Document:New York Newsletter January 2002 Free New York
F R E E N E W Y O R K
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1.) A Reply to the State of the State Speech: Heroes & Freedom 2.) LPNY Fighting Martial Arts School Licensing 3.) SCOPE NY Targets Pataki Gun Laws 4.) Candidates for Governor Announced 5.) Preliminary 2002 Convention Info 6.) Reconsidering Rockefeller Drug Laws 7.) Changes to Party By-Laws Proposed 8.) Treasurer's Report
February 28, 2002 Deadline for FNY articles
March 2002 Next Issue of FNY
April 13 & 14, 2002 LPNY State Convention Rochester, NY Sheraton Four Points Hotel
All address changes/corrections should be sent to:
The Libertarian Party Watergate Office Building 2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100 Washington, DC 20037
A Reply to the State of the State Speech: Heroes & Freedom
A Libertarian's Response HEROES AND FREEDOM
On January 9, Gov. Pataki delivered his State of the State speech. It concentrated, understandably, on the attacks of September 11 and the response to it. He listed numerous acts of heroism as well as some of the heroes, and rightly so. Those criminal acts have had a tremendous effect on the people of New York and its economy. The heroes of September 11, the police, fire department, EMTs, the National Guard, etc. helped New York get through a traumatic experience. Even John and Mary Doe, the average citizens of this great State, demonstrated their heroism by donating money, blood, food, and clothing to those directly effected by the attacks. They showed that people will respond, voluntarily, as long as they are made aware of a genuine need and they believe that their money will be well spent. The accomplishments of caring individuals are awe-inspiring, when they are free to act. But now it is time to move forward and start rebuilding New York. This will require a new group of heroes -- heroes who also must be free to act. These heroes are the business people and entrepreneurs of New York. They create the jobs, the wealth, the products and services, and the opportunities that will make New York's future better than its present. Just as it would have been unconscionable to hinder the work of the emergency response people, it would be unconscionable to interfere, now, with the heroes rebuilding New York. Governor Pataki likes to remind us about how his tax cuts have changed New York's economy for the better. Compared to the ever increasing taxation and regulation of his predecessor, Mario Cuomo, Pataki's tiny and targeted tax cuts do indeed look good. Now that the Governor has shown the wisdom of tax cuts, and considering the devastation to New York's economy, we must now go beyond the tepid acts of the past and be more bold. Ordinarily, we libertarians would call for the politicians to adhere to the Constitution and recognize the necessary restraints on government that it includes. But in these times, I make a more modest proposal -- reduce the level of taxation and regulation in New York State down to the national average. Even with the current "bare-bones" budget, government spending and taxing are roughly 28% above the national average. My proposal would free up an enormous amount of capital that could be re-invested in New York. Deregulation would remove many of the shackles that prevent business people from expanding their operations in New York. While the Governor recognized that access to capital is the number one complaint of small business owners, his "solution" to this problem is wrongheaded. In a time when the state's finances are in disarray from the attacks and from recession, he proposes a new spending program that would provide loans to small businesses and start-up companies. He would tax away what little capital businesses have, funnel it through a government bureaucracy, and return whatever remains to a few, selected companies. While our economy is reeling, the Governor proposes to make matters worse. Clearly, broad and deep tax cuts are now needed. This would allow successful businesses to keep their capital instead of having it siphoned from them and redistributed to unsuccessful companies that have political connections. Similarly, deregulation will free up the capital that is currently spent dealing with red-tape from Albany. It will also allow the State to remove workers from its payroll thereby freeing up that labor for the productive, private sector of the economy. In the hours and days after the attack on the World Trade Center, many heroes made sacrifices to help others. Some made the ultimate sacrifice -- they gave their lives. Now it is time for the politicians in Albany to make sacrifices. Reject the status quo of playing political games while New York bleeds. Act boldly to reduce the twin shackles of high taxes and excessive regulation so that the next group of heroes, now taking the field, will be free to rebuild New York.
LPNY FIGHTING MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL LICENSING
NY State Sen. Marchi has introduced a bill (S3836) to license martial arts instructors and schools. The LPNY is sending petitions to martial arts schools across the state in an effort to gather enough signatures to stop the proposed legislation. Marchi claims that, "Minimum education requirements must be established to protect students." However, he offers no examples of problem schools. Nor does he explain how state regulators will acquire the knowledge and commonsense to create those "minimum education requirements." If you can help with our petitions, contact Albert Dedicke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCOPE NY TARGETS PATAKI GUN LAWS
SCOPE NY (Shooter's Committee on Political Education) is challenging the 2000 Pataki 5-point anti-gun law. Plaintiffs are needed who meet the following descriptions: 1) An individual who has been turned down for a pistol permit because of age: 18,19, or 20 years old. Proximity to the legal team in Rochester, NY a plus. An application successfully submitted and later denied due to age would be best. Clean backgrounds only. 2) An individual who was a victim of the "assault weapon" ban, either through confiscation (even temporary) or denial of purchase. Contact Ken Mathison at 585-865-5055, or email email@example.com
CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR ANNOUNCED
Don Silberger and Scott Jeffrey have tossed their hats into the ring for the LPNY's gubernatorial nomination. Candidates for statewide office will be selected at the state convention in Rochester. Silberger is a professor of Mathematics at SUNY New Paltz and was the LPNY's candidate for Lt. Governor in 1998. He will campaign against the War on Drugs, Gun Control and the connection between the two. Jeffrey, an advocate for legalizing marijuana, ran for Congress in 2000. He hopes to have candidates across the state running for office. He has a candidate application form on the internet at: http://www.votejeffrey.com/CandidateApplication.pdf
Preliminary 2002 Convention Info
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!
The LPNY 2002 Convention is Coming to Rochester!!
WHEN? April 13 & 14 WHERE? Sheraton Four Points Hotel
Syracuse Mayoral Candidate Dr. Jennifer Daniels to Attend
LPNY Official Business Will be Held on Saturday
Complete info coming in the March Issue of Free New York
Can't wait until then? Contact Steve Healey at (585) 529-9354
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
RECONSIDERING ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS
by Mike Smithson, director, speakers bureau for ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy
In 1973, Governor Rockefeller was fighting hard to show that he could be just as tough as any other Republican in America, and since President Nixon had recently signed America up for the "War on Drugs," he recognized it as an opportunity to jump on the "Law and Order" bandwagon of the GOP. Citing judicial misconduct, timid and unfair sentencing practices and also wanting to "send a message", Rockefeller sent his bill to the NY State legislators for minimum sentencing laws based on the amounts of drugs in the possession of the suspect. An example of the law: it mandates a judge to impose a prison term of no less than 15 years to life for anyone convicted of selling 2 ounces or possessing 4 ounces of a narcotic substance. The legislature quickly supported them and, voila, the Rocky Drug Laws (RDLs) were signed into law. New York had 13,000 people in prison then, but this signaled a major change in the corrections budget. Over the next 29 years, New York built 38 prisons (not counting annexes) and increased the size of the prison population to over 70,000. This doesn't count the additional 30,000+ in jails across the state. Interestingly, all of the prisons are in rural, mainly white areas, all represented by Republican State Senators and 93% of New York State inmates are housed in prisons located in Republican senate districts. 92% of the drug felons are people of color and here's another number for you: 65% are from New York City, so this warehousing of felons Upstate puts a huge burden on families of felons. Finally, the kicker: the US Census Bureau records inmates as residents of the district where the prison is located, not as residents of the community from which they came. New York has transferred thousands of people from its inner cities to upstate areas and, along with them, the government funding and electoral influence that are based on district population. Moreover, inmates and parolees cannot vote. For the past few years the legislature and the District Attorneys have been feeling the heat to repeal or, at least, amend the RDLs. They all cry foul for many reasons. We hear state politicians claim, "We need to send a message". According to the DAs, only 1% of felons go to prison under the RDL statutes. Then the DAs say we need the laws to act as a deterrent for drug use. The newspaper editorials are against the DAs by 100-1. But the DAs won't budge. Internally it's a simple issue: they can't give up the power the RDLs have given them. The RDLs have made them the power in the court room. They are right. Their arguments for keeping the RDLs in place are false, however, and here's why: First, the DAs are wrong about the deterrent issue. Why did New York City police arrest 50,000 people for drugs in 2001? Where is the deterrent? Next, the "message" isn't heard by anyone. The profits for illicit drug sales are enormous and, in many folk's opinions, worth the risk. Finally, the DA's assertion about the percentage of felons in for RDL convictions is disingenuous. Here's how it really works: A suspect is brought in for possession of 10 grams of crack. Our friendly DA offers a choice: "I have a 95% conviction rate under the RDLs. You don't want that. Plead to a lesser crime, give me a name or two, snitch for the cops for a while, and you're out in 18 months." The felon, of course, goes for it. The DA, having acted as prosecutor, judge and jury, gets a conviction without a trial. And under laws other than the RDLs. So, technically, the felon wasn't sent to prison on the RDLs but now you know why the DAs want them in place. I hope by now you are upset. You know this is a tragedy. It costs a hell of a lot of money and ruins lives. So what can we do? I'm glad you asked. Here's what has transpired in the past few months: An Upstate/Downstate Coalition has been formed to coordinate efforts, educate the public and put pressure on the legislature. The Drop The Rock Coalition can be found on the net at: http://users.bestweb.net /~cureny/up-down.htm. Upcoming events include the following: Feb 16 Up/Down Coalition Statewide Strategy meeting, to be held at the Schuyler Inn, (run by ex-offenders) 575 Broadway, Menands, NY 12204 (a little north of Albany). At this meeting, Coalition strategies for 2002 will take another firming step, specific statewide plans for support of different Coalition Events will be firmed; and some advocacy skills will be reviewed. Overnight accommodations at the Schuyler Inn, at a reduced rate, are available while they last; call (518) 463 1121. All probable attendees should notify me at email@example.com ASAP.
March 26 State-wide Drop the Rock Day of Education and Action. Includes a march, a rally, lobby visits and a musical celebration in Albany. Buses are leaving from set locations in the five boroughs and from various locations throughout the state. To reserve a spot on a bus either call Tamar Kraft-Stolar at (212) 254-5700 ext.306 or email at tkstolar@ correctionalassociation.org or visit http://www. droptherock.org and fill out a DTR Day Bus Form.
April 7-16 New York Interfaith Prison Pilgrimage - a mile per day or more walk "to major prisons to vigil, pray, and seek a new, more humane response" to incarceration and the prison system. For more information: Western New York Peace Center, (716) 894-2013, Judicial Process Commission (716) 325-7727, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or cregan@ Rochester.rr.com . Finally, finishing up this year we'll have a booth at the state fair in Syracuse, co-sponsored by many groups for 12 days, educating and handing out material to the million+ people who attend from Aug. 22 to Labor Day. I've given you a lot to think about. We need to change NY. We need to show NYers how much the War on Drugs effects our lives in everything we do and we need to show people how Libertarians are striving for real change. Join us in this effort. Attend the conference. Participate in the pilgrimage. Attend the state fair and help. Be a part of the biggest reform effort in America.
CHANGES TO PARTY BY-LAWS PROPOSED
Numerous changes to the by-laws of the Libertarian Party of New York have been proposed by State Chair, Richard Cooper. They will be voted on at the State Convention in Rochester on April 13. While some of these changes are of a grammatical nature, others are far reaching. Any member who plans to attend the State Convention should familiarize themselves with the proposed changes before the convention. They can be found on the web at: http://members /localnet.com/~libertee/ One provision would make it easier to organize county chapters, and the State Chair will have the authority to name a Temporary Organizing Coordinator in counties that are not currently organized. Another proposed change will allow for mail-in ballots for the election of officers. Among the more sweeping proposals, the number of officers would be doubled from five to ten. The new officers would be: Finance Director, Legislative Director, Membership Director, Political Director, and Communications Director. The new officers would not become members of the State Committee. The State Committee would be reduced in size by eliminating the five At-Large members. The regional organizations would still be represented on the Committee, but those representatives would be non-voting members. The State Committee will assume added responsibilities with regard to endorsing candidates and presidential electors. All State Committee meetings, which are currently open to all LPNY members, would become closed meetings.
Libertarian Party of New York Annual Treasurer's Report - January 1, 2001 - December 31, 2001
Category/Item Amount Totals Convention Registrations, etc. $2,020.00 Convention Fundraiser $1,575.00 Unified Membership Plan $18,633.00 LP National Special Incentives $0.00 Gifts, Individual/Member/Chapter $221.00 Miscellaneous Income $0.00 TOTAL INCOME $22,449.00
Category/Item Amount Totals 2001 Convention Expenses $2,735.14 2002 Convention Expenses (Deposit) $250.00 Free NY Newsletter (Doty) $5,441.15 Petitioning Expenses $0.00 State Supported Programs (Ads, PR, Web) $1,906.34 Candidate Support (Kramer, Daniels) $6,500.00 Misc. Expenses (Merchant Acct, POB, etc.) $80.00 TOTAL EXPENSES ($16,912.63)
12/31/01 YEAR END BALANCE $24,719.96
John Clifton Treasurer December 31, 2001