What happened with Fairness and Transparency on Day 1?
Wasn’t everything supposed to change on Day 1? Wasn’t our hero, the smartest man in the world, the Honorable, Majestic, Virtuous, and Excellent Eliot Spitzer (one title isn’t enough for a beneficent leader of the magnanimous caliber of our Governor) supposed to usher in a new era of good government and transparency in Albany? Isn’t this the man who promised to end the era of hidden deals and backroom politics in favor of TRANSPARENCY AND FAIRNESS?
I guess not. Maybe that was the Eliot Spitzer that we voted for, but it’s certainly not the Eliot Spitzer that’s governed the state since Day 1. Last week we found out the worst kept secret in state government, that the Comptroller panel was rigged and that Spitzer nullified the recommendations of the panel by eliminating one of the potential candidates for the Comptroller position; an action which if Spitzer hadn’t interfered, would have been a win-win situation for everyone involved and would have led to a much more peaceful co-existence between the Governor and the Legislature. Granted it takes two to tango and Grannis’ acceptance of the DEC position (one which the Senate is now threatening to block) showed a remarkable lack of foresight. However, it is Spitzer’s willingness to actively obstruct the process that is most troubling. Instead of receiving 4 qualified candidates for the Comptroller position, there were only 3, thus sparking the aforementioned war. If everyone agrees on an independent panel, then EVERYONE should agree to let the panel perform its functions with the least amount of external intrusions as possible. Shame on the Governor for depriving the Legislature of an additional Comptroller candidate which may have led to some temporary peace.
The newest example of the transparency and fairness in our state government appears in today’s NY Sun. Apparently, the Governor has decided that only a month after his State of the State address, he’s already going to renege on the promise that:
“To increase transparency, we will move forward — as the leaders have already agreed — to eliminate lump-sum member items, and require that all member-item spending be specifically itemized in the budget, so this spending can be clearly defined, analyzed and is transparent to the public.”
I guess transparency only applies to those the Governor disagrees with. The Senate lapdog Democrats have essentially agreed to be bought off through a secret slush fund provided by Spitzer in exchange for their undying adoration, devotion and votes to do whatever Generalissimo Spitzer deems to be best in his despotic mind. If the NY Sun article is accurate, hypocrite is not even close to a strong enough word to describe the travesty that Spitzer is attempting to perpetuate. Spitzer can continue to fall back on his “mandate” and on the generic “will of the people” to attempt to justify his means, but the people did not vote for secret slush funds to buy off a significant portion of the legislature, the people did not vote for a Governor that institutes “neutral, objective” processes only to meddle in those processes to obtain his desired result.
We voted for a more transparent, ethical, responsive government. Instead, we’re not even getting more of the same, we’re getting worse.
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