Weekend Review and Poll Question of the Week

The biggest non-story of the weekend was another poll showing Andrew Cuomo’s lead over Gov. Paterson widening. While Paterson has been dealt a impossible hand (which he could have played better), Cuomo gets to play the hero — snipping at bad guys left and right. This week he scored one against Pedro Espada Sr.

Now for the real news which subscribers to the Empire Page website already know:

1) Richard Brodsky’s overhaul of state authorities faces a likely veto by Gov. Paterson (NY Times) and thus may be withdrawn and re-submitted to the Legislature to fix provisions that Mayor Bloomberg opposes.

2) The appointment of Pedro Espada Jr. to a newly-created Senate post has drawn attention to the Senate’s hiring practices. The Associated Press and NY Post focused on one of Malcolm Smith’s hires — another newly-created six figure position: creative director.

3) Gannett News Service raised (not for the first time) the issue of how elected officials use leftover campaign funds. Gannett also produced an interesting piece on the uneven distribution of stiumlus funds which appeared in several of their papers on Sunday.

4) Tom DiNapoli put NYC OTB on death watch according to the Times Union and NY Daily News.

5) Tom Golisano stayed in the news: On Saturday the Rochester D&C reported he’s helping people challenge property tax assessments and on Sunday the Buffalo News reported that Golisano purchased air time on a Buffalo TV station to talk politics. During the infomercial which used an interview format to go after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

For the rest of the news, the Empire Page provides access to news from the past 5 days. Subscriptions cost less than a quarter a day.

Last week’s poll question asked people if they agreed with Gov. Paterson’s executive order requiring state agencies to undertake reviews of certain regulations. One of five had no strong opinion on the issue with 42 percent in favor and 36 percent opposed. A Gannett piece on Friday reported on the opponents’ rationale.

This week we’re asking our readers whether they support the idea of creating an independent office to track stimulus spending? The idea was proposed by Senator Jose Serrano who argues that such an office would make New York “the most reliable recipient of federal stimulus funds in the country.” The “stimulus ombudsman” office would have the power to conduct investigations and challenge allocation while establishing performance metrics. Click here to vote on whether you like the idea.

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