Northern New York Newspapers
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Mon., May. 4
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Confused about the role of a congressman

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Recently it was reported that both candidates for Congress believe that the federal government has no “creative” role to help our north country acquire the businesses necessary to ensure gains for employment in our north country.

Rather, it seems they see their role as facilitating efforts of businesses that wish to be established and those wishing to expand to assist our area’s growth and subsequently increasing opportunities for people to get jobs.

So “let’s create some jobs” and “my experience in saving companies in trouble of closing” mean assisting businesses in the way they define on a federal level.

Both these approaches seem a bit confusing. Either you market the north country to potential businesses, or you help current ones to expand. The question seems to be, why be a congressman instead of a job developer to do this? Should either of our candidates be seeking to become significant parts of the Development Authority of the North Country or Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency?

If talents have been used prior to the election in helping to develop companies having difficulties, why is it necessary, in terms of the ambitions of the individual, to become a congressman to do this?

On the other hand, why not help as a corporate lawyer and be paid as such to help new businesses navigate the legalities to establish a business and seek what help there is from federal programs without being an official of that government? In a recent article concerning what these candidates can do to improve our employment numbers in the north country, it would seem that they ignore the need to do the main purpose of why a congressman is elected —to write and consider legislation.

Are our elected officials’ offices today functioning accordingly? Or are they functioning as sort of agencies to assist businesses and help individuals navigate the laws and programs available from our federal government?

Are our legislative offices split between two functions? And as such are they expanding beyond the scope that should be the purpose of our legislative branch? Or should we keep these two “functions” as both “responsibilities of a legislator”?

If so, it is time we renamed the branch of government we are electing these officials to and require them to do both so we can have more formal measurements of their performance.

Doug Anderson


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