Democracy Survives – Just Barely Once Again
Just Barely Once AgainBy Daniel Van Riper
The solidly right-wing Democratic Party, demoralized and mostly ignored by large corporations, managed with the help of the voters to overcome and shake the extreme right-wing Republican Party this past November 3rd. Only their vast ocean of money and virtual control of the corporate media kept the Republicans from being swept off the political map. Here is an overview of the elections and how they affect the Pine Bush ecosystem.
We Have Arrived! Assemblyman Jack McEneny’s Republican opponent, Lisa Hampton, conspicuously claimed membership in Save the Pine Bush in her campaign literature and media profiles, listing SPB first before her other affiliations. How about that! Unfortunately, that is not exactly true. Ms. Hampton is not a current member of Save the Pine Bush, but she did send us money (with her husband) three years ago, for which we are grateful. Ms. Hampton told the Altamont Enterprise that she plans to run again, so we encourage her to update her membership so there will be no further discrepencies in her statements. Congratulations to our friend Jack, who won a comfortable landslide.
Mark And Charlie We were disgusted to discover a week before the election that the supposedly environmental Green Party was phone banking from one of stubborn Pine Bush developer Charlie Touhey’s office buildings in the Pine Bush, a building we opposed and should never have been built. Green Party chairman Mark Dunlea should know better than to compromise his party’s principles for the sake of temporary convenience. Dunlea could give no explanation for this glaring moral contradiction during the radio show On The Barricades on WRPI the day after the election, except to say that “places to phone bank are hard to find.” Flustered by unexpected call-in questions from SPB board member Lynne Jackson, Dunlea claimed that Green Party members have “organized residents to stop Touhey’s developments in the Pine Bush” which was a spur-of-the moment outright falsification. We are forced to conclude that the Green Party supports development in the Pine Bush. Of course we hold the Greens to a higher standard. We already have two “mainstream” political parties with low standards and no principles, why do we need a third party that gladly sells out to greedy destructive interests?
Good Riddance Alfonse D’Amato was resoundingly booted from the Senate after 18 embarrassing years, and just in time. As we reported in the last newsletter, D’Amato was a big supporter of the so-called Citizen’s Access to Justice Act, which will effectively outlaw local environmental activism by private citizens, and will put Save the Pine Bush out of business. The bill is still under consideration by the remaining nincompoops in Congress. Our new Senator, Chuck Schumer, needs to speak out against this evil thing, contact him along with congratulations for his landslide win, at 212/459-9898, 333 West 52nd Street, NY, NY 10019, schumer1998.com.
D’Amato’s Boy Absentee, incompetent and anti-environmental Governor George Pataki managed only 54% of the vote against virtually no opposition, but we’re stuck with him and his handlers for another four years. Worse, we expect that his boss, Alfonse D’Amato, will now spend his time micromanaging Pataki, and will become the Virtual Governor. Pataki’s re-election is a triumph of big money and media disinformation. Expect even less environmental enforcement, more lay-offs at the Department of Environmental Conservation, more shifting of environmental money for office supplies, more misuse of Environmental Bond Act money for promoting suburbanization in undeveloped areas, and absolutely no cleanup of General Electric PCBs in the Hudson River when Pataki gets back from his month long Carribean vacation.
published Dec98/Jan99 Newsletter
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