Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Letter in Times Union Today

Letter to the editor: "Sweeney represents the rich, not working people First published: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 Tom Marusak's letter to the editor (Nov. 29) gives the erroneous impression that New York's 20th Congressional District is well represented by John Sweeney. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. While it might be true that Sweeney lobbied officials on behalf of the textile industry, it in no way compensates for the poor representation his constituents are receiving. In his feeble attempt to praise Sweeney, Mr. Marusak fails to address the bigger picture. During Sweeney's congressional tenure he has consistently represented moneyed special interests whose demands conflict with the needs of working people. Sweeney has been a staunch supporter of the Bush agenda. On the economic front his support for huge tax giveaways to giant corporations coupled with his votes to slash needed social funding is more typical of a congressperson who represents a big oil district in Texas, rather than a district in our state. In fact, his support for neocon policies has been so predictable that his recent defection regarding the House leaderships' 'deficit-reduction' plan was considered newsworthy. Unfortunately this Draconian plan of a leadership, which Sweeney's presence helps keep in power, passed. Since this leadership doesn't call for a vote until it knows victory is certain, it must have been known that Sweeney's vote was not needed. He can't hide from his record of repeatedly voting for legislation similar to the recent 'deficit-reduction plan.' The fact that he now has had to make a display of his supposed 'independence' is proof of the callousness of his past voting record as well as indicative of the possibility that he will face strong opposition in '06. The shadow of a future congressperson, who will legitimately represent constituents, is hanging over the 20th District. Incredibly, this shadow is already responsible for improving the quality of the district's representation. AL ORMSBY Saratoga Springs"

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