'A General Without Troops'

Reader William Bryk has a critical take on why Ed Koch's reform push probably won't yield any results, in Albany or anywhere else. In short, it's ballot access, says Bryk:

If Mayor Koch were truly serious, primaries would be taking place across the City. They're not. With all respect to him, he's a general without troops; he's been retired from politics for over twenty years; he's eighty-five years old this year; he can get some press attention, but he can't effect the kind of change he says he wants to bring about.

The hyper-technical ballot access requirements of the election law are the reason why we don't have the nationwide anti-incumbent surge enriching our local politics. If Mayor Koch would lend his energies and talents to making it easier for ordinary citizens - not just lawyers and professional politicians -- to get on the ballot, he would truly crown his sixty years' service as soldier, lawyer, public official, and public figure.

Timing, I'd say, is also a factor.