Elections, non-public public meetings, international incidents, ethics training, and a one-way trip to Mars...
1. Paladino Wins School Board Seat
I am not sure whether the Paladino School Board victory was a surprise to anyone or not. What was a surprise to me was the unbelievably low voter turnout. It definitely explains why things are the way they are in the Buff. According to the Erie County Board of Elections website, Paladino garnered the largest margin of victory of all of the races. He carried 79% of the vote in his contest, taking home an astonishing....wait for it....2543 votes. That would be sad enough if the total votes for all of the School Board races didn't only total 12,187. Sounds to me like we found the problem. Turns out it isn't the Superintendent or the lazy union teachers. It's the fact that Buffalonians just don't give a shit about their schools....as evidenced by the fact that more people probably ate at downtown Mighty Taco stores yesterday than turned out to vote for the people who would lead the Board of Education that has near to a billion dollar a year budget. I did appreciate Carl showing up at the School Board meeting and telling them to touch nothing until he gets there in July. Yes, the truth is stranger than fiction.
2. GOP Holds Public Meeting Without Public
The issue of corruption in Albany has come to a head as a tidal wave of corruption charges have pounded the shores of the State House over the past month. In response to it, there is growing support for publically financed campaigns. GOP Senators did an end around on the Open Meetings Law, and hid out in a small conference room to hold a hearing where the public was actually barred from participating. An article in the Albany Times-Union reports "Republican senators would rather mock calls for reforms that might imperil their tenuous control than discuss the issue with the public. Now Republican leaders are preparing to block the bill from even reaching the floor for a vote." The chuckleheads in Albany are so desperate to hold power that they can't see that governing well will actually allow for them to keep their seats. At almost every level of government there is a loss of the ideal that they work for us.
3. The Gov Takes His Piss 'Em Off Tour International
Fresh off of his largest "Piss 'em off" event to date, with the passage of the NY SAFE Act, Governor Cuomo is working his magic again, this time with the Canadians, regarding the WNY's version of "The Never-Ending Story"....The Peace Bridge. According to this little piece in the Buffalo News, Cuomo blames the Maple Leafers for stonewalling his plans for improvements on the American side. Perhaps, if our northern friends don't bend to the governor's will he'll site some casinos up there too.
4. Government Cancelled for Day
The irony of this too rich to pass up a mention. The New York Assembly canceled their session of government business because too many members would be attending ethics training. The Senate also cancelled for the day, but not for as noble, or necessary a reason. Do we get a refund on our taxes when they take a day that was scheduled off?
5. Headed To Mars and Never, Ever Coming Back
This one is the stuff of science fiction movies. Mars One, a company based in the Netherlands, is looking for applicants to go to Mars. Cool stuff, right? Well, there's some catches. First, you have to submit your video application...currently there have been 78,000 videos submitted from 120 countries. They hope to choose 28-40 colonists, who will then train for 7 years, while participating in a reality TV show. When eventually the Mars mission lifts off, there is one more catch. It is a one way trip. There will be no return voyage. You are going to Mars for keeps. Seriously, if they don't name this ship the USS Mayflower, I'll be enormously disappointed. Get your application in today. It only costs $38 USD. The coolest part for me, is that we can watch the videos of applicants. I may try to watch all 78,000 over the summer.
Only in politics and space travel is the truth CONSISTENTLY stranger than fiction.