Wednesday, March 19, 2008

There's A Bear Mountain Compact?!?

To outdoorsy New Yorkers, Bear Mountain is known as a recreational getaway not too far from the city where you can fish, hike and do whatever woodsy stuff you like. However to a politician serving in the New York State Legislature there's a hidden meaning when driving up I-87 on the way to Albany.

From Newsday:

ALBANY - There are the booze-fueled fund-raisers and the attractive aides, the six-months-long, intense legislative session and the second homes stumbling distance from the bars -- all of it conveniently far from home.

New York's capital may look buttoned-down, but former legislative aides and lawmakers say Albany provides an accommodating culture for marital infidelities like those acknowledged by Gov. David A. Paterson on Monday.

"That's just the nature of Albany. It lends itself to idle people misbehaving away from home," said Charmian Neary, a former Albany aide who filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Assembly against her boss, former Assemb. Mark Alan Siegel, in 1992. It was dismissed, although Siegel and the Assembly later settled a harassment lawsuit with Neary.

For many years, there was a rule among New York City area lawmakers called the Bear Mountain Compact: personal transgressions north of the upstate mountain don't get talked about south of it. At least not on the record. "Of course you hear the rumors," said one state legislator who spoke on condition of anonymity. "And you do everything you can to avoid becoming part of them."

Wow, you really can learn something new everyday. How sad is it that there actually has to be a 'compact.' What happened to the good old days when legislators would go to their capitols and actually focus on legislating? Or am I just being naive and there really was never such a time?

Maybe there's something in the water up in Albany?