Golisano just doesn’t get it on campaign finance reform [Trail
Mix, Sept. 12].
He seems to believe that creating an aristocracy where the
rich govern directly rather than buying politicians is somehow
a major improvement. Metroland quotes the Golisano
campaign as saying that “the only guarantee to make sure a
candidate is not influenced by special interest money is to
The Green Party and Stanley Aronowitz, our gubernatorial candidate,
want to end the practice of the wealthy and special interests
buying government. That includes Tom Golisano. The Greens
don’t want a government of billionaires and the CEOs of huge
corporations. We support a Clean Money Clean Elections approach
to elections that eliminates all special interest money, including
that of wealthy individuals financing their own campaigns.
Candidates who raise a certain number of $5 contributions
from voters in their district would qualify for public funding.
Besides being more democratic, taxpayers will save a lot of
money by ending the practice of selling government to the
highest bidder. Wall Street knows only too well that a campaign
contribution remains the best investment to make, with the
donors receiving far more back in the form of tax breaks and
I am sure that in his own mind Tom Golisano believes his campaign
is not being funded by special interests. Most politicians
don’t believe they have been bought by special interests.
But even for a billionaire like Tom Golisano, money doesn’t
grow on a tree. To make his billion dollars, what companies
did Golisano sell services to? Will these companies possibly
cancel or expand their contracts with Golisano’s companies
based on his policies as governor? Will Golisano release a
list of all his corporate clients since he began running for
governor nearly a decade ago?
Short of public campaign finance reform, the Greens support
making elections more competitive by reducing the amount of
money spent on them. Spending $3,000 a vote in a primary and
$70 million to run for governor as Mr. Golisano is doing is
a disaster for democracy. We need to ensure that all candidates,
not just the rich and powerful, have equal access to the television
and radio airwaves that are legally owned by the public. We
support the enactment of a ballot pamphlet law such as the
one used in NYC where voters receive written information before
the election where all the candidates have an equal opportunity
to explain their program.
The Green Party supports joining the rest of the world’s democracies
by adopting a system of proportional representation where
votes in legislative bodies are allocated based on the percentage
of votes each party receives. We support the use of preferential
voting to make sure that the candidates who win have the broadest
base of support. For instance, most presidents in recent elections
failed to win a majority of the voters. Under preferential
voting, candidates would be ranked by each voter in their
order of preference. If no candidate received a majority of
the votes in the first round, the lowest-ranked candidates
would be eliminated, and the votes of their supporters would
be reallocated to their second preference until one candidate
has a majority. We support same-day voter registration. We
would eliminate the electoral college as inherently undemocratic.
We support allowing individuals who have served time in the
criminal justice system to have their right to vote restored.
We support term limits and the elimination of career politicians.
We support initiative and referendum, giving the public the
right to directly vote on legislation.
America has a long way to go before we establish a true democracy.
Electing Tom Golisano would be a big step backwards in the
Green Party of NYS
Would Jesus Do?
response to Jo Page’s column titled “In the Name of Love”
[Reckonings, Sept. 12]:
Before dragging Jesus into the “should we go to war” debate,
we should be prepared to present Him fairly and more completely
on the subject. Ms. Page’s article offers select aspects of
the gospels that seem hand-picked to support certain political
I could just as easily select scripture to support Jesus as
say, a warrior, not the meek and mild pacifist so often used
to bolster anti-war arguments. One could, for example, nullify
Ms. Page’s argument that “Like it or not, Jesus called for
peace,” with the following selected scripture:
not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have
not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Both conclusions, I believe, miss the point. Although many
would prefer to portray Jesus on a campaign for peace and
justice, the gospels emphasize over and over that Jesus came
foremost to save sinners, and He asks us to make a choice.
To the greater extent that the gospels stress the concept
of “peace,” it is the peace that passes all understanding,
received in our inner being, as a result of choosing Him as
Lord and savior. Is Jesus peaceful? He is the Prince of Peace.
But I’m not convinced he is a “peace-nick,” exalting the virtues
of peace above all else.
Ms. Page points to the atrocities committed during World War
II as examples of the violence committed under the banner
of Christianity. Have we forgotten that a warrior response
was required to stop the atrocities from continuing?
Suppose in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan
happened along the road while the robbers were still attacking
the victim. Would it have been right for the Samaritan to
have helped fight off the offenders, putting his own life
at risk for his oppressed neighbor? Or, would it be better
to watch him be mercilessly beaten to a pulp until the bad
guys leave, and then go and show him love? Yes, indeed, Jesus
preached love and gave us these words to epitomize what it
looks like in action: “Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Saddam Hussein poisons and oppresses his own citizens. Do
we love these victims enough to oust their oppressor? His
sadistic sons and secret police brutally torture and rape
Iraqi women. Who will love these victims? Had it not been
for military action by the United States and our allies, who
would have freed Afghan women from the tyranny and oppression
of the Taliban? As I write, terrorists are planning to kill
thousands of innocent people. Do we love these future victims
enough to deter the hands of their aggressors, through force
Ms Page asserts: “Can we ask God to Bless America and then
kill civilians?” (As if this were our aim.) I respond with
a similar question. Can we ask God to bless America and then
sit passively on the sidelines while innocent people are tortured
and massacred? Should we not seek to protect and liberate
the victimized? A peace sign alone won’t work I’m afraid.
No sane person, and certainly no true Christian, wants to
go to war. Christians are called to live in peace with all
men insofar as it is up to us. Sometimes we are given no choice.
Pro-Peace Israelis a Chance
Durfee’s article “All They Were Saying . . .” [Newsfront,
Sept. 12] served as another example of Metroland’s
manifest anti-Israel bias. Mr. Durfee repeatedly refers to
the counter-demonstrators as “pro-peace,” yet never uses the
same epithet for the pro-Israel demonstrators. Is Mr. Durfee
suggesting that the pro-Israelis are anti-peace? It would
certainly seem so. Moroever, Mr. Durfee quotes the views of
the counter-demonstrators at greater length than the views
of the pro-Israelis, yet the former group made up just a small
fraction of the crowd.
If Metroland were to become a truly useful alternative
paper in its coverage of the Middle East, it could start by
covering the diversity of pro-peace plans within the pro-Israel
community rather than devoting so much space to the hoary
and simple-minded arguments of some anti-Israel extremists.
the Sept. 12 Night & Day section, we published
the wrong photograph with a preview box for the
Albany Center Galleries Silver show. That
photograph (right) is by Thomas B. Maslanka, rescue
specialist with the NY Urban/Technical Search
& Rescue Team. The photo is part of Ground
Zero, Maslanka’s exhibition of photographs
on display at Shutter Speed Photo (281 New Scotland
Ave., Albany, 459-4526) until Nov. 11.
photograph that should have appeared (left) is
Emerald City and is part of the Albany
Center Galleries Silver show, on display
until Oct. 18. The new location of the galleries
is in the main branch of the Albany Public Library
(161 Washington Ave., Albany, 462-4775).
Erin Sullivan, formerly Metroland’s managing editor,
now is news editor at City Paper, Baltimore’s alternative
welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts
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Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300
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address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not
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