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Common Sense: Scandal

Do not expect the IRS/Tea Party scandal to go away soon. Some will say it is just the Republicans in Congress trying to drag it out, but that really is not the case. The IRS is the one federal agency that everyone agrees must be above reproach. It certainly must be above politics. There are many Democrats calling for a thorough review.

For this reason, a full investigation by Congress is warranted. There have been cases in the past –during the Johnson and Nixon administrations — in which similar investigations led back to the White House. Considering that the Tea Party audits took place in a presidential election year, suspicions are running high.

The Tea Party organizations are no more political then countless liberal groups. Their members certainly have expressed anti-Obama views on many an occasion, but the groups themselves stay away from partisan politics. In fact, they seem more likely to criticize Republicans than Democrats when Republicans stray from the Tea Party’s conservative, libertarian-leaning ways.

Groups like the Tea Party, regardless of philosophy, are part of the fabric of American discourse. They should be encouraged, not threatened by government regulators.

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Scandals do seem to have taken center stage on a both a state and a federal level. The long-overdue resignation of Assemblymember Vito Lopez has resulted in almost every newspaper in the state calling for the resignation of Sheldon Silver as speaker.

Interestingly, the members of the Assembly Democratic conference seem not to care, standing firmly behind the speaker. I wonder if these assembly members polled their districts what the view would be. I suspect it would be more in line with those of the media that have been reporting in detail on the allegations, ethic and prosecutorial reports for the past nine months.

Local Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis together with several female Republican colleagues from around the state did call for Silver to resign. She and fellow Republican Joe Borelli are the only two members from the city of New York to do so.

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Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and City Council candidate John Quaglione had a large crowd at a recent event held at the Bay Ridge Manor in which they had an opportunity to talk about their upcoming campaigns.

The evening was hosted by a new group calling itself Republicans for Change with Tim Cochrane as the Master of Ceremonies. Joe Lhota spoke of his extensive qualifications to be mayor and his thoughts on moving the city forward.

A former deputy mayor to Rudy Giuliani and budget director who also ran the MTA, who has actually spent most of his career in private sector finance, not surprisingly Lhota is about jobs, the economy, quality-of-life and safe streets. He expresses a vision for city predicated on a concern that the election of any of the Democrats will set the city back.

Quaglione — the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party candidate for City Council in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach — spoke of his concern that the communities of southwest Brooklyn were becoming less safe, its streets dirtier, and overall quality-of-life poorer. He comes across as a new energetic voice for the community’s concerns. He has been running an active campaign with countless appearances

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