Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

LOWEY FOR CONGRESS: WHERE ONCE
GIANTS WALKED THE LAND

We are longtime supporters of Nita Lowey. Here’s a
commentary from way back on October 31, 1988, when this
now-powerful member of Congress was just getting started.

The 20th Congressional District of Westchester always did have a proud, consistent tradition of designating superior and enlightened individuals as our federal representatives: Ogden Rogers Reid, publisher of the Herald Tribune and our first ambassador to a brave, growing nation called Israel. And Richard Ottinger, a relentless environmental champion, law professor, and tilter at Establishment windmills. Both came to our service from great families with long histories of public service.

And our country squire neighbors to the north had the good sense to designate Hamilton Fish, a moderate Republican and a respected hero of Watergate, who is enormously popular among his House colleagues. It is very much to your lasting credit that the incomparable Nelson Rockefeller was first propelled to the national stage by our Westchester neighbors.

In other words, we have had a pretty good record. Almost without exception, when someone rose to speak for Westchester in the high councils of our nation, that individual was possessed of extraordinary ability, grace, and stature. It is, as we’ve noted, a tradition among our people.

Until four years ago, that is, when one Joseph DioGuardi burst on the scene to presume to speak for the enlightened residents of our county. Actually, he didn’t exactly come out of left field. DioGuardi had been appearing on “Page Six” as the marketer and promoter of a pop fad item called a “mood ring.” And he came to our attention when our local station uncovered a scheme by New Rochelle politicians and members of the Board of Education to install DioGuardi’s New York accounting firm as auditor for the city school district, a position long held by the venerable and highly respected Bennett Kielsen firm.

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