Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Paterson Tries To Make Nice With The 'Bloodsuckers'

Lawmakers in Albany were extremely upset over the Governor's remarks at an event for the disabled when he referred to the Legislature as bloodsuckers. It was a great line for the crowd and for the most part it was true, but it got plenty of push-back from the State Senate and Assembly that fears another Spitzer hiding within Paterson. Of course our Governor had to do damage control today, but not without a ray of hope for those that are interested in getting the vampire teeth out of the taxpayers and the budget.

From The NY Observer:

After making cover of both city tabloids today after he equated Albany legislators to "bloodsuckers," David Paterson backpedaled at this morning's Crain's New York breakfast and called for campaign finance reform.

This morning, speaking at the Hilton in midtown, Paterson gave more context for the remarks he made yesterday, saying that the culture of Albany allows only "well-heeled" advocacy groups with money and clout to actually win the ear of any lawmaker.

"I don't think my colleagues are bloodsuckers," he said. "What I do think is that, unfortunately, if we adopted the right kind of campaign finance, and we started to take a look at the amount of spending as it impacts the operations of government, that legislators would be empowered to see groups based on the content of their information, and not the resources they're spending in Albany."

Now the Governor's record with campaign finance isn't stellar. He used to espouse the benefits of clean elections, but he was rarely around when the groups that have been fighting hardest for it came to Albany a few months ago. While his statement sounds good on the face of it, the true test is proposing legislation that will get the job done and allow people to run for office (and have a legitimate shot of winning) even if they do not kow tow to the special interests that circle like vultures around the capitol.