OCTOBER 8, 2014

Debate time is close. Unfortunately there is not enough news coverage to make a significant impact on the electorate to get the knowledge of the real issues. They have been bombarded with commercials which have been slanted and focused on trivia rather than real issues. It is possible that the knowledgeable voters have decided that the motto of the Cuomo campaign is “if the truth hurts, lie!”
That may not be totally accurate because usually a half truth is more effective than an outright lie. People tend to believe what they want to believe and accuracy sometimes get smudged. That is where a debate is useful. Each debater can “clarify” statements that have been made and if done skillfully, can point out the errors the opponent has made. Politicians hate to have to go on the defensive, but that is a good way to separate facts from opinions or empty promises.
Politicians are experts when it comes to shifting the focus away from their negative actions and they also tend to paint a rosy picture of what they promise if elected. Forcing them to defend these statements and promises can make the “meat on the table” turn into having to admit that it is more like “pie in the sky.” The Start Up NY program is an example of this possibility.
Predictions and reality can be a huge distance apart. People who believe in the crystal ball philosophy of planning for the future are usually disappointed. Political promises can also be disappointing.
One of the major issues that should be thoroughly “discussed” is the corruption investigation that was abruptly brought to a halt when the governor disbanded the Moreland Commission. An issue that Rob Astorino has been bringing up in his speeches and literature regards what he considers to be a big misuse of taxpayer money within the Speaker’s Office. He writes:
“Mr. Silver was caught spending hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to pay off victims of sex crimes committed by his chief counsel and his political cronies in order to keep the victims from speaking out publicly or going to law enforcement authorities. Silver made payoffs at least three times over a period of years and he failed to report to the police credible accusations of rape and other sex assaults. Mr. Silver’s former counsel, Michael Boxley , was accused of raping two Albany staffers. The second Assembly staff member was attacked after Mr. Silver covered up the first alleged attack. She therefore had no knowledge of the first sex attack and didn’t know Mr. Boxley might be dangerous. Mr. Boxley was later charged with rape and convicted of ‘sexual misconduct’ in a plea deal.”
Teachers are disappointed with Cuomo’s support for Common Core. They have spent union money to get legislators who favor the teacher’s point of view. Defending the concept and the results of the program as it is being forced upon school districts should make a lively discussion.
A major point of the debate will probably include the SAFE act. This was a bill passed literally in the middle of the night without the usual three day process to give legislators a chance to read the bill and fairly debate it. Many say it was passed this way because it is the only way Cuomo could get it passed. The bill does nothing to reduce violent gun crime, but affects only the honest gun owners in the state. The governor and the members who voted for the bill obviously do not know the common definition of the word “infringed” as it is used in the Second Amendment.
While this bill is popular in New York City, upstate New York has had a surge of interest in this violation of constitutional rights and numerous gun owners and believers in freedom posted the “Repeal the SAFE act” signs on laws and businesses throughout the rest of the state.
New York has the reputation of being highest in taxes and close to the top in corruption. The SAFE act proved that the politicians in New York City can inflict their wishes and dictates on the citizens of the whole state. However, this can be an election of surprises. People who have been lax in voting and those who never bothered to register to vote before have become angry at the way the state government is being run. Anger is a good motivator and also the loss of constitutional rights have stimulated more interest than Cuomo expected. The upstate voters can show up at the polls and outvote the apathetic in the Big Apple. The debates can make a big difference when it comes to adjusting attitudes in the apathetic. The slogan Rob Asterino uses is absolutely correct.
If you want to change New York for the better, you have to change the politicians. New York needs to be changed.<