Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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Liz Benjamin, blogger and host of "Capital Tonight", checks in on state politics in Albany, including the latest on the redistricting battle for congressional lines and for the state legislature.
Ms. Benjamin is rather disingenuous when she discusses NY state law regarding birth-control. NY allows religiously affiliated organizations to avoid this law by self-insuring. That exemption would no longer be permitted under Obamacare.
@ Martin Chuzzlewit - I couldn't have said it any better than MichaelB: Whether you like it or not, public sector workers EARN their pay and have the legal right to unionize and negotiate for compensation. It's up to politicians and public officials to negotiate in good faith with public unions to determine what they feel is most
And to think that the public sector unions ALWAYS win negotiations and ALWAYS capture the political class, which you imply, has been proven false considering all the state governments who have diminished public sector unions over the years.
There's at least one flaw in your logic Martin, although there are aspects of what you say that deserve thought.
We may pay public employees, but for their part, they EARN it. In other words, it's a fair exchange. Once they earn their money, it's THEIRS to do with what they wish, same as non-public employees. You make it sound as if the public still has the right to control how those employees spend their money. If they wish to spend it to lobby on their own behalf (after all, they ALSO have interests that ought to have a voice), that's their right.
If the rest of the populace and/or their representatives don't agree with the public employees, they can oppose the efforts of the employee unions, using the same methods.
We are indeed a Banana Republic
I learned the other week that my neighborhood in the Bronx, between Pelham Parkway and Allerton Ave east of the Bronx River - something like a 4 square block area or less - is being cut out of its longtime state assembly district and joined up with a district that is across the Bronx river and on the other side of a large park area. This makes no sense at all. I also heard that this was done not because of population and demographics, but to place the residences of some candidates into a new district and control upcoming elections in this way - by determining which candidates can run in which races.
Is NY State the Armpit of the Nation or a banana republic? This was the last state in the nation to implement the modernization steps required out of the 2000 election fiasco where we discovered that we have antiquated machines. NY was the last one.
This time around NY state is the last one to address and implement redistricting - This is not rocket science and is something that EVERY OTHER STATE does every 10 years. The fact that we continue to undermine and destroy the tools and processes around elections and ability for voters to know who they are voting for and for well meaning qualified candidates to run for office without having to kiss the ring of the two political mafias that control our political process.
Can't we at least advance to the sophistication and technological advances that have been implemented by small, poor nations in Latin America? Though these countries lack strong democratic institutions, they have demontrasted a level of organziation and evolution that is much more advanced than what exists in NY State in terms of implementing technology and having clear and open processes for defining electoral districts, registration of candidates and voters and technologically advanced voting machines and voter results reporting.
BRIAN- Please ask Ms. Benjamin to discuss the MILLION DOLLARS in advertisements that the public unions (via the AFL-CIO) are now running against their former BFF Governor Cuomo because he has the chutzpah to try to bring some reform to this fiscal mess. Does she think that this shows that big labor will turn on anyone in any party who doesn’t dance to their tune?
JUST THINK ABOUT THAT…….the public workers are using a $1,000,000 of money that WE PAID THEM to intimidate our government into raising OUR taxes so that they won’t be required to contribute to their own pension fund!! And it’s not even an election year…..talk about flush with cash!!! Did the mafia or Tammany Hall ever come close to this slick level of corruption?
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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