Where Have All Our Political Leaders Gone?
First, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, who had served for more than 22 years, left to become the Queens County Clerk. Then, Congressman Anthony Weiner, our longtime Representative, left under the cloud of a sexting scandal. Now, it seems clear that our other Congressman, Gregory Meeks, might soon be forced out by his own party leaders in the wake of several high-profile probes looking into his relationships with a Queens businessman and with his non-profit organization, New Directions in Community Empowerment. Both Pheffer’s and Weiner’s slots were filled through a special election on September 13, but the electorate had no choice in who the candidates would be and the entire election process was distasteful to many locals. At best, we now have two newbies who do not fully understand Rockaway’s problems and who have little political clout to do anything to help the community. Should Meeks go, and we strongly urge that he does go, that will give up one more special election and one more newbie with no power base. Add to that a fairly new City Councilman on the west end who seems to spend less and less time in Rockaway, an east end City Councilman who sold out his community for the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and another Assemblywoman who has been the invisible politician since taking her seat, and you can see that Rockaway has political problems far beyond the usual. Perhaps it is time for a new broom to sweep clean. We need term limits for our state elected officials and we need a political infrastructure that allows the electorate to choose the candidates they want to run in the election.