Sunday, December 31, 2006

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

Spitzer to be sworn in at midnight Promises reform and renewed energy

Elizabeth Benjamin Times Union

"ALBANY Democrat Eliot Spitzer, who has pledged to shake up state government through reform and renewed energy, was expected to be sworn in at midnight Sunday as New York's 54th governor in a private ceremony by the judge with whom he began his legal career two decades ago.

U.S. District Court Justice Robert W. Sweet was on tap to administer the oath of office at the executive mansion to his former clerk, Spitzer, who won the Nov. 7 gubernatorial election against Republican John Faso with an historic 69 percent of the vote.
Spitzer, 47, clerked for Sweet after he graduated from Harvard in 1984. He worked in private legal practice and in the Manhattan district attorney's office from 1986-1992. Spitzer was elected state attorney general in 1998 and re-elected to that office in 2002." For the rest of this well researched interesting article...
click here........ Can't believe Day One is almost here........andy

ALERT!! Inauguration Time Changes!!!!!!!!!

ALERT!! Inauguration Time Changes
December 31, 2006 at 11:42 am by Elizabeth Benjamin

Good job Liz...........andy

Due to the expected inclement weather, the Spitzer team has pushed the public inauguration back an hour from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow. As a result, all the afternoon events - including the concert - will also be delayed.
So far, the swearing-in ceremony is still being held outside in West Capitol Park. In the case of extremely bad weather, the event will be shifted to the Times Union Center.
The new schedule for tomorrow afternoon is as follows:
1 p.m. Swearing-in.
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Gov. Eliot Spitzer and First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer receive the public at the executive mansion.
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Lt. Gov. David Paterson and Michelle Paige Paterson receive the public at the state Capitol’s Red Room (second floor).
2:00 - 6:00 p.m. “Celebrate New York.” Food and entertainment on the Empire State Plaza concourse.
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Free concert featuring James Taylor, Natalie Merchant and Dan Zanes, Ben Vereen, Willie Colon and emcee Jimmy Fallon. Times Union Center.

Spitzer’s Day One

Politics on the Hudson

Here’s the schedule for Gov-elect Eliot Spitzer’s inauguration festivities, all in Albany:
Sunday night: Private reception, beginning at 10:30 p.m., Executive Mansion.

Midnight, Monday: Oath of office, same location.
6 a.m. Runs in Washington Park.
8:45 a.m. Signs Executive Orders. Executive Mansion
9:00 a.m. Meets with New York’s Congressional Delegation and Legislative Leaders, same location.
10:00 a.m. Interfaith Service, Westminster Presbyterian Church.
12:00 p.m. Public Inauguration Ceremony; West Capitol Park (In case of bad weather, would be relocated to the Times Union Center).
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Spitzer and wife Silda Wall Spitzer receive the public at the Executive Mansion. (New Lieutenant Governor David Paterson and wife Michelle Paige Paterson will hold a similar reception at the Capital Building Red Room.)
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Host “Celebrate New York”, concourse Level of the Empire State Plaza; full details at
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Free Concert at the Times Union Center featuring James Taylor, Natalie Merchant and Dan Zanes, Ben Vereen, Willie Colon and emcee Jimmy Fallon.

Update: Spitzer told the AP today he’s not heading indoors unless the weather turns really nasty. “I always said that this would be a test for New Yorkers,” Spitzer said. “If it’s a little rainy and sprinkly and sleet and snow, you know what? We’ll build a snowman,” he joked.
According to the report, the current forecast for Monday in Albany calls for a 60 percent chance of freezing rain with a high of 38 and a low of 32, so wear your parkas…

His Omnipresence May Show His Clout, but Now Bruno Is on the Defensive

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

A bronze bust at Albany International Airport depicts Joseph L. Bruno, the State Senate’s Republican majority leader.

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

A bobblehead doll in Senator Bruno's likeness was given out at a stadium named for him.

"ALBANY, Dec. 29 — To get a sense of the celebrity and clout wielded around here by State Senator Joseph L. Bruno, the silver-maned Republican majority leader, consider this: One night last summer, minor league baseball fans who visited the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium across the river were given Joseph L. Bruno bobblehead dolls.
Over at the Albany International Airport, a bronze bust of Senator Bruno greets arrivals from the airport’s observation deck. In Troy, people can catch performances at the Joseph L. Bruno black box theater. And at the public television station, WMHT, producers scurry about in the new Joseph L. Bruno Broadcast Operations Center. The area is full of projects and buildings for which Mr. Bruno secured state aid.
And his clout inside the Capitol building is even greater. For 12 years Mr. Bruno has been one of the three men who have effectively controlled state government, and he is poised to become the most important Republican official in New York State now that Gov.
George E. Pataki is leaving office.
Mr. Bruno’s ascension has a silver-lining aspect to it; he was simply the last man standing after
Republicans were routed at the polls on Election Day, leaving them without a statewide office for the first time in decades. The State Senate is now the party’s last, and shrinking, power base.
But at what should be his crowning moment, Mr. Bruno finds himself on the defensive as never before. The
F.B.I. is investigating his business ties, newspapers are exploring his financial relationships with people seeking help from the state, some Republicans are grumbling that he is tarnishing their troubled party, and for the first time, a member of his conference, Senator John J. Bonacic, a Hudson Valley Republican, is calling on Mr. Bruno to step down. "

Bruno was quick to call for Hevesi's the shoe is on the other foot....Bruno is even starting to sound like Hevesi as well.....

“It gets me a little bit excited, because they all want to moan and groan and point to Evident,” he said in his office. “Evident is one of the most worthwhile projects to be funded that I have funded. Now the fact that a friend of mine, it turns out, that I had a financial relationship with — too damn bad. What am I, a second-class citizen? Is he a second-class citizen? We vetted that through the whole process, O.K.?”
“I’m getting crucified,” he said. “And you know something? Tomorrow, if I had that situation to do over, I’d do exactly what I’ve done.”

Let's see if the FBI Folks feel the same here..for the rest of this Times story..........andy

Pataki Sneaks a few more appointments in

Never in all my years of state service have I seen a Governor pack in political cronies and hacks like this guy has.....right to the bitter end......state agencies all across the state are loaded with these "non civil service" overpaid and unqualified "civil" servants.......What Liz Benjamin reports below..has been going on for years....goodbye Pataki....actually good riddance..........andy

Really Last-Minute Appointments (Updated)

Gov. George Pataki, with one foot out the door, appointed a number of longtime allies, donors and several of his few remaining staffers to lucrative government posts on Friday, none of which require Senate confirmation.
Pataki named his chief of staff, John Cahill, to the
State Commission of Investigation - a position that pays $101,500 a year and lasts, in this case, until April 2010.
Pataki also reappointed SIC Chairman Alfred Lerner, a former state assemblyman and onetime Appellate Court justice, until April 2010.
Michael J. Elmendorf II, Pataki’s director of intergovernmental affairs and the godson of Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, landed a spot on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, which pays $90,800, until November 2008. Earlier this year, Elmendorf was reappointed to an unpaid post on the Great Lakes Protection Fund’s Board of Directors.
Pataki also named Michael Greasan to the
Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board for a term that lasts until November 2012.
Michael Fragin, who served as Pataki’s Jewish liaison, worked for NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg in 2005 and for President Bush’s re-election effort in 2004, was appointed to the
Long Island Power Authority Board to fill the term of Pat Foye, who was tapped by Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer to serve as co-chairman of ESDC. This is an unpaid post.
Pataki and Fragin’s father, Gary, were roommates at Columbia University. (Pataki graduated from the law school in 1970).
Pataki named six people - including his communications director Dave Catalfamo - to unpaid posts at the
United Nations Development Corp. Catalfamo’s term ends November 2009. The others include:
Harrison LeFrak (term ends 11/2007), Mark Broxmeyer, co-founder and partner at Fairfield Properties, a real state company, and a Pataki donor (11/2008), Nancy Holwell (11/2008), Peter Johnson Jr. (11/2007), Mary Newman (11/2008).
Lou Ciminelli, former chairman of the New York Power Authority Board, snagged a position on the
Niagara Greenway Commission Board. This is also an unpaid seat with a term that lasts until May 2009.
Pataki’s office also announced that the State Police will provide transitional security for soon-to-be former governor until the end of January.
At that time, according to Pataki spokesman Michael Marr, making what is likely his final statement on behalf of this governor: “The security risk will be evaluated by outside law enforcement entities.”
The arrangement was reviewed by the state Ethics Commission to ensure that it was in keeping with the Public Officers Law and has been approved , Marr said

New Year's Eve------New York Style

photo courtesty of

"Dropping the Ball"


Newsday warns Spitzer Medicaid needs cure 'As governor, Eliot Spitzer must figure out a way to reel in the state's $49 billion in annual Medicaid costs" and Schools wait for aid "During his campaign, Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer held out the promise of as much as $8.5 billion annually in new school assistance statewide" The Buffalo News reports that 7 liquor stores hit with big fines totaling $150,000 and agree to refrain from longtime illegal buying schemes under a final agreement announced Friday by state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. ... their customers won't be the only ones suffering from a hangover come Monday am.......The Democrat and Chronicle gives Spitzer a laundry list of improvements needed in Rochester What needs to be improved in the Rochester area The Syracuse Post Standard does their SUMMING UP PATAKI .......a very well written researched article......The Troy Record lets us know that Lawmakers look forward to 2007 and new leadership "State Assemblyman-elect Timothy Gordon of the 108th Assembly District said he believes the outlook for 2007 is bright, primarily because Spitzer will be at the helm."I feel very fortunate to be joining the state Legislature on the much-heralded Day One. ... I look forward to working with Gov. Spitzer on reform," he said........and finally Jay Gallagher (Gannett) tells us flat out Hevesi ouster leaves voters in cold appears he doesn't like the idea of a democrat filling the vacancy...oh well........andy

Spitzer's Campaign Outlined His Agenda

AP Story Fox News

A very good summary of where Eliot stands on statewide issues...........andy

During his successful campaign for governor, Democrat Eliot Spitzer laid out a broad agenda. Here is some of what he offered:
He has said he is opposed to raising state taxes. He has proposed a plan that would provide $1.5 billion in property tax relief in 2007, $2 billion in 2008 and $2.5 billion in 2009, all targeted at middle-class families. Spitzer's tax cuts would come through an increase in STAR, a property tax credit plan started by Gov. George Pataki and the Legislature. Families at or below the median state income of about $60,000 a year (higher for wealthier areas) would see up to an 80 percent increase in the STAR benefit. That would taper off until the household income is twice the median income. New Yorkers earning in the top 2 percent of income -- more than $235,000 a year -- would see no additional benefit.
Spitzer called for a "New York State Innovation Fund" to support research with "direct commercial application." He said he would streamline work force training programs, create a fund for immediate training needs and duplicate Ireland's "One Step Up" campaign to improve worker skills, all to help keep young New Yorkers from leaving the state. He wants to overhaul the state's economic development programs, including the $500 million in Empire Zone tax breaks that too often go to politically connected companies.
Spitzer has identified $11 billion in spending cuts and revenue raisers over several years that he said will be needed if spending is increased for education and other areas. He has vowed to bring Medicaid spending under control and attack fraud.
Spitzer had said he would provide $4 billion to $6 billion toward the CFE decision and more for other high-needs schools statewide, but that was before the state's top court ruled in late November that the state must pay at least $1.93 billion more each year to provide "a sound, basic education" to New York City school students. Subsequently, Spitzer said he would call for higher spending than the court had ordered. He has also said New York City should spend more on its schools, a proposition that Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposes. Spitzer also supports boosting the number of charter schools, currently capped at 100.
Spitzer favors gay marriage and says he will sign legislation authorizing it if the Legislature approves it.
Spitzer has said he supports the death penalty for terrorists, killers of police officers and for those involved in heinous crimes, but won't make it a top anti-crime priority.
Spitzer would limit the governor and other statewide candidates to two terms and seek unspecified term limits for all legislators.
Spitzer has said he is opposed to immediate pay raises for state legislators who currently have a base salary of $79,500 a year.
Generally, Spitzer has been supportive of allowing Indian-owned casinos in New York as an economic development tool. He has said casinos should only be negotiated with tribes that have land claims in New York.
Spitzer joined Gov. Pataki in successfully calling for adoption of the state commission report that would close nine hospitals statewide. Like Pataki, Spitzer has said the report is not perfect, a position that leaves open the possibility that he may go along with changes.
He has said he wants a health care system that covers every child in New York state and he has a goal of cutting the total number of uninsured New Yorkers in half in four years.

So Happy Together

Silda and Eliot Spitzer. (Courtesy

From day one, Spitzer will 'bring the noise' to Albany

The Journal News DEBRA WEST

"From day one, Spitzer will 'bring the noise' to Albany
At midnight tonight, thousands of revelers will crowd into Times Square, millions more will watch the ball drop on television, friends will kiss, noisemakers will rattle, and Eliot Spitzer, in a small private ceremony, will quietly take the oath of office and become the 58th governor of the State of New York.
It is an oddly private ceremony for a man who has battled his way into the spotlight and won public admiration by loudly standing up for the little guy against the biggest of corporate giants.
Spitzer's is no rags-to-riches tale, but instead a story of a man who started with great wealth and moved on to great power, and it is a story that seems now to still be in its earliest chapters.
Eliot Laurence Spitzer, 47, won the election in November with the largest margin of victory in the state's history, 69 percent. The voters' endorsement followed a string of high-profile prosecutions that earned Spitzer the nickname the "Sheriff of Wall Street."
The public will first get to see their new governor tomorrow at 6 a.m. when Spitzer, a regular jogger, takes his maiden gubernatorial run in Albany's Washington Park. The formal inaugural ceremony will follow at noon and be held on a lawn behind the Capitol building (thank goodness for the warm spell).
The outdoor event will be "the first test of people's heartiness and willingness to participate in the rigors of government as we envision it in New York," Spitzer told Yancey Roy, who covers Albany for The Journal News.
The populist event is in stark contrast to outgoing Gov. George Pataki's first inauguration in 1995. That extravaganza, with 12,000 guests in black-tie, was followed by a lengthy legal investigation, which revealed that special-interest groups and corporations jockeying for state business contributed heavily to the $2.6 million inauguration fund.
But as the Spitzer mantra goes: Day one, everything changes."

Hey, anybody that can quote the Colbert Report is OK in my book...actually a very good...well written article about Spitzer....for the rest... click here....andy

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Spitzer Plans Inauguration Reflecting Vow of Openness


'Twelve years ago, Gov. George E. Pataki took office with one of the most lavish inaugural parties in New York State history: three days of food and celebration for thousands of supporters, paid for with money raised by a private corporation established solely for that purpose.
But the extravaganza blossomed into a two-year headache after Mr. Pataki broke a promise to open the corporation’s books to the public, plunging his administration into its first scandal.
It later emerged that the corporation broke multiple campaign finance laws in raising more than $2 million from corporations with business before the state, with some of the money going to pay off campaign debts and even to reimburse Pataki aides for personal expenses.
Eliot Spitzer is aiming for a happier beginning. Mr. Spitzer has planned a comparatively modest celebration for himself. It will be called the “people’s inauguration” and has carefully been designed to emulate his pledge to conduct the public’s business in the open."

"Day One" in all already here...Nice Clean Breath of Fresh Air for the State Capitol.....out with the with the continue reading this here...........andy

A preview of Inauguration Day

Capitol News 9

Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer's big day starts in Washington Park on Jan. 1. Last September when Spitzer was campaigning, he promised his supporters he would job through Washington Park -- and that's just what he plans to do.
The two-mile jog starts right at 6 a.m. at the amphitheater, and Spitzer is inviting you to run along with him. Participants have to get to the park by 5:30 a.m. if they plan to join the new governor.
And of course the big event of the day, the inauguration ceremony starts right at noon. Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor-elect David Paterson will celebrate the start to their terms in office in front of the Capitol.
The park opens to the public at 10 a.m., but security will be tight. No bags, backpacks, briefcases or luggage are allowed on the premises, and security will turn people away. Spitzer takes the oath of office on the stage before he addresses New Yorkers as governor.
After the inauguration ceremony, Eliot Spitzer makes good on yet another promise. He and his wife will host an open house at the Executive Mansion. Guests were already selected in a lottery process. Each guest gets two tickets for a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend a day at the Governor's Mansion.
The lieutenant governor will host guests at the Capitol. The day will be filled with music and theatre around Albany before a final concert at 5 p.m. Jimmy Fallon will emcee the event while stars like James Taylor will perform at the Times Union Center.
No word yet on whether Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson will attend the concert inauguration night. But both men have a lot of work planned for day two. other Inauguration Day Articles......
Day One almost dawning and Local quartet to perform at inauguration of Governor-Elect Eliot ... and Spitzer taps Niagara County winery for inauguration and Spitzer Inaugural Includes Tribute to New York Food and Thumbs up, down ..............andy


The Dumbest Quote of the Day goes to ex-state GOP chairman Stephen Minarik." Aides say Mrs. Spitzer, a graduate of Harvard Law School, will also serve as a non-paid policy adviser to her husband.
But the move drew criticism from some.
"It's peculiar and probably less than appropriate," said ex-state GOP chairman Stephen Minarik.
"If you're going to give her a job, just give her a job and pay her. To have her sitting there, does that mean people will be answering to her?"
Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson called Minarik's comments "ridiculous."
SPITZER: MY MISSUS WILL BE A BIG HIT (NY POST) wonder he is EX GOP CHAIRMAN .........and Sheriff Spitzer is still rounding them up with MetLife to pay $19 million to end Spitzer investigation and Clothing Retailer Accused of Cheating Its Workers and Eliot sues nursing-home queen Ruby ..........The Westchester based Journal News asks the question Just how liberal is Spitzer? Only time will tell does it really matter??? as long as Eliot gets the job done.........meanwhile the Albany Times Union reports Top area Democrats wait for Spitzer's call among those "sitting on their phones" are Assemblyman Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam; former Troy Comptroller and Brunswick Democratic town Chairman Martin Dunbar; and Joseph Rabito, Albany's commissioner of development and planning, Stratton???.....and the Troy Record insists GOP chair: Bruno will prevail as Senate leader ........I wonder how much it cost the Record to call the Psychic Hotline........and finally the Albany Times Union reports on the demise of "Inside Albany" 'Inside Albany' fades to black .........a wonderful show over the years...sad to see it go...........andy

Friday, December 29, 2006

Spitzer: No state worker holiday for Ford funeral

Newsday AP Story

A real tough spot for Spitzer to be in......on his first day in matter what decision he would have made........there would have been some criticism......andy

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Unlike when President Reagan's state funeral was held in 2004, there will be no day off for New York's state government workers on Tuesday as the nation honors the late President Ford. Instead, Democrat Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer said Ford will be honored with a statewide moment of silence at 10 a.m. Tuesday during the state funeral in Washington. Spitzer said Friday the state will continue to fly its flags at half-staff, a gesture ordered by outgoing Gov. George Pataki. The question of whether to give state workers the day off came at a difficult time for Spitzer, whose inauguration ceremony is being held on New Year's Day. He has pledged to run an activist government and his campaign slogan was: "On Day One, everything changes." Pataki, who did not seek re-election this year and is eyeing a run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, gave state workers the day off for Reagan's state funeral in June 2004. Pataki and his wife attended the funeral. "The nation is mourning the passing of President Gerald Ford, who served his country with honor and distinction. A great American, our 38th president was the embodiment of the national values we hold dear _ responsibility, love of family and service to one's country. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Ford and the entire Ford family," said Spitzer in a statement announcing his decision. "State offices will remain open on Tuesday and the passing of President Ford will be commemorated with a statewide moment of silence at 10 a.m.," the statement added. Since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, state offices in New York have been closed five times to mark the death of former presidents or other government officials: _Nov. 25, 1963. President Kennedy. _June 7, 1968. New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. _March 31, 1969. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. _Dec. 28, 1972. President Harry S. Truman. _Jan. 26, 1973. President Lyndon B. Johnson.


New York Post Editorial

"December 29, 2006 -- The 12-year incumbency of George Elmer Pataki draws to an end at mid night Sunday. New Yorkers may not be sad to see him go - but, then again, it can fairly be said that he never really showed up in the first place.
Not for the job he was expected to do, anyway. Often, not even for work.
To put it bluntly, Ol' George let New York down.
Ran off, in pursuit of his own interests.
Even as taxes across the state squeezed out residents and businesses.
And political corruption mushroomed.
And, later, Ground Zero languished.
Indeed, even as his own Republican Party withered on the vine.
This will be Pataki's sad legacy:"
And unfortunately Spitzer's Inheritance........for the rest of this here........andy

Spitzer: We'll build a snowman if the weather is bad

Newsday AP Story

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ With forecasters warning Eliot Spitzer could be facing a wintry mix of bad weather New Year's Day for his planned outdoor inauguration, the governor-elect said Friday he won't head inside unless things get really bad. "I always said that this would be a test for New Yorkers," Spitzer told The Associated Press. Spitzer, a Democrat, is to be formally sworn in just before midnight on New Year's Eve at a private ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Albany. The public ceremony on Monday, featuring the new governor's inaugural address, is to be in a park on the west side of the state Capitol. The state's 54th governor will be the first to be inaugurated outdoors. "If it's a little rainy and sprinkly and sleet and snow, you know what? We'll build a snowman," Spitzer joked. The current forecast for Monday in Albany calls for a 60 percent chance of freezing rain with a high of 38 and a low of 32. Spitzer has the Times Union Center sports arena in downtown Albany as a backup site.


Nobody has worked as hard as Liz when it comes to covering New York and night...weekends...holidays.....she is always on the job...digging up stories....investigating various scenarios..asking questions....Liz has a wonderful gift of getting to the "bottom line" in a hurry.......she is my political blogger of the year......a close runner up to this "prestigious" award goes to Azi Paybarah of The New York Observer's "The Politicker" the male version of Liz.....relentless pursuit of political and holidays....with his own "quirky" spin on things..............andy

Group Now Tied to an Inquiry Figured in Bruno’s Day at a Track

Joseph L. Bruno in 2000 with his horse Apache. “I could tell he was knowledgeable about racing,” the president of a Kentucky race track said.
(photo courtesy David Jennings for The New York Times)

New York Times SEWELL CHAN

"ALBANY, Dec. 28 — It was the second day of the three-week racing season at Keeneland, a thoroughbred track and auction house on the western outskirts of Lexington, Ky., in the heart of bluegrass country. The weather was cloudy. Joseph L. Bruno, the majority leader of the New York State Senate, had traveled to join 20,200 people who paid $3 a head to watch the horses.
“He was very affable, very inquisitive,” said George E. Nicholson, the president of Keeneland, recalling Mr. Bruno’s visit on Oct. 8, 2005. “I could tell he knew the right questions to ask. I could tell he was knowledgeable about racing.”
Later that day, over catered hors d’oeuvres in the library of the 1,000-acre estate, Mr. Bruno met donors at a reception that raised money for the State Senate’s Republican majority, which the senator has led since 1994.
The trip, which included three aides to the senator and a veterinarian who has been close to Mr. Bruno for years, would become a catalyst for investigations into the business activities of Mr. Bruno, a thoroughbred enthusiast who has long raised horses on his farm in Brunswick, N.Y., northeast of Albany"

For the rest of this well researched article........ click here ........andy

Replacing comptroller early test of new Albany

The Troy Record Editorial

"When it comes to political appointments, the party in power has the right to choose its own candidate, a task the state Legislature and Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer must come to terms with next month.With Alan Hevesi's resignation as state Comptroller, it will be up to the Legislature to validate his successor. Since Hevesi was re-elected on the Democratic ticket prior to his resignation, it is appropriate that the Democratic majority in the Assembly gets the most-telling vote.The office of Comptroller should be above politics. The person in this position oversees the dispersal of state funds, monitors the honesty of vendors working with the state and, most crucial, is in charge of the state's $140 billion pension fund.Even with the winds of change blowing in Albany, however, it is simply being realistic to suspect that political favors, one-upmanship and territorial marking of turf boundaries could play a part in the selection process.What we should all hope for is that Spitzer, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno let common sense and financial prudence determine the candidate for the post.First and foremost, we believe that the search should be conducted in the world of finance, not the corridors of power.
Whether the next Comptroller is Democrat or Republican should not have as much bearing on the decision as does the candidate have the fiscal savvy to deal with the complexities of the office.The $151,500 job should not be treated as a political plum. The only worthiness incumbent in the office is financial skill and the ability to see not just facts and figures provided by a large and competent staff and OK or veto them, but the ability to interpret figures in order to project state fiscal solvency far into the future.We need a person willing to stand up and tell the Legislature or the governor your idea is impractical, and that kind of person can't be selected as an appointment for services rendered in the past.This situation may serve as the test for Albany's political future. It promises to shape up as a juicy Albany story.It only remains to be seen if prudence can trump politics for once. "


DOME DUO: Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer is adding an office for wife Silda in the Capitol — an Albany first.
(photo curtesy of the New York Post)


"Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer's wife, Silda, will have an office of her own in the governor's wing on the second floor of the Capitol - the first first lady to have a place at the seat of power, The Post has learned.
A Harvard Law School graduate who started her own not-for-profit agency, Silda, 48, intends to be an active first lady and is expected to be a key adviser on some policy issues to the new governor, officials said.
"Clearly, she intends to play a role in this administration and having an office on the second floor will be important to that function," Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson said."

On Day One everything changes......Silda gave up her own career to help Eliot out with his.....they are "partners" through and through.........andy

The Latest Spin on Balboni

It's good to see Newsday's Political Blog SpinCycle back in business again.. ..I love their More Line Up for Balboni Seat pure fantasy......why the heck would Tom DiNapoli go for Balboni's Seat in the Senate??? Nassau Legis. Roger Corbin has absolutely no curb appeal outside his legislative district.....Joe Hand was a "name" thrown in to have a dem on the ballot....Mat Cuomo has nothing going for him..except his last name.......Rocco Iannarelli would be a good candidate..except he is in Jay Jacob's dog house for his last dem primary....Nassau Legis. Craig Johnson is my choice for the vacancy.....followed by Michele Schmiel, the North Hempstead clerk.........and......Balboni wasn't Spitzer's first choice??? Maltese Balkin' "Nassau Republican sources say Spitzer has reached out to other GOP senators who have Democratic-leaning districts -- including Serphin Maltese, who represents part of Queens and who barely won re-election last month." you get the feeling this may be a little bit of "sour grapes" or "penis envy" by some Nassau Republicans??? Yeah weren't Spitzer's first choice.......blah..blah..blah.....I am not buying all.........andy

Thursday, December 28, 2006

N.Y. Senate wants to triple tax rebates Bruno: Money would come from state's 'sizable surplus'

Yeah......let's get our minds off that pesky FBI investigation going on and the defection of one our own Balboni to the other side.....let's play Santa Claus now...Tis the Season............andy

"ALBANY -- The state Senate wants to give local property taxpayers $6 billion in rebates and tax credits in 2007 and 2008, Majority Leader Joseph Bruno announced Wednesday.
"The number one priority of the Senate is to provide greater property-tax relief to the hardworking, overburdened taxpayers of New York State," Bruno said in a statement.
The proposal calls for refunding $2.6 billion in 2007 -- triple the amount of the approximately $875 million handed out before November's election -- and $3.4 billion in 2008. The $875 million in 2006 included $200 million for income tax credits in New York City, and those credits are included in the new plan. The rebates averaged about $175 for non-seniors and $300 for senior citizens in 2006, and they would increase to an average of $525 for non-seniors and $900 for seniors under the Senate plan." for the rest .......
click here ...........andy

An uptown bash for Paterson

Basil and David Paterson. The father ran for lieutenant governor in 1970, the first black nominee of a major party for statewide office in New York.
(photo courtesy Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times)
David Paterson, a son of Harlem who rode to an overwhelming victory as Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer's second in command, plans to hold a special inauguration on his home turf next week.
Although the Jan. 5 event at Riverside Church is largely symbolic - he will be officially sworn-in as lieutenant governor during an Albany ceremony on New Year's Day - Paterson said he wanted the community to share in his celebration.
"This was such a significant accomplishment, just in terms of the 230-year history of New York, that this is the first [black] person to serve in the executive branch, that I would like to have another event like that to sort of preserve it for history," he said.
He also held a special ceremony at the church when he became state Senate minority leader four years ago.
The celebration, open to the public, will include Rep. Charles Rangel and City Councilwoman Inez Dickens, both Harlem Democrats, in addition to Spitzer.
Paterson said he particularly wants to thank the neighborhood where he grew up. "I'm still going to live there, and I'm proud that I live there and I love that neighborhood," he said.
There's more than one personal facet to Paterson's victory: He is the first African-American lieutenant governor in part because the man who will administer the oath - his father, former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson - did not win the office in 1970.
"He was not featured in the campaign in the general election, almost as if his presence would have hurt the ticket," Paterson said.
"There's a sense that people have sometimes that others aren't ready for a woman, for an African-American, for a gay or lesbian," he added. "But the perception that others aren't ready is actually, in many ways, the confirmation that you aren't ready - because others seem to do fine when left to their own devices."
Paterson said he has been fully included in both the campaign and the transition, and there was no friction with Spitzer over holding a separate event. "Let me tell you - when Eliot Spitzer doesn't want something, he's real clear about it," he said.
Regarding his future after playing deputy to Spitzer's sheriff, Paterson was coy - but not completely.
"In eight years, the people will have a choice," he said. "I think in eight years, a very successful governor decides what he wants to do with his life - and I'll be around."

Sheriff Spitzer still on the job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here a few more consumer victories for Eliot before he transitions into the governor's mansion......... Spitzer No Likey Pharm Parties (New York Press)"The outcome of an investigation by the office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is lots and lots of cash—$10 million to be exact. Cardinal Health Inc., one of the U.S. prescription drug fat cats., is paying up to avoid further exploration into a secondary pharmaceutical trading market. " and............
Entercom to pay $4.25M to settle lawsuit (BusinessWeek) "Entercom Communications Corp., one the nation's largest broadcasters, will pay $4.25 million to end Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's investigation of gifts -- or "payola" -- given by record companies in exchange for air play, Spitzer said Wednesday.
A lawsuit filed by Spitzer's office in March claimed Entercom solicited payments from record labels and traded air time for promotional items, personal trips and other gifts." and..........
Report finds charities pay high price for using professional ... (Albany Business Review) "State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer says the use of professional fundraisers remains an expensive proposition for charitable groups in New York state.
The latest installment of the annual "Pennies for Charity, Where Your Money Goes" report, released Wednesday, shows that of the 582 telemarketing campaigns tracked by Spitzer's office, 38.6 percent of the money raised went to the charities. The rest went to pay fees and expenses associated with the fundraising, Spitzer said. " In a way....I am sorry to see Spitzer leave this job.....he will go down as one of the best Attorney Generals New York has ever had...........andy

Spitzer may eye big changes at LIPA


Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer has yet to focus on the Long Island Power Authority, but advisers to him and experts familiar with the agency say Spitzer will certainly consider wholesale changes at LIPA, including possibly returning the utility to private ownership.No one associated with Spitzer's transition team agreed to speak on the record about LIPA's future because, they said, no decisions have been made yet. But in background discussions, they touched on common themes about an authority which over eight years has morphed from the savior that lowered rates into another mistrusted governmental entity accused of waste and incompetence.
At the least, one insider said, Spitzer's goals for LIPA will include "making LIPA more business-focused and less political and public relations-driven." He added, "I think LIPA needs to move away from the gimmickry -- rebate checks, small rate reductions. I think LIPA's got to be very focused every day on lowering rates and make that its mission."
"While the rest of the world was privatizing, we were making a huge public authority without sound governance, without the empowerment to have the public part of the process," said Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam. "Now the clean-up is left to the incoming administration."

To say Richie Kessel is on the hot seat right now...would be an understatement........for the rest of this article ....... click here ..........andy

Spitzer May Find Albany Tougher to Clean Up Than Wall Street

"Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Eliot Spitzer, who becomes New York's 54th governor on New Year's Day, won election on a vow to demand integrity and openness in state government with as much zeal as he battled misdeeds in the financial industry.
``Day 1, everything changes,'' he promised.
It was a pledge that will be difficult to keep, according to critics of government in Albany, the state capital.
Spitzer, 47, wielded prosecutable powers as New York's attorney general. Now he must rely more on persuasion to get his way with a legislature rated by a New York University think tank as the most ``dysfunctional'' in the U.S. and transform what he calls a ``pay to play'' political culture.
``He won't be able to do it on Day 1, Day 2, in 100 days or even in five years,'' said former State Senator Seymour Lachman, co-author of a recent book that depicts New York's state government as broken.
``It's a lot harder than cleaning up Wall Street,'' he said, because while the financial system is ``answerable to a market of investors, there's almost no accountability in the state Legislature.''

Yes there is...the Legislature is answerable to the taxpayers who have to foot the bill for this dysfunction........look at keep an eye on Bruno.....Day 1 is here already..........andy

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pataki To Tour The Capitol(2006 not 1994)

A Worried Pataki unable to find Executive Restrooms at State Capitol

Liz Benjamin Capitol Confidential

December 27, 2006 at 3:27 pm by Elizabeth Benjamin
Outoging Gov. George Pataki, who has been more visible in Albany during his final month in office than he was at many other times during his 12-year tenure, will finally get his official state Capitol tour this Friday - two days before he departs for good.
told the TU’s Paul Grondahl that he regretted never taking the tour at any point during his time as an elected state official.
State Assemblyman John “Jack” McEneny, D-Albany, a local historian, has agreed to lead the tour. Pataki will also likely be accompanied by James Jamieson, the Capitol architect, and a slew of reporters.
Posted in
George Pataki
1 Comment
So he’ll finally see where the Governor’s office is.
Comment by gblue55 — December 27, 2006 @
3:55 pm

Could I make this stuff up??? and Pataki wants to run for President??? andy

Blogging around the Christmas Tree.........

Liz Benjamin(Capitol Confidential) reports Conservatives To Spitzer: End Member Items .....ok...but why does State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long use "California" as a role model??? California is the most dysfunctional state in the union....Liz thinks Long is giving us the short end of the stick.."An interesting subtext to this is that Long is an ally of Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, whose allocation of two $250,000 member items to a private company in which his longtime friend, Jared Abbruzzese, was involved is reportedly being scrutinized as part of the FBI probe of Bruno’s outside business maybe Long's Letter to Spitzer is not too kosher as well......pork is pork.....Liz thinks Sen Dean Skelos is not a real happy camper now that Balboni has jumped ship....Bruno’s Congrats and speaking of happy campers..some fellow republican senators are ready to roast Bruno for not letting them know about the ongoing fbi investigation......Azi Paybarah(The Politicker) ponders the implications of a special election to replace Balboni Special Election Legacy "Balboni, and his Republican predecessor John Tully, both won the seat in special elections held on Election Day. (The years were 1997 and 1982, respectively, according to living encyclopedia Jerry Skurnik and state Board of Elections spokesman Lee Daghlian.) So in that respect, history seems to be on the GOP's side.
Then again, the current voter registration in the district favors Democrats according to figures
here and here." With the right candidate..the dems will take this seat back......Nassau has been slowly sliding into the democratic corner for years now...speaking of Candidates....Liz Benjamin reports this special election will be Mondello’s First Test "Two names have been floating around as possible special election contenders.
For the Democrats: Nassau County Legislator
Craig Johnson, a longtime Spitzer supporter who was particularly outspoken in favor of the AG during his primary with Suozzi.
For the Republicans: Nassau County Clerk
Maureen O’Connell, a former state assemblywoman who also served as the deputy mayor of the Village of East Williston. O’Connell was the replacement candidate Balboni had in mind if he had decided to run statewide this year. " Liz doesn't know Mondello very well........Balboni will have zero input on candidate selection...........andy

Eliot Spitzer's Inauguration Culinary Surprise

Rochester culinary icon makes Spitzer's inauguration menu "Garbage Plates" (a hot dog or hamburger heaped with home fries, macaroni salad, baked beans and meat sauce.)...the new Rochester Culinary Rage will be on the inauguration menu.......Silda Spitzer sampled one while campaigning and invited them to serve them up at hubby's inauguration....andy

State Debt Key Concern for Spitzer Editorial

"AT ISSUE: Reforms needed to curb debt growth, pare it back
Gov. Eliot Spitzer will have his work cut out for him come Jan. 1, largely due to the failings of George Pataki, the man who wants to be president.
Topping his troubles will be New York's mounting debt. It's a train wreck.
In October, the Citizens Budget Commission, an independent watchdog group, said state debt will reach a record $49.7 billion this year. That's $3,515 for every adult New Yorker, second only to Massachusetts ($4,987 per adult). Compare that to Texas' $707. The debt places New York in the commission's "danger zone," which is based on the states' ability to afford the debt.
Well, as the late actor Al Jolson once said, "You ain't heard nothing yet, folks." A report last week from the state comptroller's office said state-funded debt is expected to grow by one-third over the next five years — to nearly $65 billion. Debt service alone in 2011 will grow to more than $7 billion from $4.3 billion this year.
It's a formidable challenge, to say the least, for Spitzer. Not only does such an outrageous debt threaten to strap our children and grandchildren, but it will play a significant role in budget development for the new governor.
Adding to Spitzer's challenge will be a Legislature that is oblivious to the problem. The comptroller's report noted the Legislature last year created the potential for as much as an additional $9.4 billion of debt not even counted in the debt limits established in the Debt Reform Act of 2000. That includes Building Aid Revenue Bonds (BARBs) issued by the New York City Transitional Financing Authority (TFA) to pay for school construction in New York City. The TFA has already issued $650 million of this debt and plans to issue a total of $4.7 billion through 2010. These bonds are paid for exclusively with state building aid.
Even when presented with an opportunity to trim some of the debt — New York had a $1.1 billion budget surplus this year -- legislators opted to blow it in their own self-serving way by handing out tax rebates. Leaders proclaimed the rebates would arrive just in time to pay school taxes, which was, coincidentally, right around election time. Clearly, Spitzer and the Legislature will need to turn their immediate attention not only to curbing the growth of state debt, but to reducing it. They can't afford not.
And neither can we. "

Nobody ever said this was going to be easy..........andy

LIPA contracts show utility flaw

Newsday Editorial

The other day Newsday disclosed all the politically connected "consulting" firms Lipa is using......meanwhile Long Islanders continue to pay one of the highest electrical rates in the country..something has to be done.....another Pataki legacy Spitzer has to deal with..........andy

"Would Long Island be better served by a traditional public power agency, such as Los Angeles has, that owns and runs the whole show? Or would it be better off with a private utility in charge, the way ConEd provides electricity for New York City? Throw into the mix the pending sale of KeySpan to National Grid, the U.S. subsidiary of a British company, and the crystal ball looks even cloudier." for the rest....... click here ............andy

The Balboni Buzz

Larry Levy of Newsday thinks Spitzer is a political genius with his selection of "Senator Doom Balboni" Spitzer's choice of 'Senator Doom' is genius Spitzer promised the voters he would get the best minds to run the show.......and the Daily News is in a state of shock with their What the El(iot)? Spitzer scoops up GOP star and Newsday likes the idea of a their local boy making good with Spitzer's right move "The governor-elect names a LI republican the chief of homeland security, keeping his promise of a bipartisan cabinet." and Fred Dicker of The Post thinks ELIOT'S GOP SURPRISE COULD RATTLE SENATE "The decision by Balboni, one of the youngest Senate Republicans, to quit for a job with Spitzer was widely seen as a sign that he believed Democrats would soon win control of the Legislature's upper house.
It was also expected to encourage other Senate Republicans to at least consider giving up their seats for other pursuits. " meanwhile The New York Sun finally thinks Eliot did something right
Albany Bipartisanship "But by choosing a Republican from Long Island to serve in an important post in a new administration, Mr. Spitzer signals that he will reach across party lines and serve as governor of all New Yorkers." The Sun finally gets it...and finally......The Times Union Liz Benjamin thinks this will be test for Mondello Spitzer nod opens GOP seat andy

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Eliot Spitzer's Inauguration Info

From Democrat and Chronicle "Twelve members of the Garth Fagan Dance Company will perform at Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer's inauguration on Jan. 1. The presentation, entitled "Dance Collage For Romie," is in homage to Romare Bearden, an African American artist who was honored with the National Medal of Arts. Fagan joked that he had to think hard whether to accept the invitation."My first reaction was to say no because it is the day after New Years Eve. All my dancers want to be with their honies and significant others," said Fagan, a Tony-award winning choreographer.It didn't take him long to reconsider."When I thought about it, I realized this was a very big honor and a historic event to perform for the new Governor and celebrate the inauguration. We are proud to represent western New York," said Fagan. "It is going to curtail our New Years Eve party. I guess we can only have a glass of champagne."He said someone from Spitzer's office, who was an ex-dancer, suggested the troupe."This is exactly why I started this is an honor to follow the historic path of Eliot record the day by day happenings and developments as they happen.....think about it...if somehow you could go back in time and record the day by day events of say...Teddy Roosevelt or George Washington...would you say no???For more info on Eliot's Inauguration click Plans for Eliot Spitzer's inauguration or visit the official inauguration website andy

Tom DiNapoli "Mr Clean"

Newsday Editorial Cartoon(thank you Azi--The Politicker)

Comptroller Scuttlebut

The Politicker Azi Paybarah

Tom DiNapoli is the perfect choice to replace Hevesi.....we said it here ......and emailed Newsday with our thoughts...and they agreed with us here ...............andy

I've been hearing chatter that Bill Mulrow has fallen out of contention for the appointment as state comptroller, an office that opened up, of course, when Alan Hevesi resigned last week. No definitive word on what's diminished Mulrow's chances, although some gremlins have been trying to mount a whispering campaign about his connection to Excelsior Racing Associates, the group that is bidding to operate the state horse racing franchise. No one's accused Mulrow of anything untoward, but he is essentially acting as a lobbyist for Excelsior, and wearing the scarlet "L" has suddenly become something of a political problem in Albany. (Though it didn't hurt Eliot Spitzer's secretary of state designee.)
Meanwhile, the candidacy of Great Neck Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli received a boost over the weekend from the hometown newspaper, Newsday, which gave him a
strong editorial page endorsement. "Although Spitzer is said to prefer someone with minimal ties to Albany," the paper noted:
DiNapoli's record of transcending the corrupt and partisan culture of dysfunction makes him an especially good choice to be the fiscal watchdog. For his unassuming style and superb accomplishments, for his integrity, intelligence and bipartisanship, DiNapoli is respected inside and outside Albany. That he is not from New York City, where Hevesi and the new statewide officials reside, is another plus.
Really, we only mention that in order to justify republishing the above Newsday editorial cartoon, which portrayed DiNapoli as a buffed-up Mr. Clean.

Spitzer Appoints Republican to Security Post

New York Times DANNY HAKIM

One more blow to the Republican Party.........Balboni's district is ripe for a democratic take over........Mondello has his work cut out for him.........Balboni has always been very ambitious..constantly looking for something better....perhaps this is a way for Mondello to put Balboni on ice for awhile??? get rid of the "younger" competition in his own backyard???? andy

ALBANY, Dec. 26 — Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer today named State Senator Michael L. Balboni, a Nassau County Republican, to be his top homeland security official.
The move was seen as a political coup for Mr. Spitzer, who added to the bipartisan luster of his cabinet while also reducing the slim majority
Republicans hold in the Senate. Because registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Mr. Balboni’s district, it may be difficult for his party to retain his Senate seat. After Republicans lost a Westchester County Senate seat in November, they hold a 34-28 majority in the chamber. Their number will fall to 33 after Mr. Balboni vacates his seat, loosening the party’s grip on its last statewide power base.
Senate Republicans have been in turmoil this month after their top member, Majority Leader
Joseph L. Bruno, disclosed that federal authorities have been investigating his outside consulting business for several months.
Under New York law, a governor can call a special election, which then takes place at least 30 days but no more than 40 days later.
Mr. Balboni, 47, will have the title of deputy secretary for public safety security, which was described in a news release issued by the Spitzer administration as the “senior security and law enforcement official.”
“We spoke to many people, Senator Balboni included, and it increasingly became clear to us that his counsel, his wisdom, his thinking in this area was what we were looking for,” Mr. Spitzer said at a news conference today.
“The fact that I happen to be appointing a Republican, it is an act of bipartisanship, nonpartisanship,” he said, adding, “This is not part of any other ulterior scheme.”
Mr. Balboni has been one of the Legislature’s most active voice on homeland security issues and chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. He is also a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at
George Washington University and co-chairman of a homeland security task force organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“If there is any job in government that I would have wanted, it’s this one,” Mr. Balboni said at the news conference, where he appeared with Mr. Spitzer and Senate Minority Leader David Paterson, who is the lieutenant governor-elect.
Asked what his priorities will be, Mr. Balboni cited communication with neighboring states, intelligence sharing and enhancement of rail security.
Mr. Balboni was also asked about Mr. Bruno; senators will vote to re-elect Mr. Bruno as temporary president of the Senate when they return to Albany early next month.
“I am going to support Joe Bruno for re-election,” Mr. Balboni said, adding: “He deserves the benefit of the doubt to be innocent until proven guilty. Going forward, I think that’s going to be his issue, his struggle, challenge.”
In a statement, Mr. Bruno said, “We will miss him in his role as a senator, but we look forward to working with him and the new administration on homeland security and other public safety issues.”


The Times Union warns us Convention system harms democracy ........a good summary on the dilemma of selecting competent judges..........and El Diaro has Spitzer Tapping Latinos for state gov’t "In their efforts to assemble a new gubernatorial team, Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor-Elect David Paterson have recommended three Latinas for state offices.
We support the focus on identifying strong leaders. Latinos not only have the expertise and vision to drive progress in New York, but should be in positions to shape policies in a state, and nation, with a growing Latino population. " The 3 Hispanics mentioned are The gubernatorial team will nominate Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez to serve as Secretary of State, Another nominee is Gladys Carrión. In line to serve as the Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services, and finally The gubernatorial team will also recommend Priscilla Almodóvar for appointment as the President and CEO of the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA).

and Fred Dicker from the New York Post has come up with his own political Naughty and Nice List MAKING A LIST: WHO'S BEEN BAD OR GOOD IN ALBANY The losers this year are.."Nassau County Executive Tom "Kamikaze" Suozzi, who actually thought he could defeat Eliot Spitzer" ............"an entire political organization - the state GOP - which had its worst year in three generations by losing every statewide office. " ............."disgraced Alan Hevesi" get the picture.....but the real winners of 2006 will be the voters of new york...who elected Eliot Spitzer as their next governor.........and Dicker lets us know REPUBLICANS NEED NOT APPLY FOR HEVESI'S OLD JOB: SILVER ......nothing wrong with that........andy

The weather outside ... New York's new governor sees an outdoor inauguration as a test of hardiness

Times Union Editorial

"One question for Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer as he gets ready to take office in barely a week. Whom has he hired as his administration's meteorologist? Where is Mr. Spitzer getting advice that, at the moment, is more critical than what his designated budget director, Paul Francis, is telling him?
Mr. Francis merely has to advise Mr. Spitzer about how to close a state deficit in the range of $2.4 million. The weatherman might have to tell him to call off the outdoor inauguration festivities scheduled for Monday.
Yes, an outdoor swearing-in for the governor of New York. High hopes for an unseasonably balmy afternoon in Albany." Judging by this article..somebody from the editorial board was deep into the spiked eggnog........for the rest of this.......
click here ............andy


New York Post Editorial

As usual..the Post gets carried away with it's pro business stance....this country can ill afford to have another Enron Debacle....government oversight and regulation is always going to be part of the equation...and as Enron and WorldCom as shown a necessary one......Some compromise will have to take place to attract investment in new york....but not at the expense of us consumers/investors getting ripped off.....Eliot understands this....obviously the Post does not.........andy

December 26, 2006 -- Add another volume to the growing library documenting how New York's economy is being damaged by overly onerous, and largely needless, federal regulation.
Earlier this month the bipartisan Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, a group of 22 acclaimed financial academics and corporate leaders, released a study of the impact of heavy-handed government oversight of Wall Street.
The report has several targets, but its most pointed criticism is directed at the deleterious elements of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOx) law passed in the wake of Enron and like scandals.
SOx exacerbates an older problem: out-of-control lawsuits from rapacious trial lawyers and other wannabe securities-fraud prosecutors, including many state attorneys general. The U.S. legal climate drives costs up dramatically, making it difficult for American companies to compete in the international marketplace.
The disparity is exacting an enormous toll on American capital markets, as detailed in the report:
* In the late 1990s, 48 percent of new stock offerings were executed on U.S. exchanges - compared to 8 percent today.
SOx is chiefly culpable. As the report's director told The Post's Paul Tharp, SOx's $4.3 million compliance fees "are absolutely killing the U.S. in terms of maintaining listings dominance."
* The cost of listing a $187 million market-cap company on the New York Stock Exchange is $153,000, on the London Stock Exchange $85,000.
* Annual fees on the NYSE $36,000, on the LSE $7,500.
* Underwriting fees for an NYSE IPO 5.6 percent, on the LSE 3.5 percent.
* While the value of IPO offerings on the NYSE rose slightly from $24.5 billion in 2005 to $26.5 million in 2006, or 8 percent, London jumped from $14.5 billion to $36.5 billion, or 152 percent.
As these columns have detailed, New York City takes a direct hit whenever a new listing is lost to a foreign exchange.
To help rectify this unhappy situation, the authors lay out a series of recommendations that have already received tacit endorsement from Sen. Charles Schumer and Mayor Bloomberg:
* Cut duplicative, redundant rulemaking - streamline securities regulation, and concentrate it on the federal level.
* Free small companies from SOx's reach.
* Restrict most lawsuits to executives and specific employees - allow action against entire companies only when they're "top-to-bottom criminal enterprises."
* Forbid state regulators (e.g., state AGs) from prosecuting financial industries governed by federal rules.
* Prevent stock manipulations by keeping investigations quiet so that companies' stock values aren't subject to an overnight implosion.
These last three recommendations appear directed at ending so-called Spitzer- ism - i.e., corrosive hyperactivity at the state level. Little surprise, then, the gov-elect's reaction. Spitzer told CNBC: "On a political level, I can tell you this report is dead on arrival."
"This is the product of nothing more than CEOs and a few financial-services companies who themselves were the target of prosecution," Spitzer said (notably overlooking the near entirety of the committee's membership).
Obviously taking this personally, Spitzer needs to recall his new title: governor - not attorney general. With liberals like Schumer and Bloomberg already on board, these levelheaded recommendations are clearly not part of some Big Business plot.
Having stated repeatedly his intention to help New York retain its title of undisputed financial capital of the world, Eliot Spitzer owes New York his full support of any proposal to do just that.

Season's Greetings from the Spitzers!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Norman Rockwell Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Chirstmas Eve 2006

Santa knows.....if you have been naughty or nice.........may this night be very special for you and your family........andy


Newsday Editorial

Resolution to a scandal

Plea deal for disgraced Hevesi is fair; DiNapoli should get comptroller post

December 24, 2006Chauffeurgate is closed, and that couldn't have come sooner for the state and the man at the center of the scandal. Ending an otherwise stellar career, and sparing everyone the sad spectacle of a criminal trial, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi finally did the right thing yesterday by pleading guilty to a single felony in exchange for no prison time. Hevesi admitted in an Albany courtroom that he never intended to reimburse the state when he assigned state employees, at a cost of more than $200,000, to drive and perform other services for his ailing wife.Now, with the inauguration next week of a new governor, Eliot Spitzer, the state can move more cleanly into a new era. In the wake of Hevesi's fall in disgrace, the next comptroller must above all personify integrity. And while political experience isn't always a plus, the nature of the job argues for someone with both a clear moral compass and a strong understanding of state and local issues.That's why we would love to see Assemb. Thomas DiNapoli (D-Great Neck) be tapped by Spitzer and state lawmakers. Although Spitzer is said to prefer someone with minimal ties to Albany, DiNapoli's record of transcending the corrupt and partisan culture of dysfunction makes him an especially good choice to be the fiscal watchdog. For his unassuming style and superb accomplishments, for his integrity, intelligence and bipartisanship, DiNapoli is respected inside and outside Albany. That he is not from New York City, where Hevesi and the new statewide officials reside, is another plus.Albany District Attorney David Soares, elected last year as an anti-corruption insurgent, conducted a thorough probe of the Hevesi scandal and extracted a fair plea. Hevesi's public career is over. He has reimbursed the state. And New Yorkers will be spared the uncertainty and circus of a trial.Democrats have a majority when the two houses vote together. So they will make the decision. Whomever they choose for this crucial post, they should do it soon.

Tom is the best choice to replace Hevesi.......he is such a class of the rare political "good guys"............come on Spitzer and the right thing here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice guys can finish first...............andy

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Assemblymember Thomas P. DiNapoli should replace Hevesi

Assemblyman Thomas P. DiNapoli 16th Assembly District
Tom is the perfect elected official to take over Hevesi's post as State Comptroller. Newsday has called him "Mr. Clean" because of his integrity, honesty and hard work ethic. Both Silver and Spitzer want someone they know and trust to handle this very important position......well.....Tom is your man......Tom has a wonderful reputation in Albany and is respected on both sides of the Legislative Aisle........I have posted Tom's Biography below.......after reading will have to agree.......Tom is the perfect choice.........andy
For over three decades Thomas P. DiNapoli has served the residents of Nassau County as a community activist and elected official.
Assemblyman DiNapoli first gained recognition in 1972, at the age of 18, as the youngest person in New York State to hold public office when he served as a Trustee of the Mineola Board of Education. This prompted the passage of legislation, signed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, establishing the right of 18 to 21 year-olds to hold public office in New York State. DiNapoli served on the school board for ten years, including two terms as President.
In 1986, Tom was elected to the New York State Assembly, representing the 16th Assembly District in Northwestern Nassau County. During his 16 years in the State Assembly, DiNapoli has served as Chairman of the Standing Committees on Local Government, Governmental Operations, Consumer Affairs and Protection, Ethics and Guidance and the Assembly Task Force on the Long Island Sound. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation and Co-Chair of the Legislative Commission on Water Resource Needs of New York State and Long Island.
Emphasizing his dedication to issues such as education, environment and budgeting, in addition to Chairing the Environmental Conservation Committee, DiNapoli serves as a member of the Standing Committees on Education, Ways and Means and Veterans Affairs. DiNapoli’s 16 years in Albany and strong working relationship with members from both political parties has enabled him to make important, long lasting contributions to the people of Long Island and New York State.
Since his election in 1986, Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli has earned a reputation as one of the State’s leading voices on environmental issues. He has championed efforts to preserve open space, restore the Long Island Sound, and numerous measures to ensure the quality of our drinking water and protect surface and groundwater resources throughout the State. He crafted the landmark “Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act”, initiated the establishment of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, secured passage of the nation’s first statutory phase out of the ground water contaminant – MtBE and sponsored the “Oil Spill Prevention and Contingency Act”.
Last session, his first as Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, DiNapoli led the effort to restore full funding for the Environmental Protection Fund and legislation he sponsored protected 300 acres of open land at SUNY Old Westbury. Most recently, he helped secure the preservation of 51 acres of the Underhill Property in Nassau County.
As a champion of education, Assemblyman DiNapoli continues to work to provide state aid to maintain Long Island’s high educational standards and to provide access to higher education for all. Tom has also sponsored bills to increase availability of absentee ballots for school elections, encourage sharing of administrative services between school districts, requiring a single voting day for Long Island’s school budget votes and to make school bus rides safer for our children.
Assemblyman DiNapoli has taken the lead on health care issues particularly important to Long Islanders. Tom has sponsored laws to prohibit so-called “drive through” mastectomy surgery, ensuring critical decisions are left to doctors and their patients; as well as laws to provide insurance coverage for second opinions for all cancer patients and require insurance companies to cover prostate cancer screening.
For seven years he worked with breast cancer activists and health, school and environmental advocates to require prior neighbor notification before pesticide spraying. This has been heralded as the “most comprehensive legislation of its type in the nation.”
Throughout his career as a public servant, Tom DiNapoli has been known as a problem solver with a vision toward the future and a doer in a world of talkers.
Tom DiNapoli was born in Rockville Centre, grew up in Albertson and currently resides in Great Neck. He graduated from Mineola High School, holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from the New School University and a Bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) in History from Hofstra University.
The Council of State Governments has named Tom DiNapoli a Toll Fellow as one of American’s 33 “emerging State leaders.” He has been hailed as a “hero” by the Healthy Schools Network and “Legislator of the Year” by Environmental Advocates. This year, he has been selected by NYS Audubon to receive the William Hoyt Environmental Award for his leadership on environmental and conservation issues.

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