Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The laughingstock of all 50 states

From the Wall Street Journal:

Move over, New Jersey, you're getting a run for your tax money as the nation's most dysfunctional state from the once great mecca of commerce and finance known as New York. Politics in the Empire State has become a carnival of spendthrifts, sexual miscreants and the all-purpose ethically challenged.

In the latest sign that the Apocalypse is upon Albany, New York Governor David Paterson announced yesterday that he won't seek election to a full term in November only two weeks after he had announced that he would. Mr. Paterson, a Democrat who became governor in March 2008 after Eliot Spitzer resigned in a prostitution scandal, has spent the past two years lurching from one fiasco to the next.

He's currently being investigated for awarding a lucrative casino contract to a political backer. And this week he was accused of contacting a woman who was seeking a protective order against one of his aides. State police are reported to have pressured the woman to drop her complaint.

Mr. Paterson's troubles have been catnip for "Saturday Night Live," but the state's voters are laughing to keep from crying. New York's budget deficit is an estimated $8.2 billion, due in no small part to state spending that has risen by nearly 70%, or $35 billion, over the past decade. The recent financial crisis has exposed the state's overreliance on tax revenue from Wall Street.

Mr. Paterson has promised several times to stop this, only to give in to the legislature and tax and spend again. He'll now be the lamest of lame ducks, and if he wanted to do the public at least one good turn he'd resign early and let the state be run through next year by his Lieutenant Governor, Richard Ravitch, who is at least competent.

This mess is all part of the culture of Albany, arguably the most corrupt legislature on Earth.


georgetheatheist said...

From Tuesday's NY Times, page A21("Some Black Democrats Suggest Race Is Factor in Pressure on the Governor"):

Assemblyman Daniel J. O'Donnell, a Democrat from the Upper West Side, said: "I ache for the return of dysfunction. Dysfunction had its problems, but at least dysfunction has function in its title. We are not functioning at all."

stinky said...

We are called the Empire State!

It's amazing we the citizen hang on somehow - we are survivors and if this were to happen anywhere else (excuse me - we have Washington) the state would have collapsed. Somehow we crawl along and I believe that there are a great many POLS who leverage and thrive under these circumstances and like nothing better to keep this status quo. So now we are left with stark reality of an individual who unelected whom may become Governor after Patterson steps down. The state Senate members are frozen in time unable to muster any legislation. The assembly is amateur like with deep seated POLS that a shovel could not dig them out of office.

What to do?

Toby S. said...


Anonymous said...

Why are they all downplaying the real scandal?

It was reported this week that President Obama himself had contacted Tiger Woods in the aftermath of his domestic abuse scandal.

Everyone knows Elin battered Tiger bloody with a golfclub that night.
His face was covered with cuts and bruises to prove it.

Yet he denies it.

Did Obama (the son of a white woman) pressure Tiger in that phone call to not press charges against his (white) wife?

If not, what was the purpose of that phone call, from the most powerful man in America to a domestic violence victim?

Haven't we been told in the context of the Paterson probe that those sorts of calls from powerful men are completely inappropriate. if not outright witness intimidation?

Yet another example of the double standard that exists in America.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if more of us bothered to run for office, the entrenched Clubhouse incumbents would be forced to answer to us for a change.

But when you have a lame duck governor; and an appointed US Senator who is running unopposed, you get the leadership you deserve.

Steve Behar said...

New York State needs a Constitutional Convention. We need to simply scrap the so-called "legislature" we have now and start over!