Neither Good Policy Nor Good Politics
Much too my chagrin I received in the mail a negative campaign style attack piece from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee run by Queens Senator Malcolm Smith attacking our local Senator Frank Padavan with full blown infantile class warfare sloganeering about our Senator "Protecting the Rich" over the middle class.
This is both ludicrous and libelous. First of all Democratic Majority Leader Malcolm Smith was against Governor Paterson's tax increases before he was for them. Indeed, Governor Paterson spoke aggressively against raising taxes that could cause capital flight, further erosion of the tax base thereby deepening the budget crisis, worsening the recession and increasing unemployment before he pushed for passage of a budget that included virtually all the elements he warned against. The Paterson administration itself warned against engaging in class warfare that could drive away employers, taxpayers and middle class families. Given the high cost of living in New York maintaining a middle class quality of life, even with two income earners, is exceedingly difficult and these are the folks targeted by Paterson and Smith.
This attack piece and simplistic sloganeering is dishonest cheap political theater at its worst. Virtually every editorial board and every good government watch dog group have now recognized how dysfunctional Albany is under both Paterson and Smith's disjointed failed leadership. Even liberal pundits have in moments of candor started to appreciate the balance that was afforded when experienced hands like Senator Padavan were in the Majority. Divided government makes for a healthy check on excesses - whether those excesses emanate from the left or the right.
As someone involved in environmental, civic and educational issues in our community I find these transparent partisan attacks against a dedicated public servant like Frank Padavan beneath contempt. Senator Padavan has a consistent record of service, particularly in these areas that should not be sullied by negative campaign tricks. State Senate elections are not until 2010! Enough is enough!
We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis for at least a generation and the focus of Senator Malcolm Smith is scoring cheap political points rather than reaching across the aisle and working in a bi-partisan fashion with experienced independent leaders like Frank Padavan.
This is not good politics and not good policy and not what voters wanted when they voted for change this past November.
VINCE TABONE, ESQ.