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Government

Editorial: Unfinished Politics

Disgraced Congressmember Anthony Weiner has resigned and it isofficial – the seat representing Congressional District 9 that runsfrom Brooklyn into Queens is vacant.

Governor Andrew Cuomo – who is a proponent of reform throughnonpartisan redistricting – took this opportunity and scheduledspecial elections for that vacancy and the six Assembly vacanciesin Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and upstate New York.

In state and federal special elections, the bosses from each partypick a candidate – one candidate – to vie for each seat that isopen. No choices.

A recent analysis by Citizens Union, a good-government group, foundthat 26 percent of New York legislators got their seats throughselection by party bosses after a vacancy.

We believe in choice and multiple candidates. In primaries, allinterested candidates would petition to get on the ballot and thewinners would move on to the November 8 general election.

At least Cuomo set the special election to coincide with primaryday, September 13, and saved the taxpayers the added expense ofdifferent voting days.

It is a shame that the people of C.D. 9, as well as Brooklyn’s 54thA.D., which had been represented by former Assemblymember DarrylTowns till he was tapped by Cuomo to serve as commissioner of NewYork State Homes and Community Renewal, will not have theopportunity to select and elect their own representative from thosewho would serve.

This would have sent a loud, clear message to the independentreapportionment committee charged with redrawing district lines andeliminating two congressional districts in the state.

Districts should be drawn to benefit the people who live in them,not those who serve them. Unfortunately, while elections are stillconducted to provide an advantage to those who run rather thanthose who cast the votes, that argument is all too often drownedout by the loud voices of the people who profit from maintainingthe political status quo.

We can’t say it too strongly. That needs to change.

We was robbed II

For the third year in a row, Macy’s chose to stage its 35thannual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular in the Hudson Riverbetween Manhattan’s West Side and the shores of Hoboken, NewJersey.

Amid all the hype about millions of viewers and pop music stars andthe 40,000 pyrotechnic shells exploding for 25 minutes tosynchronized music in celebration of our country’s 235th birthdayand the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, Macy’s losttrack of its customers.

Nearly five million residents of Brooklyn and Queens are forced totrek to the West Side Highway or indoors to TV sets to view thespectacular. Not to mention the businesses in Brooklyn and Queensthat lose serious revenue to places like Hoboken.

We think Macy’s needs to split its barges – two in each river – oradd four more and give everybody a spectacular celebration.

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