Queens senator Malcolm Smith (Democrat) pleaded not guilty this month to charges that he bribed to get onto the Republican mayoral ballot. He got caught while talking to co-conspirators for hours with an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer. Smith agreed to use the power of his senate chair to get state money for the suburban town Spring Valley, which the FBI agent’s “company” was hoping to develop.
Queens Councilman Dan Halloran (Republican) is charged this month for offering bribes using his delegated taxpayer-funds.
Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (Democrat), who is involved in The New Age Social Adult Day Care Center, was charged this month for bribing to pass legislation that would block other adult day care centers being opened near his.
Malcolm Smith’s lawyer told reporters that “Smith is a dedicated and highly respected public servant.” If Smith’s lawyer had paid attention to a recent poll that shows 91% of New York voters believe “legislative corruption is a serious problem,” he would realize no one is going to believe him. In addition, 81% of New York voters believe more corruption stings will come. The poll also pointed out that a third of voters actually believe it will be their senate or assembly representative that could get busted. Now, New York City has had its fair share of corrupt politics (Tammany Hall comes to mind), but what’s disturbing is how New York voters suspect it could be the very elected officials who they put into office. What does that say about the voters in this city? And what does that say about the faith they place in their choice in elected officials?
The New York City council is aiming to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21. City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said, “The more difficult it is for [young people] to gain access to tobacco products, the less likely they are to start smoking. The more likely they are to live longer.” This continues the policy against tobacco use in the city. Ten years ago smoking was banned in bars and restaurants and recently there has been a push to conceal tobacco products in stores so children can’t see them. The city has also expanded in other unhealthy habits. They have made selected restaurants place calories on their menus to guilt you to order healthier food items. They have pushed to curb New Yorkers’ usage of salt and sugary drinks. There are ads showing how far you have to walk just to walk-off the soda you just drank. There seems to be a new ad campaign out every week telling subway riders how to live their lives according to the experts in government. Ronald Reagan in a 1964 speech put it this way: “We believe in our capacity for self-government or… we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite… can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.” Republicans believe the former, while Bloomberg and Quinn believe the latter.
Issues such as housing and jobs have been put on the back burner by Democrats to address the more important topic; Central Park horses. A $1 million ad by animal lovers is due to arrive soon, attacking Christine Quinn’s support of the horse-carriages. Quinn, who see’s herself as an animal lover, has proposed that she will seek a “no-kill” policy for the city’s animal shelters if elected, but that is not enough for the “real” animal lovers. On Wednesday a few dozen horse-carriage protestors met in the Upper West Side were the majority of them said they are single-issue voters. Enter Democrat candidate Bill de Blasio. If he wins, he promises on the very first day in City Hall, he will ban the horse-drawn carriages. Republican candidates have not issued any statements on the topic. Perhaps because they see housing, education, crime and security, and jobs as being more imperative.
A few words from Thatcher”s vast amount of insightful conservative quotes:
“In the Conservative Party we have no truck with outmoded Marxist doctrine about class warfare. For us it is not who you are, who your family is or where you come from that matters, but what you are and what you can do for your country that counts.”– Margaret Thatcher 1984
“Without economic liberty, there could be no true political liberty.”– Margaret Thatcher 1979
“Let me give you my vision: A man’s right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and not as master. These are the British inheritance. They are the essence of a free country, and on that freedom all of our other freedoms depend.” — Margaret Thatcher 1975