Public service and the need for a new president

By Paul Fisk

I believe that there are many people who take pride in their public service.

John F. Kennedy’s admonition to “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” was still fresh in our national consciousness when I chose a college major in political science and a field of graduate study in public administration. Public service was considered an honorable endeavor and hopes were high for a more just and equitable society.

Continue reading

Judicial candidates on the campaign trail

Campaigns this year that have not drawn much news coverage are the races for judicial offices.  Despite their interest in contested judicial elections the Buffalo News has avoided making endorsements.   Ethical restraints necessarily and wisely placed on judicial candidates prevent them from fully and appropriately engaging.

That makes peer review very important in judicial races.  The WNY area has four bar associations that appoint committees whose members thoroughly review judicial candidates’ qualifications, rate the candidates, and attempt to publicize their ratings.

Continue reading

A day in the life of the campaigns, less than two weeks out

Over a period of time I have found my way on to the email lists of a variety of national political candidates and their committees.  Being a Democrat, emails from that side of the aisle come naturally.  On the Republican side I trace the contacts to my travels around South Carolina during the Republican presidential primary in 2016.  At that time the process was to request tickets for an event, so I got on the email lists of the Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Bush and Kasich campaigns.  Many campaigns have a habit of loaning or selling their lists, so over time the contacts spread far and wide.

Continue reading

Trump and McConnell don’t have any interest in helping local taxpayers

Two weeks to go.  The Republican Party and their fearless leader seem confused, disoriented and running low on cash.  Perhaps the hydroxychloroquine is having an effect.

With the real possibility that the Party may lose power on November 3 you might think that that threat would help focus their attention on pandemic-related issues, but no, they’re too busy trying to pack the Supreme Court with another appointment squeezed in before the election.  After all, they got away with ignoring Merrick Garland to pack Neil Gorsuch onto the Court in 2017.

Continue reading

SUNY Erie’s financial issues come to a fork in the road

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra

As regular readers of this blog know, I have over the past several years written many posts detailing the financial problems facing SUNY Erie, aka Erie Community College or ECC. The problems have been long-term and very serious.

SUNY Erie is not unique among colleges in facing money problems. Most institutions are heavily dependent on growing or at least maintaining steady enrollment since in one form or another enrollment determines most of the financial resources of the schools. In New York State and elsewhere enrollment has been declining for several years. The pandemic has made matters worse. Continue reading

Republicans want to take away health care protections

For many, many reasons Americans in October 2020 are focused on the pandemic and health care issues. The election is upon us. So let’s look at the record.

For the last ten years the Republican Party has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka, ACA or Obamacare). For the past four years Trump has promised the same. The Republican Party has failed. Continue reading