March 13, 2012

Niagara County Lawmaker to Washington: Can You Hear Me Now?

First off, we would be remiss if we didn’t note St. Bonaventure’s NCAA bid.  The scrappy little Catholic school certainly has brought distinction to itself this year, and has really been the best thing happening in New York State college basketball this side of Syracuse.  We wish the Bonnies well, although we’re really not quite sure what a Bonnie is.  Still, they’re representing WNY in the Big Dance, and we hope that March Madness goes a few games longer for them.
That being said, we’re really impressed with the stand that Niagara County Legislator John Syracuse has taken.  Syracuse is leading the fight against another taxpayer-funded giveaway: free cell phones for those with low incomes.  Syracuse specifically called out Congress, and by extension, the politically-endangered Kathy Hochul.  What’s somewhat surprising, though, is that Syracuse found a unanimous County Legislature lining up behind him on this issue.
The free cell phones stem from the FCC is abusing the hell out of a 1930s law that mandated a Universal Service Fee to run telephone lines to poor and backwards places, like the Tennessee Valley of that era.  The intention was never to hand out free cell phones to everyone receiving Medicaid, although that’s apparently what it has morphed into. The problem is, no one is regulating who's getting the phones, or what they're being used for.
Syracuse has previously distinguished himself by his willingness to take on fuzzy-headed liberal programs.  This is no exception.
Well done.

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