BY ANTHONY J. BAZZO
OF YORKTOWN NEWS
TITLE: Ball: CUT THE CRAP, JUST REFORM IT”“
I recently received an e-mail from State Senator Greg Ball in regards to the plague of corruption in there New York State Legislature. I recently wrote a column “To Clean Up Corruption, Will Ball Lead?” in which I stated that our State Senator is perfectly positioned to lead the charge to clean up Albany. Simply put, I stated that Greg made his bones taking on not only his own party, but the opposition party and beating them soundly. He was not part of the system, but got elected beating the system. I also stated that our State Senator has been called a lot of things, but never a crook.
He may have now become a typical politician, but that does not make him dishonest. As I also stated, all great reformers in New York’s history started out as just a politician. They then saw the chance fate bestowed on them, got fed up with the shenanigans going on in New York politics and took the lead in cleaning it up. The rest is history. Greg is now at that cross roads in history. He is about the same age as the other great reformers in our history when they took up the baton. He has the tenacity. Now must decide if he wishes to take “The Road Less Traveled”.
Maybe he has made that choice. From his e-mail: “CUT THE CRAP, JUST REFORM IT”“All organized political parties must go. Give the power to the people.” “If you want to really take down the culture of corruption you can’t nibble at the edges. This package (his proposed reform proposal) will permanently change politics as we know it,” said Senator Greg Ball. “This package presents far reaching reforms that will comprehensively flip politics in New York State on its head. For that reason, while I have dubbed it the ‘Cut the Crap’ package, maybe it should be more aptly be named the ‘Dead on Arrival’ package. Let’s admit up front that many elected officials and party leaders like the system the way it is now. That said, as a legislator I must use my position to at least try to make a real difference.”
Here are some of his proposals outlined in his e-mail:
Non-Partisan Elections: Political Parties Must Go!
The proposal would eliminate political party affiliation on the official ballot, allowing candidates to run as individuals. Candidates, after collecting the required number of signatures from active voters to appear on the ballot, would run as individuals without a party affiliation. All voters and candidates would still be allowed to register to a party, but would not be required to do so.
Term Limits: Move Up, Move Out!
Senator Ball’s term limit proposal would limit the amount of terms a person could hold a specific office to a total of three terms. Senator Ball also has legislation term limiting legislative positions and chairmanships. When elected to the Assembly, Ball signed a pledge to his constituents that he would term-limit himself to 3 terms. Ball kept that pledge, and will adhere to the same in the Senate.
Eliminate Pensions For Crooks!
Ball’s bill goes even further than the most recent reforms and fully closes a loop hole in New York State social security law, which allows public employees who are convicted of crimes related to their offices, to still receive a state pension and retirement benefits. Senator Ball has proposed such legislation and has developed bipartisan support.
Full Financial Disclosure!
While the good government groups focus on the size of contributions, they are missing the real root of corruption. Ball’s proposal would require full public disclosure of campaign finances including reporting all outside income and personal assets. All donations would also be required to be reported within 24 hours of receipt.
MY TWO CENTS:
This is a great start. It is more meaningful than anything our Governor ha proposed. In fact our Governor said recently that he does not want to start a war against the legislature ( by creating Moorland Commission to root out public corruption) because he needs them to enact his agenda. His agenda is more important to him than an honest government. I said he was going to abdicate his role in cleaning up Albany and he has.
I am glad to see that Greg is not calling for public financing of elections, or raises for these enablers of corruption. I think he has read the papers and knows that public financing is just another pot of gold for those with larceny in their hearts. I think he has also seen the latest Sienna Poll that showed 86% of the people think corruption is the most important thing our government should be doing something about. Not gun control. Not abortion. Not any nanny ideas on their agenda. Corruption!! It also showed that 33% of the people think their representatives will be arrested.
“Let’s admit up front that many elected officials and party leaders like the system the way it is now. That said, as a legislator I must use my position to at least try to make a real difference.”
That last quote is important. This could just be a typical press release, or actually lead to something really big. This is where you come in. In the past, when he took on the establishment, he knew you had his back. You wrote, you e-mailed, you called, but most important you VOTED!
You who think corruption is a stain on our government and want something done, must get involved. You must show Greg you support him. You must call. You must e-mail. You must write letters to the editors. Right now the media is in the pockets of the establishment. They have ignored this and instead made a false issue about a recent tweet our State Senator said about those ilks who wrecked havoc in Boston.
They are focusing on something Greg can do nothing about, and ignoring that which he can. The media believes you are so complacent, so apathetic, you will accept this culture of corruption and eat it. You must show Greg you have his back in this fight. Without you he can “only try”. With you he can succeed! This is what I say, what say you?
UPCOMMING VOLPE/BAZZO REPORT:
Wednesdays at 9:30 P.M.
05/01 & 05/08
MIKE KAPLOWITZ & BRETT FREEMAN & BRYAN FUMAGALLI (Corruption In Politics)