Political Greens and Political Genes
As a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, I was surprised to learn that hundreds of students across the state were selected as winners of the "I’m a Green Nation" contest.
The only problem: all the students were from Republican Senate districts. Click here to read the full article in the Buffalo News. This was the first I’d even heard of the contest.
It’s bad enough the Republicans don’t allow our bills to the floor, or provide equal staffing resource, or a more equitable distribution of member items and capital funds. Now they are snubbing the kids in our district.
The contest, according to a spokesperson in the article, is sponsored by the Senate majority. But that distinction is not always made clear. At least one Republican website simply states: "The New York State Senate has hosted this event for sixteen years."
In the end, the story in the Buffalo News speaks volumes for the Republican environmental agenda – soft and sweet on the outside, but all smoke and mirrors when you take a closer look.
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I also want to respond to a comment that was made on my last blog post:
There is certainly no shortage of political families in the United States. And – let’s be honest – they have produced some very good elected officials and some very bad ones. Which is all the more reason to vote on the merits of a candidate, and not his last name.
What bothers me is the notion that (1) next-generation politicians are necessarily anti-reform, and (2) some of these politicians are less legitimate than others.
Adlai Stevenson, in my mind the most respected politician of the 1950s, was the grandson of a U.S. Vice President. John Kennedy appointed his brother as Attorney General. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House and an immensely accomplished woman, is daughter of a former Congressman from Baltimore.
Before anyone wants to chime in with a Lloyd-Bentsen like response, please understand that I am not comparing or equating myself to any of the above politicians.
Rather I’m asking a simple question: Why are some politicians automatically considered part of anti-reform dynasties while others are celebrated as the genetic sure-bets – ingrained with the political DNA to inspire confidence and trust?
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