Can Grisanti handle newfound 'respect'?

The good part about being a Republican who sells out his base is that the Democratic faithful will think you're the greatest. Since last Friday, State Sen. Mark Grisanti has drawn praise from The News, gay rights activists, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the media in voting for same-sex marriage.

However, it was not his agreement with Democrats on this particular issue that won him their phony "respect." By attacking the conservative principles on which he campaigned, the state senator earned approval and a "strange new respect" from, most notably, Lady Gaga and all her "little monsters."

It is inevitable that Grisanti will lose Republican and Conservative votes for his vote on same-sex marriage. And it would be foolish to believe that Democrats will remember his "courage" when they vote again in 2012. So until then, let us hope the senator can handle his newfound "respect." Unfortunately, it'll be difficult for any of us to read his poker face.

Paul Tripi



Grisanti's gutsy move upheld Constitution

Everyone has an opinion on same-sex marriage. A recent article in The News in regard to Sen. Mark Grisanti going against his party and casting his vote in favor of this new law, and how outraged his party is over this, demonstrates the real problem.

My understanding of an elected representative is that he works for the people, not his party, not religion and sometimes not even his own moral conscience.

Our Constitution of the United States of America guarantees all of us the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Grisanti voted to uphold the Constitution. It was a gutsy move, and I'm sure his party will punish him for what he's done, but he did what he was elected to do. And, no, I am not gay.

Lucille Wozniak

West Seneca


Short Senate career is all but guaranteed

State Sen. Mark Grisanti is back in Buffalo, probably mowing his lawn, and if he's smart, contemplating his return to private practice in 2012.

If he believes what Democrats are telling him -- that they'll vote to re-elect him because of his yes vote on gay marriage -- he is very naive. Why should they invest time, money and energy in hope that he'll vote in their favor in the future, when all they have to do is vote for a Democrat? As for the Republicans and Independents who voted for him in 2010 because they believed he would keep his word, they will just stay home.

The Democrats want nothing more than to reclaim control of the State Senate, and it looks as though they're one seat away from doing so.

Eric F. Torsell



Such political courage rarely exhibited today

Mark Grisanti, our newly elected state senator, spoke in the Senate Chamber in Albany about his reasons for voting in support of gay marriage in New York State. It is a rare sight, and one of no small import, to see an elected representative display this much political courage in open forum.

The gentleman articulated for us the philosophical argument he had with his Catholic self and his legal self, as an attorney, over the proper course to take on behalf of his constituents. To his everlasting credit, he grasped the imperative that there must be a critical divide between what one may believe as a member of a particular religion, and one's duty as a civil legislator elected to cast votes in the best interests of every constituent, under the law.

Grisanti was fully cognizant of the reality that his very narrow victory in the recent election against a Democratic machine functionary in a heavily Democratic district might well be placed in jeopardy in the next election because he displayed the guts to vote for what was correct for the rights of all, as opposed to political expediency.

An individual with this much obvious character, and this much understanding of the primacy of the law, versus kowtowing to the vicissitudes of public opinion, deserves our highest respect and support. We must assure that Grisanti remains our state senator; this much political courage and steadfastness is a rare thing and must
not be lost.

Kevin J. Rung

Grand Island


Voters will not forget Grisanti's betrayal

Promises, promises. What a web we weave when we decide to deceive. Sen. Mark Grisanti is just another politician willing to go against his constituents' wishes for political expediency. What promises did the governor give him? Certainly not another upset victory. Voters do not forget. There will probably be no second time for him.

Grisanti changed his vote because of his "professional insights as a lawyer." Wow! One thing Grisanti won't be able to say after his disturbing vote is, "I'll be back."

Paul DiVito



Vocal minority backs same-sex marriage

I find it interesting that the same-sex marriage legislation is, by its proponents, being cast as a triumph of civil liberty. By this rationale, I would then fully expect those in favor of this legislation to begin in earnest a drive for the legalization of polygamy. Wherein lies the distinction between the two? Both involve consenting adults presumably seeking to legitimize their lifestyle, so why the relativistic view that one should be permissible and not the other?

The reality is that neither should be or should have been legalized. Culturally and historically, marriage has been the union of one man and one woman. To define it any other way is to dilute and degrade the institution. Unfortunately, a vocal minority succeeded in foisting its agenda upon the populace. This is not a matter of civil liberty. It is simply one group's insistence that its lifestyle be validated by legislative act and, in so doing, compel the acceptance of that lifestyle by the general public.

Clinton Eliason

Clarence Center


Catholic officials are sending mixed message

Congratulations to the bishops of New York State for releasing a collective letter against the approval of same-sex marriage after its actual approval by the State Legislature and at about the same time the self-declared Catholic governor was proudly signing it into law.

Yes, it is said that the metropolitan archbishop fought against it -- but one wonders if these things would move forward if bishops acted toward Catholic politicians at least with half the vehemence with which Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II acted toward Archbishop M. Lefebvre -- or with the same "love" with which some of them still dedicate to traditional-minded Catholics in their respective dioceses.

Will priests and bishops in New York be any less inclined to fawn over Catholic Assembly members and senators who voted for this abomination, and the governor who signed it, when they meet and greet them in parish halls, cocktail parties and dinners? Will priests and lay faithful who publicly celebrate this abomination be punished or warned?

And so continues this disconnect between what the Church says and how its representatives act, as if what they said had no influence on how they behave: to those on the outside, it all looks like a farcical act.

Al Huntz



Ridiculous new law is a giant step backward

It should come as no surprise that New York State would pass the same-sex marriage bill. That is, unequivocally, the norm of the political regime in Albany -- put another law on the books regardless of its asininity. This enactment exemplifies how blowing enough smoke up the behinds of politicos can overtax already over-inflated craniums, and thwart normal brain cell activity. Another giant leap for radicalism, one more step toward the total dissociation of America.

John V. Hari



Graphic packaging won't influence most smokers

Every city, town, village, medical expert, environmental group, etc., is supposedly concerned about the effect of smoking on the populace. Increasing no-smoking areas, raising the tax per pack, showing gross commercials and introducing graphic packaging won't make much of a difference to the die-hard smoker. If the "concern" for our well being is truly genuine, the place to start would be with the tobacco growers. If you can't grow it, you can't manufacture cigarettes. Problems solved!

But that will never happen. The representatives from the tobacco-growing states would find themselves in trouble. The cigarette companies would withdraw their support of any government special interest groups.

For example, what would New York State do without the cigarette tax money if everyone did quit smoking? The loss of that tax money would be astronomical. We would surely end up paying for that loss in other ways.

The bottom line is that money trumps genuine concern and the winners are tobacco growers, cigarette producers and New York State.

Pat Pawlowski



Will the president heed new cigarette warnings?

As a result of President Obama's signing into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration has greater authority regarding labeling. Maybe when he opens his next pack of smokes and gets a load of the graphic consequences illustrated, even this oft-described "smartest man in the room" will catch on. He probably didn't know before.

Michael Connelly



Tomasello's story was right on target

Locally, combat veterans have no finer spokesman and emotional supporter than Fred Tomasello Jr., whose My View on the pitfalls of a PTSD diagnosis was painfully on target. As the father of a veteran of three tours in Iraq, I have read and elsewhere reviewed Tomasello's memoir "Walking Wounded." Having met him at various writers' gatherings and readings over the past several years, I know that his concern for American warriors from Vietnam to our current engagements extends to their families as well.

When my son was in country, Tomasello always greeted me with, "How's your boy?" and offered helpful suggestions as to how I should listen to David when he discussed his combat experiences. In short, Tomasello taught me how to talk to my son in such a way that it strengthened our already strong relationship.

Recently, I attended my son's graduation from a Georgia police academy and watched my grandson pin on his father's badge. Seeing my son smiling with his son underscored for me what I already knew -- that my son is a good man. Thanks to Tomasello and The Buffalo News for a timely, relevant My View.

Gary Earl Ross



Senecas only acting in their best interest

A June 24 letter writer suggests "leaving the Indians alone." This can be accomplished when they take their rusting beam work down and move it to their homelands, and stop chasing the casino dream. Why the sudden interest in helping to develop the waterfront? That dream and the casino is for no one's benefit but theirs. They have no interest in helping Buffalo unless it benefits them.

They already have the best of both worlds, so go home and build up the reservations and leave us alone.

Frank Maddock