Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Edition/Things are smelling better already

"As many politicians do in this generation of voter distrust, Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer ran on a platform that could be boiled down to one word: reform.Reform is easy to promise but can be hard to deliver. Newly elected people sometimes find the temptations of political life more enticing once inside the process, and in other cases, reform is impossible to achieve because of opposition from long-entrenched officials.Bravos to Spitzer for not only keeping his promise to hit the ground running, but for insuring in advance that at least the Executive Branch is going to be swept by an armada of new brooms." Editorial The Record

"Upstate -- the governor-elect likened it to Appalachia -- needs a separate economic initiative in Spitzer's first year in office. The council report was dead right. There are two New Yorks, and the new governor needs to fix that. His State of the State is the right place to pledge to do that."
Editorial Star Gazette

"It would be a fine thing for Brooklyn to have a major league team again. It would be a fine thing for the Nets to come over from Jersey and give the Knicks a real run for their money, because maybe real competition for the basketball dollar would make James Dolan, as weak a caretaker as Madison Square Garden has ever had, either pick up his game or just get out of the sports business. Bruce Ratner is allowed to move his team. Just not like this.
From the start, Ratner has tried to make himself out to be some kind of sports philanthropist as he tries to pull off one of the great broad-daylight real estate grabs in the history of Brooklyn and maybe the whole city. Everybody except the politicians who have rolled over for him on this - most prominent among these are George Pataki, outgoing governor and would-be Presidential candidate, Charles (Rubber Stamp) Gargano of the Empire State Development Corporation and Peter Kalikow of the MTA - have known from the start that this is a real-estate killing that needed a sports team, and the Nets were handy.
You bet Ratner wants to build a modern basketball palace for the Nets. He wants to build 16 high-rises around it much more. This was never just about bringing big-time sports back to a borough that hasn't had bigtime sports since the Dodgers left town 50 years ago. It was about turning a whole section of Brooklyn into Forest City Ratner's vision of a Brooklyn Times Square, no matter how many residents had to be shoved out of the way, no matter how many neighborhoods had to be trampled.
Now Ratner and the politicians arrive in the late innings, desperate to push the whole thing through before Pataki, who actually thinks he can be President, runs off to campaign in Iowa and Eliot Spitzer becomes governor of New York. Spitzer has made his chops as a star politician in this city because of his integrity and his fearlessness. He can use all that now and let everybody scrambling to get the Atlantic Yards Project deal done know that he wants nothing further done until he becomes the top guy in the state after the first of the year.

New York Daily News Mike Lupica Hi Ho Silver

"The law, according to Sheriff Spitzer:
From now on, neither New York's governor nor his appointees will take gifts from lobbyists beyond a cup of coffee.
Those who leave the Spitzer administration will be barred from lobbying his administration for two years.
The governor and Lt. Gov. David Paterson will not accept campaign contributions of more than $10,000, down from the obscene legal limit of $50,100.
Nor will they participate in fund-raisers at the Capitol during the legislative session, events notable for the oily presence of special-interest lobbyists handing out checks literally minutes before lawmakers cast votes.
Nor will they take fees for giving speeches.
Nor will they allow political appointees to give to their campaigns.
Nor will they appear in taxpayer-funded commercials, the ones where pols take credit for popular programs on the public dime.
But they will make Albany more transparent by relying on the state controller to certify how much revenue the government has, detailing every item of pork-barrel spending in individual lines in the budget, establishing performance measures for state agencies and allowing the public to watch meetings of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other agencies live on the Internet.
Imagine that. Albany smells better already, and Spitzer won't even take his chair as the new governor for another month yet."

New York Daily News Editorial Spitzer's challenge to Joe and Shelly

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