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Letter: The Debacles of Government and Politics

 

The recently concluded election campaigns all had something in common — political signs and advertising that promoted name recognition over substance or the actual records of candidates.  The public knows and learns little about them.  They vote blindfolded, with their feet.  Slogans over substance prevail.

 

This is really no different than the national disgrace in 2012 where the Presidential campaign cost over one billion dollars and Senate candidates spent over 25 million dollars each.  Even a local House seat cost over a million dollars in campaign funding.  For what?

 

 In 1968 Joe McGinnis wrote a book entitled: The Selling Of The President.  It was the story of how Richard Nixon was marketed like a package of cigarettes and the enormous amounts of money from lobbyists and slush funds used to gain his election.  But it also told us how an unattractive candidate can be sold to an unknowing electorate.  

 

The debacles in government should have given Americans great pause during the last election – indeed the meshing of governance and politics should have caused a revolution inside of the polling places.  A shut down of the government for over two weeks; failed

immigration policies; filibusters against nominees; the derailment of Obamacare coupled with the high cost of campaigns should cause all Americans to revolt against a government that is dysfunctional.  Elected officials work for themselves rather than their constituencies. That is obvious from what they do to self promote and pay themselves even during a government shutdown when civil servants are not being paid.

 

 Obama is not the enemy.  Everyone in government is when they accept campaign contributions from public and private interest groups, lobbyists and unions.  Campaign contributions and endorsements should be outlawed except for public financing which should be limited to substantive issues rather than advertising.  Candidates should run on the basis of their records not on the basis of false advertising that promotes name recognition alone.  The media will have to do its job and in reporting the news turn down the billions that they receive in advertising.  Editorial endorsements create an appearance of impropriety when candidates buy advertising from the same media outlets. 

 

Those who promote politics and government as usual should be taken out of office.  We should have recall elections for the candidacies of those who narcissistically campaign purely for self-aggrandizement and not on the issues.  We need people in government to provide real solutions not merely to highlight the problems or to speak in vague terms about them.  It’s not about rhetoric.  It is about substance.  The best ideas should win, not the best advertising.  

 

Thomas F. Liotti 

 

Westbury Village Justice 

News

Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.

 

In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.

 

“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 

 

Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Sports

Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 

 

The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.


Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.

 

Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


Calendar

Los Lobos - March 5

Coffee House - March 8

Meet the Mayor - March 8


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