David Schlegel of Auburn, New York, has a problem. The New York state legislature is filled with typical entrenched lawmakers. And for some strange reason, these glued-to-their-seats solons are sullenly hostile toward certain reasonable public-spirited requests from constituents who are not deep-pocketed lobbyists.
Three months ago, Mr. Schlegel urged fellow Empire State citizens to contact their state representatives and demand the right to initiative and referendum. Citizens in about half the states of the union can pass statewide initiatives to end-run the legislature when the legislature fails them. And if any state legislature could serve as poster boy for chronic legislative failure, it is the notoriously rapacious and dysfunctional New York state legislature.
Schlegel made his own appeal to his state senator and assemblyman on the subject of initiative rights. And in response — I hope you’re sitting down — he heard absolutely nothing! He got no reply at all, not even the standard boilerplate letter thanking constituents for writing.
So now what? Schlegel says he still urges “all concerned citizens of this state to write their representatives and voice their opinions regarding the ongoing dysfunctional government of New York.” Because doing something is better than doing nothing, better than meekly assenting to the madness.
The man’s got a point. Keep up the pressure. We’re supposed to be the government, even in New York.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.