Thursday, July 09, 2009

The New York State government clown show continues... 

The governor enters the center ring!

Early last evening the phone rang, I picked it up, and Governor Paterson (New York State's "accidental governor") told me he'd just named Dick Ravitch to be his lieutenant governor. This way he, through Ravitch, will have the tie-breaking vote in the continuing 31-31 State Senate standoff.

Huh? It was an autodialed call. Ravitch is an OK guy who did a tough job leading the city subway system back from ruin 20 years ago, but... as the NY press corps' senior (and best) Albany member reports...
Gov. Paterson yesterday put New York on a course to become a banana republic, with an unelected governor (himself), an unelected lieutenant governor (Richard Ravitch) and an unelected state comptroller (Tom DiNapoli), who, under pressure from Paterson, has refused to give elected senators their pay.

Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, c'mon up -- to Albany!

Maybe now we know why Paterson flunked the bar exam after three years at Hofstra Law School.

Paterson's unprecedented move -- in defiance of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and 230 years of state history -- is mind-boggling in its implications ...

New York's Constitution says the succession goes from governor to lieutenant governor and, when there is no lieutenant governor, to the elected Senate president and the elected Assembly speaker.

Paterson is taking his unprecedented action in the face of an unequivocal finding by Cuomo, New York's only elected statewide official, that such an action is unconstitutional.

Former Gov. Mario Cuomo, the father of the current attorney general and a first-class legal mind who graduated first in his class from St. John's Law School, saw his first lieutenant governor, Alfred DelBello, quit. Then-Gov. Cuomo never considered naming a replacement. He considered such an action illegal, as well as unconstitutional.

Gov. Malcolm Wilson, a Republican who, like Paterson, had been a lieutenant governor at the time a governor (Nelson Rockefeller) resigned, never considered naming his own replacement because, an associate said, he would have considered such a possibility "absurd."

If Paterson ... gets his way, New Yorkers could have a team of unelected and therefore unaccountable executives serving through Dec. 31, 2010 -- with enormous powers of spending, policy making and appointments... [NY Post]
The lawsuits have already been filed, so don't worry about that. This show is far from over...