It’s Wednesday night July 15th and we made it back safely from Dystopia…I mean Albany of course…
I know everyone is taking a shot at Albany these days but it is –by any measure-a dystopia.
For you lazybones who are too tired to look up ‘dystopia’ -after working three jobs to pay your property taxes- I’ll tell you it’s the opposite of ‘utopia’…you knew ‘dystopia’ wasn’t a good place to be, didn’t you… because it’s Albany.
Nobody says anything good about our state government –not even the people who work there… like legislators.
They –especially- seek to distance themselves from the legislative bodies of which they are members.
It’s as if there were a very bad and dysfunctional virtual entity called a “Senate” and none of the Senators had anything to do with it!
A spectral, ghost of a Senate…Quick! Call the Senate busters! There it is around the corner! Get it!
At least BC (before the coup) the senators just blamed the opposing party for everything that went wrong…but now AC -Oh you know…after the coup- the senators (whom we cornered in the crowded, furtive corridor outside the senate chamber) shake their heads and grimace at this odd thing called the “NYS Senate”…as if it had nothing to do with them, the senators.
I suggest the taxpayers foreclose on the Senate…the capitol building must be worth a lot.
The Senators? Not so much.
From my disapproving tone you know we didn’t get our property tax relief bill on the Senate agenda for a vote today or tomorrow…no circuit breaker this session…..no leaders’promises kept….no relief for homeowners and renters…..more foreclosures….more despair…..
BC we had a lock on it…AC there wasn’t the time or even a functioning Senate to get our circuit breaker and a reform component passed.
But when September comes-and if the legislature is called back into session which we think it will be- we call in our chits.
There wasn’t anyone to whom we’ve spoken who didn’t promise property tax reform action in September (and yes, I know what promises in Albany are worth.)…
Taxnightmare.org will be working on prop. tax reform all summer and the Omnibus Consortium - of which taxnightmare.org is a (rowdy)member- is planning a summit in August….
But now I want to convey the flavor of that corridor outside the grandiose senate chamber today… and everyday.
For those of you who have never had to hang out waiting to talk to passing legislators….here it is.
Gilt (or yes, guilt) is the big thing overall…muted and opulent was no doubt the intent of the original architects and designers… BUT the general overall impression is of a corridor in an over-the -top WPA built courthouse filled with clumps of lawyers and their patently guilty embezzler clients….all wearing good suits and silk ties and talking softly as if deals are being consummated or plea bargains are being considered…..
One sees legislators, office seekers, media folks, lobbyists, guards, aides, synchophants ….(a lot of T&A…I’m allowed to say that because I’m old and smart-alecky and covered by the first amendment and because it happens to be true.)..and -of course -your faithful and hard working Taxnightmare.org and the other good guy groups in the Omnibus Consortium..
Earlier-before hanging out in the corridor-we met with Senator Sampson’s Chief of Staff Michelle Trotman . Senator Sampson is the new head of the Dem Conference….part of the AC deal.
…..good meeting, good Chief of Staff….but under the circumstances we were just keeping up the pressure for September…not expecting any action in the one or two days left after the historic melt -down of NYS government.
As for the Assembly -while the Senate was turning into a glutinous mass -the Assembly was debating adding calorie counts to restaurant menus on the last day of their disastrously unproductive session vis-à-vis property tax reform. (I know I told you that already but even I can hardly believe it.)
Is there any doubt that our legislators -in their delusional state-think they are in Albany to audition to be extras in “TITANIC, THE MUSICAL!”?
We DID manage a nice corridor conversation with Senator Breslin (D)-straight shooter- Omnibus supporter from the get go…
…..and got the brush-off from Sen.Johnson (D) Nassau ( film noir heavy whose girl is Joan Blondell… and THEN she meets Bogart…hey, give me a break…. I need to amuse myself. We’re in a crowded hall and I observe -PC or not- that nobody of any sexual orientation - is even playfully attempting to pinch anybody else’s fanny…as if I needed further proof they are cold-blooded, concretized animals).
Sen. Johnson has the bill we like bottled up in his committee and swears it will be a cold day in hell (or words to that effect) before he lets it out for a vote because he favors another Circuit Breaker…hey it’s nice everyone has a favorite circuit breaker…NOW MOVE SOMETHING OUT THERE for a vote, guys and gals.. and we’ll talk.
To top it all off the Dems don’t have a quorum to call the meeting anyway because one of their Senators took this exact moment to go on his honeymoon??? –(to Dubai we heard, where they have no property taxes and lots of money and the combination makes everyone happy-)
Please send me your thoughts on this romantic timing and don’t bother to censor yourselves.
Nothing you’re thinking is as censorable as what I’m thinking.
So there we were in THE corridor in the Capitol Bldg. in Albany when someone who knows me from the start (six years ago) of Taxnightmare’s property tax reform campaign says cheerily , “Still working on it, huh?”