Albany: Out of Order

Written by admin on . Posted in Opinion and Column.


To the Editor:
How soon can Andrew Cuomo move his stuff into the governor’s office? What else is there to say?

Carol Ann Rinzler
East Side

Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.

To the Editor:
Allow me to add to “Albany Out of Order” (July 2). There would have been no gridlock in the first place had someone initiated amending the State Constitution to allow the governor the right to call for a special election if a vacancy occurs for United States senator, comptroller, attorney general or lieutenant governor. The governor does this already when a seat in Congress or the Legislature becomes vacant. Any lieutenant governor can cast the tie-breaking vote in a State Senate session, avoiding gridlock. A special election would allow voters, rather than the legislature, to choose which will select one of their own as a replacement.
Another reform should include passage of a balanced budget on April 1, with adequate time for reporters, good government groups, ordinary citizens and members of the legislature to read the fine print before adoption, rather than the usual midnight vote behind closed doors.
It is time for a return to limited government, accompanied by a minimal amount of confiscatory taxation to support only essential services, along with pay-as-you-go budgeting; means testing for all government assistance programs; balanced budgets; actual surpluses; and down payments to reduce long-term debt for all levels of government.
Introduce a law requiring all members of the legislature who hold down a second job to report information about both income and hours worked.
In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting bill allowing his party to rig the drawing of district boundaries in their favor. This practice is commonly known as gerrymandering. After the 2010 census, remove the redistricting power from the governor, senate and assembly leadership. Have the League of Women voters or some other impartial group redraw district boundaries to prevent incumbents of both parties from stacking the deck in their favor.
I hope the Our Town editorial board in 2010 will remember this year’s mediocre record and endorse challengers to the current group of incumbents.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, Long Island

Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.

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