Upsets at polls not earth shattering
Steven Sanders in his “Politics & Tidbits” column of July 5 could be completely correct that the results of the primary elections for two New York City congressional seats last month “carry (anti-establishment) messages and meanings. And politicians ignore those messages at their peril.”
On the other hand, primary elections often have extremely low voter turnout – which included those two elections cited by Sanders (the defeat of Joseph Crowley and the strong showing in a losing cause against Carolyn Maloney) – and are far from representative of the electorate. Well-organized and financed outsiders often do well in primary elections when 80 to 90 percent of the electorate stays home. In a general election, usually 60 to 70 percent of the electorate votes.
New York City political history is filled with stunning upsets in primary elections due to low turnout. Those upsets proved to have no carryover to any political trends locally or nationally. In 1970, our local member of Congress Representative Leonard Farbstein lost in the primary to Bella Abzug.
That election did not prove to be a movement against the establishment even though Abzug was anti-establishment.
The same can be said for the defeat of Representative Emanuel Celler in a primary election to Elizabeth Holtzman in 1972. That also did not signal a movement against the political establishment in Brooklyn.
Back in 1978 when Sanders served as a member of the New York State Assembly, his leader, Assembly Speaker Stanley Steingut of Brooklyn, lost a primary election to Murray Weinstein (who?). That result again did not prove to be a signal that the establishment was being supplanted by the anti-establishment.
Jerry Alperstein, ST
Don’t encourage bad dog owner behavior
Sorry T&V… I do not think we should be asking shopkeepers to provide thick towels so that Rover’s rear doesn’t make direct contact with a shopping cart (re: editor’s response to letter, “Please park Fido’s butt elsewhere,” T&V, June 28).
A service animal is defined as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Since the dog was in the cart and not walking beside its owner then we can assume it was not a seeing eye dog and I’m willing to go out on a limb and say the dog probably wasn’t picking up items on a shopping list and placing them in the cart. Although I’m sure a Trader Joe’s staff person would be happy to assist a customer who needed help picking up or reaching items.
I do not want to diminish the needs of those who truly require the constant presence of a service dog. Similarly, I don’t want to cast aspersions on the many good and responsible dog owners out there. But let’s be honest…we are in a time when many think they are more important than those around them and that their needs and desires supersede any rules and regulations.
One need only look around the Stuy Town/Peter Cooper complex to make the point…dog droppings on the footpaths, discarded furniture, trash and recyclables left anywhere and everywhere, dogs in the laundry room, laundry carts used as dirty clothes hampers and don’t get me started on the noise problems, lack of carpeting, and failure of our property management to enforce their own rules.
So no, I do not think we should be making concessions or looking for ways to work around bad behavior. What I do think is that people should abide by the rules and businesses should enforce them.
And I think it’s incumbent on those of us who do respect the laws and rules to speak up when we see violations whether it’s in a store or where we live. Think of it as the quality of life version of “If you see something, say something.” And since we’re talking about Rover’s rear… let’s keep it off the benches around the complex as well.
J.M. Polise, ST