85% favor New York holding constitutional convention
Majority says political leaders should not be delegates
Most respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll said they would vote in favor of holding a New York constitutional convention to consider amending the state constitution.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua and others want a constitutional convention to reform state government. By a margin of 85 percent to 15 percent, respondents favor a convention.
Opponents of the idea say a convention would be costly and dominated by the same interests that now control Albany.
If such a convention were held, a whopping 91 percent of respondents say, elected officials, party officials and registered lobbyists should be prohibited from serving as delegates.
Roughly 665 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Sept. 8.
Would you vote now for or against holding a New York State constitutional convention?
If a state constitutional convention is held, should elected officials, party officials and registered lobbyists be prohibited from serving as delegates?
The problem will be to find delegates who are knowledgeable enough to make good decisions while being unbiased!
-Dick McGavern, Canandaigua
New York State is seriously broken. We should start again.
State employees, attorneys and public employee union representatives must also be excluded. There ought to also be limits on advertising related to the constitutional convention to the extent that is not violating the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
-Jim Weisbeck, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
In regards our state elected officials: Shame on you for your deeply rooted party politics and aversion to all things good and right. Our elected officials show no creativity, have no ability to think outside the box and continue to strangle the people of this state with new forms of taxation. I believe we need a ballot referendum-type amendment to the state constitution that would empower the people and shake up these jokers.
-Jeffrey J. Paris, president, AeroARTS LLC
Are you kidding? As dysfunctional as Albany has been of late, do you really want the current leaders of our state to have an opportunity to rewrite our future? Not me.
A convention (that) may be dominated by the political insiders who have helped to create a totally dysfunctional government may show many voters what idiots they are and help people like Brian Kolb and better candidates shine bright for election or re-election.
We are long overdue for some reformation of our state constitution. Term limits and particularly a change in the residency requirements for our federal representatives are needed to get us out of the carpetbagger status that New York has for aspiring politicians like the Kennedys and Hillary Clinton, who have no interests in New York except as a platform to national office.
Nearly nine years ago we had a chance to support and hold a constitutional referendum, but we were scared away from it by a concerted, direct-from-the-playbook, scare-tactic campaign that was mounted in all media and with ferocious fury. The fearmongers hated the idea of "The Public" tinkering with New York’s "Sacred Document," which supposedly protected us from government by government and which was also to protect us from the tyranny of the majority. … Supporting a constitutional convention and, in particular, getting the right of public referendum on important issues that affect our future may be our last and only chance to rescue the state from nearly certain bankruptcy and continued catastrophic decline.
-Bob Fischl, Honeoye Falls
We need to do something to fix this mess of a state. Anything not involving any of the current lawmakers, party officials and lobbyists has to help.
-Peter Short, J.J. Short Associates Inc.
We should try anything to end the political mess in this state. I can only hope the public is fed up enough to resist the public employees union’s anti-convention stand this time around. We also need to keep those who have created this mess-namely, elected officials, party officials and registered lobbyists-from being delegates.
All delegates should pay their own way and all their own expenses. That should weed out the freeloaders. They should be prepared to work 12- to 14-hour days, at least. That should weed out the lazy. All those who have run for office in the last 10 years and did not ever get elected should be the delegates. We already know what the elected will do; let’s hear from the rest.