WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The former Executive Director of the Westchester County Democratic Party, Marc S. Oxman, sent this letter to The Daily Voice giving his take on how the 2013 county budget was passed Dec. 10.
Having voted for the 2013 Astorino budget, Democratic legislators Michael Kaplowitz and Virginia Perez are, no doubt, taking great delight in their assumed roles as great compromisors. Before we erect statues for them in front of the County Office Building, however, let’s take a moment to consider what’s really going on here. Are they truly the bipartisan voices of reason that they profess, or, instead, have they sold out the people of Westchester?
County Executive Rob Astorino sent down an astonishingly callous budget for 2013, which only makes sense if viewed from the perspective of his extreme Tea Party followers. As in the past, he proposed radical cuts in child care, health care, senior programs and other essential services. The Astorino strategy was to, then, negotiate concessions from the Board of Legislators. His “compromise” would leave the needy in not quite the deep hole that he originally proposed… but deep enough to satisfy his conservative base.
Since the Democrats hold a 10-7 majority on the Board, Astorino needed help from the other side of the aisle. That’s where Kaplowitz and Perez stepped in. Whether by reason of their naiveté, or because of promises for future considerations, they abandoned their party and abandoned the principles for which their party stands. By voting for a Tea Party budget, Kaplowitz and Perez are singularly responsible for the elimination of jobs, cuts in funding to not-for-profit agencies and slashing of vital services.
Time will tell why Kaplowitz and Perez voted for this bogus “compromise.” Let’s keep an eye out to see if they receive appointments from the Astorino administration, or if, coincidentally, the Republicans choose not to run anyone against them in the upcoming Legislative election. Let’s see if they are true believers of the Tea Party manifesto, or whether they are simply motivated by self-interest.