Thursday, February 08, 2007
Good choice, bad process
Public cynicism about Albany would have been better blunted if Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and the Democratic majority had stuck with their agreement to choose a state comptroller from a list vetted by a panel of former fiscal watchdogs. But if the Assembly was determined to choose one of its own, it could not have done better than Assemb. Thomas DiNapoli (D-Great Neck).Make that former assemblyman and now New York State Comptroller DiNapoli - aka Mr. Clean and Mr. Consensus.His years of experience on the Ways and Means Committee and other work on important finance issues - such as creating Nassau's fiscal monitor and new laws in response to the Roslyn school scandal - give DiNapoli keen insights into how state and local governments work. In addition to his reputation for integrity, his management degree and jobs with AT&T also are solid qualifications.DiNapoli was chosen overwhelmingly by a combined vote of the Assembly and State Senate to fill a vacancy left after the corruption conviction of Alan Hevesi. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle resisted an intimidating campaign by Gov. Eliot Spitzer that included operatives pointing to middle-income DiNapoli's meager personal investment portfolio to suggest he wasn't qualified to manage the state's pension funds.The choice is a political defeat for Spitzer - one he deserved, for heavy-handedly trying to influence the selection of someone whose job, in part, is to monitor his agencies.It was fine for Spitzer to insist on high standards, and Silver should have been guided by the review panel's recommendations, even though the process seemed tainted. But the state constitution does give the legislature the authority to fill such vacancies - a bad system that ought to be changed.Now it's time for everyone to move on without prejudice. If DiNapoli handles the job as well as we believe he will, neither Spitzer nor any other cynic should have reason to pout.
This editorial pretty much sums up how I feel right now.....the law should be changed..to allow the governor to call a special election...let the voters decide..not some politically rigged panel or in house assembly deal.........with all that said....DiNapoli will turn out to be a wonderful comptroller..and someday Spitzer will be relying on Tom. ........and regretting Spitzer: DiNapoli "unqualified" for comptroller job ..........andy