"A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is big enough to take away everything you have"
Saturday, April 12, 2008
This year brought a retirement or two, to different careers.
Brett Favre's illustrious career as an NFL quarterback officially ended with a March 4th announcement. The league's only three-time MVP retired after 17 years of chewing up defenses with his razor sharp passing skills. A tenacious competitor, Favre worked out tirelessly both on and off season in order to stay in shape. The man had a great love for his team, fans and the game and he served loyally for all 17 years.
Closer to home, the North Country saw the career of a good faithful public servant, Senator James W. Wright, end when he retired with little fanfare in January.
Anyone who observes politics saw a Senator who had the skills and style similar to that of a quarterback in football. Similar to a quarterback hitting a receiver down field, he saw problems or an organization in distress and with laser concentration, like a passer, he methodically worked through the issues for resolutions.
Like a good quarterback, scrambling to get a play off, he worked his way through the morass of legislation and politics in Albany to sponsor legislation that would benefit the residents of the North Country.
If you were his opponent, he was cordial, respectful, his opponents respected a tenacious competitor, and like Thomas P "Tip" O’Neill, he believes everyone is a friend, after 6:00 pm. However, if you ventured a cheap shot at the people he served, he would humble you like a team down 40 to 0 at the 2-minute warning. Just ask Senator Parker.
Senator Wright worked hard while the legislature was in session and he was just as diligent when he was back home in the district. Whether you are on the right and loathe the spending in Albany or on the left and think government needs to play Robin Hood more, the Senator always made sure the North Country received their fair share and without the appearance of being gluttonous. If you were a constituent group and excluded from the budget, he took as much time with you as a organization included in the budget, there was no pretense for serving.
If Darrel Aubertine is re-elected to the Senate and remains in the minority, representation of the North Country will be Favre less than it was; if he wins this next election and the Democrats happen to be in the majority, he has big cleats to fill.
Jim Wright, whether or not you liked his style, he was direct, decisive, and he delivered. People who worked with him say that you were a part of the solution or move out of the way. His favorite saying was reported as, “all politics is local”, and he truly admired the people he served.
Much like the season ticket holders in Green Bay, when they pay for their tickets this year many will want Brett Favre back in the line up and as many pay their season ticket to the state on April 15th many will want their quarterback of the North Country to return.
Just ask JCC President McCoy who looked like a receiver without a quarterback after the state passed the budget this week, she knows what it is like to have Favre less in Northern New York now.