Are any crimes off limits to politicians?
Trump has been indicted.
Many people have questioned if this was the right crime to indict him on.
This begs the question: What crime should he be prosecuted for?
Which laws are off limits for charging former presidents? Which laws should he be shielded from? Why should he be able to break some laws with impunity? Who gets to decide which laws don’t apply to former presidents?
Is this shield only for former presidents or does it apply to governors, congressmen, perhaps mayors also?
Reveal more about who represents us
Representatives on elected bodies, like the City Council in Schenectady, are the de facto board of directors of the corporation, which runs the city.
They have a broad range of responsibilities including public safety, fire and police, streets, infrastructure, water, waste, snow removal and public utilities for nearly 60,000 people. Who are these people?
Each candidate should be asked to present a resume, which is then publicly posted, to see if they are truly qualified for this important job.
Without this, each campaign is merely a popularity contest. That is best left for student council, rather than City Council.
Without full disclosure, the voters will never know if there are conflicts of interest when a vote for public services is rendered.
Many of the candidates are an open book; some are less than forthcoming with information.
The Schenectady City Council has, in recent years, been bogged down with conflicts on what are very important federal or state matters, seemingly accomplishing little, but making much noise.
Having personally served on the city Planning Commission and Civilian Police Review Board for several years, I know we were admonished to stay in the scope of our powers.
Residents deserve better knowledge of the qualifications of those who serve.
The writer is past president of Schenectady United Neighborhoods (SUN).
Bipartisanship is possible, necessary
Last week, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew came to Washington, D.C., to testify in front of Congress. Chew was tasked with a difficult mission. He had to alleviate U.S. concerns that the social media giant posed a threat to our country.
Many questions focused on TikTok’s negative influence on American children. His answers failed to convince either side of the aisle that TikTok shouldn’t be banned in the United States.
The hearing was particularly brutal. Both Democrat and Republican members of Congress were relentless in their questioning of Chew.
Usually, the subject testifying gets a breather from the grilling, as one side or the other is usually in agreement with their point of view.
Not this time. There was no letting up. Chew found himself in a pressure cooker where he simply couldn’t quell the heat. I applaud both parties for coming together and speaking out on an issue that adversely impacts so many Americans.
In D.C., it’s rare that Democrats and the GOP find themselves on the same page. In the future, I hope there can be more bipartisan agreement on the key issues of the day. For when America is united, there’s nothing we can’t fix.
Biochar officials hardly transparent
Saratoga Biochar Solutions (SBS) held a meeting in Hudson Falls on March 29 about its proposal to build a 700 tons-per-day sewage sludge processing facility along the Hudson River in Moreau.
Several dozen people, including three children, protested outside prior to the meeting. Opponents have many concerns, including that SBS has never operated any facility.
SBS representatives were often rude and were obviously lying. One manager said the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has given this “an incredibly in-depth review already.” Later he said that regardless of whatever air monitoring tests are done, SBS wants “full transparency” with the local community. Another SBS man said, “We take the high road.”
These three statements are easily contradicted by the fact that SBS sought and obtained a “negative declaration” from the town of Moreau, meaning no Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was required; nor was any completed.
Preparation of an EIS is a much more public, lengthy and transparent process than whatever in-house review the DEC is doing. An EIS starts with a scoping meeting, at which everyone can identify issues they believe should be included in the EIS, such as a new traffic study. Seeking and obtaining an EIS exemption disrespects the community, is the exact opposite of taking the high road and being transparent, and is intended to limit public involvement and understanding, avoid a hard look, and to rush the review process.
Defense of church folds to scrutiny
In his April 2 letter, (“Stay with Church, fight for reform,”) I respect Kevin Harrigan’s inclination to support a church he clearly deeply loves.
However, his contention that as the “vast majority” of clergy in the Albany Diocese have not committed sexual abuse, the church is overall a good shepherd. This cannot stand scrutiny. The fact is, if you have 100 priests and six of them are abusers, you do not have 94 good priests and a few bad apples. You have 100 bad priests, because their silence has made them complicit.
Don’t share in writers’ optimism
After reading the letters in the Sunday April 2 Gazette, I feel that I must be living in another country from the writers.
They are so content everything is so good, that the only problem is that Trump was president for four years, and the country is still recovering.
President Trump did not take a salary. He did not take money from China, Russia or Ukraine as the Biden family has reportedly done. He was tough on crime; now we are tough on victims.
Perhaps the most egregious is Gov. Kathy Hochul. The state has higher crime rates, higher prices for everything, rents are doubled and prescription drugs are not available. Yet she has found the money to build a new football stadium in Buffalo. Coincidently, her husband works for the company that operates the concessions at the Bills’ current stadium. Her statement that it will create so many new jobs is laughable.
She cited vendors and security. I want to thank all the people who voted for her, my life is now so much better.
We all must come together as nation
I’m in 100% agreement. I just finished reading a letter from Don Maslanka (“Can’t forfeit nation to one man’s legacy,”) in the March 24 Gazette. The letter was spot on.
This country is more divided than I can ever remember it being because of one man. This man has been under investigation for some 40 years, long before he was a politician, so it wasn’t political. His followers repeat his lies and continue to divide this country.
I’ve learned one thing in my life: A house divided will fall. This is a perilous situation. We need to come together as a country or face the consequences.
Will Trump keep protection in jail?
I was wondering: When Trump goes to jail, will the Secret Service go with him?
Rules for commenting:
The Gazette will not tolerate name-calling; profanity, threats; accusations of racism, mental illness or intoxication; spreading of false or misleading information; libel or other inappropriate language in any form, and readers may not make any such comments about or directly to specific individuals.
Readers who violate the policy will be warned and then banned.