Lopez-Silver scandal exposes danger with one-party rule
Graham Higgens’ Sept. 6 letter detailing the numerous crimes committed by New York City Democrats and their lack of serious prosecution shines a light on the need for citizens to elect an attorney general from the opposite party.
Imagine the different results right now if there was a Republican state attorney general? Instead, we have one-party control and millions of dollars in theft at a time the state is laying off workers and cutting social programs.
Gov. Cuomo came into town promising change, but it’s now evident that [House Speaker] Sheldon Silver is the real power, and the corruption continues. The fact that Silver made a $103,000 check out to [attorney] Gloria Allred’s secretary shows intent to defraud. Where is the FBI when we need them?
It’s obvious we cannot count on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He is from Silver’s own Manhattan Democratic club and has been silent. The honchos of the state police are appointed by the Democrats, so they will not do their jobs either.
As taxpayers, we are helpless, while our hard-earned pay is robbed by a political party that acts no differently than an organized crime family. Think of all the New York City Democrats arrested in the past 10 years. We’ve all lost count. It would be comical if it weren’t such a tragic waste of taxes.
Democrats’ view of government is warped
At the Democratic convention, a video [proclaimed], “Government is the only thing we all belong to.” As with Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comments, we are seeing in this instance a flash of true liberal ideology.
Government doesn’t exist for the people — people exist for the government.
Perhaps this explains the Democratic approach to so many issues. If people belong to the government, then who are they to challenge as oppressive the Obamacare mandate? If they belong to government, then the money they earn certainly does; so who are they to question the need for higher taxes? And if they belong to government, who are they to question the identity politics games that Democrats play? After all, can’t an owner of an object or objects organize then in whatever way he sees fit?
Some might think it was just a harmless rhetorical choice, that they weren’t implying we’re actually owned by government. But the government isn’t a club. It’s not something you can escape. It is an ever-present fact of life and if it does not know its place regarding the citizens, if it even slightly believes that it “owns” the people, then it is setting up the groundwork for oppression.
I prefer the words of a man considered the father of the Democratic Party, “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Thomas Jefferson understood the relationship between the individual and the state.
Government is our servant. It exists to protect our rights, and nothing else. We do not belong to it — it belongs to us.
Glove City library does not live on taxes alone
Michael Lamendola’s Aug. 28 article [“Few towns respond to library’s appeal”] thoroughly portrayed the library funding issues facing Johnstown’s library. It did not, however, adequately address the complexity of the Gloversville Public Library’s funding and suggested that the library is unnecessarily relying on a tax levy. That suggestion could not be further from the truth.
Before 2001, the city of Gloversville provided 55 percent of the Gloversville Free Library’s operating budget with money that came from city taxes. Income from our endowment fund made up the difference. But by 2004, the city’s financial support had dropped to less than 2 percent of the library’s annual operating budget.
Although the city of Gloversville owned the library building, it failed to provide the maintenance and repair that a historic building requires. And like the Johnstown Public Library, we did not get financial support from the communities outside our service area which used our library.
Faced with an underfunded budget and a deteriorating building, the trustees turned to our only option — a referendum. Voters of the Gloversville Enlarged School District approved a tax levy that replaced the income the city had previously provided — income also generated through taxes.
The city was not able to adequately repair and maintain the building, but because we did not own the building, we could not apply for many potential grants. So with the city’s blessing, in 2011 we took ownership of the building. We are now able to aggressively seek grants. The Friends of the Library have actively campaigned to raise the funds to repair our deteriorating dome and replace our leaking windows.
We are not seeking to enrich ourselves at taxpayers’ expense. We are striving to provide services for the over 10,000 people who come to our library every month.
Libraries have never been free to operate. They are, however, free to all who come to use our services.
The writer is president of the Gloversville Public Library.
Ethics breach should cost Silver his job
I agree with Eileen Gallo’s Sept. 2 letter regarding [Assembly Speaker] Sheldon Silver. Laws and rules must apply to all citizens.
Unfortunately, many of our local, state and federal lawmakers seem to be “above the law.” Misconduct should not be tolerated; when it does happen, our money is used to cover it up.
The governor advocates ethics reform. What are his thoughts about Mr. Silver using over $100,000 of taxpayer funds as hush money to cover up assault and misconduct?
Don’t blame docs but insurance companies
Regarding Frank Elfland’s Sept. 7 letter about doctors [being the] key to reining in costs, he is lacking important information. I do medical billing. If you are using your medical insurance, it’s not the doctors who set the fees, it is the insurance companies.
Every year, I have to obtain the fee schedule from each insurance company. Doctors may charge more, but it means nothing. If the doctor has a contract with an insurance company to “participate,” the doctor must accept the fee that insurance company will pay. Most often, it is about 50 percent or less of what is submitted.
The doctor could charge $100 for an exam and get paid $28 for 45 minutes of his or her time. If the doctor doesn’t “participate” with that insurance, patients will not go to him even if his cash prices are reasonable.
It has been my experience that patients often only want to go where their insurance covers them. And many insurance companies don’t cover what the doctor does, be it exams, therapies, consultations or special tests.
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