Or better still, how should a governor "do," how should they govern? So do the rich and the powerful travel to the governor to press their case? Or should the governor go out among the populace they serve and hear from those they govern? Some might claim that it is a distinction without a difference--that the rich and powerful are also citizens with needs that deserve the attention of the governor. There is a significant difference however.
(There are potential triggers in this diary, so I have left out details that can be found summarized in an article at The Legislative Gazzette)
The cost of bringing meaningful change in the life of a wealthy person comes at a much higher cost to the state than when the state attends to the needs of those not blessed with fortune. For a simple example: The cost of running water and sewer lines across my 35' wide city lot is way less than running them 850' across a lot in the wealthy neighborhood up the hill. In New York, local municipalities receive most of their funds through property taxes. Andrew Cuomo help push through legislation that caps real estate taxes. Capping my real estate taxes does not benefit me... my home isn't worth enough for the "savings" from the cap to be meaningful. The benefit to the person with the mansion with 850' frontage, however, is truly meaningful. At the same time, state funds returned to municipalities have shrunk while state mandated spending has grown. And in the meantime, our schools suffer from underfunding, infrastructure repair is less frequent and takes longer, and local services are diiminishing.
I ran across a story today of another way to govern. When Zephyr Teachout was at a rally this summer, she was approached by a man by the name of Bill Liblick. He told her about what had happened to his sister while residing in a state-run facility for people with developmental disabilities, and about the law that he wanted to see passed so that no other disabled person might suffer her fate. The law is referred to as "Paula's Law," and it has languished in our State Assembly and State Senate since 2011. It is a fairly simple idea. Every facility that houses people with developmental disabilities should have 24/7 video cameras at every entrance and exit. With the costs of telecommunications technology falling like a rock, it would seem that the cost/benefit ratio would easily justify the expense.
So what happened when Mr. Liblick approached Zephyr Teachout about "Paula's Law"?
Liblick said he and Teachout met and talked after the rally and exchanged contact information. Her campaign "thoroughly" researched the bill before supporting it, Liblick said.So what did Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino do?
Liblick said he hopes Gov. Cuomo and Rob Astorino, Cuomo's Republican challenger in the general election, also voice their support for the bill, though neither has yet to directly endorse its passage.Which style of governing would you like to see? Vote in the New York State Primary on September 9.
“I think teaching as a law professor is about drawing out the intelligence of your students, letting them see that their intuitions are interesting and grounded, and then debating what the grounds of those intuitions are,” Teachout says. “(Being a professor is about) successful and deeply respectful interaction and interchange, not just a lecturing relationship, and I think that’s also true of politics at its best.”