What To Demand Of Your State Legislators
July 31st, 2006

In two editorials over the weekend (and a promise of more to come), The New York Times asks New Yorkers not to give state legislators their votes without demanding something in return reform.

In Note To Voters: Dont Go Easy, The Times specifically asks voters to question the candidates to see if they support
1. an independent redistricting commission
2. a campaign finance reform package proposed by many good-government groups, including the Brennan Center, Citizens Union, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and the New York Public Interest Research Group.
3.a real ethics reform law that would (among other things) strengthen bans on the personal use of campaign contributions no more golf outings or parking tickets on the political dole.”
4. rules reform.

A second editorial Promises, Pensions and Politics, urges the defeat of a current crop of bills that would increase pensions for county sheriffs and other state workers. In an ideal world, we would all like to have better pensions. But as New York City staggers under its long-term obligations to retired workers, it cannot afford to have Albany adding extra costs without any suggestion as to how to pay for them. The survival of the politically connected is no way to run benefit programs.

By on July 31, 2006, 6:52 am
In category: Albany,Governing | 4 Comments »

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4 Responses to “What To Demand Of Your State Legislators”

  1. dorothy Neary Says:
    July 31st, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    If I felt that our state legislators were thinking for themselves instead of following the WILL of Mr. Silva, I would have more faith in their conclusions.

    Imagine, like the City Council, this is a part time job, with excellent remuneration, and the urgent problems presented to them are rarely acted upon…

  2. Larry Littlefield Says:
    August 1st, 2006 at 7:04 am

    The only way people will be in a position to make any demands from their state legislature is if they are willing to run against them, or collect petitions for those who do. In most cases, there is no election, and they can do whatever they damn well please.

    The Times should have written this months ago, not after petitioning closed. After voting for 20 years, I finally realized that votes don’t matter. By the time you head for the voting booth, it’s too late.

    I’m not sure that Times has a problem with that. A few weeks from now, on past form, it will endorse every incumbent legislator not under indictment — after not having written a single article about any challenger in any district not pre-judged to be competitive.

  3. Philip Pidot Says:
    August 2nd, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    As a State Senate candidate (26SD – Manhattan), I promptly took the Times up on their challenge and answered their reform questions point by point.

    The write-up is here:

  4. Gotham Gazette - The Wonkster » Blog Archive » Ask the Candidates Says:
    August 6th, 2006 at 10:24 am

    […] The New York Times offers another set of questions (it posed the first group of queries last week) that it thinks voters should ask candidates for state office this year. In the editorial’s own words, they mainly involve maps and money: redistricting, campaign finance reform, and reform of ethics laws. Undoubtedly worthy issues, but a search of the Times archives turns up little evidence that the paper itself has asked bothered to ask state legislature candidates about them. Compiled by Gail Robinson […]

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