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Incumbents need not apply

I'm back, at least for a spell, hopefully longer, after a couple of week hiatus, having just about wrapped up a piece on how much of our money the State Legislature spends. It's a lot.

There's one local state senator who is dropping nearly $1 million a year on his office and staff. Our local Congressmen aren't spending much more. One local Assemblyman is dropping twice as much money per voter as Higgins and company. Who has the bigger job?

The story should run later this week.

In the meantime, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has taken the unusual step of refusing to endorse any Senate and Assembly incumbents in its circulation area. Some of them also serve districts in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region.

Says the D&C:

Last month, when members of the Editorial Board started meeting with candidates for the State Legislature, the intent was to endorse in each State Senate and Assembly race. However, after five straight weeks of interviews with nearly 20 Albany candidates, we've changed our minds.

In good conscience, we cannot support any of the incumbents because of their failure to consistently push for radical change in Albany.

Indeed, few candidates for the Legislature anywhere in the state are talking up reform. Not in spending, economic development programs or the costly, undemocratic manner in which the Legislature operates.

Yeah, there's some rhetoric about reform here and there, which is especially amusing when it comes from incumbents who are the architects of the current state of affairs. But there's been little said in the way of substance, by challengers or incumbents.

I'm thinking of one candidate in particular who has been running ads telling voters he's one of us, that he'll work hard to bring jobs to Western New York. Blah-blah-blah. To quote John Lennon in Revolution, "We'd all love to see the plan." We're still waiting on Hillary's 200,000 jobs.

Now for this musical break.

Back to my pending story. Just to whet your appetite, did you know the state Senate has more stipends for members than it has members? Nice work if you can get it.

Stay tuned.


State government
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