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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

The Mineola Fire Department will kick off its Operation Santa program on Friday, Dec. 12.  Santa and his helpers will be visiting homes in Mineola until Dec. 23.  Santa will start his rounds each night at approximately 7 p.m.

 

If you would like Santa to stop by your home and visit your children, please call Ex-Chief Gary Mazur at 516-746-6583 and he will return your call as soon as possible to arrange a visit for you.  Please leave your cell and home numbers and call early as dates fill up fast.


Audience members were treated to an evening of incredible singing by 10 extremely talented Wheatley students during the Tri-M Music Honor Society’s Wheatley Idol X on Friday, Nov. 7, in the packed Wheatley auditorium.

 

Nada Al-Okla, sang “Titanium” by David Guetta, Michaela Balboni sang “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities, Alex Boubour sang “Love Song” by The Cure, Melanie Esquilin sang “At Last” by Etta James, Tessa Karikas sang “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, Ben Lee sang “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5, Lauren Levine sang “Drops of Jupiter” by Train, Ally Levy sang “A

Drop in the Ocean” by Ron Pope, Juliana Luber sang “Reflection” by Alan Menken and Morgan Misk sang “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse.


Sports

Mineola High School student Mary Elizabeth Smith signed her letter of intent to attend Stetson University in the fall. She is receiving a partial athletic scholarship and will be a member of the Stetson Rowing team.  

 

Smith is an accomplished rower who has trained locally and competed nationally. She began her rowing career as a 10th grader and ranks 53 in her rowing classification. 


 

In their semifinals home playoff game, the 9-year-old Mineola Chiefs (7-2) shut out perennial power Seaford Broncos 21-0. 

 

The Chiefs defense, the strength of the team, was lights out, making gang tackles all over the field. The defensive line of Charlie Villa, Luigi Kaloudis, Michael Nygaard, Luke Ruiz, John Jochym, Zachary Bohringer, Johnny Kessler, Zakria Zulfiqar and Jack McCormack kept the pressure on Seaford’s offense all game long. The Linebackers John Viggiani and Nick Rios attacked the runners and finished off the Broncos.


Calendar

Rockinghams - November 29

Village Green Tree Lighting - December 2

Village Meeting - December 3 


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