Group ride photo-op is self-serving

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Appearing in last week’s local press was another example of self-serving political photo-ops, showing the Weprin brothers alongside city Taxi & Limousine Commission Commissioner David Yassky in front of a group ride van on the old Q79 bus route.

The photo provided by the Weprins is used alongside a story about the startup of the group ride program. This program is a godsend for our seniors and commuters who were left stranded by the demise of the Q79, caused by the actions of these same politicians who pillaged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority budget and then complained about service cuts that their actions created.

Particularly frustrating is that the article had no mention of the voluntary work and effort made by civic groups that were responsible for the group ride program being adopted on the Q79 route. Although I organized two rallies and initiated a joint letter signed by a coalition of eastern Queens civic associations, presenting a five-point plan to make the program work better for our community, none of this was mentioned in the articles and none of these politicians saw fit to invite anyone who might have taken the spotlight away from them.

Self-promotion and -preservation are what drive career politicians. Even more disturbing was the photo of a smiling state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) somehow trying to take credit for this program when he has been MIA on this MTA issue. That is because one of his campaign’s primary “pay-to-play” supporters is the Transport Workers Union, which has sued the city to stop the program and leave our residents without any means of public transportation. Doing their bidding meant he was absent from any effort to make the program a reality or success.

These sorts of shameless self-promotion tactics with smiling politicians and no credibility check or outreach to civics seeking comment by the press makes the local press part of an unwritten incumbency protection program. Voters need to understand how they are being manipulated and the press needs to do a better job teaching them.

Bob Friedrich


Glen Oaks Village

Updated 6:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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