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wrote:

I freely admit to using a double standard here because I've never been poisoned by legislation suggested by an environmental group.
Alternative response: If politicians expect incentives, then everyone has to play by their rules. I doubt many legislators get into the game just for the salary.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Ah...what was obvious is admitted at long last... :)

Again, the bias and impugnment of motive thing. It's clear you don't know very many (any?) of even your legislators personally. If you did, (with a very few exceptions) I expect your personal respect for them would change drastically even if you didn't agree with their position taken on some particularly piece of legislation.
I suppose here's a good time to confess and let this pointless squabble die... :)
Since retirement from active consulting several years ago, one of my ways to "keep a hand in", so to speak, has been with local State Representative who happens to be Chairman of State House Committee on Energy and Chair of an Governor's Committee on Transmission and Generation and also recognized as a leader in energy policy and legislation at a national level. In this process, one soon learns how very much the reality of how stuff happens "behind the scenes" differs from the public perception and that it's mostly drudgery and lots and lots of hard work combined w/ seemingly endless committee meetings, hearings, position papers, meetings, hearings, ...
And that's all I have to say about that. :)
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Actually, I'm closely acquainted with several of them. Thanks for asking, though.
Getting involved on a local level is very enlightening. It's a microcosm of larger things that happen in Washington.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:
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I find that very surprising given your previous comments. Do you find them to be dishonorable people answering to the bidding of the corporate robber barons? If so, it's clearly time you need some new representation. Somehow, I'm thinking that isn't your perception of those you know well, however.
If so, what makes you think these guys/gals are principled public servants while those from elsewhere are somehow different (other than you disagree with them on some issues, of course)?
No response needed, just some food for consideration...
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Every one of them is probably twisted by a broken system which (unless you believe Ron Paul) requires huge amounts of money to get elected. Example: Town board member uses his position to invent a totally unnecessary project that will lose millions of dollars for taxpayers. Why? Because his biggest donor was a commercial construction company, and the donor expects something in return. Otherwise, why donate? Because they're big believers in the democratic process?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

So this one council member can dream this project up and commit millions on his own? Seems unlikely that's actually the way it came down.
Clearly your town needs you on council to be looking out for their best interests... :)
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I have no idea how he influenced the others, but it went as far as spending a hundred grand for consultants to do a "study", and the supervisor trumpeted the benefits of the project for a couple of years. Finally, an insider informed me that the project died an "appropriate death", very quietly.
There's local sensitivity to such things because during the last few years, the city of Rochester lost millions in taxpayer money, with a project involving a fast ferry from here to Toronto. Unfortunately, something important was missing: A business plan and research. It died in its first year of operation. No explanation is forthcoming because everyone involved suddenly became mute. The ferry was sold, and we're left with an eyesore of a terminal. You know who did OK because of the project though, right?

That may happen next year. I probably won't last more than one term in office, though. I don't believe in growth for growth's sake.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:
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And, if it were to occur that you were to make it, I will predict before the end of your term you'll be wondering to yourself how people could possibly not understand your pureness of intent and question "Who got to Joe?" in making a vote on a particular issue...
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You're right. Politicians never make decisions based on anything but the best of intentions. How could I possibly have missed this fact?
Thanks you so much.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

They're just like you--they're human w/ all the foibles pertaining thereto (well, maybe not just like you; you seem at least by your self-description to be of more nearly divine cloth although far too loathe to cast stones than was taught, methinks.) :)
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What foible would lead members of a city council to construct a hall of mirrors to support an unworkable business venture?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Misplaced hope for a new venture's success is a very common one, particularly when tied to the thought of increased tourism, downtown/waterfront revitalization, etc., etc, etc., ...
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That's about the only theory I *MIGHT* entertain. Just one problem, though: It automatically indicates incompetence for the job they're doing. No private venture capitalist would give you more than 5 minutes of time without a business plan. Wishes do not constitute a plan.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Well, it goes w/ the territory. What training and qualifications testing and certification will you have to pass in making your bid to replace one of the existing? Undoubtedly the same as they did.
There's also a big difference between government entities and business. Not all government ventures are ever intended or even thought possible to be run at a profit but are willingly subsidized if seen as being a benefit "for the greater good". Having not been to Rochester in well over 20 years, I can't comment on anything recent.
(I did used to attend an annual conference there for quite some number of years and had cousin and her husband who were on faculty/research staff at the med school. They actually lived outside Bergen on an acreage w/ a late 18th-century farm house. Attending the conference was mostly just an excuse for being able to get up there to visit them. I suppose that was just being like a politician, too...)
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Never attribute to venality that which can best be explained by stupidity? Also where did the money go to? Who owned the building that the tax money paid for?
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wrote:

I don't know who owned it, but I know who built it, and which of a small handful of law firms and architects made out well from the project.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

But it's so much more self-gratifying to make someone else out to be a bandit... :)
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We each have our own form of gratification.
There's a long list of things that need to be explained. The same slobs are pushing for an arts center, once again with absolutely no business plan, no numbers to prove the need for the facility, or theories to project where business will come from. The only explanation is that it will "revitalize downtown".
Just one problem: That assumes there are customers. The fast ferry project began the same way. It was based on the assumption that there were plenty of customers who were dying to take a boat to Toronto, instead of driving there. Unfortunately, neither of those two customers showed up more than once. Nobody checked to see if the Canadians were building a facility for passengers, so people were left standing in the cold rain when they arrived in Toronto. And, nobody checked to see if Canadians were interested in coming here for our world-class restaurants (all two of them), our baseball team (when they could see the Bluejays whenever they wanted), etc.
Incompetence is one explanation. But, I choose another. When people are not held personally responsible for the results of their decisions, you get bad decisions.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote: ...

But that again is far from graft or corruption as claimed initially...
I'm sure you'll fix all their problems and never make a poor choice. :)
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There are always reasons to be cynical about government. Always. There is no debating this fact.
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