Poll Qs & Not So Bizarre Harpers

Harpers Not So Bizarre Albany Handshake

Chris Ketcham recaps last summer’s political fiasco in the May issue of Harpers Magazine. Ketcham recounts how when Teddy Roosevelt arrived in Albany in 1882 the situation was much like it is today — strong arming party leaders making a mockery of procedure in order to steal by fountain pen what they couldn’t steal by other means. Roosevelt wasn’t able to make much of a dent in the situation nor did the reforms crafted by Robert Moses and Al Smith. The key reform that’s missing is the one Mayors Koch and Giulliani are supporting — non-partisan redistricting. Until rank and file legislators gain a measure of power inside the Legislature, the three-men in a room functionality will be dysfunctional for the rest of us.

Poll Question Recaps

Last month the DEC announced some regs on natural gas drilling designed in part to protect NYC’s water supply. What did the Empire Page’s readers think of their work? They weren’t happy: 39% gave them an “F” as a grade and 22% a “D”. Only 17% thought DEC’s plan worthy of an “A” and 22% gave them a “B”.

Last week we asked readers whether New York should sell the NY Power Authority — a concept introduced by Gordon Boyd in a Linked-In discussion. If you’re on Linked-In, but not part of the New York State Policy and Networking Group, join in. If you’re not on Linked-In, why not?

Here’s Boyd’s reasoning: “NYPA is inefficient and overpriced at almost everything it does, and is a vestige of the old East Bloc utility system that we ditched in the mid-90s. NYPA’s generating assets and transmission capacity would fetch a handsome “one-shot” that would probably close the next two or three budget gaps. And the deal could be structured to provide a royalty to the state from energy sales ad infinitum.”

Adding fuel to Gordon’s analysis is the story out of western New York that Niagara County wants to investigate possible misconduct by the NYPA board of trustees.

Interestingly our readers are divided on the concept of selling the Power Authority. 49 percent said “sell” and 49 percent are opposed.

This week we’re asking whether you support Gov. Paterson’s plan to furlough state workers one day a week until the Legislature passes a balanced budget.

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