Reforming Nassau County Politics

In From the Desk Of by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Re: Recent Newsday article – “Pathway to Politics.”

It really is a call to arms.

I think a reform movement can only succeed from the top down, not from the bottom up.  Good intended one/two even three term legislators do not have the “juice” to get anything done.  They can help but don’t have the influence to lead. And once they are senior, they are likely infected.

So, is there a 2018 “Thomas Dewey type of reform candidate”  who is willing to commit his/her time and treasure to run for Governor?  Would the entrenched Democratic Party embrace such a candidate.  I think not. Would the Republicans?  Maybe, but they are also entrenched, so it is not a given. So, if the GOP did not support such a candidate, maybe would not be the end of the reform world.

It would require the establishment of a state-wide third party ala what Ross Perot created on the national basis decades ago. A difficult task indeed but possible.  And doing could motivate citizens to get involved and energize our electoral process.  Jumping ahead, if our “super hero governor candidate” actually wins the governorship, our super hero would also need legislative support to get things done.  So not only does this third party need one super hero governor, it needs a sufficient number (not a majority) of senate and assembly super heroes so as to create a legislative base focused on reform.  Now it gets interesting because reform can actually happen since no one party is in control of the legislative bodies. The power of the “traditional bosses” will be diminished.  Yes there will be give and take, compromise, but also honest debate and hopefully accountability.  The log jam would give way and effective reform would be possible.

This is a long shot but I believe our only shot.  Mike Spahn



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