Monday, April 30, 2007


JUDGE JUDY WOULD NOT BE A HAPPY CAMPER WITH ALL THE CRAZINESS GOING ON FOR JUDICIAL PAY RAISES........About That Pay Raise......."The Senate Democrats gave Gov. Eliot Spitzer a little negotiating help on campaign finance reform today, saying they don’t think a legislative pay raise is warranted until “substantial progress in addressing priority bills, including the reform agenda.”
Consequently, Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith and his colleages withdrew what only last week was their unanimous support for Majority Leader Joseph Bruno’s proposal, which included judicial pay hikes and a commission to consider and recommend legislative and executive pay hikes."...................MEANWHILE........CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL ASKS THE PROVERBIAL QUESTION
Marchers In Robes? Not Just Yet........"I just took a stroll around the Capitol parks and didn’t see any judges bearing picket signs or marching in circles.
There had been some buzz over the weekend that judges, frustrated with the way the push for judicial pay raises are going, had been talking about coming to Albany and staging some kind of a protest. But they decided not to.
Moreover, Jim Odato, who is at the Law Day talk with Gov. Eliot Spitzer, tells me all is quiet there as well, even though Spitzer is decrying what he said is the legislature’s holding a pay raise “hostage'’ to their own desires for a raise.
Judges, I’m told concluded that an outright protest would be impolitic. They reportedly got some persuasion from Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, who is also said to be interested in a spot on the Appellate Division and may want to demonstrate his deftness in keeping judges under control.".............................HOW ABOUT RUBBING 2 NICKELS TOGETHER..........ERRRRRRRRR...MAYBE NOT...........
A $20 Million Fight Over a Nickel ........"In case anybody needed a reminder how lucrative Albany gridlock can be...
The question of whether to include 5 cent deposit charge on certain drinks in New York has been a $20 million fight, according to lobbying records analyzed by Common Cause. Supporters spent $6,888,265 to get the bill passed.Opponents spent $6,306,459 to stop it.
More quick numbers, from the group’s public statement:
$2,705,678.47 was given in campaign contributions by the bottling industry, beverage distributors, food retailers and others that oppose the new bill
$1,388,272.26 was given in campaign contributions by organizations supporting the expanded law, often called the “Bigger, Better Bottle Bill.” Over 94% of these contributions came from one entity—the Public Employees Federation.
The full report is
here [pdf]. " THERE YOU GO........WHAT THE HELL DOES A CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES UNION GOT TO DO WITH SODA CAN DEPOSITS??? OUR UNION DUES HARD AT WORK :-) ..............................AND WE LEARN.........Malcolm Smith Agrees with Spitzer, Abruptly.............The AP has an official statement from Democratic Senate Leader Malcolm Smith explaining why he pulled his entire conference off a bill raising salaries for state lawmakers--something Governor Spitzer opposed. Smith said the conference changed position because Senate Republicans didn't agree to campaign finance reform.
As a result, the members of the minority conference will remove their names as sponsors of Sen. Bruno's pay raise bill," Smith said in a prepared statement. "Moreover, we will oppose this bill absent an agreement by the majority to embrace meaningful campaign finance reform.
Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, needless to say, thinks that Smith got
Somewhere, political consultant Norman Adler -- who once called the Senate Democratic conference a "
wholly owned subsidiary" of Spitzer's operation -- is chuckling...........NO REFORM..NO PAY HIKES.......YIKES!!!! WHAT WILL BRUNO DO NOW??? .........MEANWHILE CLOSER TO HOME Replacing a Pataki Holdover ..............One of the last George Pataki holdovers to walk the halls of second floor in the Capitol has been replaced.
Karen Paikin, who was Pataki's -- and for a short time, Eliot Spitzer's -- Jewish liaison, was replaced today by Ross Wallenstein, an aide to Rep. Gary Ackerman of Queens and Nassau. ..................AND FINALLY WE ARE TOLD
Spitzer Still in Fighting Mood.........Appearing today at an Albany middle school, Gov. Eliot Spitzer seemed in high spirits, even somewhat defiant, in response to questions about his prodigious campaign fund-raising and whether or not it conflicts with his message of tighter campaign finance limits.
The governor said:
I have set limits far below the statutory limits and I am abiding by those limits, unilaterally putting myself at a disadvantage. I am traveling around the state calling on the Senate majority to pass campaign finance reform that will finally get money out of the system. Joe Bruno should agree to limit L.L.C. contributions. That appears to be the issue that is preventing the Senate from signing on to a bill that every good government group has supported. That is what New York needs.
He also responded to questions about a New York Post story,
in which the same good government groups that the governor is allied with on campaign reform expressed unhappiness with some of his fund-raising mailings.
“We are not offering access,” Mr. Spitzer said. “We are abiding by every law, in fact, going way beyond the laws of the state of New York. I’ve been doing that since I announced back in December and imposed ethics obligations on those in my administration and my own fund-raising that is far beyond what the state requires.”
He also rebuffed suggestions that lawmakers rush to pass legislation that would allow the dealth penalty for cop-killers. Republican leaders in the Senate began sounding the call for such a bill mere hours after the death last week of Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff, before it turned out that the fatal shot that killed Trooper Brinkerhoff came, accidentally, from a fellow trooper.
Gov. Spitzer said his position on the dealth penalty was clear — he supports it for cop killers — but that “the moment to discuss that, I’ve said, is not on the eve of a funeral.” He then went a little further, obliquely but harshly criticizing the Republican senators calling for a bill.
“There are a lot of politicians who I think, in almost a grotesque example of playing politics with a horrific event, seize an event like this to start putting out press releases,” he said. “That’s wrong.” COME ON BRUNO AND THE REPULBLICANS PLAYING POLITICS OVER A TRAGEDY????? UNHEARD OF........AFTER ALL 9/11 AND IT'S AFTERMATH WAS NEVER USED FOR POLITICAL GAIN BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY........ERRRRRRR...NOT MUCH........HMMMMMMM....OK...SPITZER HAS A POINT..............ANDY

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