Let’s say you just bought a pro football team that regularly has the worse record in the league. Your team’s woes are well documented. Team captains keep an iron grip on the locker room, and talented rookies rarely get to play. The team pays poorly, and many players have to work other jobs. Some players have even been caught trying to throw games in exchange for extra cash. Overall, the team has trouble attracting many talented new players, either rookies or stars from other teams.
The fans and sports writers are frustrated. They want wins, but they dislike many of the players and tired of the excuses. Thing is, the writers and fans don’t want to pay what it will take to attract new talent or established stars. They just want more team discipline — earlier curfews, fewer days off, shorter haircuts, etc. The fans, and most of the sports writers, are firmly convinced that the current — losing team — has to start winning a lot more before players get paid more. Though, how this punitive attitude will attract the players with the talent needed to win more games is a mystery. Other teams do everything they can to recruit new talent, including giving players better pay and working conditions.
Yes, you’ve got it. We are talking about Albany, and how we, the public, the taxpayers, the fans, need to do what it takes to recruit new talent into our state legislature. Bringing in new talent is by far the highest priority. Tougher ethics laws, much better enforcement and greater transparency will reduce corruption — but they will not give us a better legislature. Attracting new talent means hugely reducing the difficulty and unpleasantness of running for office, and giving the average legislator more say. We know how to do this. New York City Council has already done many of the most important things, and has had far fewer scandals than the state legislature over the last decade. Yeah, the fans hate it, the writers hate it, and they all want to punish the bad electeds. But what about future players? Where are they going to come from? Come on New York, ask yourself a question: do you want to win or what?
Putting a better elected team on the field
- Four year terms for legislators. (Instead of two.)
- Twelve year term limits for legislators.
- NYC style small donor matching program for state elected office. (With much tougher restrictions on campaign spending and political committees.)
- Legislative pay increase.