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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Urgent Need for Reform in NY (MORE, CLICK HERE)

Cheers for David Paterson are fine, but reform must be order of the day
The New York Daily News by Errol Louis - March 18, 2008

David Paterson's inaugural speech did not include the word "reform," and that is as good a reason as any to worry about what the future holds for New York. After 14 tumultuous months of hand-to-hand combat between the Legislature and ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Paterson drew laughs, cheers and nodding heads by promising to end the hostilities. "What we are going to do from now on is what we always should have done: We're going to work together," he said.

That is exactly what needed to be said, and the olive branch had the intended effect. The friendship, joking and optimism in the corridors of the Capitol yesterday were genuine and contagious; everybody wants Paterson to succeed.

But months from now, after the last "good riddance" jokes about Spitzer have been told - and the final bucks raked in by America's best-known whore - New York will remain the most taxed state in the union, and Albany will still be a place where lobbyists, unions and corporate pitchmen wield far too much influence over who gets the sweet slices of the $124 billion budget cake.

Unless, that is, the effort to reform Albany gets back on its feet. Spitzer's disastrous political and personal decisions must not eclipse the need to slash the state's army of unneeded patronage jobs, reel in the debt-binging public authorities, implement true campaign finance reform and make government operations more transparent.

Nearly 70% of the public - the voters who elected the Spitzer-Paterson reform ticket - said they want and expect fundamental change. It's not at all clear if or when they will get it. Paterson, perhaps understandably, used his first speech as governor to begin dissolving the personal bitterness that stymied Spitzer. He also showed every sign of knowing how dire the state's fiscal crisis has become.

"We are looking at the economy that is reeling, and I must say to all of you in government and all of you in business that you must meet with me in the next couple of weeks and adjust our budget accordingly." That's a signal to legislators and lobbyists that the budget due in April will have to shrink and that beloved pet programs will have to be shelved. The speech was hailed by no less a budget hawk than former Republican Assemblyman John Faso, who ran against Spitzer two years ago.

"He struck the perfect note today," Faso told me on his way out of the Assembly chamber. Sen. Eric Schneiderman, a leading voice for reform, agreed. "It's not that reform is off the agenda. Neither is changing the Rockefeller drug laws or cleaning up the environment or dealing with our mass transit system. This was not the day for it," he said.

And so the Paterson era begins on a high note. We should all wish him the time and good luck to make good on the reform mandate that Spitzer squandered.      elouis@nydailynews.com

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Along with the importance of 'reform' is "fundamental change" We'll see pretty quickly whether Gov. Paterson is in the mood....

TRUTH TELLER said...

If this isn't a hint to PATERSON'S thinking, then i can't imagine what is.... he paid homage to JUDY Kaye, when he didn't have to and ignored most of the upstate NY mayors, etc...stating...THIS is the best chief judge in the "history" of NY STATE!
This man needs information about this system ASAP... and how bad were those before WHACHLER? God, do all pols feel they have to say something great about the biggest losers in their political profession!

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Queen Kaye will be kicked out of her ivory tower?

Anonymous said...

Just like queen Spitzer, king Kaye too shall fall (and similarly in lightening speed) Yes, there is a God.

Anonymous said...

Give up, until Kaye is gone--at the earliest. Though the governor is blind, Kaye holds fast to deaf and dumb. She doesn't want to hear about the corruption. Why? Because she's.....

Anonymous said...

I think Paterson is going to play deaf to see (LOL) if Queen Kaye goes away. Like a turt goes away when you flush the toilet.

TRUTH TELLER said...

So, Paterson had "MULTIPLE" affairs...not just one or two indescretions? I did not vote for him and cannot imagine he has GOOD JUDGMENT! As any shrink will tell you...a predictor of anyone's future is their past! NY will never change until the state begins to involve other cities and counties, besides NYC in the election of top officials. We have our losers, but we are not always subject to the extensive and constant corruption and power trips as NYC seems to be...as it is discussed mostly and continuously on this blog!

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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