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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 School Board will hold a public hearing on the much-debated New York State veterans exemption on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Willis Avenue School. It is expected the board will either approve or disapprove the tax exemption during its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

When votes go to the polls next week on Tuesday, Nov. 4 to vote on the Town of North Hempstead’s 2nd Council District seat, candidate Bonnie Parente feels her stance on the building department is what voters will remember when casting their choice. The 2nd council district post is currently held by Peter Zuckerman, a former East Hills trustee. He was appointed to the seat in January to replace Thomas Dwyer, who resigned last year.

 

“That’s the major issue I heard about when I knocked on doors,” she said. “No matter where I am, I could be at the Herricks Community Center or the Albertson Pasta Dinner and

predominately what people ask about is how to fix the building department.”


Sports

Samantha Pastore

Samantha Pastore, senior and third-year varsity player, is also co-captain of the currently undefeated (11-0) Mineola Girls Varsity Volleyball team. She is an outside hitter and is often recognized in games by starting rallies with her quick thinking and nimble feet. She earns 20 percent of the team’s points and averages four aces per match.

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team fell to the Seaford Vikings last week 27-21, missing their chance to tie the top seeds Locust Valley and Roosevelt’s 6-1 Nassau conference IV record.

 

After tying the game in the second half and having the opportunity to capitalize on Seaford’s failed extra-point kick on their final touchdown, the Viking’s senior wide receiver/defensive back Bobby Buell knocked away a pass from Mineola senior quarterback James Gerstner to senior wide receiver Brian Smith in the end-zone with 57 seconds left


Calendar

International Night - October 30

Halloween Parade - October 31

Cultural Arts Series - November 1 


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