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Sometimes I'm amazed at what I can afford.....

June 22, 2012 - Jim Walton
Sometimes I’m amazed at what I can afford……

When I first looked at the eight and a half by eleven piece of mail that was in my mail box last week, I sighed, and thought how will I be able to endure the political onslaught of mail for the new 150th Assembly District seat in New York that will continue through November. Then I started to look the “Bipartisan Approach that Gets Results”. I thought that is was nice that the Assemblyman was doing what we sent him to Albany to do. Getting along with the folks on the other side of the political isle is commendable. Further inspection showed that this two color mailing piece was paid for by me. Not directly from my checking account, but my and your tax dollars not only paid to have it laid out and printed, we paid to have it mailed to everyone in the County. What do you think about that?

My curiosity was peaked and I decided to see what else was being done by the Assemblyman during his first term. If you go online and ask your computer to give you the voting record of your elected officials, you will eventually take a look at a web site that is called “Project Vote Smart” and it will list what it refers to as “Key Votes”. Vote Smart uses the following criteria to rate the votes of elected officials in both the State and Federal arenas.

1. The vote should be helpful in portraying how a member stands on a particular issue 2. The vote should be clear for any person to understand 3. The vote has received media attention 4. The vote was passed or defeated by a very close margin 5. Occasionally, if a specific bill is consistently inquired about on the Voter’s Research Hotline, the vote will be added

Let’s look at a few. There are eleven key votes that are detailed. The” Yea” votes were recorded for three bills. A 4578 was put to vote on April 4, 2011. It was “Authorizing an Intercity Bus Permit System” . A 8514 Was put to a vote on June 23, 2011. It was the “Health Benefit Exchange Act”. S 6735 was put to a vote on March 15, 2012. It was a bill that “Amends Pension for New State Employees”.

Here are the eight key votes that were voted “Nay” by our Assemblyman. A 6130 was put to a vote on April 11, 2011. This legislation dealt with “Prohibiting Discrimination in Wages Based on Gender, Race or National Origin”. A 2674 was also put to a vote on April 11, 2011. This bill dealt with “Rent Regulations”. A 8354 was put to a vote on June 15, 2011. This was the “Marriage Equality Enactment” bill. A 6698A was put to a vote on June 20, 2011. It was for “Freelance Wage Protection”. A 9525 was put to a vote on March 14, 2012. This is the “State Legislative Redistricting” plan. A 9556 was also put to a vote on March 14, 2012. The bill was to “Authorizes Casino Gambling”. A 5039 was put to a vote on April 30, 2012. The bill “Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression”. And finally, A 9148 was put to a vote on May 15, 2012. This little piece of legislation was titled “Raises Minimum Wage”

Please feel free to look up any of these bill titles if you can’t figure out what they were intended to do by simply reading the title.

So now you know how the Assemblyman is voting and how he is “Putting You First”. This, of course, brings me back to my original thoughts on the mailing that I got last week. This appears to be a blatantly political mailing and should not be being printed and mailed at taxpayer expense. I sure would like to know what was the actual cash value of this mailing and encourage the Assemblyman to reimburse the taxpayers of New York State. We send people to represent us in Albany and Washington and they seem intent in figuring out how to stay on the public dole and have the people who sent them there pay for it. I am not inferring that there was anything illegal done here. I am saying that the appearance of any impropriety by and elected official is in fact an impropriety. I for one, would be willing to exchange “A Record of Bipartisan Accomplishments” for a record of honesty and non-deceptive shenanigans by our elected representatives.

In summary, we now know that he is for an intercity bus permitting system(whatever that is), the Health Benefit Exchange Act, and amending the pension plan for future state workers(a new tier in the system). Guess I can go along with those positions. It is the items that he doesn’t support that gives some pause to consider whether or not I can support an Assemblyman who is against prohibiting discrimination in wages based on gender, race or national origin, marriage equality, the new redistricting plan, freelance wage protection, against authorizing casino gambling (with the possible exception of the group that he was a lobbyist for), by his vote is apparently in favor of discrimination based on gender identity or expression, and last, but by no means least, against raising the minimum wage. Where DO we find them.

How’s your mail looking and will you be checking it a little closer in this silly season that will be relentless until November 6th?

The silly season is swinging into high gear and as a very wise old politician once told me on election night, “people generally get what they deserve in an election”. Find a candidate that you can believe in and trust to do what you want done. Then get off your butt and vote. Better yet get involved in a campaign and see how this process really works. All you have to loose is a little time and you may gain the satisfaction that you were a player in what appears to be a historic election cycle.

See you at the poles!

 
 

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