EDITORIAL: Around the state
Excerpts of editorial opinions from state newspapers:
The Buffalo News on Attorney General Schneiderman and wrongful convictions:
What is needed in this state is for the governor and Legislature to institute systemic reforms in the criminal justice system to reduce the possibility that innocent people will be sentenced to prison. But the governor and Legislature are not yet ready to exercise the leadership required to achieve those reforms.
Instead, state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has stepped forward with a program that may directly help to identify and release those who have been wrongfully convicted, but at best will only indirectly help to prevent those wrongful convictions in the first place.
It’s the right thing for Schneiderman to do. As he observed in launching the program, the only winner in a case of wrongful conviction is the actual criminal.
It is encouraging that Schneiderman was willing to demonstrate leadership on this issue. But that’s not enough; New Yorkers need their governor and Legislature to meet their responsibilities, too.
The New York Times on backlash against corporate funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council:
A year ago, few people outside the world of state legislatures had heard of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a four-decade-old organization run by right-wing activists and financed by business leaders. The council, known as ALEC, has since become better known, with news organizations alerting the public to the damage it has caused: voter ID laws that marginalize minorities and the elderly, antiunion bills that hurt the middle class and the dismantling of protective environmental regulations.
Now it’s clear that ALEC, along with the National Rifle Association, also played a big role in the passage of the “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws around the country. That was apparently the last straw for several prominent corporations that had been financial supporters of ALEC. In recent weeks, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Intuit, Mars, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have stopped supporting the group, responding to pressure from activists and consumers who have formed a grass-roots counterweight to corporate treasuries. That pressure is likely to continue as long as state lawmakers are more responsive to the needs of big donors than the public interest.
The Dunkirk Observer on Vice President Biden and the Obama Administration’s energy policy: Continued...
Wouldn’t that be nice if Vice President Joe Biden were telling the truth. He isn’t, however, and he knows it.
During an interview this month, Biden accused Republicans in Congress of blocking progress in alternative energy such as wind and solar power. More investment in alternatives is necessary, he maintained.
It would be nice if conservatives of both parties in Congress were as effective as Biden charges in holding down federal spending for “alternatives.” But any restraint they may be able to force on the White House amounts to no more than raising an umbrella to ward off a hurricane.
During the Obama administration, billions of dollars have been spent on renewables and energy conservation campaigns. The infamous “Recovery Act” alone allotted more than $16 billion for the purpose.
No, Biden isn’t being candid — as usual. Once more he is using the “big lie” strategy in an attempt to smear anyone who questions Obama’s massively wasteful, counterproductive energy policy.
Like the little boy who cried “wolf,” however, Biden has lost all credibility with Americans.
– Compiled by The Associated Press
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