Campaign Manager’s Note: Assembly candidates David Byrne and Kieran Michael Lalor submitted this editorial to the Poughkeepsie Journal in the summer but the Journal refused to print it. We ask that you forward this email to three or more of your friends in Dutchess and Columbia Counties so they will know about the unique opportunity we have on Election Day to send two principled Iraq Veterans to Albany. Bringing Military Values to Government
America loves the military. Every year since 1989 the Gallup Poll has found Americans have more confidence in the US military than in any other institution. Meanwhile, Congress and other government entities consistently rank near the bottom of the survey. We believe that all levels of government would benefit from adopting the values of pride, discipline, sacrifice and honor of the Armed Forces.
Americans have confidence in our military because the men and women of our Armed Forces are quintessential leaders who operate in a culture of cooperation and accountability. By contrast, the elected branches of government wallow in a culture of corruption. Scandal, runaway debt, and an ever-increasing tax burden have earned the legislative and executive branches a reputation of irresponsibility.
We believe that the condition of our state can be improved by bringing to government the lessons learned serving our country stateside and on the frontlines of the Global War on Terror. For example, every serviceman is taught to lead from the front. This means not asking subordinates to do something you as the unit leader won’t do yourself. An example of this is the military rule that the senior person aboard a helicopter that touches down in a hostile landing zone is always the first to get off.
In a legislative setting, leadership from the front means not spending the taxpayers’ money to raise lawmakers’ pay at a time when the state is broke and needs to become more efficient. Accordingly, we oppose and will not accept the cynical and unaffordable 25% legislator pay raise that Albany plans to vote on after they face the electorate in November.
The military is able to synthesize men and women from diverse ethnic, economic, geographic and educational backgrounds into a cohesive unit because of an ethos of cooperation. Our Armed Forces are able to engender a uniquely high level of cooperation because of a constant focus on mission accomplishment. Whether the mission is taking a hill, gathering intelligence or ensuring that relief supplies are distributed, every member of the unit understands the mission and puts aside personal differences to accomplish it.
The job of the legislator is also to clearly define the mission and marshal the forces necessary to achieve it. We define the mission of state lawmakers as protecting the rights of the citizens and providing an environment where people can achieve their goals. This means tax dollars should not be wasted, crony capitalism should not be allowed to flourish and lawmakers should not use their office for personal gain. We will tirelessly champion this mission. Regardless of party affiliation, we will work with any lawmaker who can help us achieve it.
Americans are tired of partisan finger pointing where one side blames the other for problems. Perhaps better than any other institution, the military teaches accountability. Raw recruits learn early on that rather than trying to make excuses for shortcomings, it is better to simply say “No excuse, Sir,” to a dismayed superior and then relentlessly endeavor to fix the problem.
The commanding officer of the legislator is the citizen. Consequently, we will not offer excuses, blame the other side or muddy the waters about what has gone wrong as is the custom of the political class. We will instead be honest and accessible with our constituents and continue working until we achieve the desired outcome.
As students of history and politics we understand that power can corrupt. We are aware that even military veterans sometimes become corrupt politicians. To launch a preemptive strike on corruption and to keep our lawmakers courageous, we support term limits and limits on the length of time a legislator can serve in a key leadership position.
The culture that makes the military both effective and respected can be imported to the state legislature and play a major role in getting New York back on track.
David Byrne is a West Point graduate and US Army veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom running for the 106th New York State Assembly District seat which includes parts of Dutchess and Columbia Counties. Byrne is the candidate of the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties.
Byrne For New York PO Box 695
Red Hook, NY 12571 845-233-4881 www.dave4ny.com
Kieran Michael Lalor is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom running for the 105th Assembly District which includes southern and eastern Dutchess County. Lalor is the candidate of the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties.
Lalor For Assembly 105 Stony Brook Rd
Fishkill, NY 12524 845-616-3509 www.KML2012.com