By Richard Hanna
Polls show that Americans hold their government in particularly low regard these days.
Upstate New Yorkers – including myself – are fed up with the inability of Albany and Washington to deal with the problems and issues most important to us.
Why aren’t we getting the number and quality of results that we need? The problem is not entirely the expected policy differences that arise between members of different political parties. What I have witnessed first-hand during my short time in Washington, and what I observed of Albany during my decades as a business owner, is that many times the problem is the very people we elect to office and the rules under which they live when they get there.
Consider these numbers about today’s House and Senate members: 211 are lawyers, 262 were previously state politicians and 100 were Congressional staffers. It is clear that we’ve strayed far from the ideal of citizen-legislators envisioned by the framers of our Constitution.
That is why I am supporting several efforts to reverse this trend and return to the idea that representatives should be just that – representative of the people and not a self-serving class of permanent politicians.