Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Surely you jest ...

To those who listened to my show (all four of you), you must have thought that I was either being sarcastic with my point today ... or was simply on some illicit narcotics.

To those of you who DIDN'T hear Dialog today on WLVL AM 1340, here's a cliff's notes version:

1) The Niagara County Legislature was caught giving an obviously unqualified person - who happens to be a political "friend" of the legislature's Republican majority - the position of County Auditor ... and the Democrats in the legislature said it violated legislature rules and just plain stunk of political patronage.

2) The Democrats in the legislature also complained that a well-connected law firm was given a $175,000 contract despite the fact that the request for proposal procedure was not followed. This law firm includes the chairman of the Niagara County GOP as a partner.

3) I went on record as not caring.

4) Caller after caller denounced issues 1 & 2 ... and several were equally offended by issue 3.

It's not that I think the GOP was right. It's not that I think it's okay to break the rules. It's not that I think that just because a political party has enough votes to run roughshod over everything that they should. It's just that I don't care.

This legislature - most of whom were recently re-elected in November - has done all this stuff before. And worse. They've raised taxes. Created plum positions for political hacks. Removed qualified people from positions and boards in order to make room for their cronies. And of course, they approved the $90,000,000 (that's 90 MILLION) tax break for a coal burning power plant. And they were still re-elected in November.

Maybe I've just grown used to their style of dealings. Maybe it's that I expect the worst from them. But in the grand scheme of things: I don't care who the auditor is ... as long as he does the job. And I don't care what law firm gets a contract to represent the county refuse district ... as long as it wins.

Now, if the auditor screws up ... or cooks the books ... then I care. And if the law firm screws up and loses the case ... then I care.

And when the legislature does something so egregious that I'm forced to care ... I assure you I will. And when the Republicans fall flat on their faces, I'll be there with a microphone.

But if the worst thing this group of GOP shills does is appoint a friend to a job ... or favor their party chairman's law firm over another ... we'll be pretty damn lucky.