Dear Residents of the NYS 111th Assembly District,
This letter is to reveal my intent to run for the NYS 111th Assembly District seat. As you survey the field of potential candidates, I look forward to any questions you may have of my candidacy to win this seat having gone unchallenged for 6 years. My campaign is about the desire to change the priorities, process and accountability of government. I desire to be your representative promoting these principles sorely needed in our legislature.
Some of my greatest joy in life has come from serving others or making them successful. It starts with my wife and family. Then my church, community organizations and customers. All of my businesses I’ve had were geared toward that very thing. Serving others and making them successful. That’s what servant leaders do. That’s why I have been successfully self employed most of my life. Running for the assembly is simply an extention of serving others in this district and the great state of NY, and the farmer in me wants to till up some weeds and corrupt seeds in Albany planting some seeds of common sense priorities.
I am a local and reputable employer in Madison County now stewarding a 3rd generation family business insuring many living in Madison County and the surrounding areas for over 50 years. Between the family owners, we currently serve our wives and children, four chambers of commerce, several community service organizations, a school board, town board, fire department, community singing group, LEAH, cub scouts, two churches and look to provide servant leadership when opportunities present themselves. I see this candidacy as such an opportunity to make this district and state a better place to live and raise future generations. My campaign is about the desire to change the priorities, process and accountability of government. Like many of you, I’m also frustrated with our career politicians, being re-elected 98% of the time, unable to manage the affairs of this state and unwilling to make the changes needed in holding them accountable. They are unwilling because they no longer fear you at the polls.
I have been self-employed most of my life since graduating from Houghton College in 86’. I’ve managed multi thousand dollar businesses in the 1980’s &1990’s and a multi-million dollar business at present. The last thing this state needs is another career politician. I have no desire to leave the family business to make a career in Albany. What the state clearly begs for is sound fiscal management and a common sense business men/woman for a few years. The extent of running this race will depend on how much the following rhetoric resonates in your hearts as it does mine. If so, please call or email me to tell me so.
Career politicians sometimes shy away from issues that demand courage in the face of opposition. Again, my lifetime career is my family business, not in Albany for 20+ years. I will be unencumbered in advocating fiscal management, less taxes, reduced government, term limits, reform of public authorities, changes to Medicaid, limiting benefits, ending gerrymandering and many other issues that career politicians are afraid to seriously address for their own sake instead of that of New York State.
Career politicians voting for the same majority leader term after term does not strike a tone of reform that will change Albany politics. I tire from career politicians settling for the crumbs that fall from the table of a few power brokers behind closed doors. This process needs to change with more accountability and openness.
Career politicians often defend votes by hiding behind omnibus bills that supposedly had more good than bad items in it. Why can’t the career politicians simply pass a bill that requires up or down votes on individual items or limited categories of bills at the very least! They don’t because they want the public confused about what they are doing. They don’t want the accountability that comes with up or down votes on single items.
Career politicians often talk about the need for lower property taxes, lower energy costs and less waste but are often vague on specific ways to address them. I could have long conversations in addressing the Public Authorities alone with its waste and back door borrowing to skirt the NYS constitution when it comes to our debt limit. I would bring strong political will to balancing the NYS checkbook without accounting gimmicks and will gladly debate those who have voted contrary to doing so. As of today, 3/26/10, the governor, and both houses have proposed budgets that increase state spending, increase taxes and fees, add new assessments and add to the state debt. They just don’t get it. Mortgaging our children’s future is unbelievably selfish and short sighted.
Career politicians may talk about campaign finance reform but do little to lead the way. Career politicians want it to be about whom can raise the most money. That’s because the current system gets over 98% of them re-elected. Current campaign finance laws only promote bondage to special interests and corruption. Instead of candidates spending so much time raising money for themselves depleting necessary cash from the private sector, they should have those who want to donate to do so contributing to an account for the district race. Party candidates should then split the donations evenly as they come in. Let’s take the power away from large special interests groups with deep pockets and encourage them to invest it in free market forces and solutions to improve their lot in life. Let’s have the race be a battle of solutions, ideas and principles. I dare the career politician to lead this way by example. Otherwise, we can expect the same blah, blah attack ads come this fall distorting facts and lacking substance.
How many votes in the past 20 years of career politicians supported unfunded state mandates to the counties, towns and schools? It’s killing them driving up the property taxes, and the decrease in funding from the state with its current priorities only exacerbates the manner. Property taxes should not be tied to funding our schools. I don’t even agree with the concept of property taxes itself and have a better idea in changing our tax code being more progressive yet making sure every one has “skin in the game.” Higher property taxes only reinforces who really owns your land and home. Why would people want to come to this state and rent from a landlord(NYS) whose rates(property taxes) are the highest in the nation. It’s one of the reasons why people are leaving.
We have the Cadillac program of Medicaid but you won’t hear much from career politicians trimming it back in comparison with other states. Some are offering the wrong incentives for the short term gain of getting votes while bankrupting the state.
The re-election objective of the career politician translates into who can bring the most pork home. That needs to stop. That money needs to stay in the communities to begin with, letting them decide what and how to fund their needs. The State has its place in large public projects, but the reality of the budget dictates disciplined fiscal restraint without passing unfunded mandates to our counties, towns and schools. No budget will have integrity when you are raiding other funds dedicated for specific investment purposes. I’m sure some snowmobile clubs can relate seeing some of there dedicated trail funds go to the general fund to feed an out of control spending binch. This is just a small example compared to the many dedicated funds being given IOUs to pay operating expenses. It’s like your families going into debt more and more every month to pay for food, shelter, clothing and not cutting back on the 10 movies and cruises you take every month. Necessary projects within our communities can be funded with the right priorities and a responsible pro free market growth plan at the State level. Speaking of priorities, how about those two $800,000 doublewides for conjugal sex and family visiting being proposed for the Five Points state prison? Some of us will just have to wait a little for the tax refund checks I guess.
Career politician or not, how can any legislator after 20 years not be as vocal about an organization not paying sales tax in his district as he is about farming? I am all for free market principles but on a level playing field. No one is above NYS law. When the rule of law is compromised, anarchy from within will prevail. As our debt continues to spiral out of control, the Oneida Nation negotiates at its own peril if the state ever decides to enforce the laws already on the books. For the sake of NYS and those employed by the Oneida Nation, I hope wisdom will prevail.
Career politicians are there for the photo ops, but rarely “out” there passionately espousing ideas and solutions that inspire people and hold colleagues accountable for the abuses and corruption that deteriorates the integrity of our government. They may be focused locally on some obviously beneficial issues like farming and green jobs, but to have smaller government, job creation and reduced taxes, our legislators have to address a broad array of issues with courage despite what their re-election polling is telling them. They need to confront them aggressively inspiring colleagues to do what is best for New York State’s success.
My objective in this campaign is to educate the voters in how their government is managing their liberties, trust and assets therefore bringing accountability. I want to challenge the voters to define their beliefs and principles and to act upon them with their vote if not their participation prior to and after that vote. Voters need to believe that things are not “inevitable” or they have to accept the status quo. If you and the voters desire to change the process, priorities and accountability of government, you need one who will represent those principles. I am that individual motivated to try and do just that.
Your support and vote for me will begin to instill the much needed fear career politicians need to have from you the voter. They simply do not fear you at the polls. Until they do, little will change.
Appreciative of your consideration, support and ultimately your vote, Shawn E Skeele