U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Queens, said on WOR radio Monday that he wouldn’t want to take U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate seat “because I don't do Utica, and that's a qualification for the job,” according to a story in the New York Post.The OD expressed outrage in an editorial, calling the Congressman's comment "insulting." Senator Griffo expressed outrage in a letter and demanded an apology. Mayor Roefaro was "distressed, disappointed and disgusted" at the comment. Congressman Arcuri said that the comments only reinforce the need for an upstater to be appointed to the US Senate. Many of the reactions suggested that the congressman come to Utica . . . but with the (understandable) outrage, would these be construed as genuine?
Here, indeed, is a "teachable moment" . . .
Instead of all the outrage, maybe a "for real" invitation for an educational visit to Utica is in order. Pay his way here . . . Put him up at the beautifully restored Hotel Utica . . . Let Mayor Roefaro wine and dine him at our great restaurants . . . Take him to a show at the Stanley . . . Take him to M-W-P. Show him our venues for skiing, golf and tennis. Utica has what New York City has in miniature . . . . but more accessible. Congressman Arcuri could explain to his colleague how we are different . . .explain how our cheap power has been sent away from us and what this has done to upstate. Explain how our economy is dependent on manufacturing and how government policies have taken our livelihoods.
Sometimes those who seem most opposed to us, if shown "the light," can be turned into our greatest allies.