Just Say “Click” to Robo-Calls
As Ronald Reagan once said, “There you go again”.
Two weeks ago, State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer announced she would not seek re-election this year; instead of taking time to praise her long career and accomplishments, the immediate speculation turned to who would succeed her. When asked by the media, I responded that I was interested in the seat, but I would do some due diligence, as any prudent person would, before making the decision to run or not to run.
Unfortunately, modern-day politics doesn’t work that way.
By nightfall, there was an anonymous robo-call, insulting me, misrepresenting my record, (and ignoring numerous votes I’ve cast to cut taxes), specifically to make the listener react with anger. Negative campaigning, once again.
The anonymous automated caller (actually tracked back to the State Senate GOP) failed to mention I had just voted in December for a bill that provided the lowest State Income Tax Rates for taxpayers making as little as $40K per year, in nearly 60 years. The caller also failed to tell you I had just voted to eliminate the MTA payroll tax for over 25,000 Westchester small businesses. The caller didn’t remind you I had voted last year for an on-time budget that cut state spending for the first time in 15 years. And, of course, they didn’t dig back into the annals to salute the three consecutive years when County property taxes were cut under my leadership as Chairman of the County Board of Legislators (fiscal years 1999, 2000, and 2001).
I’ve got thick skin to survive in public life. And I have over 20 years experience in business that has toughened me to competition, and false claims. But it’s time to stand up and speak out against nasty, negative campaigning before it swallows up the whole American system of elections.
Residents, be warned. This is only the first of many such robo-calls. If I do decide to run for State Senate, I will face – as any independent citizen would – a well-financed machine ready and able to tell you anything necessary, over and over again, to make sure you vote against the candidate of the other party, so their candidate wins.
This is no way to run a campaign. My advice: hang up on unwanted, anonymous robo-calls. Click.
Instead, meet the candidates in person; talk to them and judge for yourself. Listen to the debates; research their records on your terms. However you vote in November, let it be because you drew your own opinion based on the facts, and not based on some anonymous voice whose sole purpose is to push another political attack.
Whether I run or don’t run, it’s time to say “enough”, and reject those who use this political tactic.
Calling Foul on Criticism of Waterfowl Hunters
I am greatly offended by the subjective comments in Cheri Howe’s letter, “Sands and Shotguns”, that appeared in the January 13 issue. They are nothing more than that considering the author obviously never researched the NY State Waterfowl Hunting laws before making generalizations.
I was not on the boat hunting that day, but typically I would have been. One of the individuals on that boat was my husband, who was with two fellow hunters, all of whom have been hunting and fishing on the Sound for over 20 years. They were all taught by their fathers and grandfathers and hope to pass this tradition on to their children. My husband is a licensed hunting guide and fishing charter Captain, and I can guarantee you that every safety precaution was taken on the day in question. Your suggestion of “bullets flying overhead” is overly dramatic. I am positive that if they were not within complete compliance with State law then the police officer in question would have done something about it.
My husband, myself, and any other law-abiding hunter that chooses to has every right to be on the Long Island Sound hunting waterfowl or fishing.
One of my pets, a trained Chesapeake Bay retriever, was on the boat that day. He retrieves waterfowl and has been doing it safely for over eight years. He is a loving member of my family and there is no reason why I should have to stop this animal from doing exactly what he loves and what he is bred to do.
As far as hunting, it is my understanding that it has been scientifically proven that we as humans are predators and that harvesting animals to eat is something that is completely normal for us to do. Whether one buys Perdue chicken at the supermarket, or goes to an expensive restaurant to taste quail, or legally hunts a duck for the dinner table, it is a normal tendency for humans to eat meat.
I am also a firm believer that taking a child hunting is one of the best possible things they can experience in life. Does every child know the difference between a drake mallard and a hooded merganser? If you are frequenting the sanctuary and enjoying wildlife, then I hope this is what you are teaching them. If that child were hunting it would be mandatory that he/she know the difference. A child hunting may also learn something about patience, as they wait, watch, and learn how to hunt waterfowl appropriately; confidence, when they accomplish a difficult goal they set out to achieve; and enjoy watching a trained hunting dog and experience the joy in working, teaching and learning from animals.
No one is hiding under camouflage. We have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or hide from. Waterfowl hunting is something completely natural that has been going on for centuries. Hunting is as old as the human race.
If one wishes to research laws on NY State Waterfowl hunting you can find information at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28503.html
Gabriella C. DeMarco-Piciulli