The rich have fought hard to guarantee the right of free speechfor their money. When the Supreme Court decided that money can bethe equivalent of speech, there was no way to prevent money frominfluencing political campaigns.
It is up to us, the people, without corporate expense accountsor PACs, to get out, get informed and make politicians listen toour concerns. The rich and powerful protect their rights and do itthe easy way with their checkbooks. We must protect our rights withour feet, our voices and our votes.
Senator Marty Golden raised $400,000 for his reelection campaignand more than $150,000 came from PACs. Challenger Andrew Gounardesraised $62,000 and most came from individual donors.
Senator Golden is preoccupied with money lately. He stated thatthe senate election to replace disgraced Carl Kruger will costover $1 million for both sides … we’re going to spend a goodnumber … we’re invested in Storobin to defeat DemocratCouncilmember Lew Fidler.
If the Republican Party wants to spend money to beat the otherside, that is fine but perhaps the senator should spend money andenergy on the constituents in his district. The Daily News reportedRepublicans plan an all out push to win a victory for Storobin inthe special election.
Senator Golden might follow the financial example ofAssemblymember Colton who took money given by Kruger and donated itto charity. Senator Golden took $3,000 from Dorothy Lipsky, thewife of Kruger’s co-conspirator, who was also convicted but thatmoney was never reported as returned or donated. Investigators whosearched Lipsky’s apartment found over $100,000 in cash. Moreconnections between Kruger and Brooklyn politicians, Republican andDemocrat, will certainly emerge over time.
The Republican Pestilential primary is tightening. It appearsthat it will be Mitt Romney of Bain Capital vs. Newt Gingrich ofGingrich Holdings. Mitt made millions in private equity investingand Newt made millions in being Newt.
The former speaker of the house earned more than $3.1 million in2010 on consulting and lobbying. He displayed his entrepreneurialflair when he suggested New York City would be better off ifexpensive DOE custodians were replaced by 30 high school kidsworking together to take care of school buildings.
DOE custodial engineers have a starting salary of $42,000 soeach worker would get $26.92 a week in compensation for beingresponsible for the maintenance, repair and safety of amultimillion dollar building! He glossed over child labor lawissues or the fact that a custodian must have a boiler license andadditional FDNY certifications.
If candidates paid more attention to the issues instead ofselfish winning and losing considerations, the people would not besubjected to idiotic comments like that one.
There is an opportunity for change in our congressionaldistrict. Democrat Mark Murphy announced that he will challengefreshman Michael Grimm in November. The challenger is dedicated tounseating Grimm and is critical of his record, not rhetoric,concerning Veteran Administration affairs and finance industryregulation.
The People need to know that some candidates will concentrate onimportant issues and refrain from scorched earth adversarialcompetition. We need leaders who, instead of saying the rightthing, do the right thing for the right reason.
Brian Kieran is a community activist who works for the State ofNew York and is a Democrat.