Along the road to becoming the "progressive capital of the nation" Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have forgotten 2 critical elements, the will of the people and the Rights of the public.
Gov. Cuomo, in the 2013 State of the State Address, made it clear that his desire was to move New York State into the same direction of California - a liberal stronghold that routinely protests military recruiters, hides soldiers returning to the nation from the battlefield the nation sent them to, mandates that individuals smoking in their own homes are criminals, and routinely violates immigration law. The combination of these kinds of actions, and entitlement spending, have led California to be one of the worst States for business - surpassed only by... New York State.
But the prospect of continuing to drive business out of the State is not a deterrent to an elected official that sees an opportunity to run for President, as some political watchers believe. Which may have led to the 2nd Amendment stomping assault weapons ban enacted by New York State under Gov. Cuomo's direction. An act that literally overnight turned law abiding citizens of New York into criminals possessing illegal firearms. An action that impedes the Rights of New Yorkers in the guise of compassion for the tragic Sandy Hook shootings, and creates restrictions that go far beyond the much ballyhooed assault rifles.
Still NY Mayor Bloomberg is not without his own ambitions. Whether those ambitions are to micromanage the populace of NYC or to gain an elevated elected office is unclear. But there has been no end to the wrangling of public Rights. From denying food donations to homeless shelters because of calorie counts, to injecting government into homes, to selecting which types of drinks and in what amount are available to the public. And don't forget the dreaded salt.
Yes, in New York State elected officials are trying their very best to dictate exactly what the public can and cannot do. They are slowly, but steadily, instituting legislation to ensure that cradle to grave government is leading the lives of citizens - whether they want it or not.
But it would seem that a backlash has begun, and the Courts are leading the charge. Much to the chagrin of Mayor Bloomberg. New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down the Bloomberg ban on sugary drinks, writing that New York City Health Code section 81.53 and subsection 556(c)(2) and (c)9, 558(b) and/or New York City Charter section 1043 unconstitutional and in violation of the separation of powers. Justice Tingling further stated that the government's case was "arbitrary and capricious".
This resulted in Mayor Bloomberg trying to justify the attempted overreach, by superimposing the State over the public on the back of a plea for morality.
"We have a responsibility as human beings to do something, to save each other, to save the lives of ourselves, our families, our friends and all of the rest of the people that live on God’s planet. And so while other people will wring their hands over the problem of sugary drinks, in New York City, we’re doing something about it. We believe it is reasonable and responsible to draw a line. ... As a matter of fact, it would be irresponsible not to try to do everything we can to save lives."
What grandeur to infer that government, in this case the City of New York, must save the planet. Or to infer that the citizens of NYC are too stupid, and/or lack the moral courage, to resist a sugary drink.
More importantly lines are being drawn in the sand to stop government and elected officials from dictating how constituents should live. Much like the way that Gov. Cuomo's State parks smoking ban was defeated, NYC has been curbed for the moment. Mayor Bloomberg plans to appeal the decision, which will cost taxpayers untold thousands of dollars for a legislation 54% do not agree with.
Is this what Gov. Cuomo meant when he proposed to make New York State the "progressive capital"? That, regardless of the opinions of voters, regardless of the Rights of the individual, government at the State and local levels will pass legislation that benefits the temporary political needs and desires of whomever holds the highest elected office? That is progress, but towards a authoritarian state more than the idealized utopia that these elected officials spew in 30-second soundbites.
We leave readers with this question. If government does not think that the public is smart enough to know how much salt to put on food, or if they should have a sugary drink, and they seek to criminalize law abiding citizens to attain a desired outcome, then exactly what is the limit of what government can do and who will hold them to that limit?