Silver case highlights need for term limits, strict rules
I am frustrated but not surprised by the comments from former colleagues of Sheldon Silver who continue to seem to justify his actions by citing his support of Western New York. Until we raise our expectations of our represented leaders, we will continue to be mired in a state that people and businesses flee to avoid regulation, taxes and pay-to-play schemes.
Yes, Silver may have directed some funding our way for some of the recent big developments, but that is our money from the taxes we pay, and he shouldn’t have that much power to influence that decision. We can only imagine what hidden trade-offs we had to give back to Silver for any support he gave us.
The major takeaway here isn’t that Silver and many of his colleagues are crooks, taking advantage of the system to empower and enrich themselves. The real crime is that this has been going on for a long time, is well known and nothing has changed. We don’t see any state representatives standing up to begin changing the system that breeds this criminal activity.
The only thing that seems to motivate our state representatives is re-election and money. Let’s stem this motivation with term limits and strict limits on outside activities, so that the type of people we have today in office may not be drawn to represent us. We need people with high morals and a desire to make our state a great place to live to run for office. Unfortunately, this will require efforts by the very people who benefit from the status quo. It also requires the people of New York to become more educated and vote on reform, and not on how much bacon the politicians bring home.