Even though they often had feet of clay, they were political giants – concerned with their constituents and with doing right for society as a whole, dedicated to serving their fellow man and woman. Today, some of them might still have feet of clay, but the great majority of them are interested not in serving their constituents, but in sucking as much money as they can out of the public and gaining enough political capital to be beyond the reach of the law. Anybody who has read this paper, or any of the city’s daily papers, will know that both Congressman Gregory Meeks and State Senator Malcolm Smith, both of whom represent Rockaway very badly, are under investigation by multiple grand juries in connection with their personal non-profit organizations, with a charity from which the money seems to have disappeared, with the Aqueduct Racino fiasco and with their connection to two local charter schools. Both of them deserve to get the boot in the coming November election. Then, we have Assemblywoman Michele Titus, the invisible woman, who has done nothing substantial for the Far Rockaway community in her years in office. She, too, deserves to go. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer has been in office for 20 years and has never bucked the imperial Democratic leadership in that body. While there is not a whiff of corruption in her time in office, there is also not a whiff of creativity. We know she is waiting for the Queens Borough
President slot to open, but perhaps it is time for her retirement. It is imperative
to Rockaway’s survival that we get new federal and state legislators in those positions. Who will take their place? That is the problem. So far, no viable candidates have come forward to challenge Smith, Meeks or Titus. Those who have come forward, mostly Republicans, have little chance of surviving the election intact. We need some young Democratic idealists to come along and make an issue of what those three have done – or not done – for Rockaway. We ask them to step forward and get into the ring.