Governor Cuomo has used the pretext of the recent scandals in the New York State Legislature for what is misleadingly called public campaign finance reform. What that really means is taxpayer financing of election campaigns. Such taxpayer-financed schemes are unjust violations of the liberties of New Yorkers. New Yorkers will be conscripted to finance the election campaigns of those they oppose. Other New Yorkers will be conscripted to finance campaigns for elections that do not interest them.
Pretend for a moment that there was no First Amendment to the US Constitution. Why would such a provision concerning the establishment of religion be desirable? Because it is wrong to compel people to support the views they do not share.
Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to the June 4 announcement from District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office about prostitution arrests within Nassau County, which appeared in the June 7 and June 14 editions of Anton Community Newspapers.
The only thing wrong with Kathleen Rice’s public display of the 104 men arrested for illegally patronizing prostitutes in a police sting was the absence of “Client number 105,” former Governor Eliot Spitzer! When he committed a similar crime, he was not sent to jail or fined, even though people working for his house of prostitution were. That was patently unfair, especially since prostitution (the supply) would not exist if there were no (male) demand.
We just ended this year’s legislative session in Albany, and to be sure it produced real results for every New Yorker concerned about the economy. We passed our third, on-time, responsible state budget which closed multi-billion dollar gaps and we adhered to our self-imposed two-percent cap for a third consecutive year. This prevented $18.3 billion in new spending or to make it more tangible we avoided $3,268 in higher taxes on New Yorkers like you. No new state taxes, no new state fees – none.
This approach is crucial because state finances are like personal finances. If one’s budget is a mess then progress on other fronts is difficult. So with this sound budget we:
I’m proud to represent an area of Long Island that has been the location for many famous movies and TV shows, including Citizen Kane, Annie Hall, and the hit television series Boardwalk Empire. It’s even the setting for The Great Gatsby. Shamefully, it’s also now the location for a show whose characters are disgraceful, misleading, and fuel anti-Semitic stereotypes: Princesses: Long Island.
Full disclosure: I kind of enjoy reality TV. Storage Wars and Pawn Stars are among my guilty pleasures. So the idea of watching a reality show taking place in my own backyard wasn’t so far-fetched. I knew little about the show before sitting down to watch the season premiere.
On Father’s Day I sat at the breakfast table with my four daughters, facing the whirlwind of their seemingly unconnected conversations, with my occasional attempts to join in gently dismissed at least a half-dozen times by sweet smiles and quiet chuckles. It reminded me of Mark Twain who wrote, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” I guess that’s nature’s way. It takes time to truly appreciate parents, especially dads and their wisdom.
New York has a historic opportunity to reform election laws. The 2013 Fair Elections Act, which provides for greater transparency and strictly enforced campaign finance laws, recently passed the State Assembly by a vote of 88-50. In contrast to the wild calculations that Sen. Martins provided, a public campaign finance system could be had for the cost of only $2 per person per year, according to the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute; a candidate’s participation would be optional. I daresay that most New Yorkers would gladly pay a mere $2 (the cost of a cup of coffee) for fairer, more transparent elections.
In Aesop’s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, we learn that “slow and steady wins the race.” Truthfully, many of us probably learned this first from an overconfident Bugs Bunny who challenged Cecil Turtle to a footrace. Who can forget his look-alike cousins who help the slow-talking tortoise outwit Bugs to win the race?
There’s something to be said about enlisting the help of others to steadily accomplish goals and this is true of my effort to protect Long Island’s drinking water. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to create the Long Island Aquifer Commission.
If there is a path to defeat, the Democrats of Nassau can usually find it. The current primary battle between Thomas Suozzi and Adam Haber is shaping up as a replay of 1977. In that year Assemblyman Irwin Landes, the organization candidate faced off against David Pierez, as an endowed candidate who invested his own fortune into the race. Landes also had Liberal Party endorsement and Pierez referred to the minor Party as “political whores.”
This past week, my office received a phone call at 1:23 a.m. from an organizer at MoveOn.org who threatened to oust me from office unless I embrace a bill calling for taxpayer funding of political campaigns. The call came as no surprise as people who call empty offices in the dead of night have no real intention of entering into meaningful discussion.
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