What a Bullsh*t State this Is

17 Feb
Shhhh.  Their brains are sleeping.

Shhhh. Their brains are sleeping.

The premier statewide liberal political blog highlights the fact that assemblyman and congressional candidate Jim Tedisco cost the taxpayers about $40,000 in free cars to himself and staffers. On what planet – under what circumstance – does an assemblyman or state legislator of any sort need or deserve a free car? Do what those of us in the dreaded private sector do, and get reimbursed for the mileage on your personal vehicle when traveling on state business.

To make it even more bizarre, Tedisco’s commute from home to Albany is 20 minutes, and he’s billed $21k in gas and oil reimbursements.

There’s also a report that Governor Paterson gave staffers a super-secret raise in the midst of a hiring and pay freeze and epic state fiscal imbalance.

The entire system is set up for cronyism, waste, unfairness, and appears to be backed up by a sense of greatness and entitlement that the ignorant and incompetent in Albany seem to have.

Legislative work in the state of New York is not supposed to be a glamor profession. It’s not supposed to be a ticket to the high life. It’s not an invitation to pair stupidity with arrogance and fleece the ailing taxpayers day in, day out.

A million taxpayer march. That’s what we ought to organize – taxpayers from around the state marching on Albany, expressing their outrage at the secretive, byzantine thing that passes for state government in New York. If you’re not wicked pissed, you’re not paying attention.

18 Responses to “What a Bullsh*t State this Is”

  1. LC Scotty February 17, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    A million taxpayer march would be nice. A million taxpayers armed with rifles, rope and torches would be better.

  2. jen February 17, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    I moved back to WNY in 2007. I am glad to be with my family and Buffalo is ok too. not happy to be back in New York State for all the reasons you posted above.

  3. Derek J. Punaro February 17, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    A march would be nice and all, but what’s the outcome of it? New York State government doesn’t feel any pressure whatsoever about losing it’s power, and certainly not from the citizens of the state. Such an event must be pointed by some actionable item, and it needs to be something that will scare the representatives into actually enacting some sort of change. Threatening to knock them out of office (a la Primary Challenge) has nearly no success, so we need a different strategy.

  4. pirate's code February 17, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    One million? Why not two? Or three?

    While I appreciate and share your angst, BP, I’m afraid not much would change unless there was also a commitment from those marching to do something even more important — make changes from the voting booth.

    The incumbency protection racket in Excelsiorland is powerful, never more so than at the state level itself. Too many of us who rail against the dysfunction that is state govt. are too quick, come election day, to say that “my guy/gal is OK, it’s the rest of da bums that are the problem.”

    We like to point out that our guy or gal is so very effective for our district and therefore deserves to return to Albany. Shame on me, but I’ve only recently fully realized that a large part of the reason my guy or gal is so effective is that, once in Albany, they go along to get along. So, in the end, how effective is he?

    ‘Cuz we all know that someone who stands up to the system is not part of the system, and will quickly be squashed by the system.

    But, flaming torches and pitchforks would make a great visual. Eyewitness 2 On My Side 4 Me would love it.

  5. Ward February 17, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    New York will be the model for the rest of the states and the Federal government as soon as the “Stimulus” special interest wish list is signed today.
    Pork spending, all tailored to your supporters, trillions in debt, hundreds of thousands of new government employees–it will be NY “Olde Home Week” everywhere.
    Craptastic? Here’s a hint–next time don’t vote for it.

  6. WNYMedia February 17, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    The majority has spoken and they have stated again and again that they accept and enjoy this type of government in New York State. We send our state representatives back to Albany each year at a near 99% rate. You either accept the reality of it or move…I teeter between the two options every day.

  7. Russell February 17, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Isn’t a State Constitution review coming up soon? I think it’d be more constructive to try to organize something to affect that process and make real change rather than a symbolic march.

  8. Laumas February 17, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    I agree with Russell

    Let’s institute term limits and ban former reps from lobbist jobs. Cut out the profit out of becoming a representative. It’s the only way we can help ourselves.

  9. Starbuck February 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    WNYMedia’s comment at 10:58 nails it, IMHO. The statewide public opinion polls I’ve seen over the years convince me that most voters favor having state spending and taxes both near highest in the nation. Election results confirm that.

    And it’s not only a matter of re-electing incumbents. When vacancies do happen, replacements are of very similar political philosophy.

    Masiello’s senate seat went to Byron Brown, then to Marc Copolla, then to Antoinne Thompson. There’s no big differences in outlook among those four as far as I can tell. When Thompson eventually gets a better paying job some day by election or appointment, he’ll be replaced in the senate by someone of similar mind set.

    What would make a difference isn’t a new set of office holders. It’s a new set of voters. Not likely, to say the least.

  10. Starbuck February 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Marginally on topic:

    I find The Albany Project far too narrow minded in a moveon.org way to be considered the “state’s premier political blog” as BP calls it above. If instead of Tedisco, that same thing was about one of TAP’s favorite politicians, or about Tedisco’s opponent, I doubt it would have been covered that way there.

    The Daily Politics is very good for covering state politics without anywhere near the extreme bias of TAP. Some NYC posts there too, but mostly she focuses on Albany.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics

  11. Denizen February 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    I’m going to sound like a broken record but there is no way possible to salvage this mess of a state in its current configuration.

  12. Buffalopundit February 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    I actually meant to call TAP the premier liberal political blog, but wasn’t caffeinated enough this morning to catch it.

  13. Buffalopundit February 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I don’t think marches or demos effect change. But they can educate people.

  14. Colin February 17, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    The idea that people choose this kind of waste and dysfunction by reelecting the same politicians is bogus. First, because there are a dozen issues that a voter might think are important. But most importantly, because the reelection of incumbents is practically a foregone conclusion due to the advantages that they create for themselves. It isn’t as if there is often a contest between viable candidates — the contest is between someone the voters have never heard of, and someone that is ubiquitous due to the rules of the game. That voters tend to vote for the incument doesn’t mean they’re endorsing that set of rules.

  15. Hap Klein February 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    The entire system must change with a reform of how we vote to begin. Each assembly and senate district must be re-configured by a non-partisan commission and any number of qualified candidates allowed to run. Qualification can be determined by the usual voter petitions rather than party selection.

    Forget that old solution term limits. California has term limits and their problems make New York look nearly attractive. Term limits result in legislative staffs running the state.

    What we need is competitive and qualified candidates not life time incumbents.

    I still think WNY should petition Ontario to forgive us the Fenian Invasion and allow us to become a suburb of Fort Erie.

  16. eliz February 17, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    I agree for the most part, but is there a nirvana-ish state govt that we should all worship? California? Connecticut? Oh, I know, Illinois?

    I think it is a universal problem.

  17. hank February 17, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    I saw the Paterson “Secret Raise” item on the news. What in the Wide World of Sports is going on up there?

    Government run completely.fucking.amok. And the chaos it’s leaving in its wake is starting to hurt.

    States are now gobbling up hundreds of billions in Pork Projects and lowering their debt with money the Federal Government doesn’t have—NY has no lock on a state government with deficit spending—regardless of the party holding the Governor’s office or how the legislatures are divided by party lines.

    it’s not just a NYS problem, but this does show anyone with working eyes and/or ears that until Albany gets some wide reaching serious political reform,

    “Y’all are strictly fucked up yonder”.

    EXCELSIOR!

  18. Mike In WNY February 18, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    I agree with Starbuck’s sentiments and will extend that thought a bit further. The premier state liberal blog advocates theft, via redistribution of wealth and entitlement schemes, on a much grander scale than anything Tedisco has done. The economic damage of Tedisco is peanuts (although still significant) compared to what TAP advocates.

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