What’s on tap for the weekend? Coming Sunday: Readers weigh in on Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s 2013 budget proposal and Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef’s 2013 budget plan, and the Editorial Board looks at the future of kindergarten among tax-cap-hampered school districts.
Heading into the weekend, the LoHud opinionating world weighs in on accusations of price-gouging at gas stations, post-Superstorm Sandy. In our editorial today, we say:
Given the extraordinary cost of just about everything in New York, it is often difficult to distinguish price-gouging, which is both illegal and despicable, from the usual highway robbery, which is just sort of expected. Then there are those merchants, as seen during Superstorm Sandy, who make the distinction so abundantly clear that all doubt is removed. Stiff fines and restitution should await these offenders, should the allegations hold up; a measure of public shaming ought to be part of the menu of sanctions as well.
And, a Community View by Working Families Party leaders weighed in on the ongoing saga of who will rule the state Senate, and what role state Sen. Jeffrey Klein and his four-member Independent Democratic Conference would play. (The IDC includes Sen. David Carlucci, whose Rockland district shifts to include Ossining in 2013; Sen. Diane Savino, who represents part of Staten Island and Brooklyn; and upstate Sen. David Valesky. Klein represents parts of Yonkers and the Bronx.) Klein has said the breakaway IDC plans to remain a “permanent conference” that would help create a “coalition government.” That’s engendered heavy criticism from some quarters, where it is believed that the breakaway group could tip power toward the Republicans. Here’s the knock by WFP’s Dan Cantor and Karen Scharff:
It sounds credible at first hearing. Bipartisanship has a nice ring to it. Politicians should stop “bickering” and just make compromises with each other.But their solution violates a core principle of democracy: namely, that the will of the voters is paramount. Had Sen. Klein and his colleagues told the voters before they accepted the Democratic or Working Families Party nominations that they planned to form an alliance with the Republicans, that would have been useful information for voters.
An upcoming Community View by the Independence Party disagrees. Here’s a tease of what Frank MacKay, state chair, has to say:
Bipartisanship isn’t always easy. But as we’ve seen across the country, crossing party lines is an essential piece to overcoming our biggest challenges. Two years ago, the members of the Independent Democratic Conference bravely decided to break the mold of politicians who are beholden to the party machine. By focusing on serious, reform minded legislation, these senators have shown that they can rise above partisan infighting and deliver meaningful results.