During the summer of 1973, I was sworn in as a Congressional intern by the then Speaker of the House, Carl Albert on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in the Capital Building.
My duties were at first low level, like screening mailing lists, until eventually I was helping with speeches and submissions to the Congressional Record. Actually the congressman I was an intern for was also running for mayor of New York City; but a scandal knocked him out from being the front runner just two weeks before the primary.
Since I was 20 years old then, the congressman confided in me in his political thinking along with his Joe DiMaggio stories, and he told me the basics of what a Congressman should do. Congressman Biaggi said, "You have to set up the office to represent the constituents when they need to go up against he bureaucracy. Assist them in letting their government work for them, not against them. Only after that, do you deal with the votes."
So as the election for the 1st Congressional District winds down to Election Day, I ask you to ask yourself who will best represent the 1st District.
That 1973 summer was also the summer of Watergate. All interns were advised to attend the hearings as much as possible. With my Congressional staff I.D. a reserved section and seat was almost always available. One by one the titans of the Nixon Administration testified, being asked, "What did the president know, and when did he know it."
Senator Sam Ervin (D) and Senator Howard Baker (R), lead their teams in offense and defense. But in the end it was the words on the tapes that brought the president to justice. The issue comes to character in an election.
Who is it that represents your values and the values you want upheld for your grandchildren. I have many intern stories, but the best one is the day, I gave my Aunt Ann, a widow from Bethpage, L.I., and her family a tour of the Capital, including the underground train from the Capital to the Congressional offices.
Their eyes were opened to the majesty of how our government comes together in that one building, where laws for change and preservation are introduced, debated and voted into law. Please vote for the best candidates to continue doing that along with servicing your needs in dealing with the federal government.