If you reside in state Sen. John Bonacic's district, as I do, you have received a "Dear Voter" e-mail letter within the past few days.
Here's how it begins:
"We all know that bad news sells. The media has been telling the story of State government's problems while ignoring the issues that you and I care about, and which actually impact our families.
"The local papers, which mostly cover Ulster, Orange, and Sullivan Counties, regularly print thousands of words criticizing State government, without having bothered to send a reporter to Albany to find out what was actually happening during the Senate stalemate. If they had sent a reporter, maybe the public would have found out how the New York City political leaders who are now running our State are ignoring the rest of the State and the issues that are most important to us, such as cutting property taxes and creating jobs."
It goes on. But let me emphasize what he said above:
"The local papers, which mostly cover Ulster, Orange, and Sullivan Counties, regularly print thousands of words criticizing State government, without having bothered to send a reporter to Albany to find out what was actually happening during the Senate stalemate. ..."
It's a line others - including Assemblyman Cahill - among the local legisltive delegation have used in the past.
Here's the problem:
Newspapers that do have the wherewithal to send reporters to Albany to cover state government are even more critical
of what occurs there than the local papers Bonacic cites. They see the mess close up. It's one of the reasons I often link this blog to commentary in the New York Daily News
, which has been right on with its hammering of the Legislature.
The last thing Bonacic should want is the Hudson Valley press nipping at his heels in the hallways of the Capitol, bugging him about his role in the recent embarrassment in the Senate. The big papers have larger fish to fry - although a recent mention in The New York Times
of Bonacic's re-election vote totals wasn't particularly flattering.
Don't be fooled, voters. Yes, there is some work going on in Albany. And, yes, some legislators are earning their money. But the big story, the one accurately reported by newspapers large and small - by individual on-site staff writers or The Associated Press - is the dysfunctional state government.
Bonacic and his colleagues have some severe damage control to address. They've dug themselves a very deep hole this time.