Bowling Shoes? More Like Clown Shoes!
By Lori Lane
Elma's state Sen. Patrick Gallivan has managed to make national headlines, and not for something praiseworthy—which continues a troubling trend for what remains the most dysfunctional state government in America.
The Erie County Republican is the former Erie County sheriff, known for his law-and-order background, his good looks, easy charm, and now his commitment to bowling shoe safety.
Gallivan and Democratic Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, whose Kenmore-based district jogs north into Niagara County, have proposed a bill that will seek to end the alleged rash of bowling shoe injuries and lawsuits.
The Gallivan-Schimminger Bowling Shoe Safety Act of 2013, now wending its way through the Legislature, would require bowling alleys to post signage warning bowlers against the dangers of wearing bowling footwear outdoors.
We are told, the slippery shoes become slipperier when wet and could cause injuries for stupid and clumsy people.
Schimminger offered his defense of the act, which is being mocked in such places as the Drudge Report, the Albany Times-Union, the libertarian-leaning magazine Reason, and a host of others places: “It was legislation which led to laws requiring restaurants to post signs instructing how to save someone from choking. We have legislation that puts warnings on cigarette packages . . . there are many laws that provide for warnings to (stupid) people to do what is common sense. There may be (stupid) people who will look up and see the warning sign, and they just might be reminded that it is unsafe with these particular type of shoes that are designed to slide to begin with.”
Sure, Robin Schimminger talking like he just proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is laughable, but it could be worse.We could live Downstate.
There was one-time Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, the Queens Democrat, who had been part of the Independent Democrat Conference in the state Senate, who managed to reach across the aisle long enough to ensnare a Republican city councilman from New York in a bribery and ballot fraud scandal.
Malcolm’s rap is that he funneled tens of thousands of dollars into the hands of Bronx and Queens Republican leaders to secure the GOP line on the ballot.
Then there was state Sen. John Sampson—also a former Majority Leader under the two years of Democratic control—who three weeks ago managed to get brought up on FBI charges he embezzled $440,000 from the sale of foreclosed properties. The Sampson scandal includes obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
Then there’s Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The powerful speaker took the big step of saying he was “sorry” about covering up the sexual harassment scandal swirling around Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is planning on staying in office until the end of session.
Lopez made female aides in his office massage him and wear skimpy skirts and high heels. At least Lopez gave back. According to the Assembly investigation, he returned the favor by massaging his female aides’ thighs.
Gallivan and Schimminger are dull by comparison to Lopez—but apparently not any brighter.
Still, since they’re already obsessed with regulating what kind of footwear can be worn, maybe they could do us a favor and pass a law requiring their colleagues to start wearing clown shoes. For Silver, Malcolm Smith, and John Sampson, the shoe fits.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
May 28, 2013