Thursday, December 18, 2008
In Our Opinion...
Andrew, Yes. Caroline, No
We do not believe that Caroline Kennedy would be the best possible choice to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in the United States Senate. Not every public figure, even one who carries the Kennedy name, and is the daughter of one of the most admired and beloved presidents of the last century, is necessarily right for the United States Senate from New York.
For one thing, Caroline, an attorney who is now 51, has made an affirmative effort throughout her entire adult life to shun and avoid publicity and the limelight.That fact, while not an absolute disqualifier, nevertheless, has kept her potential constituents essentially in the dark with respect to her position on major issues, as well as just who she truly is.
And, while it is true that she has shown great interest in the improvement of public education, particularly in New York, and has in fact, raised tens of millions of dollars in her outstanding fundraising efforts on behalf of that cause, Caroline has done so largely out of public view. Perhaps her relative minimal public exposure, her good works behind the scenes, as it were, speaks especially well for her unselfish and charitable intentions, but it does little to prepare her for such a high profile position.
Caroline has never stood for public office, never withstood the aggressive scrutiny and media hazing a Senator from New York must be capable of surviving. And, while she apparently has managed to achieve middle age without any of the scandal or apparent scars that somehow were attached to her cousins, and even her Uncle Teddy over the years, that fact, in and of itself, does not a Senator make.Governor Paterson must carefully consider every aspect of his appointment of whomever he chooses to fill Hillary’s shoes.
There are many who believe it should necessarily be a woman. Still others have insisted it should be someone from upstate to break up the downstate monopoly. Each of those thoughts, We believe, are worthy of consideration, but do not outweigh the need for a dynamic and influential voice advocating for New Yorkers in the United States Senate.
We believe the individual who might best serve the People of New York, and who would likely be elected, and re-elected, in 2010 and 2012, respectively, is Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo, whose political career suffered a severe setback when he primaried Carl McCall in 2002 for Governor, and who also experienced a difficult divorce, has learned a great deal, both about himself, and the world around him, over the last few years.Cuomo has been carving a credible nitch as New York’s Attorney General, and would appear groomed and ready for a return to the Washington scene where he last served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development.
Of course, appointing Andrew Cuomo, should he accept, would effectively remove him as an opponent for Governor, a position Paterson has indicated he wishes to run for.
No doubt, President-elect Obama will find an appropriate appointment in the Department of Education for Caroline Kennedy. He is clearly indebted to her for her effort, together with Uncle Ted, on his behalf, and will surely recognize her outstanding work in the area of public education, as well.
Our Readers Respond....
Congressman Feels The Need To Explain
Earlier this year a series of newspaper articles raised questions about my personal finances and living arrangements, questions I regard as ridiculous, and frankly, without a basis in fact. I asked the Ethics Committee to look at these questions and am confident they will be resolved favorably.
It is unusual for a Member to ask for an investigation of himself, but I have nothing to hide and never have. I can assure you that at all times I try to comply with both the letter and intent of our ethics rules, and if the Committee finds I failed to do this in any respect, I will take the appropriate steps to correct those errors immediately.
We have a process in the House for resolving these questions in the Ethics Committee. I am confident of the outcome and that the process is the appropriate place to consider a dispassionate and factual account of the matters that have been raised. I welcome the Committee’s decision to expand the investigation, as I requested.
As far as the recent smears against my son Steven, a Marine Corps veteran who earned his law degree with the help of the G.I. Bill and a former FCC attorney, I don’t mind taking the heat that comes with this job but character assassination against family members should be out of bounds. Thank you for reading the attached material.
U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel
Taxpayer Bemoans New Rochelle’s Lame Excuses
New Rochelle’s 5.56% tax increase proves there is no end in sight for property owners. For years, city officials have claimed that their achievements would be beneficial to taxpayers. But despite an upsurge in residential and retail development, property taxes are still rising significantly. Then, there is added revenue from a garbage fee and library tax.
Even with these reducing city expenditures, notable property tax hikes are still the norm. It seems city officials just keep floating one excuse after the other past taxpayers. “It is the lack of development, the economy, pension shortfalls, inadequate state and poor leadership in Albany”, and on and on. Tune in next year for the next lame excuses.
John I. Imburgia, New Rochelle