From Atlantic Yards Report:
Blaming New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for Gov. David Paterson’s apparent reluctance to sign sweeping legislation that would reform the governance of the state’s public authorities, state Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester), yesterday urged Paterson to sign the bill, offered forceful rebuttals to Bloomberg’s concerns, and said they were considering public meetings and hearings to focus attention on the bill.
“This bill is as American as apple pie,” Brodsky (right) said of the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009. “This is a power struggle between the needs of the people and the needs of a powerful mayor.” The bill has drawn broad support from editorialists and civic groups.
Perkins said Paterson should “return to his roots,” noting that, “when the governor had this office [state Senator from Harlem], he was a leading voice for reform.” They spoke at a hastily-called press conference at Perkins’s Harlem office, attended by journalists from the Associated Press, WNYC, and City Hall News, along with AYR.
Perkins and Brodsky, serving as the chairmen of committees that oversee public authorities, shepherded the bill through the legislature to nearly unanimous approval.
At least nine newspapers, including the New York Times, Newsday, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Albany Times-Union, and the Syracuse Post-Standard, have endorsed the bill.
Likening the debate over the bill to the polarized and distorted national discussion over health care reform, Brodsky said “were not going to allow the mayor or anyone else to mischaracterize what’s in the bill.” He noted that the authorities operate all over the state, with many of their activities having nothing to do with New York City. “This is not a New York City issue,” he said, citing widespread support for the bill.
Bloomberg apparently objects to a provision that requires records kept detailing all contact with lobbyists, including those from other government agencies.
“They don’t want the public to know when the mayor’s office calls in and tells the governor what to do,” Brodsky said.
As the Wonkster points out, the heat is on.
Paterson has said he supports 90% of the reform bill, but the 10% is no doubt what Bloomberg wants to see changed.