Thursday, January 25, 2007

Does LaTessa have any chance to be next comptroller?

NEWS 10 NOW SYRACUSE

"Hell No" would probably be the correct answer.....here is an interesting "upstate" view of the Comptroller selection process.....andy

Investors, fiscal officials of local governments, and some state lawmakers are part of the nearly 20 contenders that have put their names in for the job of New York State Comptroller. A panel of more than 40 state legislators and three former state comptrollers are reviewing the candidates to follow Alan Hevesi, who resigned in December. A Syracuse name is in the mix, but it may not be for very long.
“I can't imagine,” Syracuse University Political Scientist Jeff Stonecash said.What Stonecash at Syracuse University's Maxwell School can't imagine is Syracuse City Auditor Phil LaTessa having any chance of becoming New York State Comptroller. LaTessa was among a host of contenders interviewed by a panel made up of members of the state legislature, as well as a group of experts assembled by Governor Eliot Spitzer.
“You've got people in Albany who can go around and call in lots of debts for things they did for people. They've got lots of connections. I don't think he's got a prayer,” Stonecash said.Stonecash is not alone in that assessment. In fact, a number of state legislators from the Syracuse area privately have said the city auditor is unlikely to be changing jobs anytime soon.

With all of New York's statewide officials now coming from downstate, there has been an argument that an upstate candidate should be sought out. But, Joseph Morelle, of the Rochester area, is seen as the likely standard bearer for the Upstate region and is one of several state lawmakers seeking the job.One local assemblyman referred to the hearings as a "dog and pony show" designed to give the appearance of an open process, but shielding the real "behind the scenes" bargaining that will arrive at a final candidate.
Stonecash said the fact that the interviews are public is progress.
“I think Eliot Spitzer has taken the charge that things are too secretive, that they are done behind closed doors. He's taken that charge seriously. Now, we may essentially end up with what we would have gotten otherwise, but I do think one of the crucial things in Albany, given the press' relentless characterization of it as dysfunctional, is that they need to open it up and show people that things are done in a reasonable style,” Stonecash said.
Are odds against LaTessa?Investors, fiscal officials of local governments, and some state lawmakers are part of the nearly 20 contenders that have put their names in for the job of New York State Comptroller. A panel of more than 40 state legislators and three former state comptrollers are reviewing the candidates to follow Alan Hevesi, who resigned in December. News 10 Now's Bill Carey says a Syracuse name is in the mix, but it may not be for very long.

It is a reasonable style for lawmakers who will have a final say on who will be comptroller—lawmakers who will likely make their choice from among one of their own colleagues seeking the job.
After his appearance before the special search panel in Albany, Syracuse Auditor LaTessa made the rounds at various Senate and Assembly offices, hoping to win over lawmakers and improve his chances for selection.The review panel is expected to produce a list of five finalists for the legislature's consideration.

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