November 10, 2010

Schroeder Stands Tall

Buffalo Assemblyman Mark Schroeder is a man on an island. Yesterday, he once again stated that he will not support Manhattanite Sheldon Silver for Assembly Leader. From our perspective, we love it. Schroeder has shown that he will not be intimidated into making a decision that he knows is bad for Western New York and New York State as a whole.

Hand-delivering a letter to Silver's office stating his intention, Schroeder stated in a press release:
"In a disastrous, scandal ridden year for state government, it has become obvious that Upstate New York has no voice in the Capitol."
"When another late budget was finalized without UB2020 and SUNY Empowerment, it became abundantly clear that those of us who live north of New York City have no say in how we are governed, and have no power to save our struggling cities."
"It is impossible for me to support Silver for another term as speaker if the needs and priorities of my constituents, and millions of New Yorkers across Upstate, continue to be ignored. This is an opportunity for the speaker to demonstrate that he is genuinely serious about addressing the issues that are plaguing Upstate New York."

Outstanding, Mark. We just wish you had some company. Where are the other Western New York Democrats in standing with you in your fight to bring proper representation to our region? Sam Hoyt, Crystal Peoples, Robin Schimminger and Dennis Gabryszak all represent Western New York as Democrats in the Assembly (DelMonte, not so much, though she surely would have rubber-stamped Silver's retention of power and stranglehold on New York as one of the "three men in a room"). What do you see that they are incapable of? Don't they also believe that Western New York is getting short-changed?

Of course, there are those who will say that Schroeder will be punished through the multitude of mechanisms that Silver has in place to penalize anyone who would dare to question his leadership. That's okay, Mark. While the size of your office is somewhat relevant in the Albany culture, there are things that are much more important - like honor, integrity and standing up for what you believe in.

There are people in Western New York who believe in what Schroeder is fighting for, even if his own Democratic colleagues in the Assembly don't. It's too bad that they refuse to put the interests of this community above all else. Then again, the voters just put Hoyt, Peoples, Schimminger and Gabryszak right back into office. Who's really to blame?

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