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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 08/18/2017

Letters to the Editor for Sept. 6

Letters to the Editor for Sept. 6

  • New York City Democrats are up to their old tricks
  • GOP angling to steal election any whic
  • New York City Democrats are up to their old tricks

    The perp walk continues for New York City Democrats, who find more inventive ways to loot our hard-earned tax money.

    On Aug. 27, Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) surrendered to the attorney general’s office, accused of funneling close to $300,000 to nonprofits she created to employ friends, relatives and supporters. The Parent Workshop Inc. was created to allegedly help Queens parents traverse the city school system.

    [Former Sen.] Pedro Espada (D-Bronx) received a Nov. 5 trial date on income tax charges related to his May conviction of stealing $500,000 for personal use from the Soundview Health Network, a nonprofit he created. Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) lost his state Assembly chairmanship after a bipartisan Assembly committee found he “created a hostile workplace, including verbal and physical sexual abuse.”

    In the private sector, such behavior would lead to immediate termination. But not in [Assembly Speaker] Sheldon Silver’s Assembly, where favors owed matter over women’s rights to a safe workplace. Vito Lopez will make $12,500 less and undergo “sexual harassment training.” His numerous charges included “groping a female employee’s private parts while heading to Atlantic City.” Ah, your tax dollars at work!

    But I guess we shouldn’t expect justice when it comes to state Democrats. Ex-Liberal Party Chairman Ray Harding’s recent death notice skipped over one of the worst disgraces in state history. Harding, in coordination with imprisoned ex-Comptroller Alan Hevesi (D-Queens), pocketed $800,000 for his part in their state insurance embezzlement scheme.

    Then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo allowed Harding to plead out to a misdemeanor, avoiding jail time. But the real kicker? Cuomo let Harding keep the money! He didn’t have to pay back one cent of the $800,000!

    Why did Harding steal the money? To help pay his son’s legal expenses stemming from his arrest for child pornography! Only in New York!

    Cuomo’s debt to Harding stemmed from his failed run for governor in 2002. Cuomo was the Liberal Party candidate, and when he dropped out the Liberal Party lost its line on the ballot.

    Graham Higgens


    GOP angling to steal election any which way

    Thank you, Deborah Peters, for bringing attention to voter suppression by the GOP [Aug. 24 letter]. By all Republican accounts, the 2010 elections were proof that the country wanted change and, boy, have we gotten it.

    It has become very evident that the Republicans are trying to stack the deck to ensure a win in November. Voting rights are in real jeopardy, and the results of this upcoming presidential election could have dire consequences for us all.

    Recently, a judge in Pennsylvania determined that requiring a photo ID to vote is constitutional. This law was created to eliminate voter fraud. Oh, wait a minute; according to the Pennsylvania House majority leader, it is “gonna allow Gov. Romney to win the election.” Huh? He may be correct, since a reported 758,000 people have no such ID and President Obama won Pennsylvania in 2008 by only 823,285 votes.

    At least 10 states with Republican majorities have passed laws that will suppress voting. As Ms. Peters noted, most of these affect the poor, elderly and minorities. Apparently, when the tea party talks about their reverence for the founders and the U.S. Constitution, their view doesn’t include the 15th and 19th amendments.

    In addition to the legislative efforts to suppress minority votes, there are organizations such as “true the vote.” This group’s methods include poll watching, mostly in heavily minority populated districts, mostly by groups of white men. The goal is to give voters the feeling of “driving with the police behind you.” I think we have heard enough about “profiling” to understand the effect on minority voters. “True the vote” currently is established in at least 20 states, with the hope of establishing a presence in all 50 for the November election, with 1 million poll watchers in place.

    In Michigan, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder empowered himself to name a city manager for several cities, including Pontiac, Flint and Benton Harbor, and removed all voting rights of the people because he didn’t like the way those cities were doing financially. City councils in these cities could call their meetings to order, but nothing else. All voting rights were taken away with no recourse. Is this Republican democracy? Pretty scary, isn’t it?

    Huge amounts of money are being spent to put forth frightening ads containing misinformation about anything related to the president and his efforts, by unknown entities, thanks to the Citizens United ruling.

    Now we have candidates for president and vice president who are unable to put forth a coherent plan for America’s future, only distort and, yes, actually lie about President Obama’s record and the Affordable Care Act, or joke about birth certificates.

    Marcia Sykes


    Confined to the dustbin of Sch’dy by high taxes

    The city of Schenectady equals the Hotel California — you can check out any time you like but you can never leave! Why? The taxes!

    I have lived in this city for 28 years. The improvements and renovations I have made would have reaped a higher selling price in any other city around us. For example, an underground sprinkler system.

    It is time for me to move on, and I can’t sell this beautiful home. Not because of the asking price, which I am willing to negotiate, but because when a potential buyer asks how much I pay in taxes, they gasp and hang up.

    I am frustrated and resentful.

    Barbara McBride


    Government war on marijuana misguided

    Oh, great. Another big, expensive pot bust in rural New York [Aug. 23 Gazette].

    When are legislators going to stop and smell the marijuana? Or are the powerful pharmaceutical lobbies clouding the issue?

    When my beautiful sister [Annie] was fighting the horrible effects of chemotherapy and a possibly terminal diagnosis, the only drug that helped her both physically and mentally was marijuana.

    Fortunately, this nurse practitioner and mother of three was a resident of California, where it was legal for her to buy the inexpensive, organic drug that effectively treated both her pain and mental despair.

    Although she lost her battle, I will continually praise the state for allowing her legal access to the drug that worked best for her.

    I know legalizing medical marijuana won’t be easy, but to see the tears dry up and hear Annie’s laughter? Priceless.

    Virginia Newton

    Burnt Hills

    Immigrants take jobs that Americans won’t

    Re Philip Maddaus’ Aug. 28 letter, “Jobs the big attraction for illegal immigrants”: Employers hire immigrants, illegal or not, to do jobs Americans do not want.

    Your tone about illegal immigrants was very sad and very un-American.

    Diane Hombach


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