Dear State Legislator:
Hey. How's it going? Everyone settling in nicely now that Pataki's gone? Congrats, too, on adding another Democratic State Senator. Slowly but surely, eh?
Anyhow, I want to talk with you a little bit about this whole Hevesi replacement situation.
See, I like Governor Spitzer. I voted for him. I am hopeful about his agenda to reform the way you guys all do business on the Hudson. I didn't vote for Shelly Silver. I didn't vote for Joe Bruno. Neither of those guys represent me, neither of those guys represent anyone in WNY, and none of them are particularly interested in what goes on out here in the stix, right? I mean, Silver is from the lower east side of Manhattan, and Bruno has a nice horse farm near Saratoga. I don't mind Silver running the Assembly or Bruno running the Senate. After all, they're elected to do so by their membership. What I do mind is that they see themselves as co-Governors of the state along with Spitzer.
So, when it came time to select someone to replace the disgraced convict Alan Hevesi, I thought it was a nice deal that was struck between Bruno, Silver, and Spitzer to have a panel of three ex state and NYC Comptrollers interview potential candidates and select up to five finalists for the job, and then having the state legislature select one of the finalists.
It heralded something new and different for you guys out there - the idea of meritocracy versus patronage. The idea of compromise for the good of the state. The idea that people in state government could be flexible.
The panel selected three finalists. None of them were members of the state Assembly. It appears that Silver and the Assembly Democrats are having a collective temper tantrum about this. Nowhere did I read that any of the finalists had to, by definition, be a Democratic Assemblyperson.
I heard that there had been a closed-door meeting where Silver caught bloody hell from his members.
Leadership here would be to follow the deal struck with the Governor for a selection process based on merit, rather than political payback and turf-protection. I'm sure Tom DiNapoli is a swell guy and would be the bee's knees as State Comptroller, but what about the three best candidates as set forth by the independent panel of ex-comptrollers?
It's time for you guys to stop being little lords of your little fiefdoms and start looking to and working for the benefit of your constituents, and the state at large where appropriate. People are pretty sick and tired of you lot - what was your approval rating late last year? In the 20s? Well, Spitzer is the one who got what can easily be called a mandate to lead us out of the madness in which Albany has been mired these past decades.
I don't think I'm out of order saying that the people of this state would go with Spitzer instead of Silver. Ultimately, we're the bosses of you.
So, today when you vote on the person to replace Alan Hevesi, Mr. Albany Legislator, are you going to follow the guy who answers to the Lower East Side or the guy who answers to the whole state? Are you going to vote merit over turf? The choice is up to you. Your conscience knows the answer to that question.
Please don't disappoint us.
Love, Buffalo Pundit.
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