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Guest Commentary on the New York State Constitutional Convention Call

Chances are good that the folks reading this have already heard that on the back of the November 7 ballot they will be asked whether to call a citizens’ convention to re-work our state’s foundational governing document. The other half of the electorate, regrettably, still knows nothing about this crucial decision.


At this late date, proponents still find themselves needing to dispel lingering misconceptions proffered by groups and interests dreading a change in their status quo. In response to some very legitimate concerns, and contrary to a bit of fearmongering:







Opponents of a Con Con, many of whom acknowledge that state government is corrupt, argue that the Legislature should drive the process and set the reform agenda before submitting items to the people. How has that been working for us? They contend that gerrymandered, well-financed senators and assembly members, with their unlimited terms of office, are more accountable, while convention delegates, who cannot run for re-election, will be “unanswerable” to the public who put them in their seats.


On the contrary, it is precisely because they will go home after six months that delegates will be insulated from the very special interests, party excesses, campaign money, and toxic political environment that have created the need for a Constitutional Convention in the first place!




Richard L. Taczkowski, M.U.P., is a former town and village officeholder and state Assembly staffer who served as a delegate to the “Critical Choices” Convention held by the New York State Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

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