Letters to the editor, Nov. 29

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Funding Amazon vs. NYers in need

To the Editor:

I wondered why our Democrat mayor and governor, who never agree on anything, were both thrilled to give such an enormous handout to Amazon’s owner, the richest man in the world. Despite a desperate need for funds to put towards the welfare of over 100,000 homeless NYC students and the aging homeless population, some of whom you can see every day on the corner of First Avenue and 14th Street, and the benefits of free health care and higher education for NY State residents, and even for more mundane items such as repairing the ever-increasing potholes in NYC, despite all this our, Democrat leaders have chosen to grease the palm of the wealthiest of the wealthy one percent. I found the answer to this conundrum on the pages of T&V.

“Tenant PAC spokesperson Michael McKee…believes Governor Andrew Cuomo will be working behind the scenes to fight tenant-friendly laws” (“Democratic lead too big for attempts at power grabs,” T&V, Nov. 15) and “He expects Cuomo to continue to portray himself as pro-tenant while also trying to keep his real estate donors for his long-rumored run for president.” (“What a true blue NY State Senate means for tenants,” T&V, Nov. 15)

So if our governor and mayor decide to run for another elected office (does anyone doubt they will?) these “Democrats” will have the wealthiest man in the world in their corner, as well as all the donors from the real estate industry who will benefit from their gift to Amazon. As Deep Throat said, “Follow the money!”

So, We the People need to find a way to change campaign finance laws so election outcomes are determined by All the People, not just the wealthy, corporations, LLCs or foreign countries. Perhaps a maximum donation of ten dollars should apply to every donor. Also, a requirement that all radio and television stations, internet and newspapers offer free time for all candidates to debate and a law that forbids spending loads of money and taking out expensive ads to support their candidate.

Free speech should not mean paying for it but should only mean speaking in public places with one’s voice. This will be difficult to accomplish because laws are made by the foxes in the henhouse who love the status quo. It is not only the Russians who are stealing our elections, but our own politicians. We must find a way to stop them. Or, as Plato predicted in The Republic, democracy is doomed to end in tyranny.

John Cappelletti, ST

And now for their next trick…

Thank you to Local Week in Review (T&V, Nov. 15) for quoting Gale Brewer on Amazon’s plans for HQ2 in NYC, warning that the new development will have significant effects on housing, jobs and neighborhoods throughout the city:

“New Yorkers are being told Amazon deserves billions of dollars in payments and tax breaks to locate in Long Island City when we have no certainty on a range of issues from local hiring to the effects of rent throughout the city. This sets a scary percent for every neighborhood in every borough. This project should go through a full public review like any other major project and there should be a robust public engagement process.

“I’m thrilled that a tech giant like Amazon wants to be here. But New Yorkers deserve more of a say, to know what they are getting, and to know what it will cost before pen hits the paper on this or any deal.”  According to the New York Times, Amazon wanted to make sure De Blasio and Cuomo could work together before a deal. Maybe they could work together on fixing the subways! Nah!

Mary Travers, ST

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