Al Capurso

Dear Editor:

It is increasingly rare that Orleans voters get an opportunity to hold incumbent County Legislators accountable. Every voter in the County has such an opportunity this year as Al Capurso is challenging an incumbent golden boy. That’s right; one out of seven has an opponent this November 7th.

Capurso’s opponent was all in on the sale of the County Nursing Home. Please indulge the sarcasm, but perhaps he didn’t realize that some of its residents are veterans. On top of everything else, selling it effectively raised legislator salaries by 40% as a consequence of a greatly reduced work load.

As I recall, Capurso’s opponent voted to give the District Attorney a new title (Manager of Public Safety) in 2010, along with a $10,000 pay raise. Six months into the job, the Sheriff and Undersheriff told me they didn’t even know the position existed!

Capurso’s opponent once voted to disapprove of proposed State legislation which would have increased the penalties for criminals injuring a law enforcement officer with a firearm during the commission of a crime. Did you have to re-read that one? It might have helped had he read the proposed State law before voting to disapprove of it.

I believe—though I could be mistaken—that Capurso’s opponent voted to approve rifle hunting of deer in Orleans County during his current term. This issue is not the “no-brainer” a determined few would have you believe. Approximately 90% of the sportspersons I know oppose it! It will further remove Orleans hunters from—and gradually reduce their familiarity with– the habitat necessary to support the resource they justifiably value. My guess is that Al understands the subtleties of the issue better than many, but I could be wrong.

But it really doesn’t matter what the public thinks, does it?

It appears some would handle the stone quarrying issue in Shelby by talking it to death. It really isn’t that complicated. The fact is that we are privileged to have a National Wildlife Refuge in a County with enormous environmental assets that we should take pains not to jeopardize. The President of the North American Bluebird Society told me in September that the only place he had ever seen a gallinule was in Costa Rica! He was dumbfounded when I told him I picked one up a half mile north of Route 31 last spring. Where does Al’s opponent stand on Frontier Stone’s proposed operation?

Oh, that’s right; he doesn’t have to say because he has an R beside his name.

Not for nothing, but Orleans County needs more Al Capursos, Paul Lauricellas, Joe Sidonios and Emil Smiths (may he rest in peace) to dare say what needs to be said.

Sincerely yours,
Gary Kent
Albion, NY

Time is Running Out

Dear Editor:

Formal collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians? I have my doubts. Russian meddling in the 2016 election? Absolutely! The question not being focused on enough is why they wanted so badly for Trump to become President. It is the elephant in the room. Our intelligence services agree that Putin wanted Trump to become President.

Why? Why did the Russians see our Presidential election as an irresistible golden opportunity to advance Russian interests at our expense? Face it, folks. They did. Intelligence experts from republican and democratic administrations have admitted it.

So what motivated Putin and company? Why were efforts made by Russian meddlers to sew suspicion and discord in swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan? Hyping racial tension and a distorted picture of the threats presented by refugees and immigrants helped elect a person who promised to protect America by banning Muslims and building a border wall Mexico would pay for.

Even before the election, candidate Trump did everything he could to demonize the media, those evil people who cannot be trusted to be truthful. The press that our third President and the author of the Declaration of Independence felt was indispensable to a republican form of government could not be counted on, according to the man who said John McCain was a war hero only because he got captured. If you think the Russians didn’t—and don’t—love that stuff, you may be delusional.

Confidence in the independent judiciary considered so vital to a free society, was another casualty of the new master of disinformation. Whenever he disagrees with a judicial finding, the man who knows so little about the Constitution that he can rationalize pardoning Joe Arpaio—a man who thinks you can tell who the Constitution applies to by looking at his/her physical characteristics–takes issue with a judge’s ancestry or dismisses him/her as too liberal or too conservative!

Why wouldn’t the Russians think a President who seriously—though often baselessly—undermines public confidence in the validity of our election outcomes is their kind of guy?

Lately our President has sought to stoke the public’s feelings of resentment over the Federal tax code. While it certainly can be improved, the desire to pursue making it more equitable need not be achieved at the price of fanning the flames of public distrust in the “evil doers” in Washington, D.C..

Unfortunately for President Trump—who certainly inherited every bit as much mess as any modern President—winning is what it is all about. Ethics? Smethics! Whatever it takes to win is justifiable. The end justifies the means, and the chips can fall where they may.

Before dismissing the above as “fake news”, ask yourself to honestly explain what his comments to Billy Bush revealed about him. Explain his disrespect of John McCain and Gold Star Father, Khizr Khan. What did his comment about shooting someone and not losing a vote suggest? The tax returns we haven’t seen are shorthand for, “I don’t really care what you think, folks”. The list goes on, and on, and on.

Admittedly, there may be a method in his madness at times. But when a deficit hawk like Republican Senator Bob Corker can question his stability and competence, and Senator Jeff Flake likens him to the Biblical Flood, it may be time to begin rethinking the narcissist in Chief.

Which of the Constitutional grounds for impeachment applied to Bill Clinton? Which of the Constitutional grounds for impeachment might Trump be impeached for? When Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said months ago there was a certain smell in the air, what was he referring to? Collusion, though possible, is not a pre-requisite in the case of a President who is in way over his head.

Sincerely yours,
Gary Kent
Albion, NY