Page A15 article text (OCR)
DemocratandChronicle .com Thursday,October22,2015 Page15A If this were one of Trey Gowdy’s murder prosecutions, it would be declared a mistrial. For 17 months, the former prosecutor who leads t he House Benghazi committee has labored to give the appearance of diligence and impartiality. But, in an inexplicable and ruinous outbreak of honesty in recent weeks, the thing is unraveling just in time for Gowdy’s moment in the spotlight: Hillary Clinton’s testimony today. First came House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s implication that the committee was empaneled for the purpose of hurting Clinton’s poll numbers. T his was followed by Rep. Richard Hanna, a New York Republican, voicing h is view that “there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary C linton.” T hen there was Bradley Podliska, an Air Force Reserve intelligence officer a nd a self-described conservative, who w as fired as a Republican staffer on the committee — in part, he said, be- c ause he resisted pressure to focus on Clinton. Podliska called it “a partisan investigation” with a “hyper-focus on Hillary Clinton.” He said the “victims’ families are not going to get the truth.” Prosecutor Gowdy is most displeased. “I have told my own Repub- l ican colleagues and friends: Shut up talking about things that you don’t know anything about,” he said on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday. “And unless you’re on the committee, you have no idea what we’ve done.” But it appears some on the committee, more than $4.5 million into the investigation, have no idea what they’re doing, either. Various Keystone-Cops moments performed by the committee have Gowdy looking less l ike Jack McCoy and more like Jacques Clouseau. G owdy this month made the sensational allegation that one of the emails on Clinton’s private server contained t he name of a CIA source, “some of the m ost protected information in our intelligence community.” But the CIA s aid the name to which Gowdy re- P erhaps alcohol is to blame for the clumsy pursuit of Clinton. Podliska told The New York Times that committee members started a “Wine Wednesdays” c lub and drank out of glasses imprinted with the words “Glacial Pace,” a r eference to complaints about the leisurely investigation from Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s top D emocrat. The slow pace leaves the s trong impression that the panel is trying to extend its probe as far as p ossible into the 2016 election cycle. f erred was not classified. The State Department asked that the name be r edacted, not for security reasons but for the individual’s privacy. Gowdy, completing the comedy of errors, then released the email publicly on Sunday with the person’s name, apparently unaware that the State Department had failed to redact it. A s that mess was being cleaned up, Gowdy was dealing with another, courtesy of my Washington Post colleague Mike DeBonis. Gowdy has spoken piously about keeping his investigation above politics and about refusing to raise money from it. But DeBonis reported that Gowdy’s campaign had returned three donations after the Post inquired about the money’s ties to a political action committee that ran an incendiary ad during last week’s Demo cratic presidential debate. Three $2,000 contributions had been made to G owdy by groups affiliated with the treasurer of Stop Hillary PAC. Stop Hillary PAC had spent $10,000 on robo- c alls last month to boost Gowdy in his d istrict, and its treasurer had been involved with Gowdy’s former leaders hip PAC. The Benghazi panel is unraveling We chose our syndicated columnists to present a diverse range of perspectives over the course of each week. Every day, we will offer a different viewpoint from one of these writers: E sther Cepeda Michael Gerson CharlesKrauthammer Dana Milbank B etsy McCaughey Leonard Pitts Connie Schultz Cal Thomas DANA MILBANK WASHINGTON POST This is not your parent’s taxicab company. “We’re a technology company that matches drivers in their own cars, who have spare seats, with riders looking for a ride,” Josh Mohrer, genera l manager for Uber NY, explained during a press conference announcing the company’s push to expandin upstate New York. Quack, quack. Putting aside the company’s ridiculous effort to conceal it’s uncanny resemblance to a taxi service, the New York state Legislature should debate the merits of allowing Uber to operate here. L awmakers, however, should examine this issue in a broader context. The debate should not simply focus on what regulations make sense for U ber, or whether Uber’sjob creation claimsare all they’re cracked up to b e. Those, of course, are important considerations. B ut regulations that protect consumers without creating undo hardship for people trying to make a few bucks are sensible — not just for U ber drivers — but for any small businessperson who has a car with spare seats that can accommodate people looking for a ride (for instance, ataxicab driver). What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. W e know the current rules are very inconsistent, and not always beneficial. Some, as Uber argues, are rather burdensome for drivers trying to f ill their spare seats. What regulations make sense for all? And more than a few cab passengers have complaints about quality, p rice and safety. If Uber can offer a better ride with fewer rules, can’t w e apply the same thinking to traditional cabs? In addition, as Uber points out, New York can’t afford to ignore any c ompany that says it can provide jobs, even if the pay the company promises would only average about $6,000 a year per driver. That’s not even c lose to a living wage, but for some people in our community it could make the difference between eating a healthy meal every night, or not. One should also factor in, however, the number of taxicab drivers and l ivery owners who potentially stand to lose their livelihoods. Equally important to regulation and jobs, are questions about whom U ber will serve. The company clearly caters to the cool crowd. The jet setters and late night revelers. Will Uber also serve people who don’t have their own cars b ut need transportation to get to the grocery store, the doctor’s office, or ajob? If not, will Uber cut so deeply into traditional cab services, that they go out of business — further marginalizing people who face transportation challenges? How would we address this concern? T hose are the sort of questions lawmakers should consider before let- t ing Uber, or similar companies like Lyft, in. But eventually, they should d o just that. Technology is disrupting nearly all traditional industries and services, often for the better. Uber, with its convenient app and reliance on GPS, is making us rethink the way livery services should work. Clearly there is r oom for improvement, for the sake of small businesspeople and consume rs. U sing a forward thinking, common sense approach, New York could turn this duck into a swan. Albany should allow Uber in Lawmakers should use common sense, but still embrace disruptive technology Basic humanity is answer Iam not “bent out of shape” about someone that doesn’t exist. What I am d isturbed about are the effects that believing has on everyone. Much of the strife in the Middle East has its roots in a god who “gave” agroup of wandering believers their l and. Another set of believers is set on d estroying the first set as well as anyone who does not share their belief. Believers inject themselves into our politics so that they can force their beliefs onto all Americans. They p romote ignorance by denying the m ost basic of scientific facts such as evolution, the age of the earth, and climate change. Many believers are homophobic; many seek to usurp my control over my own body. I will treat others as I would like to b e treated and try to do the most good for the most people. That is basic humanity. I don’t need a mythical being to tell me that. FRED SAUTER ROCHESTER Help teenagers drive safely October 18-24 marks National Teen Driver Safety Week and, while we all t ry to stay safe on the roads, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. W ith this in mind, the Ford Dealers of Greater Rochester would like to share some tips from Ford’s Driving S kills for Life program that can help parents teach their teens how to become safer drivers. First, engage in the driving process. Talk about safe driving and practice with your teen. Be clear that unsafe actions won’t be tolerated. In a ddition: » Buckle up. » Never speed. » Don’t drive distracted. » Don’t follow too closely. » Limit the number of passengers. » And lastly, never drink and drive. E ncouraging smart driving practices early on will help keep more drivers out of harm’s way. From, all of us, we wish you and the new drivers you know a safe drive. ELIZABETH FORBES, MEDIA RELATIONS GREATER ROCHESTER FORD DEALERS Football players help charity On Friday night, Oct.16 there was a football game between the Wayne Ea- g les and the Pal-Mac Red Raiders. This w as beyond an ordinary football game, for the schools had made this the “Border Bowl” and the event was set aside to be a fundraiser for the Wayne County Children’s Cancer Fund. B oth schools have had children who l ost their lives to cancer or who are currently fighting this disease. Both communities got behind this event by pledging dollars toward the points each team scored. In addition the schools c ontributed toward the fundraiser by p urchasing bracelets, making donations and giving it their full support. That Friday evening was cold and very rainy yet people still bought raffle tickets and made donations as the game p rogressed. Yes, Pal-Mac won the game but in reality the real winner was the charity as over $9,300 was raised. BILL BOLLING, CHAIRPERSON WAYNE COUNTY CHILDREN’S CANCER FUND Bills coach should fine players Given the number of unsportsman- like conduct penalties the Bills rack up e ach week, perhaps Rex Ryan should fine players $100 per yard penalized to be donated to a charity of their choice. C ould be a win-win situation, or perhaps for the Bills a “win-lose” situation. EDWARD LEWIS PITTSFORD Politicians filling recycling bin Iwould like to take the time to thank a ll the local politicians for taking the time to make sure that every week my recycle bin is full of political advertise- m ents. ALLEN GEFELL ROCHESTER LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CARTOONIST’S VIEW Opinion blogs.democratandchronicle.com/editorial/ Twitter.com/dandc_opinion Facebook.com/DandCopinion “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.” FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION EDITORIAL BOARD Michael G. Kane, President and Publisher Karen M. Magnuson, Editor & Vice President/News Julie J. Philipp, Senior Engagement Editor Sheila Rayam, Community Engagement Editor Len LaCara,Erica Bryant Anna Valeria Iseman and Jim Ryan Jr. Community Members CONNECT WITH US All submissions must include your name,address and daytime telephone number. Limit letters to f ewer than 150 words; essays to 450 words. Readers are limited to one published letter every 30 days. Send to Letters to the Editor,Democrat and Chronicle,55 Exchange Blvd.,Rochester NY 14614; email email@example.com. Call (585) 258-2250. Fax: (585) 258-2356. All letters and essays chosen f or publication are subject to editing for length,clarity and accuracy.