Political partisanship always existed, but it’s much nastier today

Saturday, February 16, 2013
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Political partisanship always existed, but it’s much nastier today

As a young girl I spent many summer days in my family’s antique shop in Latham. It was a gathering place for Albany and Schenectady politicians from different levels of government, including party leaders.

My father would encourage me to listen, and I did with great interest. There were debates, which were frequently heated, but never did the level of discourse become sarcastic or disrespectful, much less personal. They were gentlemen.

Some of those I remember were Hy Sevits, the Schenectady County Republican chairman and Matt Poersch, the Schenectady County Democratic chairman, both good friends and law partners. Sam Stratton, Mayor Corning, and off-duty officers from the FBI and state would occasionally stop in for coffee, antiques and conversation. They all had different points of view.

I remember heated debates sometimes lasting for hours. Once finished airing their views, the participants would often say goodbye, arm over shoulder, headed out for lunch or a political event. They were friends who respected each other. While they may not have agreed on political positions, I never heard name-calling or disrespectful remarks made. They enjoyed each other, listened with respect and sometimes agreed their original position was in need of more consideration. They truly cared about their constituents and were dedicated public servants.

It saddens me to think that the golden days of political parties are gone. Parties try to make each other look bad and stupid. Campaigns dig into the personal lives of incumbents and embellish on facts. Members of the same party stab each other in the back. No one seems to want to come together and get the people’s work done. Everyone is too busy trying to make his or her opponent look bad. “Never mind what they stand for or what they have accomplished, just go after the other guy.”

It seems truth is meaningless and perception is everything. What a shame. No one should compromise his or her values or beliefs, but name-calling and sarcasm are not the way to accomplish the work of the people.

We are a country governed by law. When a question regarding the proper role of government arises, we must make arguments based on our founding documents, not someone’s broad interpretation of them. We must make our arguments based on the rule of law, not the whims of men in either party.

If and when the people want to change the Constitution, there is a mechanism in place to accomplish that goal. It is deliberately not easy to do, which I am very thankful for. If it weren’t, our politicians would undoubtedly be up to even more mischief than they already are.

We need to keep them in check. When the rules are followed properly, politicians are kept in check. That’s the point. If they aren’t checked, we’ll have tyranny.

Sandy Verola


The writer is a Charlton town councilwoman.

Assisted suicide, like abortion, is murder

I couldn’t believe my eyes as I was reading the Feb. 9 AP article, “Assisted suicide on states’ agendas,” by Susan Haigh.

Abortion is bad enough, but to stoop so low as to have assisted suicide become law is ridiculous. Just as I believe the doctors who perform abortions are murderers, so would I believe that doctors who agree to assist [people] in dying would be murderers.

Murder is murder, no matter what way you look at it. If a person wants to commit suicide, let him do it on his own.

People should pay for murder: They should be tried, convicted and sent to jail.

We all have pains, we all suffer from something: What is wrong with that? That is life. Only God knows when we are meant to die.

If you think your pain is so bad, try looking at another person’s pain, and I’m sure that yours will not be as severe as you think.

Jackie Tegiacchi


Don’t cry for traitors targeted by U.S. gov’t

Re Douglas P. Conlan’s Feb. 10 letter, “Beware presidential power to spy on, and kill, Americans”: Are not those who aid and abet the enemy in war traitors?

If Americans join a Jihad (war) to fight against and kill other Americans, are they not traitors?

Why all the complaints about killing “Americans” when some have, of their own free will, joined others against America?

Why would they be still considered Americans? They would rather seem to be the “enemy,” would they not? Do we forget 9/11?

Ron Helie

Burnt Hills

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February 16, 2013
7:22 a.m.
Will1960 says...

Jacki Tegiacchi,

If somenone such as my father who died in 2004 and experienced nothing but pain and suffering in the last weeks of his life. He Could longer recognize his own children and had stated in his health proxy that he didn't want to live under these extremely unpleasant conditions, why shouldn't he have the choice to exit on his own terms with a little dignity?

I feel the same way about my own end of life options. I don't want to leave it up to God to decide when I die. These situations are a very personal and private matter which should be left up to the individual. It's easy for you to preach about someone else's moral dilemma when you don't know how debiliating and difficult these life and death decisions can be to that suffering person. Show a little compassion.

February 16, 2013
8:47 a.m.
tonijean613 says...

Jackie T- We should label you a torturer. How dare you attempt to force your inhumane and selfish viewpoint onto others. You need a reality check as to the real life circumstances surrounded the women, teens and children as young as 9 - I might add- who need to choose abortion to be able to live a normal life. In your viewpoint a child who is raped by impregnated by her father should go through the horror of pregnancy and delivery ? Really? That is subjecting a child to torture which in my opinion is worse than being death. Many young girls with no access to safe and legal abortions commit suicide bec they have no alternative or in many third world countries- live a depressed and tortured life. There is no morality in force your religious views onto others. This is America- keep your religious views to yourself and if you dont believe in assisted suicide or abortion- dont have one.
If you are really a pro-lifer- then go out there and work to end war, end the death penalty. Leave women and very sick people alone to make their own choices.

February 16, 2013
10:01 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Sorry Jackie, comparing abortion to assisted suicide just exposes your shallowness. People contemplating suicide have a choice a fetus does not. Everyone should have the option to pass with dignity. I assume you are not in the position of living with a terminal illness or unending pain yet presume to tell people, that are, what they can and can not do. If your last sentence could be any dumber, I don't know how.

February 16, 2013
2:58 p.m.
justapto says...

Jackie is another self rightoues self appointed do-gooder who believes she has the god given right to tell other people what to do.
Time to 'ignore' these fringe better than tho religious zealtos to the same destination as the muslim extremeists. The minority fringe few want to control the many.
Keep your religious right-wing unsolicited opinions to your self. They are not wanted, needed and stink!

February 16, 2013
4:58 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Everyone has a right to their own opinions and beliefs otherwise we would all be mindless liberals.

February 16, 2013
5:37 p.m.
albright1 says...

wmarincic, that is one of the most ingenious comments I've seen in quite some time. Liberals love people to freely express their opinions, as long as they agree with them. Which side of the political spectrum actually acts to suppress freedom. That would be liberals.

February 16, 2013
7:06 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

Actually, I don't think Jackie Tegiacchi is a liberal, because as we all know, there is nothing liberals enjoy more, than slaughtering babies.
wmarincic: Cute line, though I still think it was funnier when Rachel Maddow said it 2 years ago when talking about the tea party.

February 17, 2013
8:02 a.m.
gina99 says...

Sandy Verola needs to pick up a book on 19th century American politics. She would realize that intense political campaigns are nothing new and were more dirty in the good ol days. New York State is reeling from one party Democratic rule and the collapse of any checks and balances. When every Statewide office holder is one party you know you have a real problem.

February 17, 2013
9:34 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Maddow is a lefty liberal and have never in my life seen her show, so if you are trying to say I stole her quote fritzdawg, you are wrong. I searched the internet high and low and found no reference to it. Since you believe I plagiarized her please show me a link. BTW there is a reason she is called Rachael "Mad-Cow".

February 17, 2013
1:55 p.m.
stockadian says...

Murder is a legal term, meaning the illegal taking of a life. Since abortion is not illegal in this country, you cannot call it murder. Debating someone who does not use words correctly is a waste of time.

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