A Senator for New York, Please
ALG Editor's Note: In the following featured editorial, the New York Post does us all a favor by reminding the New York governor—and readers—of the obvious: elected officials are elected to serve the people—not themselves.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Blagojevich was right on one count: A seat in the US Senate - as a federal wiretap caught him saying - is a "valuable thing."
You don't have to tell that to the gaggle of New York big shots vying (legally, we presume) for Gov. Paterson's nod to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton.
But the key question Paterson should be asking is: Who would bring the most "value" to the people of New York?
That's no abstract query: At a time of record budget shortfalls, and with the city as the No. 1 target of terrorists, the Empire State is in serious need of a junior senator who can lead the fight for New York's interests in Washington.
In other words: a Sen. Pothole.
Remember also that New York - as Clinton's predecessor, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, never tired of pointing out - sends far more money to Washington than it ever gets back.
Effective representation in the Senate can at least slow the bleeding.
For starters, a New York senator can work to ensure that federal tax policy doesn't strangle Wall Street wealth-creation - and that antiterrorism money gets spent where there's actual danger from a terrorist attack.
For Gov. Paterson, that means finding someone of stature and with a willingness to fight it out in the trenches when circumstances require.
No easy task, for sure.
But he can start by tuning out the special interests pushing him to pander to some identity group or to choose based on irrelevant political considerations.
This decision is just too important to be treated in any other way.