Albany’s Dysfunctional Soup: We need a recipe for change


Regina Calcaterra

With the memory of a juicy gubernatorial sex scandal still fresh in our minds, the NYS legislature has become a laughing stock – a dysfunctional body that is the butt of late night talk show jokes.

If you’d like your state government to emulate the exhalted status of the Empire State, the recipe goes something like this:

1) Start with a finely diced fellonious state comptroller forced to resign for using state limos to chauffeur his wife to her appointments.

2) Next skewer an immensely popular govenor who campaigned on a platform of reform and then got caught in an illegal prostitution ring using the very wiretapping techniques he pioneered in fighting Wall Street corruption.

3) Then take years of legislative deadlock and heat to a low boil.

4) Throw in 8 pounds of bi-partisan legislatiave corruption made up of equal parts influence peddling and abuse of office scandals (the really ripe cheesey kind in which the Senate Majority Leader co-mingles public and private business),

5) Add a cup of indictments including a State Senator for Driving While Intoxicated,

6) Mix in 2/3 cup of convictions including one taken from the pages of The Enquirer in which a low-life State Senator is convicted of attacking his girlfriend with a piece of broken glass. (I’m tellin’ ya, you just can’t make this stuff up).

7) Cook this whole fragrant stew until the talk show hosts take note.

Finally, garnish with a shamefully cowardice vote on marriage equality in which the Senators ignored the opinions of the majority of New Yorkers (53% in favor, 39%oppose)who now favor granting full civil rights to all by allowing gay couples to marry and enjoy full protection under the law.

It’s time New Yorkers took charge and used the power of the ballot to wipe the slate clean. Republican and Democratic politicians who refuse to take on corruption must go. We need to elect NY State Senators who honor their responsibilities to represent all of us fairly and honestly including support for marriage equality. For those in the First Senatorial District (eastern LI from Brookhaven to Orient and Montauk) let’s start by electing Regina Calcaterra.

Ms. Calcaterra is an attorney who represents the interests of labor and protects their pension funds from corrupt corporate fraud and abuse. She was instrumental in helping recover billions of dollars in squandered pension funds from companies like WorldCom and Merrill Lynch. Doing so not only benefited the union workers whose retirements were jeopardized but all New Yorkers who would have had to cover the losses if they were not recovered. As a legislative assistant she co-authored and helped pass legislation to strengthen the enforcement of labor laws to ensure that workers are paid prevailing wages and she fought for the rights of the disabled.

Her personal story is inspiring…Calcaterra and her siblings grew up in Suffolk County and experienced evictions, homelessness, and homeless shelters. Despite the fact that at age 14 she was declared an emancipated minor, she managed to stay in school, put herself through college and then law school. She’s bright, progressive and has the tenacity to face down right wing conservative talking heads on Fox News and CNBC. Regina Calcaterra will be a key ingredient in the recipe to rebuild the New York State Senate.

For more information and/or to provide much needed support to her campaign, check out her website:

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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