Village of Albion Election

Dear Editor:

There is still time to register to vote in the March 20th Village of Albion election.  March 9th is the last day for new registrations.

And the residents of the Village have a real choice this year.  It is up to each of them individually to consider whether the Village is moving in a positive direction as inexorably as could be expected.  One party has run the “show” for a long time.

Certainly, the republican field is solid and offers experience.

The democratic candidates—Joyce Riley, Sandra Walter and Jason Dragon—are newcomers who deserve serious consideration.  I know Village Trustee candidates Sandra and Jason pretty well.  I do not know Joyce as well, but Bob Golden, who has a lifetime commitment to improving the local community, assures me that she is very capable.  She and her family have been actively involved in helping where they can for a very long time. Together, Joyce, Sandra and Jason would bring intelligence and a fresh perspective to the many issues facing Village government.

Though I am mindful that the republican field has been trying hard for quite a while, I encourage Village voters to shake things up and vote for a new approach on March 20th. Vote democrat for a change!

Sincerely yours,
Gary Kent
Albion, NY

The Relevance of the Constitution

The Federal Constitution is the framework of our Republic. My introduction to it came from Roswell Sanger, an American History teacher I still hold in high regard. Drs. Harold Rakov and Owen Stephen Ireland picked up where he left off. I later taught about the Constitution for 34 years.

My mentors made clear that the Legislative branch was intended to be first among ostensible equals; hence Congress was outlined in Article I. The House and Senate, after all, have the power to impeach and remove members of the other two branches, as well as a major role in amending the Constitution.

Before further comment, it perhaps should be noted that the United States Constitution is a masterpiece that holds together brilliantly, has stood the test of time quite well and includes nothing lacking purpose. Its’ language and content are chosen with utmost precision. Context is also crucial.

Article II, section 4 indicates the grounds for impeachment as “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors”. Treason is, more, or less, defined in Article III, section 3 and includes, “. . . adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort”. Bribery is fairly straightforward. “High crimes and misdemeanors” is a phrase, like many others in the Constitution, which cannot be strictly defined/constructed and was worded the way it was purposefully to allow for/require interpretation. Otherwise, it has little meaning. The definition of treason, as the authors clearly intended, certainly allows enormous latitude for interpretation.

For another telling example of a section of the Constitution with no clear meaning under the doctrine/notion of “strict construction” one might check Amendment IX. It again makes abundantly clear that the Founders expected much of the Constitution to be loosely constructed. Otherwise, Amendment IX would define no rights whatsoever and there would be no purpose for its inclusion. Such language– as well as Article V– was meant to permit the Constitution to be adaptable to changing circumstances.

A powerful argument can be made that any determined effort to ridicule and devalue institutions whose stature and credibility are vital to our republic provides encouragement to the enemies of the United States. Those who denigrate the validity of our election results, use whatever stature and credibility they may have to question judicial outcomes, seek to undermine respected institutions such as the F.B.I., and regularly impugn the integrity of our free press unwittingly tear the Republic apart from within. As Fran Townsend, George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Advisor, said this week about the current war of words over memo releases, “. . . this public acrimony only benefits our enemies”. Perhaps under Article III, section 3, such political nonsense might qualify as collective treason!

Watching as the United States gets torn apart from within is beyond depressing. It is increasingly clear that patriotism is more than displaying the red, white and blue while simultaneously approximating Sergeant Schultz’ mantra, “I hear nothing; I see nothing; I know nothing”.

Sincerely yours,
Gary Kent
Albion, NY