Gov­ern­ments must be held ac­count­able HR-1 bill would make elec­tions more fair

Albany Times Union - - PERSPECTIVE -

The sub-head­line “Fed­eral gov­ern­ment shut­down slows in­ves­ti­ga­tion by NTSB,” Jan. 1, is mis­lead­ing since the Times Union has been re­port­ing for weeks that the Schoharie County District At­tor­ney and the State Po­lice have pre­vented the Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board from pur­su­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion. I am sure that all of our state of­fi­cials are so up­right that the DA and the State Po­lice have no in­ten­tion of pre­vent­ing the NTSB from in­di­cat­ing that the state with its lapse in in­spec­tion pro­to­cols and Schoharie with its road de­sign and main­te­nance pro­ce­dures may have had any con­trib­u­tory re­spon­si­bil­ity for that ter­ri­ble ac­ci­dent. Most ev­ery­one is do­ing the best they can with lim­ited time and re­sources. But un­less each of us rec­og­nize when we have made mis­takes and hold our­selves ac­count­able for our mis­takes, we do not grow and get bet­ter. That es­pe­cially holds true for gov­ern­ments.

John Knut­son Sch­enec­tady

Money talks. We want to hear what it says be­fore we vote. Dis­clos­ing tax re­turns will tell us vol­umes about a can­di­date.

Stop­ping cor­rup­tion and other crim­i­nal acts in gov­ern­ment is my ob­jec­tive. HR-1 is a crime bill.

HR-1, now be­fore Congress, will cre­ate elec­tions that are more fair and hon­est. Those who have noth­ing to hide will rel­ish and al­low the light this bill will shed on cam­paign fi­nance, ethics and vot­ing rights of our elec­tions. Money talks, so know­ing the source of it for po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions (the Dis­clo­sure Act) and po­lit­i­cal ads (the Hon­est Ads Act) is im­por­tant to vot­ers.

Our elec­toral sys­tem is dis­re­garded by a ma­jor­ity of our pop­u­lace and dis­re­spected by many more be­cause of the pri­vate money in­volved. HR-1 will help even the fi­nan­cial play­ing fields by al­low­ing for mod­i­fied pub­licly fi­nanced elec­tions.

To fur­ther en­hance con­fi­dence in our elec­tions, vot­ing rights need to be re­stored. A new na­tional au­to­matic voter reg­is­tra­tion and early vot­ing are a must. As well, restor­ing the Vot­ing Rights Act and en­sur­ing elec­tion se­cu­rity will go a long way in build­ing faith in our elec­tion sys­tems.

HR-1 will help cur­tail the crim­i­nal acts of cor­rup­tion in our elec­tions. I hope my rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Rep. Elise Ste­fanik, will vote for it.

Lawrence Fine Green­field

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