What happens when disgraced political leadership refuses to resign? In New York State, apparently nothing. It’s “Damn the torpedoes” ... and the bad press.
Think newspapers are dead? Apparently not; it’s the written word driving this story to the darkest corner of the Christian calendar — to the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. That’s the day Chairman Frank MacKay called the Independence Party State Committee with four days written notice to the hinterlands of Albany for a “Spring Meeting.”
This is so he can purge the party of dissenters, and unveil his 2013 list of cross-endorsements. Of course, the usual stack of questionable proxy statements is hauled out to do the purges and to bludgeon the endorsements through the Independence State Committee — now in full revolt.
The majority of states view the Wilson-Pakula Act for cross-endorsements a hopelessly corrupt process and ban it. Not in New York State. Here, elected lawmakers can act in their own interest without restraint, and the corrupting influence rolls on and on unchecked. How can this be? Where is the governor? Where is the attorney general? And the judges?
The Independence Party — America’s third largest political party — is just too big to ignore. It must be assimilated or destroyed. Or federally protected like a national park. So petty functionaries who offer a candy-store approach to cross-endorsements are welcome news to politicians seeking re-election, everyone from the governor on down. Everyone except the voters, who are cheated out of an existing ballot line, and get fewer unadulterated options to vote for.
Here are the makings of a Frank Capra script: the assertive tycoon who would be president, the acerbic banker who must own everything, the banes of society all humanity must bow down before. But the legendary filmmaker had an artist’s eye and saw his dark characters as a force of nature that continues beyond the Hollywood happy ending — on into infinity. In the end, the evil in men’s souls is as unremitting as the northern winds.
Editor’s note: The writer submitted his letter before the criminal case involving Queens officials and alleged bribes for Wilson Pakula certificates went public.