Conservatives, GOP wrong to back Faso

*Conservatives, GOP wrong to back Faso *School boards have a choice on vets' break *Keep cigarette a
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Categories: Letters to the Editor

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Schoharie County Conservative Party has now followed the Republicans and endorsed John Faso for Congress.

These two parties will stop at nothing to try and keep the 19th District in the Republican column. So if Satan was their best chance at winning, I’m sure he would have been endorsed.

Let’s not forget, it’s always about politics and political parties, and the so-called bosses in Schoharie County politics, Lewis Wilson, the king of the Republicans, and William Hanson, the conservative leader, have given their approval and that’s that.

Now they will have to use a bunch of their money and resources to try and discredit Andrew Heaney, who will be challenging John Faso in the primary. After all, why should the people have a choice?

Back to Mr. Hanson, who called Faso “our best chance at changing the culture in Washington and its failing policies.” Oh, really, Mr. Hanson? Sending a lobbyist down to Washington is really going to change the culture?

Jerry Fiore

Summit

School boards have a choice on vets’ break

Since 2013, the choice facing school boards is whether or not to grant a school tax exemption to veterans who served during wartime or not.

The Jan. 28 Gazette editorial [“State should pay for veterans’ tax break”] claims the state program “is really nothing more than another unfunded mandate.” If this were true, each Board of Education would have no choice in the matter.

The Gazette calls for the state to reimburse any district granting the exemption. Thus, the paper would impose part of the burden of paying for the exemption on the veteran receiving it.This is not equitable.

Most school boards in the state have chosen not to hold a public meeting on this subject. They rely on the ignorance of their residents as well as limited media coverage to save them from doing their jobs. By its inaction, each board denies veterans their exemption.

Because the state allows each school district a choice, The Daily Gazette thinks this is “unfair,” not to the veteran who might be allowed a measly $6,000 reduction in the assessed valuation of his or her home, but to the school board member who would have to defend his or her above-mentioned choice.

We should pity “…the school board member who votes against the benefit and tries to go out in public the next day.” Pity is not appropriate. It is cowardly to not defend your decision to the public.

In 1973, the nation instituted an all-volunteer military. Today, less than 1 percent of our population serves the nation. This creates a massive “free rider” problem. The people who do not serve are protected by the few who do.

The legislation passed in 2013 encourages each school district to impose a slightly higher tax burden on the free riders while alleviating slightly the burden shouldered by the 1 percent.

Richard A. Evans

Burnt Hills

Keep cigarette ads away from schools

In all likelihood, kids today don’t see nearly as many cigarettes as their grandparents did. Gone are popular actors waving smoke in Hollywood scenes, and Seventeen magazine doesn’t show tobacco next to the season’s fashion trends anymore.

But there is still one place kids might see that Marlboro man, and one reason they know America still smokes. In the convenience shops, grocery stores and gas stations surrounding their schools and playgrounds, tobacco advertising still abounds.

The tobacco messages that kids see when purchasing after-school snacks are some of the few remaining, as health and public policy advocates have largely waged a war on the public advertisements in movies and magazines that used to be so common in America.

Point-of-sale advertising has become one of the final frontiers for a tobacco industry looking to market its products to impressionable and price-sensitive youth.

Documents obtained from tobacco companies show evidence that corporate marketers have targeted convenience stores, grocery stores and other tobacco vendors near schools and playgrounds in an effort to attract young smokers. It is important that we work on developing policies to help reduce youth exposure to tobacco marketing, by restricting how much tobacco advertisements are allowed in walking distance of a school.

Heather LaSalvia

Burnt Hills

Require gun permits to buy ammunition

So, to buy a handgun in New York state, you are required to have a valid pistol permit. Then, it would seem, you should have to show your pistol permit to be able to purchase ammo for the specific handgun that is registered to your permit.

This idea is probably not new, but it is a way to dismiss some of the gun violence that is current in cities such as Schenectady, Albany, Troy and Hudson and probably others.

I ran this by an area legislator, only to be put aside for no particular reason. I think this idea should be looked as a serious way to stop criminals from going to a gun store to purchase ammo without any form of documentation.

I am a registered gun owner, and I would not have a problem being asked for my gun permit to purchase ammo for my handgun.

For example, I own a 9mm handgun and I went to a gun store to purchase .35 caliber shells, I would be denied the purchase because a .357 hand gun wasn’t on my pistol permit, etc.

Robert Tatlock

Amsterdam

Columnist got facts wrong on CU decision

I was shocked and puzzled after reading Joe Conason’s Jan. 28 column, “Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.” I’m not convinced Mr. Conason has even bothered to read the Wikipedia entry on CU v. FEC, much less the majority and minority opinions of the Supreme Court.

For background, Citizens United is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, dedicated to educating citizens about their rights and our form of government (basically, all that the left considers evil).

During the 2004 presidential election, Citizens United (CU) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that the advertising for Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” and the movie itself violated the 2002 McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act by being shown within 30 days of the election.

The FEC denied their complaint, at which point CU went into the documentary film business. But in 2008, the FEC did a 180-degree turn and tried to prevent CU from advertising for or showing “Hillary — The Movie” within 30 days of the election. Wait, what? So they took it to court.

Of course, by the time the case made its way to the Supreme Court, the election was long over, so it did them no good. But the Supreme Court took a long, hard look at McCain-Feingold, and ruled that: “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”

It did not repeal the prohibition on unions or corporations contributing directly to a party or candidate, nor did it overturn the disclosure rules. (“This ad paid for by ‘Friends of Sen. Mugwump.’”) It’s also interesting that in this election cycle, candidates being funded by “Super PACs” are failing miserably, while the two leading candidates (Donald Trump and Sen. Sanders) refuse to take a dime of “dirty money.”

The Donald is 100 percent self-funding his campaign, and Sen. Sanders is only accepting small individual donations.

So, tell us again how “Sewer Money” is controlling U.S. elections.

Mark Stockman

Scotia

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