Convention not the answer to corruption

Re Sara Foss’ May 2 column about the constitutional convention, I have to disagree with her position. Sarah makes the convention sound quick and easy, when in fact it is not.
 The first piece of the constitution that should make people really think about voting in favor is the cost. It’s estimated that a constitutional convention will cost taxpayers upwards of $350 million. In a time when our schools are in need of funding, our infrastructure is crumbling, and we already suffer from high taxes, this is quite a bit of money for an event that might not yield results.
 The second piece of information that Sara did not disclose in her column was that in 1967, three out of four of the delegates who were elected were either current or retired legislators.
This means that the idea of a “people’s convention” is false. Our elected officials likely would be collecting their legislative salary and a second salary for being part of a convention.
 Thirdly, anything that can be done in a constitutional convention can also be done through the legislative process. This has been done in recent years with acquisitions of land in the Adirondacks, casino gambling and redistricting. In a post Citizen’s United world, allowing wealthy millionaires and hedge-fund managers the ability to “buy” changes to the document that governs our state is an extremely dangerous proposition.
Instead of complaining about the lack of ethics in Albany, maybe instead of voting for a constitutional convention, we, as New Yorkers, should vote the people who make it corrupt out. But instead, we continue to send them back. A constitutional convention is not the answer.
Michael Libertucci

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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