Werner Hetzner of Cohoes was recently named Communications Director for the Capital District Libertarian Party. A long time activiist and letter writer on issues of liberty and government accountability, Werner was published in the Albany Times Union on June 9th commenting upon what drives legislative voting.
The text of the letter follows:
Your editorial lament about political campaign finance and democracy seemed curiously out of date (“For sale: One government,” May 29). Buying political influence is hardly news. Why the sudden outrage? It’s not just wealthy individuals who buy political influence; unions (teachers, public employees, health care) have consistently paid the most for New York politicians.
Democracy has become a sham. Politically motivated state mandates account for about 90 percent of municipal and school budgets. In other words, county legislators do not get to cut, trim or reduce them in any way, neither can school boards. Why bother to vote when the results have no meaning?
The reality is that votes can be bought and power can be sold. Legislators understand this. Power corrupts. The greater their power to create rights, dispense privileges, contracts and favors, the higher the price such officials command. This is the dynamic that drives “politics as usual” to grant the demands of some at the expense of others.
The people of New York and their local governing bodies have been regulated to bankruptcy and dysfunction by Democrats and Republicans. They need to be liberated.
Communications director, Capital District Libertarian Party