Council Member Alfred Coppola is a real comedian with his statement, "I would hope the governor would be a bigger person than to play games with fair representation." Even if he is elected to the Assembly, he will be told to "rubber stamp" the budget, with no input. As usual, Gov. George Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will divide up the pot and tell him where to sign.
The same treatment resulted in the Health Care Reform Act. This unfunded mandate took away the tobacco settlement from Erie County, yet every one of our local representatives who are supposed to vote in our interests signed on the dotted line -- because their leaders, who control their $9,000 per year "leadership perk," would take it away if they didn't.
The News has done a good job reporting these outrageous abrogations of our rights in a democracy. Since the Legislature is the only one that can pass laws to abolish or change this travesty, it appears almost hopeless. But it can be done. The News should enlist all the newspapers in the state and gather petitions to demand change. Every newspaper would publish the names of legislators who opposed changing the system, and work for their defeat.
DONALD F. BAUMLER