New York Governor David Paterson this week put a value on equal rights – it’s too expensive.
With the slash of his hard-hearted veto pen, Patterson killed bills that would have required polling places to meet federal accessibility guidelines for people with disabilities within six months, another that would have protected people with disabilities from missing out on services from state and local governments, and another that would have made it a felony for caregivers to endanger the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. On reflection, his vetoes represent the very kind of felonies the latter bill sought to address.
For 15 years now Timothy J. Feeney has headed up the Neurobehavioral Resource Project for New York State’s Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. The NRB is arguably the most powerful influence over the TBI Waiver, a Medicaid program designed to provide services to brain injury survivors across the state. What’s the problem? Feeney runs around the state, country and world claiming he is Dr. Timothy Feeney or Timothy Feeney PhD when he is neither. His masters and PhD were obtained through a now defunct diploma mill called Greenwich University. It seems the DOH accurately reflects the mindset of its governor.
This is the second time this week components of the New York State Government have displayed despicable and unconscionable behavior. In actions that reek of narcissism, arrogance and greed, the New State’s Department of Health issued a letter blatantly ignoring the fact a state contract employee who has headed up a multi-million dollar project over the past 15 years isn’t who he says he is, and now the governor decides equal rights cost too much.
People like Paterson and Feeney need to remember a few things; the willpower of the human spirit and the innate drive for independence and equality is far greater and far more powerful than any one person, and the damage they have done and continue to do is temporary.
We shall overcome. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.