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Monday’s Briefing: Off To Denver

The focus of New York politics shifts to Denver this week (and next) as the candidates for President have their made-for-TV conventions.  Most of New York’s political elite is there, too.

361New Yorkers are delegates to the convention.  Only two of them are named Clinton, though one of the two will get more attention than the other 360.

VP pick Joe Biden has a strong tie to Central New York.  He’s a graduate of Syracuse University’s law school and his first wife, who died in a car crash with their young daughter weeks after he was elected to the Senate, hailed from Auburn.  SU, naturally, is pleased.

So much for that.  Elsewhere:

Outside Of Albany:


Those of you who’d like to see New York City become its own separate state could just get your wish…but not the way you’d think.

[The Briefing is a daily roundup of news from around the state.  It is neither straight news nor commentary. It is also just back from vacation.]

Monday Briefing: Tax Cap Passes, But Will It Survive?

So the Senate on Friday approved a cap on your school property taxes.  The Governor wants it badly.

Problem is:  Assembly Democrats — and their union backers — don’t want it.

In fact, the unions may withhold endorsements of Senators who voted yes.

But polls show that taxpayers do want it, and that’s got Assembly leader Shelly Silver in a tight bind.

The Senate and Assembly come back to town in a couple of weeks for a special session.  There’ll be negotiations behind the scenes, but no action till then.

Incidentally, and perhaps not at all coincidentally, someone keeps beating the drum about the amount of money Paterson is spending to run the Governor’s office.


Apropos of Not Much:

Friday’s Briefing: The Boys Are Back In Town

The State Senate’s back at work today, trying to head off your anger over high taxes and the Governor’s demand for a tax cap.

What’s on their to-do list?

Did’ja see the property tax cap on that list?  Me either.  Could still happen.

On The Subject Of Your Money:


Gather Round The Campfire:

Go to the camp where, as one camper put it, “clothes suck”.
“Hello Muddah,
Hello Faddah.
I’ve got the runs at
Camp Grenada…”

Dep’t Of Only In New York:

Thursday’s Briefing: Budget Talk Everywhere

Our roundup of news from around the state focuses today on Topic One in Albany: Governor Paterson’s demands for deep budget cuts to head off what he says is a crisis.

Paterson has cut $600 million from the budget and wants the Legislature to cut $600 million more.

Voters, it seems, agree. Not only that, but if someone’s gotta pay more taxes to help fix this mess, they say, “let it be the rich”.  This advocacy group agrees. Paterson doesn’t want to raise anyone’s taxes, he says, except as a last resort.

The Gov’s put together a team of economic advisors.

Money Related:


In Sports:

Your Body Needs Animal Stories:

  • Potential candidate for Mayor of New York City shows reporters how to deal with nuisances (like, for instance, reporters).
  • One man’s solution to the invasion of snakehead fish:  his .22 rifle. The state has other methods.

Wednesday’s Briefing: When Bad News Is Good

No news is all bad.  Take the state budget mess, for instance.

All Spitzer, All The Time:

They may have been working on budgets in Albany yesterday, but they were talking about something different.  Hundreds of pages of documents were released Tuesday, from the investigation into former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s attempt to bash then-Senate leader Joe Bruno over Bruno’s state-funded travel.  I could provide literally 25 links to stories on this.  Google it if you’re as interested as the Albany pols.

I also hear (can’t find the doggoned link) that Spitzer’s prostitute is now the mascot for a bar.  16th minute of fame officially underway.

Real News, Elsewhere:

Apropos Of Not Very Much:

And Finally:

Monday’s Briefing: Devil’s In The Details

State lawmakers come back to Albany at the end of the week to take up the Governor’s call for big budget cuts.

Gonna be interesting, that’s for sure.



Friday’s Briefing: A Stand-Up Governor

The talk’s continuing about how to fill the deficit that Gov. Paterson identified this week.  But Paterson himself was off on a speaking tour, pressing wider issues and delivering some punchy one-liners.

In a speech at the National Press Club, Paterson warned that states could go bankrupt without more help from Washington.  But his message wasn’t just for Washington — it was also meant to keep pressure on lawmakers here.

And, in fact, lawmakers are beginning to step up to what they’re calling The $600 Million Challenge.

The Gov. also used his speech to show off his sense of humor, firing a few good one-liners.


And Finally:

Thursday’s Briefing: The Reviews Are In

Governor David Paterson took a bold step this week.  He declared the state to be in a recession, with its budget falling deeper into a dark pit of debt.  He challenged — nicely — state lawmakers to match the cuts he was making.  How’s his message going over?

So the Governor’s plan is out.

There’s praise — cautious, but praise nonetheless — from the two other members of Three Men In A Room.

One of them, though, still wants higher taxes to fill the debt hole.

My Head Is Exploding Dep’t: Did you ever think the state Conservative Party would endorse a move from a Democratic governor?

Opinions Are Like Noses – Everybody’s Got One:

Fiscal analyst E.J. McMahon studies the numbers and offers a backhanded compliment:

“Paterson, by contrast, has been willing to recognize that the state’s own spending habits are the root of the problem. Talk is still cheap at this stage, but it’s better than nothing.”

The New York Times:  Nice talk, but…

“…if the new governor really wants to put the state’s fiscal house in order, he is going to have to get a lot tougher with his old friends in Albany.”

Newsday finds the Gov. taking charge:

Gov. David Paterson was sworn in in March, but Tuesday evening he truly became the governor of New York. With his live, televised address about the poor state of the state’s finances – and subsequent talk to state agencies Wednesday – Paterson demonstrated leadership and originality in trying to head off a bigger crisis. Whether New York’s band of the self-interested will follow remains to be seen.

State workers, some of whom may lose their jobs:

“I think you gotta spend money to make money,” [one worker] said. ” … The drastic cuts he’s talking about — in the long run, you’re selling yourself short.”

Last Word Dep’t:

Other News Of The Day:

Department Of Health:

And Finally:

  • You know, when I’m really thirsty, nothing satisfies like a big swig of eel juice.
  • And that’s not even the weirdest thing they drink in Japan.  Bilk, anyone?

Tuesday’s Briefing: The Governor’s Moment

Governor David Paterson tonight makes the most significant speech of his short tenure. He’s confronting a crisis in the state budget and will say the money’s very, very tight. His warning: hard times are coming, particularly for state employees.

“My concern is that people sitting in their homes already know what the pain is. I want to make sure that Albany [knows],” Paterson said.

He wants government agencies to take yet another hard look at their budgets, and cut. There’s enough money for this year’s budget, but come April, 2009, there’s a big problem. The ’09 deficit could be 6 billion, up from $5 billion. To cover the hole, he can order more cuts or raise taxes or both.

Paterson tried his message out in New York City yesterday, at a meeting of the city’s financial control board. He says city employees don’t get it.

Opinions, opinions, we got opinions:

The New York Post opines:

Notably, Paterson so far has given in to labor’s every demand almost without hesitation. And he let a blatantly over-stuffed budget pass in April.

Will he take a different tack now?

Or will it be just more scare talk?

Say the Daily News editorialists:

No more budgets that boost spending by triple the rate of inflation.

No more living under the delusion that boom times go on forever.

Instead, let’s have prudence.

Newsday’s political blog is less kind:

In the wake of his complaint earlier this month that he was being disrespected by being called the “accidental governor,” it’s hard to resist the suspicion that the primary motive for the speech is political image massage — to give Paterson a higher, more assertive, less “accidental” profile.


And Finally:

Monday’s Briefing: Paterson Plans A Speech

Atop our roundup of news from around the state is word that the Governor wants to have a talk with all of us. And the news isn’t good.

Governor David Paterson says the state’s financial situation isn’t good, and getting worse. The New York Post’s Fred Dicker, dean of the Albany correspondents, reports exclusively that Paterson plans a TV address Tuesday night to say he’s making big cuts.

Says Dicker:

“The governor’s address – which his aides hope will be televised by public and cable news stations – will say that plunging state revenues will force painful cuts in state services, necessitate a reduction in the state work force, possibly through layoffs, and require other difficult economic measures, source said.

Paterson is also expected to announce that he’s ordered state agencies to slash spending beyond the relatively modest 3.3 percent cuts he ordered in late spring.”

No other outlet’s reporting this as of noon Monday.

One reason why Paterson believes things are worse than predicted?  CEO bonuses are down, and that means state taxes on those massive bonuses are down.


Athletic Supporters:

Apropos of Not Much:

Happy Monday, and if there’s a good story that we’ve missed, drop a note here.

[We take this moment to remind you that the Daily Briefing is neither straight news nor commentary, just in case you’re confused.  It’s simply a roundup of news from elsewhere, written in not-the-usual-style.]

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