Let’s say that you are a Democrat, and you are an elected official. Your Party has just passed a massive piece of legislation that most of the country opposes, regardless of political affilitation. Add to that recent scandals of Rep. Rangel, the reviled backdoor deals in passing Health Care Reform, and the abysmally low approval ratings of Democrat leadership. All of that taken into account, would you decide to send out a letter stating that donors of $50,000 will be able to speak with policy makers and influence how they create labor laws and reforms? Does this make sense to you?
Well whether you think it makes sense, or even like the concept, it is a fact. It is exactly what New York State Senators have asked union leaders to do. State Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, sent out a letter stating this exact idea.
“In exchange for the campaign contributions, the letter states, donors would be invited to “exclusive” meetings with Senate Democratic leaders and be involved in policy conversations around the party’s campaign strategy.”
When reading such a statement, it becomes far more understandable how Representative Rangel “misplaced” $500,000 or how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considered the Cornhusker and Louisiana deals (or bribes as some call them) fair for a yes vote. It puts into perspective how Rep. Barney Frank could tell the nation that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sound, 2 weeks before they had catostrophic failures. It nails down how life long proponents of ideals (like say pro-life Rep. Stupak) could vote yes on language they openly disagree with, and how Sen. Dodd would be open to a sweetheart deal from a mortgage company that his Committee is supposed to oversee.
Mind you, that Republicans are no better, State level or above, even below for that matter. Yet you would think that in the middle of all the controversy, after taking actions against the will of the people, Democrat New York State Senators might have thought better of the idea?
Then again New York is a special kind of State. The Democrat State Senators are a special kind of legislators. Brazen is the word that comes to mind. Because not only are they blatantly taking money from unions so unions can peddle influence in their favor, the Democrats are planning to enact the same kind of opportunity for a women’s advisory council, as well as one for the environment, and business.
Consider this. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand would not attend a town hall in 2009, and re-used 6 month old boilerplate messages to respond to constituents questions on Health Care Reform; yet she had no problem voting to keep spending New York and federal taxes on ACORN after they gave her support for re-election. Senator Charles Schumer wouldn’t do the town halls nor reply to questions at all; yet he is sitting on more than $10 million dollars for his re-election campaign thanks to donors and fundraising mostly from special interests. Representative Hinchey likewise ignored voters, when it wasn’t time for a re-election. But if they are anything like their colleagues in the State Senate, then it would seem that if you ponied up $50,000 you might have gotten a real answer. If you paid to go to one of the multiple fundraising dinners, or spent cash to be around them, then you might get an answer.
The voice of the people? Not that important. Cash is king after all, especially in New York State politics apparently. And all of these State Senators (62 of them, 32 are Democrats) plus both mebers of the Senate and at least one member of the House expect New York voters to re-elect them just because they are in office?
Better question. Do you think that ANY politician that accepts money and/or gifts to vote in a particular way (especially against the will and benefit of the people) deserves to be re-elected? You can give your answer now, and/or in November.