Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Andy Spa-NO!

"Andy [Spano] holds the line on county property taxes – the fourth time in seven years that county taxes decreased or stayed the same."

I've mentioned before that under Andy Spano, Westchester property taxes have gone up 40%. Actually, 38%, according to the website of the challenger, Rob Astorino, but who's counting when the main thing is Spano twisting the truth?

Astorino isn't perfect. His fund to help income-qualified seniors with higher heating bills is the wrong way to do it. The proper way would be for him to donate his own money to a private organization, to which seniors can apply for assistance. This would set an example for the rest of us to contribute, instead of what's a very liberal, in fact socialist redistribution of wealth. Nonetheless, Astorino is far preferable to the status quo.

Ordinarily I would frown on a politician who says he'll fight for his jurisdiction's "fair share" of state money; Astorino has promised that in his commercials. However, Westchester County is a wealthier one than most others in New York, and it sends more tax dollars per person to Albany than most others. Therefore, it's not fair when Westchester residents pay higher taxes to facilitate government spending in other counties. That, of course, is another form of redistribution of wealth, when government becomes a big rat race. Each legislator fights over a piece of the pie lest someone else does. Right, Ted Stevens?

Spano's commercials seem to do little but tout his record of going after sex offenders, and all his endorsements from prominent Democrats like Eliot Spitzer. On his website, he indicated several unions' endorsements, which should speak volumes about the political interests he has pandered to. Spano also brags about these, among others:
  • Signing legislation limiting the sale of cold medicines to hinder meth production, which does not work.

  • Helping buy 650 acres of open space, and for what, when if people want to preserve it, they should buy it themselves?

  • Hosting a cyberbullying seminar, a clever way of burning taxpayers' money in order to seem sympathetic to childrens' psychological needs.

  • "introduc[ing] legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, sex abuse and stalking from discriminatory practices in the workplace and housing." This is a new one to me; I have never heard of someone being discriminated against because of these reasons. How about legislation to curb spending, for once?

  • Authorizing the county to buy a new helicopter so "the Dept. of Public Safety [can] better protect County residents." One helicopter for over 900,000 people?

  • Free credit reports for county residents. I suppose "free" just like the "free" month of bus rides? Who is paying for everything, Santa Claus?

  • Working "with the Entertainment Software Review Board to raise awareness on the rating system for video games." Does it take that much for parents to be aware what E, T and M mean?
I took those straight from Spano's website. His record is all about big government: how many different ways can he spend your money, and how many different ways can he buy your votes? Spending county money to build low income housing is a big way for him to get broad support from lower-income families and wealthy liberals.

On the other hand, Astorino is insistent about the main issue: the county must cut property taxes and curb spending. And Astorino is not just pulling a John Kerry "I have a plan" -- his plan is right there on his website: fiscal discipline, outlined.

One of Astorino's campaign workers was handing out fliers last Friday morning at my local train station. I wished them the best of luck, and he said that Astorino himself was on the platform, if I would like to talk to him. I really would have liked to, or at least greet him, but the train came. I couldn't wait for the next one and be late to work, so unfortunately I didn't find him.

Starting in several hours, may Westchester voters elect Rob Astorino. It would be hard for someone to be worse than Andy Spano's record of tax hikes and out-of-control county spending.


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