Assemblyman creates www.Spiritof76NY.com and “Spirit of ’76” Facebook page to rally support for legislation to curb power of legislative leaders and empower rank and file members
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today launched a new front in the war to end corruption at the state Capitol, a new petition drive and social media campaign to support passage of his “Spirit of ‘76” legislation for a rank and file revolt against the accumulation of power by legislative leaders.
The Facebook page, and new website, www.Spiritof76NY.com, have an online petition where New Yorkers can sign and support Tedisco’s “Spirit of ’76” bill and tell legislative leaders that they “believe in real democracy where the voice of the people is louder than that of partisan politicians!”
“As elected representatives, rank and file legislators should represent their constituents and the will of the people who have given us this honor of public service and not cede total power and absolute control of our state’s destiny into the hands of a few men in a room,” said Tedisco. “The most powerful voices in this representative democracy are not on the second and third floors of the state Capitol or in the suites of lobbying offices on State Street in Albany. Rather, they belong to the millions of New Yorkers from all walk of life who are fed up with business as usual at the Capitol. Those who truly want reform and good government must engage the public to win the war against corruption and truly restore power to the people.”
The “Spirit of ‘76” bill (A.8658/S.6475) allows for a piece of legislation that has garnered the sponsorship of 76 members of the Assembly and 32 members in the Senate -- regardless of party affiliation -- to bypass committee and the unbridled power of the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader and move to the Floor for a debate and up or down vote. Senator Tony Avella (D-Queens) has introduced the bill in the state Senate.
Currently, the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader hold enormous power to abuse the system and stop bills from coming to the floor even if they are mathematically sponsored by a majority of members from each house of the legislature (76 out of 150 in the Assembly and 32 out of 63 in the Senate).