If you live in the district on Long Island where there is an election for the vacated State Senate of Dean Skelos, who was convicted of corruption last year, I urge you to vote for Todd Kaminsky.


Kaminsky’s opponent in the race is receiving massive contributions from StudentsFirstNY and other supporters of charters and vouchers.


Kaminsky is a great friend of public schools and teachers. He has been endorsed by NYSAPE, the state’s leading opt out organization of parents and educators. As a member of the Assembly, he offered four bills to give permanent relief to students and teachers by decoupling test scores from teacher evaluations, by repealing the law that forces struggling schools into “receivership” (state takeover), shortening the time required for testing, and by creating career paths for students to get a diploma without passing five Regents exams.


Kaminsky was endorsed by the New York Times. This is what the Times said about this race:


In Mr. Skelos’s former district in Nassau County, the Democratic candidate is Todd Kaminsky, an assemblyman who, as a former federal prosecutor, seems miraculously well-suited for this moment. He understands Albany’s sick culture, having helped to convict many of the state’s most corrupt legislators before entering politics. One notable target was Pedro Espada Jr., the former senator, now in prison for stealing from a nonprofit organization in the Bronx. Mr. Kaminsky, who has also built a strong record advocating for Hurricane Sandy victims in Long Beach, his hometown, vows to be a full-time lawmaker with a keen focus on ethics.


Pretty much all you need to know about Mr. Kaminsky’s opponent, Christopher McGrath, is that he was handpicked for this race by Joseph Mondello, boss of the Nassau Republican Party, the tainted machine that spawned Mr. Skelos. Mr. McGrath, a genial lawyer who has never run for office before, talks about ethics reform, but it is impossible to take him seriously, given the team he is playing for. He opposes, for example, strictly limiting outside income, so that lawmakers would focus on serving the public interest, not their own. This should be a red flag to voters who remember that lucrative side careers were how both Mr. Skelos and Mr. Silver so easily abused their power and enriched themselves.


My endorsement is personal, from me, not the Network for Public Education, which does not endorse candidates in New York state.


I urge you to vote for Todd Kaminsky, and to encourage your friends to come out and vote.