A waste of ink
Let me pick up a ball played by Cliff Weathers over on TAP, about the in-your-face waste of taxpayer dollars that is the average legislator mailing. And it's quite funny, really: living in a Democratic district, my mailbox was for years blessedly free of these things. And when they came, they were poor little things, the postal equivalent of the little matchbox girl.
I often like to refer to the legislature's mailing as "incumbency insurance." The practice is not only cynical, questionably ethical, and easily abused, it's outrageously expensive, costing New York taxpayers $27.3 million per year. That princely sum is roughly equivalent to the cuts being proposed to our State Parks system, cuts that might close 55 park services.
That all changed when we won the majority, and I suddenly became aware that I indeed do have a Senator - one Martin Malave Dilan, SD-17 - and that he has things to say. There's a well-done, four-color mailing every so often now. Quite the friendly guy, too; witness this.
Now, forgive me for stating the obvious: when I send out a birthday card, I don't plaster my face on it. Or my name, three times in bold type, in two different languages. Of course, now that I know who this person is, and that he's nice enough to remember my birthday, I do feel I'll have to reward him with my vote next November.
That would be practically incumbent on a grateful citizen.