Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

On June 8, New York state senate Republicans and two renegade Democrats acted to regain GOP control of the chamber.

Democrats tried various maneuvers to undo the coup. One was to lock the doors of the senate building.

Governor David Paterson bravely called the GOP’s re-ascendancy an “unnecessary distraction to government dressed up in the cloak, falsely, of reform.” One supposedly bogus reform would have imposed an eight-year term limit on committee chairman, a six-year term limit on leadership.

Anyway, then one of the Democrats who had jumped ship to the elephant caucus decided to canter back to the donkey side of the aisle. So now there’s a 31-to-31 split in the senate, with no lieutenant governor in place to break any deadlocks. Paterson used to be the lieutenant governor but became governor when the previous governor resigned in disgrace after scandalizing the republic across state lines.

So, now, whenever the lawmakers bother to show up for work, the Democrats hold their own legislative session independently of the independent legislative sessions of the Republicans. No quorums there. Believe it or not, all this is an improvement over how things are normally run in Albany.

Meanwhile, recent polls say two thirds of New York voters think the state is headed in the wrong direction. And 80 percent want term limits. Huh? How can this be?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


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  2. Pat says:

    If eighty percent of New Yorkers really wanted term limits then there would be a huge turnover with every election. If eighty percent of voters voted against the incumbent, you would have term limits.

  3. Max Kessler says:

    The problem is that 80% of us support term limits for everybody else’s legislators. Most of our legislators bring home so much funding for pet projects in their own districts that voters won’t vote against them. It took a second (or third, I forget) drunk driving arrest to almost get Assemblywoman Susan John voted out.

    My assembly district is represented by the Honorable(sic) David Gantt. Practically everybody hates the guy, especially the slumlord’s former tenants, but the Republicans refuse to put up a serious candidate against him, because it would be a waste of time, money, and energy. He’s been there for over 20 years, and has been dubbed “The Dean of Rochester’s Delegation to Albany” by our local media.

  4. Joel Glasser says:

    I agree with Pat. The same is true here in Florida. And was true 30 years ago, when I lived in New York City and then Long Island, N. Y.

    Our (representitive; senate, etc- state or federal) is great, it is everyone else’s (representitive, senator, etc.- state or federal) that is terrible and the problem.

    Vote them all out.

  5. David M. Brown says:

    When persons vote for a lawmaker, they generally have but two practical choices at most. If they vote for the incumbent over the challenger (or over no alternative whatever, since in district-level races the incumbent often faces no opposition), this is completely consistent with holding a view that that state lawmakers should be term-limited. “Retroactively term-limit the present incumbent and vote for the candidate who would have run for the pary’s nomination but for the incumbent’s overwhelming advantages” is generally not presented as one of the options on the ballot. If the New York State legislature were to post a term limits question, I’m sure the commenters above would find that voters in New York do want term limits–even knowing full well that they would also apply to the incumbent of their own district.

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