Good Monday morning. Here’s a look at opinion content published over the weekend in The Journal News:
Saturday, Feb. 19
Adam Bradley: Editorial
We welcome the resignation of embattled White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley, who left office Friday after leading the Westchester County seat for a little over a year. We write:
White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley, whose personal conduct and questionable ethics have embarrassed city residents, spawned tawdry headlines and made even ardent supporters abandon ship, has finally stepped down after a year-long soap opera. The city is better for it. …
… The announcement Friday was long overdue. White Plains, like all municipalities in New York, requires leadership that is unencumbered with excessive personal drama, and a focus that is laser-like on the multitude of familiar public policy issues, from taxes and spending to recalibrating the government in the aftermath of recession.
Bradley’s conviction in December left a stain on his leadership, and by extension, the city. He has vowed to appeal his convictions on five counts, including misdemeanor attempted assault, criminal contempt of court and a harassment violation. He was acquitted of a more serious assault charge and witness tampering. Some of his wrongful conduct occurred even after the court issued a temporary order of protection. After leaving the home he had shared with his wife, the mayor rented a Hall Avenue apartment, and then called a meeting with top city officials for his new landlord. An ethics probe ensued. …
State bailouts and bankruptices: Commentaries
We published two Perspective pieces that examined the federal government’s role in helping challenged states right their fiscal houses:
Bailouts a bad idea: Commentary
Lyndee Kemmet, a visiting research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, argues against federal bailouts of ailing states.
States’ failures would be disatstrous: Commentary
Bogdan Kipling, a Canadian columnist based in Washington, argues that letting states declare bankruptcy would be disatrous.
Sunday, Feb. 20
Jonathan Lippman, the state’s chief judge, has proposed that all homeowners facing foreclosure be represented by a lawyer. We applaud Lippman’s plan. We write:
… In his annual State of the Judiciary address last week, Lippman outlined a plan to make New York the first state in the nation to ensure that all homeowners facing foreclosure are represented by a lawyer — a leveling of the playing field long overdue. Any homeowner in foreclosure who doesn’t have counsel would be furnished one by Legal Aid or a similar group, which would be expected to staff foreclosure offices in courthouses. Queens and Orange counties would be the first to test the new requirement; the rest of New York would follow before year’s end.
The assistance cannot come soon enough.
In 2010 alone, New York courts held more than 100,000 settlement conferences in foreclosure cases. In almost two-thirds of the cases — the conferences are mandated by the state — the homeowners appeared without a lawyer. In ordinary circumstances, the unrepresented parties are horribly overmatched, with likely their largest investment hanging in the balance. About 80,000 foreclosure cases are pending in New York, and lenders are bracing for a record year of foreclosures nationwide. Given the magnitude of fraud and misrepresentation uncovered in the lending process — in New York and throughout the nation — justice demands that some fairness intervene, even if belatedly. …
Voting machines: Commentary
Melvyn R. Tanzman, executive director of the advocacy group Westchester Disabled on the Move, Inc., offers a community view in which he argues that old lever-style voting machines are a challenge for people with disabilities. Many local municipalities plan to use the machines in next months’ elections.
Gun violence: Commentary
Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, urges members of Congress to support legislation sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y. and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. that would ban the sale and manufacture of high capacity magazines — like the ones used in the Tucson shootings in January.
Monday, Feb. 21
Planned Parenthood: Commentary
Anthony Felicissimo, a Yonkers resident and president of Advocates of Life responds to a Feb. 14 Community View from Reina Schiffrin, president/CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. Schiffrin was arguing against federal cuts to her organization; Felicissimo argues for them.