Cars in the State Senate, Cars in the Assembly

18 Feb

It is true that with the transfer of Senate control from the Republicans to the Democrats, there’s been a transfer of cars from GOP leadership to the Dems. The Dems intend to get rid of the Brunomobile, but Bill Stachowski will get a 6 year-old Crown Vic. Via the Times Union.

That Ford, incidentally, is built in Ontario.

The Senate only issues 12 vehicles, including the Brunomobile. The Assembly, however, issues a whopping 16 vehicles to its membership. The difference there is that, although Democrats hold the majority, 12 of those cars go to minority Republicans.

James Tedisco, who is running for Kirstin Gillibrand’s vacated Congressional seat has been commuting 21 miles from his home to Albany in a taxpayer-funded, gas-reimbursed Buick Rainier. A reskinned, more “luxurious” version of the Chevy Trailblazer GMT360 platform.

Jim Hayes – the Williamsville Republican who is the epitome of fiscal prudence and conservatism? He drives from a dysfunctional WNY to a dysfunctional Albany in a spanking-new 2008 Chevy Impala.

How does one reconcile his endless demands for low taxes and low government spending with fleecing the taxpayers for a car that he is more than well able to afford?

I realize that the cost of an Impala or a Rainier or a Crown Vic is but a miniscule fraction of the total state budget. Those costs, however, are quite symbolic. When the state leadership tells us that there are tough times ahead, that taxes might go up while services might be cut, then every single piece of needless spending needs to be examined and eliminated.

Our pointless, clueless, and tone-deaf “representatives” in Albany, just about all of whom merely rubber-stamp what their corresponding “man in the room” has preordained, don’t need or deserve a taxpayer-funded car. They are well remunerated – in WNY they generally make well above their districts’ median salaries – and can well afford to use their own personal vehicle to shuttle back and forth to Albany and lobbyist-provided luncheons and cocktail parties.

The days of company cars are long gone, for the most part, unless someone’s on the road on a regular basis. These guys just happen to have a long commute that they chose to assume. Use your own damn car and just get reimbursed for your mileage. Don’t they already get a per diem for every day spent going to and being in Albany?

In tough economic times, in the midst of economic crisis, a taxpayer-funded car is the most glaring example of privilege and excess. Just ask Joel Giambra.

One Response to “Cars in the State Senate, Cars in the Assembly”

  1. hank February 18, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Another great post—nobody in either party can point fingers at the other, because BOTH PARTIES in Albany are dead wrong on this car thing. The only person in state service (especially in the face of multi-billion dollar deficits in state budget) who should have a state owned and gassed vehicle is the Governor.

    Nobody in the legislative or judicial branches, or any one else in the executive branch needs a car. They already get per diem, or can be reimbursed for their gas by the miles the drive ON STATE BUSINESS. And as Alan pointed out, they get paid more than enough to buy their own transportation.

    Now if we can get members of the Thruway Authority to give up their jet and helicopter and actually DRIVE ON THE ROAD THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE for, it would at least give the taxpayers the idea they’re not getting fucked in EVERY concieveable way.

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