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Letters to the Editor for Feb. 10

Monday, February 10, 2014
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Consolidate all primaries in N.Y. to one date, in June

The 2012 election calendar was hectic. With the presidential primary in April, the federal primary in June, the state primary in September and the general election in November, there was much confusion for voters — which led to a drop in voter participation. This chaotic schedule also hampered our troops from participating in the very democracy they defend [Feb. 3 editorial].

In January, the Assembly passed legislation I sponsored, consolidating the election calendar so that state and federal primaries would be held the same day, the fourth Tuesday in June. Preliminary results from my recent constituent survey show that approximately 90 percent of my constituents support this effort.

This bill also ensures that ballots for military voters get sent out 45 days before a primary or general election so our troops will be able to return their absentee ballots in time.

Until 1974, New York’s primaries were held in June. I am confident we can use this schedule again.

Consolidating federal and state primaries to a June date would save taxpayers $50 million. It will ensure that military personnel and New Yorkers living abroad have an opportunity to vote. Lastly, it will prevent the need to have two separate primaries in 2014 for federal and state elections, and in 2016 it will prevent three separate primaries.

Please help me by contacting members of the state Senate to pass this legislation as soon as possible so we can save taxpayer dollars and encourage voters to participate in primary elections.

Sandy Galef

Albany

The writer is an assemblywoman.

Fast track on trade will only kill more U.S. jobs

President Obama claimed in his State of the Union address to be concerned about the rising disparity of income between the wealthy and others [Feb. 2 Gazette]. If his concern is sincere, there’s something he can do right away: stop trying to get “fast track” authority for new trade agreements, and stop seeking a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

The TPP is being negotiated, under secretive conditions, with 11 other countries, including Japan and Vietnam. What’s known about it is based mostly on leaks, but it will probably have effects like those of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which include eliminating U.S. jobs and allowing companies to cut the pay of many remaining jobs by threatening to move them out of the United States.

Although NAFTA’s supporters claimed it would create jobs, the opposite happened and huge numbers of U.S. jobs were lost. It’s happening again with the Korea Free Trade Agreement. Both here and abroad, major investors make out well under these agreements while workers lose.

Now, Obama wants “fast track” authority, under which Congress would vote on trade agreements with only limited time for debate and no ability to make amendments. Congress should reject “fast track.” Railroading trade agreements through Congress will only make inequality worse.

Susan J. DuBois

Albany

Supermarket not a good place for sick

Re Feb. 7 article, “Ellis, Price Chopper join forces for QuickCare clinics”: Eeeww ... who wants to go grocery shopping next to a health clinic with a bunch of sick people?

Noreen Hansen

Rotterdam Junction

A foot of snow is no emergency, governor!

I understand that Gov. Cuomo is after federal dollars, but New Yorkers can handle 12 inches of snow. [Last week’s snowstorm was] not a state of emergency [Feb. 6 Gazette]! We have handled far worse and not cried for federal dollars.

We have better snow removal equipment than ever. Our commerce will be slowed down a little, but we will be back in action very shortly and make up for lost time.

We don’t need to be pampered into thinking we can’t handle 12 inches of snow, and that it is “woe is me!”

Gerard F. Havasy

Clifton Park

 
 

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