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What you need to know for 08/17/2017

Romney’s and Hull’s campaigns similar from beginning to end

Romney’s and Hull’s campaigns similar from beginning to end

*Romney’s and Hull’s campaigns similar from beginning to end *GOP needs to believe in, and practice,

Romney’s and Hull’s campaigns similar from beginning to end

I mourn for the United States today, just as I mourned for Schenectady the day after Roger Hull was defeated in the 2011 mayoral election. The similarities in these campaigns are undeniable.

Both men, Romney and Hull, were successful in their own right. Both men were highly educated, held real private-sector jobs, built businesses [Union College’s U-Start incubator], had a long track record of fixing things, and worked in a bipartisan manner to achieve great things for the people and places they care about. Neither man needed the job for money, ego or power. These men showed genuine interest in saving both Schenectady and our country.

I still scratch my head wondering why such respectable men would expose themselves to such scrutiny and ridicule. Unfortunately, they both proved that positive campaigning does not pay off — especially when the harshest thing you use is your opponent’s poor record. Both Romney and Hull were attacked personally by those with thug mentality and both men were smeared as rich, out-of-touch elitists.

As a local taxpayer and a U.S. citizen, I want my mayor and president to be smarter, more successful, and of higher moral character than the average person on the street. I don’t need to be able to relate to them — I need to be able to look up to them, be confident they will do the right thing, and know they have the city’s and country’s best interest at heart.

I don’t want to see my president on Letterman, or my mayor at the local bar. I don’t want a regular guy running things. I want and know we all need someone much better.

Nancy Mitchell

Schenectady

GOP needs to believe in, and practice, evolution

Dear Republican Party: Evolve, or die. That is the choice this year that the GOP must face.

What evidence do I have for my claim? Just look at the presidential election results. The American electorate is changing rapidly; white men no longer dominate this group like they have in the past. Supporting policies that alienate women, minorities and young voters will not win national elections.

There are many issues Republicans support that I agree with. I would prefer a smaller national debt, I like the idea of greater sovereignty in the states and personally would welcome lower tax rates.

However, the policies of self-deportation, cutting funding to Planned Parenthood and a belief in “legitimate rape” are things I cannot embrace. I’m not thrilled with the jobs the Democratic Senate or Democratic president have done over the last four years, but support them as the lesser of two evils.

So the Republican Party should learn a lesson from Charles Darwin. Oops — that in itself would require some evolution!

Christopher Ognibene

Schenectady

Obama’s mighty army wasn’t only minorities

I take issue with a statement made by E.J. Dionne in his Nov. 9 column, “Obstructionist GOP will be endangered species.” He says, “And he (President Obama) mobilized a mighty army of African-Americans and Hispanic voters.”

When I spent 41⁄2 hours making phone calls for Organize for America, the room was filled with Caucasian men and women. The CEO of a local health care facility spent three weeks in Ohio working for Organize for America. And my youngest daughter canvassed door-to-door in Virginia. We are all Caucasian.

The mighty army that President Obama mobilized was made up of Americans of all races, genders, religions and sexual orientations. The president mobilized committed Americans who care deeply about their country and the direction in which it is going.

Roberta Steiner

Niskayuna

Amsterdam library is anything but a ‘frill’

Outrageous! Outrageous! Outrageous! The Amsterdam Free Library is not a “frill” for the town of Amsterdam, as described by a town of Amsterdam councilman.

All four council members voted against the Amsterdam Free Library. Only Supervisor Tom DiMezza voted for it. Even the Gazette editor was rightfully moved by this “frill” comment to quote it in his Nov. 5 editorial, “Penny-wise but pound foolish in Amsterdam.”

It is true that the library is not like our roads, our homes, or our food, but the library does feed us. Our civilized society is nourished by the Amsterdam Free Library. Have we sunken so low that we cannot fully support a member of our family — the library?

Good people like these councilmen have been pushed into a corner by our financial troubles. They rightfully look for budget cuts, mismanagement and financial waste. However, the Amsterdam Free Library is an efficient, well-run gem in the community. The Amsterdam Free Library cannot exist for long without the full support of the town of Amsterdam.

I believe in the good and wisdom of the people of the town who will speak up for the library.

John Naple

Amsterdam

The writer is a trustee of the Amsterdam Free Library.

Political system is failing us, and we are failing it

This election has taught me a number of important things. These are broad generalizations coming from national and local elections.

1) Negativity works: Negative campaigning, whether it is ads or actions, works. The negativity has turned Americans against politics, yet the same people that complain about the negativity do not vote for a respectable candidate when they are presented with one.

2) You cannot fight the machine: Grass-roots campaigning does not work. No matter how many people you have on the ground, it is nearly impossible to win an election when you are fighting the political machine. The fight comes down to money and backing from a committee of old-school politicians who make decisions that affect us all.

3) People vote party line: Instead of educating ourselves and making a decision based on facts, people blindly follow the two-party system and vote accordingly. Many local races are directly proportional to party registration. It is easier to let those committee people make the decisions for you.

4) America is changing: We are looking for something different. No longer is it what can we do for our country, but what our country can do for us. Instead of planning and creating personal safety nets, we rely on government to be that safety net in all cases. If we continue on this path, major aspects of our society must change or we will be confronted with a very challenging future.

5) A broken system: The two-party political system is worthless. Now more than ever, I can see that Republicans are the party of bad ideas and Democrats are the party of no ideas. People who show an independent mind-set are swept aside for very partisan candidates, and third-party candidates are not even considered.

The citizens of this country are consistently voting for the things that they say they hate most. We are placing the negativity, the machines and the partisanship in our capitals. You get what you vote for, and we seem to keep voting for what we loathe most.

Ryan Weitz

Fultonville

Stockade-athon runners show concern for hungry

I would like to thank Stockade-athon race director Vince Juliano, the entire Hudson Mohawk Road Runners organization and The Daily Gazette for “adopting” Concerned for the Hungry each year.

The Stockade-athon road race gives Concerned for the Hungry a table at packet pick-up, to collect food and money from the runners to support our food programs in Schenectady County. This year will mark the 34th year of our Thanksgiving food basket drive.

Just as the Stockade-athon is the biggest road race in the county, Concerned for the Hungry’s Thanksgiving program is the biggest community event in the county. This year we will serve more than 10,000 people.

Recently, runners got a small black eye over whether to, and when to, cancel the New York City Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Some felt that the runners were selfish and not concerned with the plight of others.

I can say that at least in Schenectady, the runners are generous: Concerned for the Hungry raised record amounts of money and food on the day before the Stockade-athon. All at Concerned for the Hungry say “thank you!”

Larry Lewis

Scotia

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