By Nick Crocco
Kudos to Bob McCarthy for once again highlighting our broken and corrupt political system in his June 21 critique of the judicial nominating process. Any reasonable person would expect the courts to be a place of honor where one could receive a fair, impartial and honest adjudication of his grievances. I can personally assure you that this assumption would be dead wrong.
I don’t believe the establishment Democrats get it. The message sent by voters in this recent presidential election appears to have fallen on deaf ears, and it’s business as usual.
Sadly, it’s not about the most qualified candidate with the highest integrity and credentials who “earns” the nomination. Shady backroom deals, political patronage and money remain the order of the day.
Like so many others, I fully supported my friend Steve Cohen, a local civil rights attorney and champion of the helpless and hopeless, who chose a much less financially lucrative career path than the majority of his peers.
Steve is an unconventional candidate with credentials and name recognition that appeal to a wide base of voters across the political spectrum. He is someone who isn’t afraid to take on the most toxic cases that many of his colleagues wouldn’t think of touching, believing that everyone, regardless of one’s socioeconomic status, is entitled to competent, fair representation regardless of ability to pay. I fully supported my friend in his effort to “earn” the parties’ endorsement, fully expecting the outcome that finally presented itself.
After months of campaigning, participating in parades, fundraising and weekly meetings, a backroom deal was made between two establishment party leaders ending up with two cross-endorsed, well-known and well-funded candidates.
Follow the money and you will see how the nomination process works and that little has changed. Unfortunately, by means of the process, it is fair for citizens to be skeptical of our courts because of the corrupt nature of the process that seats its jurists.
We need to clean house from the bottom up to effect real change; we can’t be complacent and lose the momentum and energy created by the recent presidential election. That energy should also not be used to bolster the establishment candidates with money or our time.
We must educate our disinterested family and friends on how important their vote is. Lobby our legislators to change the laws to prevent corrupt party leaders from being able to prevent voters from having a choice. (Why should we show up at the polls if we don’t have a choice?) We need good citizens to step up and run for office at every level.
I am encouraged by the energy produced from the recent election, but I remain dismayed when I speak with some who say they “are not interested in politics,” “my vote doesn’t count,” “they are all crooks,” etc. Your vote and voice do count! Remain complacent and face the consequences. The time is right to effect the change we need. Get involved and stay involved.
Nick Crocco, of Tonawanda, has worked for former State Sen. Mark Grisanti and former Reps. Steve Israel and Kathy Hochul.