As talks on an MTA bailout grind to a halt, and a vote on the nearly universally panned, highly secretive state budget is delayed another day, we're reminded of the fanciful legends, passed down through the generations, of a place where government does not function like our own. In this magical fantasy land, politicians actually cooperate, in the open, to pass legislation with the input of the people they represent. The folklore refers to this place as ... Connecticut.
In Hartford, the mythical capital of Connecticut, things are much different than in Albany.
Democrats and Republicans work together to pass laws. Residents speak their minds in public hearings, and legislators listen. Bills are written and amended in the light of day. Everything gets posted online.
Light of what now? Who are these strange politicians that cooperate with one another and willingly involve their people in the political process? One is Senator Andrew Rorback, a Republican who, it is said, espouses beliefs that would be unrecognizable to our own representatives. "As much as there's differences of opinion, at the end of the day we're always able to find common ground," Rorback is fond of saying, according to the fable. "Finding common ground is more important than scoring political points." Imagine a place where something is more important than scoring political points. Oh, cruel fantasy, how you torment us.