complain about some politicians.  I believe “disgusted” is their term of choice, and certainly the media has uncovered plenty of unsavory behavior for us to be disgusted about.  Still, I’m bothered by that cynicism because I know firsthand that most elected officials are honest and good people who take their public service as a point of pride.  Nonetheless, I certainly understand where that cynicism stems from, especially when you read the sordid affairs smeared on the pages of New York’s newspapers these days.

 

That’s why I’m baffled by how many disgraced public servants make a comeback.  Forget about the Marion Barry’s or the Silvio Berlusconi’s of the world.  Right here in New York, at this very moment, there are three former politicians whose relatively recent, scandalous behavior forced them out office in shame.  Yet all three seek to regain public office.  

 

You know who they are because if there’s anything the media loves more than scandal, it’s the public’s obsession with the villains we supposedly, “love to hate.”   One of these married men patronized prostitutes, another who had a pregnant wife at home would regularly send lewd pictures of his anatomy to other women on the internet, and the last sexually harassed so many female staffers that it cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements and legal fees.  Any of them would rightfully have been fired from the private sector, yet each now has the audacity to throw his hat into the public arena once more.  What’s worse, despite their tremendous lack of judgment, polls show they have notable public support while they simultaneously rake in campaign dollars.          

 

What’s going on here?  As a “public” official always mindful of being in the “public” eye, I wondered whether each of these men had lost their minds.  Now I can’t help but think maybe we’ve collectively lost ours as well.  Let’s face it.  People don’t get far in politics and win primaries and elections without public support and more so, the direct financial support of their parties.  And what does that say about those political organizations who publicly celebrate their commitment to women’s rights, to then quietly back its worst abusers?  Is their commitment to battling exploitation in word only?  Obviously, candidates should be vetted by their party to ensure that they value the ideals we’re all fighting for.  

 

So, why don’t they?  A party can certainly revoke a candidate’s registration sending a clear message that such antics will not be tolerated while preventing that candidate from seeking further public office.  But it hasn’t and won’t.  Again, I ask why?              

Let’s hold them accountable, individuals and the party they represent.  Regardless of how out-of-touch party leaders are the real power belongs to you, the voter.  Members can guarantee their party is better represented by getting out in primaries and voting for the candidate who truly values their ideals.  A party’s tacit support of candidates who have a track record of, at best, poor judgment and, at worst, misogyny sends a clear message as to that party’s priorities.   Of course, your voting in all the general elections is the best way to guarantee that better candidates prevail. 

 

Over time, you’ll find that public service and policy improves as we weed our political garden.    

News

Bank Robbery Suspects Arrested

Nassau County Robbery Squad detectives arrested two men in connection with a bank robbery that occurred on April 7 at 2:17 p.m. in Mineola.

Road improvement and storm preparation dominated the discussion of the Village of Mineola’s preliminary 2014-15 budget released last week. The proposed budget totals $19.33 million, a 1.38 percent increase from last year.

The tentative budget also represents a .34 percent tax increase from last year, when Mineola’s tax bump was .74 percent.

 

The village has budgeted almost $1 million for road and curb upgrades, Mayor Scott Strauss estimated. The road maintenance line in the budget received an $80,000 to increase to $580,000.


Sports

FC Mineola Wins Two

The BU10 FC Mineola opened league play with 3-0 win over the Hewlett Lawrence Blue Sonic on April 3. Mineola was led by Liam Going (two goals and an assist). The first goal came off a beautiful cross from Liam Russelman that Going sent to the back of the net.  Fifteen minutes later the Liam to Liam connection struck again when Russelman found Going open at the top of the box for another shot and score by the talented Mineola player.

 

Mineola’s final goal came midway through the second half as Gregory Kenney redirected a good cross past the Hewlett goalie. The back line of Peter Murphy, Luke Sommese and Brent Muessig controlled the defensive end of the field limiting the number of shots Hewlett took on goal and the few that made it through were gobbled up by keeper Andrew Pizzardi. Brian Heckelman, Phil Macchietto and James Teadore all contributed with stellar play at the midfield position.

Marissa Cotroneo

Senior Captain Marissa Cotroneo excelled at the Paul Limmer Invitation on Saturday, April 5, held at Mepham High School.  Cotroneo placed first overall in the 1500 meters in one of the most exciting, come from behind victories of the season.


Calendar

Village Meeting - April 16

Zoning Board Meeting - April 17

Egg Hunts and Fun Fairs - April 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com