DeFrancisco’s letter was a strange
attempt to take every criticism about the dysfunctional Bruno and
DeFrancisco era of irresponsibility in Albany and attribute it to David
Valesky, who is a new Senate leader from Upstate New York in favor of
For the last 20 years, DeFrancisco sat
by with Senator Bruno and did nothing to change the broken Albany
system, called the most dysfunctional legislature in the nation by
independent watchdog groups, but instead spent taxpayer dollars on
partisan printing companies, TV studios and a lavish vehicle for its
Senator DeFrancisco asked for “facts”
and here are some for the record: since he joined the Senate in 1992,
state budgets have more than doubled, from approximately $50 billion,
to $125 billion—and all of those budgets passed with his support. He
has voted for at least two SUNY tuition hikes while in the Senate, and
each time the state kept 100 percent of the increase. Worse, Senator
DeFrancisco supported the loophole ridden Empire Zones program, through
which wealthy lawyers, developers, accountants—and Senator DeFrancisco
himself—lined their own pockets at taxpayer expense without creating
Senator DeFrancisco’s letter was
completely adrift from the needs of our State and our region. Our
state, including Upstate, is in a serious economic crisis. We just lost
Syracuse China and we’re about to lose Magna. People are frightened.
They may not agree with everything that Governor Paterson and Senator
Valesky are saying, but they want action. And they want Democrats and
Republicans to join together and act in a way that prevents a budget
catastrophe and further hardship among all New York State communities.
Instead, Senator DeFrancisco offered the
GOP “obstruct at all-cost” strategy with no ideas, just sound bites
about “New York City” that he repeated over and over and over again and
examples of “amendments” designed to obstruct instead of move forward.
Please Senator, enough with the finger
pointing and worn out recriminations. Follow our lead from the Onondaga
County Legislature in seeking common ground and working with the
opposing party to get things done. Assume leadership with Senator
Valesky, and work in good faith to find common ground by keeping our
state’s interests at heart instead of playing partisan politics.
—Thomas C. Buckel, Jr.
—Onondaga County Legislature