PDA

View Full Version : The Race for New York Governor



TomAuch
December 7th, 2004, 03:45 PM
Eliot Spitzer to run for New York governor

Tue Dec 7,11:00 AM ET

By Christopher Grimes in New York

Eliot Spitzer, New York's crusading attorney general, will formally announce on Tuesday his next big campaign: a run for New York governor.

While Mr Spitzer's political ambitions have hardly been a secret, the formal announcement marks the next phase in a young political career that has already won Mr Spitzer national recognition. His investigations into conflicts of interest on Wall Street have won him admirers who see him as a champion of consumer rights - and just as many powerful detractors in the business world.

Mr Spitzer has already raked in millions of dollars worth of contributions this year, though political observers estimate he will need to raise at least $40m over the course of the two-year campaign. He will hold a major fund-raiser in New York on Thursday that is expected to bring in between $2m-$3m.

The governorship of New York has unusual status in American politics. Both Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D Roosevelt held the office before ascending to the White House. But even more New York governors ultimately fell short - including Al Smith and Nelson Rockefeller, who eventually served as vice president under Gerald Ford.

Whether incumbent George Pataki will seek a fourth term as governor is still unknown. He was given the plum job of introducing President George W Bush during the Republican National Convention, which immediately placed him on a list of possible presidential contendors for 2008.

Though it is unclear whether Mr Spitzer will face Mr Pataki or another Republican, his campaign has already received a big boost.

He became the presumptive Democratic favorite last month when Chuck Schumer, the senior Democratic Senator from New York, said he would not run for governor. Mr Schumer was re-elected to his Senate seat in November by a record margin and could have waged an expensive primary campaign against Mr Spitzer.

Once it became clear that Mr Schumer would not run, Mr Spitzer's fund-raising efforts were kicked into high gear, New York Democrats said.

Mr Spitzer's fund-raising luncheon on Thursday, a $1,000-per-person affair, is expected to draw prominent Democrats from Wall Street, the real-estate business as well as attorneys and labour leaders.

Reports have suggested that he would announce his candidacy there, but Mr Spitzer is understood to be against the idea of declaring his intentions at a paid political event. Mr Spitzer's office would say only that he is expected to address the issue some time this week.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After 12 years of Pataki we need a change in Albany!

Schadenfrau
December 8th, 2004, 10:59 AM
This is wonderful. Eliot Spitzer is the best that New York State, and possibly every state, has to offer. He would have made the a terrific Attorney General under Kerry, too.

Rem 311 JHF
June 7th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Eliot Spitzer for New York State Governor!!

chris
June 12th, 2005, 02:46 AM
I'm no big fan of Pataki, and I respect Eliot Spitzer as an Attorney General, but what I don't see is his vision or strategy for the state. I've skimmed about looking for even cursory details on his website, but he gives none. Maybe that is smart, in that, much can change between now and an election two years from now. Until then, he can cruise for a long time on his name recognition without having to commit himself to any given position... but as a voter, I'd like more information.

I suspect he'll win regardless. I have a sense among those I speak to that it feels like a foregone conclusions that he will be our next Governor.

czsz
June 21st, 2005, 03:07 PM
He's a highly effective attorney general. How well it will translate into governorship I question.

I fear he'd leave behind quite a few disillusioned supporters if he couldn't effect a modest turnaround in the fortunes of cities upstate or jumpstart the Ground Zero reconstruction project.

He seems altogether more attuned to restriction and regulation than to setting out plans for the state's future. I hope that's only a consequence of the limitations of his current position.

ZippyTheChimp
July 29th, 2005, 07:09 AM
July 29, 2005
A Date That Lives in Oratory

By CLYDE HABERMAN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CLYDE HABERMAN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CLYDE HABERMAN&inline=nyt-per)

IT did not take George E. Pataki long - he managed to get out all of four words - before he invoked Sept. 11 in announcing that he would not run again for governor. The terrorist attacks of 2001 weren't even the subject. He was talking about the inspiration that he drew from his father.

"A few months after Sept. 11, someone gave my daughter Emily an old photograph," Mr. Pataki began his remarks on Wednesday. "It was a picture of my father." He then reminisced about Louis Pataki, who was an assistant postmaster and a volunteer firefighter in Peekskill, N.Y. He died in 1996, a firm believer, the son said, in giving back to his community.

What was the 9/11 connection? Nothing.

But few are the public moments when Mr. Pataki fails to raise the specter of that terrible day, no matter what the setting. Like other elected officials, he deplores the way some people exploit the attacks for commercial or political gain. But his own interests are another story.

Introducing President Bush at the Republican National Convention last summer, he mentioned Sept. 11 or the World Trade Center or ground zero no fewer than 13 times. He started by singling out people from Oregon, Iowa and Pennsylvania for their post-disaster generosity.

Was it coincidental that all three states were pivotal in the presidential election, with Iowa's caucuses providing the first test of the candidates' strength? Those were not details likely to have been overlooked by the governor, now contemplating his own race for the White House in 2008.

It seems reasonable to assume that if he does run, he will use 9/11 again and again to emphasize his leadership skills. On that battlefield, he just might encounter competition from a certain former New York mayor who has prospered mightily himself because of Sept. 11, earning millions on the strength of his much-admired performance that day.

Mr. Pataki cannot have forgotten the slapping that he took from Andrew M. Cuomo during the 2002 campaign for governor. "There was one leader for 9/11: it was Rudy Giuliani," said Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat.

And Mr. Pataki? "He held the leader's coat," Mr. Cuomo said dismissively.

Those harsh remarks helped do in Mr. Cuomo, by affirming his reputation for abrasiveness. In time, he quit the race. The thing is, though, his crack about Mr. Pataki struck some New Yorkers as not entirely off the mark. Ever since, the governor has labored to erase lingering images of him as a 9/11 valet.

But very few of the Sept. 11 evocations, from him or other leaders, include calls for personal sacrifice in a time of war.

That point has been noted several times in this space. It arose again this week with a report that men and women in uniform are chafing under the realization that they alone bear the burden of the war on terror, repackaged lately by the Bush administration as the "global struggle against violent extremism."

One military officer, back from a tour in Iraq, was quoted in this newspaper as saying, "Nobody in America is asked to sacrifice, except us."

IF anything, some in New York have embraced the opposite of sacrifice. They almost go out of their way to fill the coffers of the country that supplied 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Walking around town during the oppressive heat of recent days, you could see one business after another - a P.C. Richard store on the Upper West Side, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Columbus Circle, the Quiksilver store in Times Square - with front doors flung wide open while their energy-gobbling air-conditioning poured onto the sidewalk.

Why be so wasteful? "It's policy," said a clerk in a clothing store at Broadway and 87th Street, where the doors stayed open. "We have to do it."

Talk to groups in the city like New York Cares, Habitat for Humanity and Volunteers of America. All say there is a yearning for sacrifice ready to be harnessed if only the political will existed to do it. They saw that after Sept. 11, when the numbers of their volunteers soared.

"The desire to give and to give back is very strong," said Roland Lewis, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity in New York City. "That's part of human nature, ever more so in this time."

But then, Mr. Pataki surely knows that. It was a lesson, he said, that he learned from his father, who "always had time for a kind word, a neighborly gesture or to lend a helping hand as a volunteer in our community."


Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TomAuch
August 19th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Former Mass. Gov. Weld to battle for top NY job

By Ellen Wulfhorst1 hour, 7 minutes ago

Former Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts is eyeing the governor's job in neighboring New York, where experts say he faces a longshot battle against heavily favored Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Weld, a Republican and native New Yorker who moved back in 2000 to work as an investment advisor, said in a New York Times interview published on Friday he wants to return to public service, saying, "My juices are really flowing for this race."

Weld, who left office in Massachusetts in 1997, is considered moderate, likable and adept at fund-raising, all assets he would need to face Spitzer in a state where Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans.

Spitzer has made a national name for himself busting white-collar crime on Wall Street. He is considered the strong front-runner to succeed Republican Gov. George Pataki, who recently said he would not seek a fourth term as he eyes a possible White House run.

"Weld's problem really is that Eliot Spitzer is such a substantial figure in job performance, favorable rating, name recognition, and he's raised so much money," said political strategist Joseph Mercurio.

"He has to raise a lot more money than Spitzer because Spitzer goes in with so much more going for him," Mercurio said. "Weld is a pretty good pick, but it's hard to visualize anybody going against Spitzer at this point."

A poll taken in May by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute showed Spitzer bashing Weld 60 to 16 percent in a hypothetical matchup for next year's gubernatorial race if both won their respective party's nomination.

Weld built a reputation as a social moderate but fiscally conservative politician in Massachusetts, where he also entertained voters with playful antics like quoting Grateful Dead lyrics and jumping fully clothed into the Charles River.

He served seven years in the state's top job, leaving in 1997 when President Bill Clinton chose him as ambassador to Mexico -- a nomination that failed, largely due to opposition from Sen. Jesse Helms that he was too liberal.

"A Weld candidacy would be good for the Republican Party and good for the voters of the state of New York," said Douglas Muzzio, a professor of public affairs at the City University of New York. "Bill Weld is a substantial public figure. He's got an offbeat enough personality. He is a serious contender."

He's also got serious problems, added Democratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf.

"Republicans are in deep trouble, so much so they had to reach to find somebody to run against potentially Spitzer with the sole ability to raise money and be a good debater, which he can do," said Sheinkopf. "They have no home-grown candidates. It's going to cost them tens of millions to begin to create a persona for Weld, and the only way to do that is television."

Besides, Sheinkopf added, it may boil down to one key facet of life in America -- baseball.

"Are New Yorkers who have a traditional rivalry with Boston and Massachusetts, because of the Red Sox vs. the Yankees, going to accept a guy from a state they don't particularly like?" he asked. "They have an extraordinary amount of work to do in what will be a very expensive race if they have any hope at all of being successful."

Granted the mayor of New York City is a Massachusetts native and a Republican but, pundits note, Michael Bloomberg's personal fortune and ability to spend $74 million of his own money on his first campaign may have tipped the scales in his favor.

"Weld has the ingredients of what the Republicans need to do to win statewide, but that doesn't mean he can pull it off," said political pollster Lee Miringoff.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050819/pl_nm/newyork_dc_1

TomAuch
August 19th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Weld is more moderate than your garden variety Republican. HIS judges were the one's who upheld gay marriage in Massachusetts last year, and he is hated by many conservatives (in '96 he wanted to speak at the RNC on behalf of pro-choice Republicans.) However, I'm still voting for Spitzer. The fact that this guy chooses to associate himself with Karl Rove tells me he's a shill. And while he's technically a native of NY, the fact that he is now conveniently running for Governor of another state after bailing on his constituents in Mass. hurts the state GOP in their attacks against Hillary (how can they attack her on the issue of being from out of state and exploiting her Senate seat when one of their own is doing something similar?) BTW, will the Conservative Party officials endorse him? If not, then he is almost certain to lose, since no Republican has won state-wide without their help in decades.

ZippyTheChimp
January 12th, 2006, 08:22 AM
Suozzi Poised To Challenge Spitzer

BY FRANK ELTMAN - Associated Press
January 12, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/25729

MINEOLA, N.Y. - Fresh from a landslide re-election victory in Nassau County - once one of the country's foremost Republican strongholds - Thomas Suozzi appears poised to cash in his political capital by challenging Eliot Spitzer for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Although a relative unknown, Mr. Suozzi's dreams of launching from the county executive's seat in Mineola to the governor's mansion in Albany could get a boost of rocket fuel if the billionaire founder of Home Depot, Ken Langone, follows through on his promise to pump millions into a Suozzi primary challenge. Mr. Langone is a Spitzer foe who has tangled with the politician over his Wall Street crackdown.

"Maybe that Wall Street money will win him some recognition," the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Maurice Carroll, said. Mr. Carroll said it was unlikely Mr. Suozzi would be discouraged by a poll last month that showed Mr. Spitzer - the two-term state attorney general - holding a commanding 69-11 lead over his potential challenger. The primary is not until September.

BrooklynRider
January 12th, 2006, 01:38 PM
This is a foolish move on the part of Suozzi, who I happen to like.

davidcaspian
January 14th, 2006, 05:19 PM
The rumor from the papers on Long Island is that Suozzi may actually run on the Republican ticket, since will probably not be able to beat Spitzer in the primary.

antinimby
January 14th, 2006, 10:54 PM
Which one do you think will be better for the city?

ZippyTheChimp
January 15th, 2006, 07:51 AM
Suozzi says will accept GOP support

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR.
ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF

January 13, 2006, 9:01 PM EST

As his exploration of a run for governor gained more attention Friday, Democratic Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi said he would accept cross-endorsements from other parties, including Republicans.

When a reporter asked during an interview if he would embrace such endorsements, Suozzi said he is seeking the Democratic nod first, but he would not turn down the support of other parties.

"Who would?" he said. "I have always enjoyed the support of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. I would not have won here in Nassau County without 100,000 Republican voters."

Late Wednesday, Suozzi filed papers with the state Board of Elections to create a political action committee -- "Friends of Tom Suozzi" -- as he pursues a primary challenge to state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

He is expected to announce his candidacy formally in the next few weeks.

Suozzi's recent acknowledgment that some Republicans, whom he has not named, had approached him about the possibility of endorsing his run for governor has angered some Democrats, including his political foes in the Spitzer camp. There are three GOP candidates in the race.

Seven Democratic chairs, including Suffolk's Richard Schaffer, issued a statement Friday criticizing Suozzi for his openness to GOP backing, even though state Republican leaders said they had never reached out to Suozzi.

"A good Democrat would never even consider doing such a thing," the statement said. "It demonstrates a shocking lack of party loyalty and principles."

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, a Suozzi supporter, called Schaffer a hypocrite because in the fall Schaffer supported a GOP cross-endorsement of Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota, a Democrat.

Attacks from within Suozzi's party are unlikely to deter him. He has pursued a run for governor despite requests from top Democrats to abandon the race in favor of party unity.

Spitzer, who has been a declared gubernatorial candidate for well over a year, has the fund-raising edge with $19 million on hand, compared to about $4 million for Suozzi.

Spitzer also has received far more endorsements from unions and influential Democratic figures. Friday, he was endorsed at City Hall by former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.

But Suozzi dismissed the value of endorsements and said, "People are more discerning these days."

Suozzi followed his filing by issuing a statement Friday that he would travel the state to talk with residents about their concerns and his ideas for reforming government.

His chief talking points will be his push to eliminate wasteful spending in the Medicaid program and his call to lower local property and school taxes.

Spitzer spokesman Ryan Toohey said, "Spitzer has been traveling the state and talking about that issue for many years, along with other important issues like quality health care, a good education and job creation."

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

ZippyTheChimp
January 18th, 2006, 07:31 PM
Pataki-ocracy: Its Sell-by Date Is Years Away

By: Ben Smith
Date: 1/23/2006
Page:

George Pataki’s shelf life as Governor expires in less than a year. The same cannot be said of some of his appointees. They will be around for a long time, and there’s little Mr. Pataki’s successor can do about it.

Mr. Pataki will go down in history as a three-term Governor. In fact, however, his influence over policy and patronage will exceed that 12-year span.

For example, Joseph Buono, a former Republican politician, will be overseeing $650 million in annual spending at the state Thruway Authority until 2011. Joe Seymour, a loyal retainer of Mr. Pataki for 30 years, will be running the $2 billion budget of the New York State Power Authority until 2009. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will remain in Republican hands after Mr. Pataki departs, as will New York’s contingent on the Port Authority board. Pataki appointees will probably control the state’s highest court until 2014, and will oversee the nascent, cash-rich Indian gambling industry until 2010.

And that’s just the start.

When people speculate about Mr. Pataki’s legacy, they usually focus on three issues: tax cuts, conservation and public debt. Forgotten is a more concrete legacy—a series of key appointments that will give Mr. Pataki’s friends and allies control over areas of policy and patronage well into the term of his successor. Aides to Mr. Pataki say that the Governor is determined not to repeat what many see as a mistake of his predecessor, Mario Cuomo, in failing to lock in many of his appointees to key state institutions, particularly the state’s vast system of public authorities.

Critics believe this will box in Mr. Pataki’s successor, regardless of which party wins the Governor’s office in November. “This is a tremendously threatening thing to the incoming Governor,” said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat who has been a relentless critic of the public authorities. “The authority system will remain this enormously undemocratic—both big ‘D’ and small ‘d’—hole in the middle of the government.”

A spokesman for Mr. Pataki, David Catalfamo, said the Governor is simply fulfilling his constitutional obligations to make appointments, and called the criticism “ridiculous.”

Designed to insulate policy from politics and to give state agencies the ability to borrow money independently, the state’s 700-plus public authorities include everything from the Dormitory Authority, which has more debt than most states, to obscure regional bodies like the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority. The agencies have been a steady source of scandal and a perennial target for criticism. They’re a deeply political, high-stakes arm of state government where political appointments are the norm, and where lobbying and patronage are traditional. (A reform bill that Mr. Pataki signed last week will increase their transparency—and also add a new set of appointive positions for the Governor to fill.)

Allegations of the “abuse” of authorities are equally traditional and bipartisan. But for many Democrats who served under Mr. Cuomo, the story of his last months in 1994 is one of missed political opportunities and what many—including aides to Mr. Pataki—see as a tactical mistake by the former Governor.

The name they remember is Peter Stangl, Mr. Cuomo’s chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. His term had expired, along with two other commissioners, and instead of reappointing him, Mr. Cuomo simply left him in place as a “holdover,” a status that one former Cuomo aide said gave the administration more control over its appointees.

When Mr. Pataki shocked the political establishment by defeating Mr. Cuomo in 1995, he was able to sweep aside Mr. Stangl and other key holdovers, putting his stamp on state government far more quickly than he would have managed otherwise.

Mr. Cuomo didn’t respond to a request for his views of the end of his term, but his son Andrew, now a candidate for State Attorney General, defended the failure to push through last-minute appointments to state boards.

“It’s not highly ethical,” Mr. Cuomo said. “You want to institutionalize patronage, and you want to handcuff the future administration from implementing its philosophy and its vision.”

(Not that Governor Cuomo passed up the chance to make a few midnight appointments. Two days before his departure, he put three of his aides on the state’s Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Mr. Pataki’s spokeswoman at the time, Zenia Mucha, called the appointments an “outrage.”)

Others in both parties defend the system, and the Governor’s prerogative to do what is, after all, enshrined in state law.

“This is the way things are supposed to be designed, so people have some institutional protection and aren’t just subject to the whims of their political leaders,” said State Senator Eric Schneiderman, a West Side Democrat.

What is unquestioned, however, is Mr. Pataki’s sweeping authority. Last year, he submitted 250 nominations to the State Senate, according to a comprehensive list provided by a state official on the condition that he not be named. The Governor’s office put Republicans and conservatives in positions that range from important policy posts to low-paid patronage jobs that will allow workers to spend enough time in state government to collect taxpayer-supported pensions.

The appointees include Republican Party activists who will remain in place after Mr. Pataki’s term expires. Mallory Factor, a conservative who oversees New York’s influential Monday Meeting, was confirmed last year to a three-year unpaid term on the State Banking Board. Oleg Gutnik, a former Republican candidate for the New York City Council, was confirmed to a six-year term on the state’s Minority Health Council, which carries no salary but reimburses for expenses.

There are also valuable paid posts available. Last year, Mr. Pataki re-appointed Candace Finnegan, whom the Albany Times Union once described as his wife’s “best friend,” to a post on the Workers’ Compensation Board, at an annual salary of $90,800. Her term will run until Dec. 31, 2012. The Governor also raised eyebrows last year by appointing an executive chamber staffer, Caroline Ahl, to a $90,800 post on the state’s Civil Service Commission, a body that oversees the state workforce. The former Assembly Republican leader, Charles Nesbitt, was confirmed last year to a term with seven years remaining as president of the state’s Tax Appeals Tribunal, at a salary of $126,167, despite complaints from Democrats that he lacked relevant experience.

State officials said they expect some of this year’s key fights to focus on appointments. Thirteen of Mr. Pataki’s nominees remain unconfirmed by the Senate, including Ms. Ahl. Mr. Pataki and State Senator Joseph Bruno are in a fight over the composition of two influential boards: the Public Employment Relations Board and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. The chairs of both boards will shape state policy into the next decade, and both of Mr. Pataki’s nominations for the posts remain unconfirmed.

The fights speak to the two kinds of power that Mr. Pataki will continue to wield after his term ends. The Public Employment Relations Board fight is a policy fight, with the labor unions setting themselves against Mr. Pataki’s choice for chairman, Michael Cuevas.

The board, known as PERB, serves as an arbiter in disputes between the state and public-sector unions, whose leaders are unhappy with the way it has been run in recent years.

“It’s become a [Republican and conservative] board, and the decisions that have been handed down by PERB are increasingly against unions,” said State Senator Diane Savino, a New York City Democrat close to labor who raised objections to Mr. Cuevas’ nomination. “You don’t want to get stuck with these people.”

A Sure Bet?

The N.Y.S. Racing and Wagering Board, by contrast, is a plum of Albany’s extensive lobbying industry, where—as in Washington—Indian tribes and their backers invest millions in legislation with the hopes of making billions in new casinos. Mr. Pataki has nominated his former Parks Commissioner, Bernadette Castro, to fill the position, but her confirmation has been held up over Mr. Pataki’s attempt to remove her predecessor, a former State Senator, from the board.

Officials of the State Senate and the Governor’s office said they expect the sides to reach a deal on confirmations shortly, and that the flow of confirmations should soon resume.

Democrats, meanwhile, regard the appointments to the state public authorities as a burden on Mr. Pataki’s successor, who, they assume, will be Democrat Eliot Spitzer, the current State Attorney General.

“It’s terrible for poor Eliot,” said one prominent Democrat.

And Mr. Brodsky offered a prediction: “These Soviet-style bureaucracies are going to show their ability to survive an election.”

copyright © 2005 the new york observer, L.P.

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2006, 08:49 AM
Spitzer Has Just Taken in $1 Million From Lobbyists He Aims To Reform

BY JACOB GERSHMAN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 30, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/26665

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has positioned himself as an enforcer against special interests, has turned to lobbyists who represent special interests to help him raise money for his gubernatorial bid.

At a major fund-raising gala in December at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City, lobbyists raised nearly $1 million for Mr. Spitzer's campaign, according to sources. The amount that lobbyists brought in at that one event is equal to about 5% of Mr. Spitzer's entire campaign war chest.

Some of the most powerful lobbyists in the state were on hand that evening, collecting checks from their clients or donating thousands of dollars themselves.

It's perfectly legal for lobbyists to give money to a political campaign or round up bundles of contributions. But the amount of money being raised by Mr. Spitzer from those who are paid to influence policy is raising questions about his pledges to stamp out what he has called the "pay-to-play culture" in Albany.

"Why would the lobbyists raise the money except in expectation that they would have access to a Spitzer administration?" said Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, a state government watchdog group.

The fund-raising help provided by lobbyists to Mr. Spitzer is in part a reflection of the fact that many in Albany presume that he will be New York's next governor and are eager to form a relationship before the election in November.

The significant involvement of lobbyists in Mr. Spitzer's fund-raising efforts also is part of a national trend in political fund raising and, spurred by the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, comes amid renewed calls for a tightening of restrictions.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that a review of Federal Election Commission records conducted by the Center for Public Integrity shows that the number of national lawmakers who list lobbyists as treasurers of their reelection or political action committees has increased to 71 from 15 in 1998.

Lobbyists who attended the gala denied that they were attempting to buy influence from the leading candidate for governor and insisted Mr. Spitzer is not a politician who is susceptible to influence peddling.

"If you get any influence, you earn it through being scrupulously honest and giving good advice," said one of Albany's most successful lobbyists, James Featherstonhaugh, who raised $25,000 for Mr. Spitzer through the event in December. He said he and other lobbyists at the gala raised money from sources such as their clients and Democratic Party activists.

While accusing Mr. Horner of being "a little paranoid" about the influence that lobbyists have through their fundraising efforts, he said "clients like their lobbyists to be active politically and show they can raise money politically."

Among the clients of his firm, Featherstonhaugh, Wiley, Clyne & Cordo, is the health care workers union, 1199 SEIU, which pays the company an annual fee of $60,000.

Many of the lobbyists who raised an estimated $935,000 at the event have deep Democratic Party roots and several served in the Cuomo administration.

Another powerful lobbyist at the event who raised money was Sid Davidoff of Davidoff Malito & Hutcher.

Mr. Davidoff, who was a close adviser to Mayor Dinkins, and who decades ago was an aide to Mayor Lindsay, raised $10,000, sources said. Altria (formerly Philip Morris) is paying his firm $171,000 to lobby the governor, the Senate, and the Assembly on the subjects of cigarettes and tobacco, according to filings with the state lobby commission.

Roy Lasky, the executive director of the New York State Dental Association, which represents 13,000 dentists in New York, co-chaired the fund-raiser at the Sheraton and pledged to raise $75,000.

Mr. Spitzer's campaign did not return calls for comment yesterday.

Mr. Spitzer is one of several candidates in the governor's race to claim the mantle of reform. In speeches, the attorney general has railed against the influence wielded by special interest groups and has called for stiffening the laws governing gifts to state employees and candidates. As Albany is considering tightening gift restrictions, Mr. Spitzer, Governor Pataki, and the Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, have said they favor a ban on all gifts to lawmakers.

"We need to reduce the undue influence of special interests by ending the pay-to-play culture that exists in Albany," Mr. Spitzer said in a November speech at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. "Too often decisions about how to spend the peoples' money are based on who pays for a dinner or a golf outing, or who contributes the most to the campaigns of decision makers. It has to end."

In that speech, Mr. Spitzer proposed prohibiting those "who do business with the state from giving gifts of any sort to state employees." He said if he were governor he would push the state to adopt a "blanket ban on contributions to state candidates from those who do business with the state." Mr. Spitzer himself has vowed that will not accept donations from anyone with "pending business" before his office.

He said: "In Albany - as it was on Wall Street - the status quo is a system that lacks accountability. It is a system that is controlled by special interests. It is a system that is not efficient, is not open and transparent."

Mr. Spitzer reported two weeks ago that he had more than $19 million in the bank, about four times more than his Democratic rival, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, reported having. A former governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, led the Republican field in fundraising with $2 million.

Mr. Spitzer's campaign in December said that the attorney general expect ed to raise $4 million to $5 million at the Sheraton fund-raiser.

MrSpice
January 31st, 2006, 09:07 AM
It looks like Spitzer has been elected before the election took place. How can anyone beat him now?

lofter1
February 8th, 2006, 11:38 AM
This could get nasty ...

Bruno Reacts to a Threat by Bloomberg

By JENNIFER MEDINA (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=JENNIFER MEDINA&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=JENNIFER MEDINA&inline=nyt-per)
NY Times
February 8, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/nyregion/08bloomberg.html

ALBANY, Feb. 7 — For the last few days, two of the most powerful Republicans in the state, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/michael_r_bloomberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and the State Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/joseph_l_bruno/index.html?inline=nyt-per), have kept their growing feud below the surface, with neither saying unkind words about the other.

But that ended Tuesday when Mr. Bruno said the mayor should know "that bullies end up getting bloody noses."

His remarks came two days after The New York Times reported that Mr. Bloomberg might support a Democratic bid to unseat a Republican state senator in Queens — an effort that, if successful, would weaken the Republican hold on the Senate.

Aides to the mayor say he is considering the move because he is increasingly frustrated by what he considers a refusal by his fellow Republicans in Albany to give the city its share of revenue.

Mr. Bruno, in his first public comments about the report, said Tuesday that anyone who suggested the city was getting the short shrift in Albany was an "ingrate."

"I know that people that know me know that the way you deal with us is not to bully and not to threaten," Mr. Bruno said. "The mayor is smart enough to know that. And the mayor is also smart enough to know that bullies end up getting bloody noses."

Mr. Bruno criticized City Hall for using anonymous officials to float the threat and questioned whether the mayor was truly behind it. (An adviser to the mayor said he could not be quoted because his being identified would compromise his other work for Mr. Bloomberg.)

"I don't appreciate when I hear anonymous spokespeople," said Mr. Bruno, who rarely shies from giving provocative comments. "If somebody has something to say, they ought to get themselves out front and say it. I'm very happy to be doing that myself."

Told of Mr. Bruno's comments, Mr. Bloomberg would only say that he would continue to support candidates outside of the Republican Party if it served the city's interests.

"I will look at every race and decide who I think is going to do the most for New York City," Mr. Bloomberg said.

Republicans have a 35-to-26 majority in the State Senate, and the loss of just a few seats would mean that Mr. Bruno would lose his place among the three leaders in Albany. Although Mr. Bruno and his colleagues have prepared for other battles, the state senator that Mr. Bloomberg might target, Serphin R. Maltese, had been considered a shoo-in for re-election.

State Senator David A. Paterson, a Democrat from Harlem and the minority leader, said the news that Mr. Bloomberg might back a Democrat had taken him by surprise. Mr. Paterson said he had not spoken to Mr. Bloomberg about the issue.

"Obviously it's a year in which the constellation of who's running and who's not running could work very well for us," Mr. Paterson said. "This was not on my list of possibilities at this point, but if it turns out this is true, it automatically becomes one."

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/sheldon_silver/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a Democrat, questioned the mayor's motivation, saying he might simply be getting back at Republicans who did not support his re-election. Mr. Silver said he hoped Mr. Bloomberg would begin to "speak to his fellow Republicans in a sterner fashion."


Mike McIntire contributed reporting for this article.



Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

lofter1
February 8th, 2006, 12:05 PM
Background regarding the above-noted squabble...

Mayor Considers Moving Against Senate G.O.P.

By JIM RUTENBERG (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=JIM RUTENBERG&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=JIM RUTENBERG&inline=nyt-per)
NY Times
Feb. 5, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/05/nyregion/05bloomberg.html

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/michael_r_bloomberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) is considering using his considerable wealth and popularity to help a Democratic Queens city councilman challenge one of the State Senate's longest-standing Republican lions this fall, aides to the mayor said on Friday.

Such a move would amount to a declaration of war by the mayor, a Republican, against the Senate's Republican majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/joseph_l_bruno/index.html?inline=nyt-per), who is struggling to retain his party's slim grip on the Senate and cannot afford to lose any Senate seats.

Mr. Bruno, who wields huge clout in Albany as a member of the state's ruling triumvirate, has increasingly drawn the ire of the mayor by declining to support his West Side stadium plan, for failing to help the mayor secure more money for the city's schools and for failing to take any action against an attempted but ultimately unsuccessful primary challenge to the mayor by Queens Republicans last year.

A move to undermine Mr. Bruno's hold on the Senate would be somewhat akin to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/rudolph_w_giuliani/index.html?inline=nyt-per) dramatic break with the Republican Party in 1994, when he backed the Democratic governor, Mario M. Cuomo (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/mario_m_cuomo/index.html?inline=nyt-per), over George E. Pataki (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/george_e_pataki/index.html?inline=nyt-per). It would also signify a more aggressive political posture by the mayor as he seeks to capitalize on his huge second-term electoral victory by removing major roadblocks to his agenda.

Mayoral aides have had talks with aides to the Queens Democrat, Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., who has quietly set up a committee to explore a challenge to Senator Serphin R. Maltese, a Republican.

There is no love lost between the mayor and Mr. Maltese. Senator Maltese, a close ally of Mr. Bruno's, provided crucial support to the mayoral campaign of Thomas V. Ognibene, who ran on the Conservative line last year and made a failed attempt to force a Republican primary, as well.

But aides said the mayor was considering backing a bid by Mr. Addabbo only because he was fed up with what he saw as the refusal by Republicans in Albany to send the city its fair share of tax revenues. They said he is becoming increasingly willing to use his newfound political capital to tip the balance of power in Albany to state officeholders more sympathetic to the city's needs — even if they happen to be Democrats.

"Obviously the fact that he's considering backing Joe Addabbo is an indication of how strongly he feels about this," said an adviser to the mayor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said being identified would compromise other work he was doing for the mayor. "He wants people in Albany who are going to do what's in the best interest of New York, particularly when it comes to education funding."

That the aide was even willing to be quoted anonymously on such a matter represented a huge change for City Hall. The comment served not only as a warning shot at Albany Republicans, but also as a serious indication that the mayor intends to throw his political weight around. Mayoral aides said that the mayor tried to work cooperatively and privately with his upstate counterparts, but that that approach has ultimately failed to bring the city the education money he believes it desperately needs.

Mr. Bloomberg just about said as much last week at an event announcing the creation of several new small schools. After telling a crowd of educators that the city's plans for new schools would be hindered because of shortfalls in money from Albany, the mayor added sternly, "This cannot continue."

"We hope the state will finally step up and meet its responsibility to our children and to our city," he said. "And you can do something about that: You can call your local assemblyperson or state senator, or call the governor's office and say, 'We aren't going to take it anymore.' "

His potential foray into the battle for control of the State Senate comes at a precarious time for Mr. Bruno. The senator's 35-to-26 majority could turn into a tie with the loss of just a few seats. And Democrats could fare well in elections with a ticket that could include Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/eliot_l_spitzer/index.html?inline=nyt-per) running for governor and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/hillary_rodham_clinton/index.html?inline=nyt-per) running for re-election.

"It's a Democratic state in a Democratic year," said Josh Isay, a political consultant who worked for the mayor's campaign last year but is not currently working for him. "If the mayor is going to get involved in this race, it could set off a political earthquake."

State Senate Republicans have been preparing for several fights, but have so far considered Mr. Maltese, 73, to be safely ensconced in a seat he has held for 18 years. The mayor's involvement, which his aides said could include opening his own wallet and getting wealthy friends to do the same, could force party leaders to divert resources to Mr. Maltese. Adding to the potential threat, a new group called N.Y. EdPAC, is planning its own campaign to force a change in the leadership of the Senate to make it more responsive to sending education money to the city. It is focusing on Mr. Maltese's seat and 11 others. But upstate Republicans said yesterday that they were taking the comments from the mayor's aides as only warning shots, and that a real move against the Senate majority would be risky when Mr. Bloomberg — who also has a frayed relationship with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/sheldon_silver/index.html?inline=nyt-per) —needs so much from the Legislature. The mayor, they added, has been trying to persuade Republican leaders to push Mr. Maltese out of his position as chairman of the Queens County Republican Party.

Informed of the mayor's new political ruminations yesterday, John E. McArdle, Mr. Bruno's communications director, said, "Senator Bruno met with the mayor this week, they discussed a number of issues and they will continue discussing how to continue helping the City of New York this year and throughout the remaining years of the mayor's term."

Mr. Maltese said yesterday that he found it hard to believe that the mayor would take such action against a veteran senator. "I find it inconceivable that the best interests of the city are served by an adversarial relationship with Senator Bruno and the Senate Republicans," he said.

"In many cases we have been able to make sure that the city got the funding it needed for a variety of things," he added. "I think Senator Bruno has been fair and equitable."

Mr. Maltese, who has not had a highly competitive race since 1994, said he had "a great deal of respect" for Mr. Addabbo. But he said he and the Senate Republican leaders were prepared to do "whatever it takes to defend a seat," adding that he could raise as much as $1 million to defend the seat in an area where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one.

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Addabbo, the son of a popular congressman from Queens who died 20 years ago, said he would run for his own reasons, not the mayor's. "This political game involves a lot of personalities," he said, "and I can't get bogged down in that. I'm not going to run a race just because somebody else wants me to."

But Mr. Addabbo's political strategist, Scott Levenson, who has met with the mayor's political aides, said he had been assigned to explore all options seriously.


Jonathan P. Hicks contributed reporting for this article.


Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

ZippyTheChimp
February 26th, 2006, 10:21 AM
February 26, 2006

L.I. Democrat Takes On Spitzer in Governor Race

By PATRICK D. HEALY

GLEN COVE, N.Y., Feb. 25 — Thomas R. Suozzi, the Nassau county executive and a self-styled renegade Democrat, announced Saturday that he was challenging Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for his party's nomination for governor, running as an underdog who will rely to an unusual degree on businesses leaders who have been sued by Mr. Spitzer and New Yorkers who dislike his tactics.

Mr. Suozzi's bid, declared at a boisterous rally in his Long Island hometown here, stands as a direct affront to the New York Democratic Party, which is behind Mr. Spitzer with rare unanimity in the hope of electing the first Democrat as governor since Mario M. Cuomo was defeated in 1994.

"This will be a tough fight: My opponent will have the vote of almost every single Democratic Party boss," Mr. Suozzi told a crowd of more than 1,000 supporters, after taking the stage to the music of U2's "Beautiful Day."

"He'll have the support of almost every single Albany legislator, Albany lobbyist and Albany lawyer," he said of Mr. Spitzer, then quipping to much laughter, "So far, I've been endorsed by my mother and my father — and I'm working on Helene," his wife.

Mr. Suozzi pledged to "fix the culture of Albany" by working to reduce property taxes, overhauling Medicaid to save billions, settling a state education funding lawsuit, and giving more money to schools in New York City and districts statewide.

Mr. Spitzer, the two-term attorney general, earned a national reputation and the moniker "the Sheriff of Wall Street" for his successful prosecutions of white-collar crime on Wall Street. He has high favorability ratings in polls statewide and has raised a formidable $19 million. But Suozzi aides — and some Democratic officials — say that Mr. Spitzer has a prickly side and can come across as haughty, and that these traits will come out in the heat of a contest.

Supporters of Mr. Suozzi, 43, say he has the raw political talent and the track record to win an upset victory akin to Hugh L. Carey's in 1974 and Mr. Cuomo's in 1982, not to mention Mr. Suozzi's own toppling of the Democratic front-runner and the Republicans' decades-long hold on the executive's office in 2001.

He faces a long climb, with few powerful allies and far less money than Mr. Spitzer, but Mr. Suozzi is showing brio by pursuing a two-pronged strategy that is unconventional by New York standards.

He is aggressively seeking support from centrist Democrats, independents, and Republicans, by straying from New York liberal doctrine on issues like abortion rights and gay marriage and by targeting his own party's leadership with an agenda he calls Fix Albany.

It is a risky bet, because liberals and party loyalists historically dominate Democratic primaries, but Suozzi advisers say even these voters may buck the party bosses.

"New York voters have a long history of not going along with the candidate that the establishment tells them to support," said Jay Jacobs, Mr. Suozzi's campaign chairman, citing the Carey and Cuomo victories in their Democratic primaries, among others. "They don't like being told what to do, and their ears will perk up when there's a contest."

Yet it is Mr. Suozzi's support from Mr. Spitzer's enemies that could make for an especially fractious and unpredictable season up to the Democratic primary in September.

Mr. Suozzi's aides say he has amassed more than $10 million in donations and pledges so far, twice the amount of cash on hand that he announced last month, though that fund-raising estimate could not be independently verified.

Of his $5 million on hand, more than $1 million has come with the help of business leaders like Kenneth G. Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot, who have been sued by the attorney general's office, according to several donors and campaign finance records. Mr. Langone is part of a suit alleging mishandling of New York Stock Exchange compensation.

Mr. Spitzer announced $19 million in cash on hand last month. Mr. Suozzi is aiming to raise $20 million to be competitive in advertising. His camp is assuming that Mr. Spitzer will ultimately have $30 million or more.

Allies of Mr. Suozzi predict that the anti-Spitzer faction will contribute millions more toward his $20 million goal. But they also said they expected to win votes from other New Yorkers who believe Mr. Spitzer has been overzealous in his prosecutions and heavy-handed in his tactics.

"The likability factor is a very important piece of this," Mr. Jacobs said. "Tom is very good at walking into a room and connecting with people. He likes people. Think of Kennedy vs. Nixon. Think of Clinton vs. Bush or Bush vs. Kerry."

Mr. Spitzer's advisers charged that Mr. Suozzi was trying to cut into the attorney general's lead in polls by tapping his legal enemies, and that he is making himself their pawn. On Saturday, a group supporting Mr. Spitzer, Citizen Action, called on Mr. Suozzi to "clean up your act" by rejecting donations from Mr. Langone and other Spitzer targets.

At his campaign rally, Mr. Suozzi said his "fight is not with the Democrats" and groups backing Mr. Spitzer, but with leaders of both parties who have not tackled taxes and other headaches for voters.

"New York needs a strong chief executive with a proven record of government reform and results," Mr. Suozzi said, citing his record helping Nassau recover from near-bankruptcy in 2001.

At a news conference after his speech, Mr. Suozzi said he was campaigning in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and on Staten Island this weekend because he was "sending a direct message to Eliot Spitzer that I'm leaving no stone unturned."

Asked about that statement, Mr. Spitzer, who lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, would not comment directly in a brief interview on Saturday.

Instead, he said: "I have been and will be running a campaign based on what I have done for seven years, which is to walk right into the buzz saw of the status quo to change New York for the better. I will visit every town and county and speak to every voter."

Democratic allies of Mr. Spitzer also say that Mr. Suozzi is a political unknown statewide whose chances are being intensified by news media eager for a political battle. They also question his opposition to gay marriage and his attacks on what opponents call partial-birth abortion, saying he is acting like a Republican.

When pressed, though, most of them acknowledge that Mr. Suozzi is the kind of politician who many voters statewide have historically related to: A handsome Italian-American Catholic from the suburbs whose grandparents were poor immigrants and who has proved appealing to some Nassau Republicans.

Still, Spitzer advisers say they do see Mr. Suozzi as a threat. They say they will work with party leaders to try to deny him an automatic spot on the September primary ballot; if he cannot win support at the party convention in May, he will have to gather tens of thousands of voters' signatures to be on the ballot.

This move is not one the Spitzer camp would use on a mere nuisance challenger, political analysts say.

"Our poll numbers say Suozzi's nowhere, but it's early, and there's this history of anti-establishment Democrats pulling upsets," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Will he get anti-Spitzer Wall Street money? It looks like he will get some. He's an attractive guy, he has a track record, and New Yorkers love outsiders."

The lore of the outsider holds strong appeal for Mr. Suozzi, who idolizes and sometimes quotes Theodore Roosevelt, Al Smith, and Robert F. Kennedy. His aides cite Mr. Kennedy's 1968 race for president; they also draw confidence from Mr. Carey's victory over another Democrat, Howard Samuels, in 1974, and Mr. Cuomo's win over New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch in the primary in 1982.

They also recall Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's modest poll numbers a year ago, when he was running for re-election, and Andrew Cuomo's lead in early polls for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002. Mr. Cuomo dropped out before the primary.

Still, Suozzi supporters are not counting on Mr. Spitzer to falter.

"It's a fallacy to say we just need Eliot to stumble," Mr. Jacobs said. "New Yorkers love outsiders, and they'll love Tom."

* Copyright 2006The New York Times Company

lofter1
February 26th, 2006, 12:30 PM
Thomas R. Suozzi, the Nassau county executive and a self-styled renegade Democrat, announced Saturday that he was challenging Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for his party's nomination for governor, running as an underdog who will rely to an unusual degree on businesses leaders who have been sued by Mr. Spitzer and New Yorkers who dislike his tactics...

Yet it is Mr. Suozzi's support from Mr. Spitzer's enemies that could make for an especially fractious and unpredictable season up to the Democratic primary in September...

Of his $5 million on hand, more than $1 million has come with the help of business leaders like Kenneth G. Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot, who have been sued by the attorney general's office, according to several donors and campaign finance records. Mr. Langone is part of a suit alleging mishandling of New York Stock Exchange compensation.
This will make things interesting, but Langone's support could leave Suozzi wide open ...

TomAuch
February 26th, 2006, 04:24 PM
Suozzi's support from Langone gives me a good reason NOT to vote for him in the primary, and possibly the general election if he's the nominee and he's not running against a far-right nutcase. I also get the idea that Suozzi is just running to bloody Spitzer, and for personal ambition.

lofter1
February 26th, 2006, 05:13 PM
Gotta love google ...

Could be that Langone is using Suozzi as his boy to "bloody Spitzer":

Kenneth G Langone

"I'm nuts, I'm rich, and boy, do I love a fight."
From SourceWatch

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Kenneth_G_Langone

Kenneth G. Langone is the "founder, and since 1974, has been Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, of Invemed Associates, LLC, a New York Stock Exchange firm engaged in investment banking and brokerage. He is a founder of Home Depot (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Home_Depot&action=edit), Inc. and has been a director since 1978. He is also a director of ChoicePoint (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ChoicePoint), Inc., and Unifi, Inc." Since October 1997 he has been a Director of Yum! Brands, Inc.

In October 2004 interview with Fortune magazine Langone defended the massive payout he authorised as New York Stock Exchange (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=New_York_Stock_Exchange) compensation committee chair to the former NYSE head Dick Grasso.

Commenting on some of the members of the NYSE Board of Directors Langone said:

"They got the wrong ****ing guy. I'm nuts, I'm rich, and boy, do I love a fight. I'm going to make them shit in their pants. When I get through with these ****ing captains of industry, they’re going to wish they were in a Cuisinart — at high speed. If Grasso gives back a ****ing nickel, I’ll never talk to him again."
Go to these sources for the unfiltered comments by Langone:

[1] (http://wiredblogs.tripod.com/sterling/index.blog?from=20041021) (http://wiredblogs.tripod.com/sterling/index.blog?from=20041021)

[2] (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2095-1471748,00.html) (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2095-1471748,00.html)

MrSpice
February 28th, 2006, 10:31 AM
I think Suozzi understands that he cannot beat Spitzer this time. It's just his first shot at the statewide office. He is really gearing for the future elections. That's how most people got into high places - run as an underdog first and then you have a real shot next time when you're better known.

jcrawford
March 3rd, 2006, 09:53 PM
Could be that Langone is using Suozzi as his boy to "bloody Spitzer":
Speaking of "bloody Spitzer," couldn't he get bloodied by the abortion and gay marriage rights issues, especially if some voters regard his secular philosophy and religious background as somewhat anti-Christian and anti-African American concerning men's procreative and adoptive rights within marriage?

jcrawford
March 3rd, 2006, 11:13 PM
I am calling on New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, to conduct an investigation into New York City abortion clinics to determine whether there is any Medicaid fraud in their billing systems, and to determine whether equal employment opportunities are being offered to the African American, Hispanic and Jewish communities in said clinics.

In addition to other suggested possibilities for Eliot's investigation, the final report should identify and break down the employment capacities each person on the payroll was hired to perform, as well as ethnically identifying the current owners and operators of each facility in their respective neighborhoods and boroughs.

Anyone care to join me in calling for a little action on the part of NYS Attorney General Spitzer, before he runs off and becomes governor?

Jake
March 3rd, 2006, 11:22 PM
His office is on the 13th floor of 120 Broadway, why don't you go ask him.

jcrawford
March 3rd, 2006, 11:45 PM
His office is on the 13th floor of 120 Broadway, why don't you go ask him.
I prefer calling. Do you have his number?

lofter1
March 4th, 2006, 12:32 AM
Call away: http://www.oag.state.ny.us/contact/addresses.html#regional

Attorney General - Executive Offices:

Albany (map) (http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?BFCat=&Pyt=Tmap&newFL=Use+Address+Below&addr=State+Street&csz=Albany%2C+NY+12224&country=us&Get%A0Map=Get+Map)
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341
(518) 474-7330

New York City (map) (http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=Tmap&addr=120+Broadway&city=New+York&state=NY&slt=40.708500&sln=-74.010800&name=&zip=10005-1007&country=us&BFCat=&BFClient=&mag=8&desc=&cs=9&newmag=9)
120 Broadway
New York City, NY 10271
(212) 416-8000

PS: And let us know hat Elliot has to say ...

jcrawford
March 4th, 2006, 10:01 AM
Call away: http://www.oag.state.ny.us/contact/addresses.html#regional

Attorney General - Executive Offices:

Albany (map) (http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?BFCat=&Pyt=Tmap&newFL=Use+Address+Below&addr=State+Street&csz=Albany%2C+NY+12224&country=us&Get%A0Map=Get+Map)
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341
(518) 474-7330

New York City (map) (http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=Tmap&addr=120+Broadway&city=New+York&state=NY&slt=40.708500&sln=-74.010800&name=&zip=10005-1007&country=us&BFCat=&BFClient=&mag=8&desc=&cs=9&newmag=9)
120 Broadway
New York City, NY 10271
(212) 416-8000

PS: And let us know hat Elliot has to say ...
Thanks, I will. Thanks for the phone numbers too. I'll be getting back to you.

BrooklynRider
March 4th, 2006, 10:41 AM
No need.

cyppok
March 4th, 2006, 08:15 PM
There are several things I think will happen.
One the funding for the campain for spitzer will be less than forthcoming.
Two there is a big overestimate in the appeal of the governors race to the
voters...
Three usually when the voting is thin and not in sync with the pres elections
the republicans are favored.

Also I do not like spitzer he is like an angry rat who levies fines and instead of reimbursing shareholders he robs them more adding insult to injury filling up the state coffers.

BrooklynRider
March 5th, 2006, 12:32 AM
There are several things I think will happen.
One the funding for the campain for spitzer will be less than forthcoming.
Two there is a big overestimate in the appeal of the governors race to the
voters...
Three usually when the voting is thin and not in sync with the pres elections
the republicans are favored.

Also I do not like spitzer he is like an angry rat who levies fines and instead of reimbursing shareholders he robs them more adding insult to injury filling up the state coffers.

Shareholders own the company. It is just that they get penalized. Perhaps then, they will demand objective Board oversight instead of a rubber stamp. No sympathy here.

As for Spitzer, I support him. He is a social progressive and, certainly, fiscally responsible. My only hesitation is the way the party hacks have lined up behind him, in effect telling voters - this is who we are giving you. I am as weary of the Dem party machine as I am the Repubs. If Suozzi had a more progressive view on social and "moral" issues, I'd give him a look. But he's not and there are some issues, I am sure for each of us, that cannot be ignored.

jcrawford
March 6th, 2006, 10:17 PM
There are several things I think will happen.
One the funding for the campain for spitzer will be less than forthcoming.
Two there is a big overestimate in the appeal of the governors race to the
voters...
Three usually when the voting is thin and not in sync with the pres elections
the republicans are favored.

Also I do not like spitzer he is like an angry rat who levies fines and instead of reimbursing shareholders he robs them more adding insult to injury filling up the state coffers.
Besides acting like an "angry rat," Spitzer doesn't seem to have any moral compunctions, ethnic sensitivity or ethical and religious guidelines to follow when he supports and indiscriminately endorses abortion rights for all women and some men, homosexual and heterosexual marriage rights for men with adoptive rights for all and reproductive and procreative rights for none.

This secular Jew has really screwed himself up by selling his soul outright to the atheistic femmie and seccie socialist agenda of bloody bill and hill clinton.

He once started an investigation into Christian pregnancy crisis centers but dropped it like a hot potato after a public outcry. How come he didn't launch an investigation into Medicaid and identity fraud in abortion clinics during his 8 year tenure as AG? Too many friends in the business?

BrooklynRider
March 6th, 2006, 10:34 PM
Oh, we have a Rush Limbaugh parrot joining us. I knew it the minute I read


... the atheistic femmie and seccie socialist agenda of bloody bill and hill clinton...

That's pure drug-addled, addicted to the narcotics, insecure fat man, Rush Limbaugh talking.

But this is the best and it really amplifies the stupidity of Rush's audience and, of course, it reinforces for all of us here at WNY our collective determination to use proper English - including placing punctuation in the correct places.

This is what JC wrote, based on his punctuation...



... he supports and indiscriminately endorses abortion rights for all women and some men...

Now there's one for the funniest quotes on WNY thread.

And then this....


... homosexual and heterosexual marriage rights for men with adoptive rights for all and reproductive and procreative rights for none...


Here we get a little smidgen of anti-semitism...



...This secular Jew has really screwed himself up by selling his soul outright to...

Because, how often do we point out the secular Christians in this forum? Never.

Oh, and here it comes.... The ANGRY CHRISTIAN WING-NUT.


...He once started an investigation into Christian pregnancy crisis centers but dropped it like a hot potato after a public outcry. How come he didn't launch an investigation into Medicaid and identity fraud in abortion clinics during his 8 year tenure as AG? Too many friends in the business?

And, of course, a pure, sinless man attempting to decide what others can or should do with their bodies.

Keep it coming and please don't have anyone help you with grammar. It wouldn't be as entertaining. Hey, are you a graduate of the Texas public school system?

lofter1
March 6th, 2006, 10:36 PM
jcrawford: so, wha' happened?? Elliot hang up on you????

jcrawford
March 6th, 2006, 10:53 PM
As for Spitzer, I support him. He is a social progressive and, certainly, fiscally responsible.
Sure, fiscally responsible and morally corrupt, just like bloomberg, soros and other progessive secular socialists trying to buy their way into dominant positions of power in American culture, society and government.

My only hesitation is the way the party hacks have lined up behind him, in effect telling voters - this is who we are giving you. I am as weary of the Dem party machine as I am the Repubs.
I'm with you there. Machines and political machinations have no place in a government run by people power. That's why the good people of NYS are going to shoot spitballs at spitzer.

If Suozzi had a more progressive view on social and "moral" issues, I'd give him a look. But he's not and there are some issues, I am sure for each of us, that cannot be ignored.
I agree with you entirely here also. Suozzi represents a return to good old fashioned Christian values in government and within the demo party also, something which limosine liberals (read, socialist and atheistic progressives) seem to abhor if not detest adamantly. I think spitzer's stand on Jewish abortion rights and Jewish homosexual rights is completely out of touch with the reality of the Christian marriage rights and good Christian government which most Christian New Yorkers desparately need in their neighborhoods, communities and upstate society.

If Eliot were to change his secular platform somewhat, I may be inclined to vote for him myself.

Let's see. Andrew Cuomo or Mark Green for AG? Depends what they have to say about Jewish abortionists killing Christian kids and Catholic abortionists killing Jewish kids, and all those white secular abortionists in NYC killing the kids of white and black American Protestant New Yorkers without their written and informed consent.

It's religious politics time, my friend.

jcrawford
March 6th, 2006, 11:18 PM
Oh, we have a Rush Limbaugh parrot joining us. I knew it the minute I read
So you're a bloody bill and hill parrot. Can't US parrots just get along?


But this is the best and it really amplifies the stupidity of Rush's audience and, of course, it reinforces for all of us here at WNY our collective determination to use proper English - including placing punctuation in the correct places.

This is what JC wrote, based on his punctuation...
Whatever I wrote or write in the future, have you no use for the vernacular in NYC or NYS? I guess you don't like the writings of Samuel Clemens.


Now there's one for the funniest quotes on WNY thread.
What's funny about it?


Here we get a little smidgen of anti-semitism...
Where's even a "smidgen" of anti-Semitism? (sic)


Because, how often do we point out the secular Christians in this forum? Never.
Didn't know there was such a thing as "secular Christianity." Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Please fill me in.


Oh, and here it comes.... The ANGRY CHRISTIAN WING-NUT.
No idea what yer talking about there.


Keep it coming and please don't have anyone help you with grammar. It wouldn't be as entertaining. Hey, are you a graduate of the Texas public school system?
Nope. Not even of the NYC PSS.

I'm just a country boy from way up north. Almost over the border, you might say. Where ya'll from?

cyppok
March 6th, 2006, 11:22 PM
I dont think anyone of substance is running for governor in my view.

Personally I like Bloomberg and would vote for him again and again.
Do not liken spitzer to Bloomberg. One is a leech the other is a builder
in my mind at least. Bloomberg is a pragmatic person while spitzer is
an political ideolog with ambitions. I can't imagine spitzer being gov
though.

On a more pragmatic tone; Upstate needs to leech Nyc dollars and
they will not let a Nyc gov to be elected to divert those dollars back
into the city. Ergo the will keep fighting harder to keep what they have
then the city which is fighting for it doesn't have.

P.S. If Bloomberg went for governor as a dem or rep I would vote for him.

lofter1
March 6th, 2006, 11:23 PM
If Eliot were to change his secular platform somewhat, I may be inclined to vote for him myself.

It's religious politics time, my friend.
So, if Spitzer were to convert would that do the trick for you?

Myself? I say get rid of all those who don't think like me. String the suckers up from a light post in Times Square. Yeah!

And how far do YOU take your dislike / hatred of, hmmm, lets see ... from your own writing here's a list ('scuse me if I missed anyone):

socialists
liberals
atheists
progressives
jews
catholics
homosexuals
abortionists
femmies (?)
seccies (?)

jcrawford
March 6th, 2006, 11:26 PM
jcrawford: so, wha' happened?? Elliot hang up on you????
Nah, they wouldn't put me through to him and told me to call the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

I'll call that, the Consumer Helpline and Environmental Crimes Unit tomorrow, and will let you know how it goes.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions in the meantime. It helps to have some prompting, political advice, and support. 'Preciate it.

jcrawford
March 6th, 2006, 11:46 PM
I dont think anyone of substance is running for governor in my view.
Suozzi and Faso are men of substance, whereas spitzer will burst like a hot air balloon or the Hindenberg dirigible once Christians start firing spicy spitballs at him.


Do not liken spitzer to Bloomberg. One is a leech the other is a builder
in my mind at least.
Which is the leech and which,the builder of what?


Bloomberg is a pragmatic person while spitzer is
an political ideolog with ambitions. I can't imagine spitzer being gov
though.
Would you want spitzer for mayor and bloomie for guv? What would be the diff?


On a more pragmatic tone; Upstate needs to leech Nyc dollars and
they will not let a Nyc gov to be elected to divert those dollars back
into the city. Ergo the will keep fighting harder to keep what they have
then the city which is fighting for it doesn't have.
In other words, it all has to do with money and nothing with morality and ethics. That's a rather cynical view, don't you think? Are you saying that all New Yorkers are immoral and have sold their souls to the devil?


P.S. If Bloomberg went for governor as a dem or rep I would vote for him.
Not me. I'd just as soon vote for an Israeli for guv. Course, he'd have to be a Christian Israeli.

jcrawford
March 7th, 2006, 12:03 AM
So, if Spitzer were to convert would that do the trick for you?
He don't have to convert. Just lighten up on that Jewish secularity a bit, and leave some room for other religious opinions. After all, Cuomo might be the next AG and may choose to investigate secular Jewish abortionists, if he's not in league with them already.


Myself? I say get rid of all those who don't think like me. String the suckers up from a light post in Times Square. Yeah!
Never again! That smacks too much of Italian fasciti methods.


And how far do YOU take your dislike / hatred of, hmmm, lets see ... from your own writing here's a list ('scuse me if I missed anyone):

socialists
liberals
atheists
progressives
jews
catholics
homosexuals
abortionists
femmies (?)
seccies (?)
I don't dislike Jews or Catholics. I just wish they would be more Jewish or Catholic.

btw: you left out gutless NYS 'politicians' who have sold their souls to the democratic devil.

MrSpice
March 7th, 2006, 10:08 AM
I like Suozzi too. But, unfortunately, he has no chance to win this time around. Maybe next time.

MidtownGuy
March 7th, 2006, 01:39 PM
jcrawford,
Why can't people like you just keep your religionist crap to yourselves? We don't need freaks trying to save us. You have more in common with the Taliban than with the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.

MidtownGuy
March 7th, 2006, 01:40 PM
By the way,
Republicans worship Satan.

ZippyTheChimp
March 7th, 2006, 01:44 PM
Reread all his posts one after the other.

Then think about what he is doing.

The picture becomes so obvious.

Ninjahedge
March 7th, 2006, 02:15 PM
Is he really supporting Spitzer by instilling a rage against idiots that he is (hopefully) emulating?

I think he is just rabble rousing, and should be put on the terrorist alert list for people who need to be locked down just in case anyone important comes to town or something important happens in the world.


Why is anyone even bothering responding to him when his very first post was a flame/troll post?

jcrawford
March 7th, 2006, 07:20 PM
I like Suozzi too. But, unfortunately, he has no chance to win this time around. Maybe next time.
He has a chance to raise important issues within the Democratic Party in order to keep it from being further identified as the party of abortion, gay marriage, secular slavery and other immoral anti-Christian policies and practices.

jcrawford
March 7th, 2006, 07:30 PM
jcrawford,
Why can't people like you just keep your religionist crap to yourselves? We don't need freaks trying to save us. You have more in common with the Taliban than with the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.
If people like freaky Spitzer would keep their anti-Christian crap to themselves, then white and black American Protestants could get on with their lives and families without fear of Taliban abortionists destroying the offspring of our holy marriages.

JMGarcia
March 7th, 2006, 10:37 PM
If people like freaky Spitzer would keep their anti-Christian crap to themselves, then white and black American Protestants could get on with their lives and families without fear of Taliban abortionists destroying the offspring of our holy marriages.
oooh, forced abortions. cool.

Ninjahedge
March 8th, 2006, 09:14 AM
Guys,

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/profile.php?do=editlist

and place:

jcrawford

On your list.

lofter1
March 8th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Cool feature ^^.

Thanks for pointing that out, ninjahedge.

Ya learn something new every day!!

MidtownGuy
March 8th, 2006, 12:37 PM
then white and black American Protestants could get on with their lives and families without fear of Taliban abortionists destroying the offspring of our holy marriages.

JCrawford, I DON'T CARE IF YOU WORSHIP A BAG OF SNAKES, OR WHETHER YOU ALLOW YOUR SPAWN TO LIVE. My only hope is that your "holy" marriage produces a child who grows to reject your primitive bent.

Now, I'm going to make use of that feature.

kz1000ps
June 6th, 2006, 11:33 AM
Weld set to exit N.Y. governor's race

By Michael Gormley, Associated Press Writer | June 6, 2006


ALBANY, N.Y. --Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, has decided to drop his bid for governor of New York, according to two sources informed of the decision.

The two sources spoke on condition of anonymity because Weld wanted to make the announcement publicly himself on Tuesday. Weld scheduled a news conference at his Manhattan headquarters.

The state GOP chairman on Monday recommended Weld drop out of the race "in the name of party unity." Stephen Minarik, who had been Weld's biggest supporter in the contest, said Weld should instead throw his support to his Republican rival, former state Assembly Minority Leader John Faso.

At the state GOP convention last week, Faso won a surprising 61 percent of the delegates' weighted vote to 39 percent for Weld, a New York native.

If Weld had stayed in the race, he would have had a spot on the ballot, but the GOP would have faced a potentially bruising and expensive September primary in the battle to replace Republican Gov. George Pataki, who is not seeking a fourth four-year term.

Polls have shown state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic front-runner for governor, far ahead of either Faso or Weld.

TomAuch
June 6th, 2006, 03:31 PM
I rather would have had him stay in this race, as a Spitzer-Weld contest would have meant a 100% chance of no right-wingers. If only Suozzi would exit gracefully instead of launching this pissing contest.

lofter1
September 22nd, 2006, 12:46 PM
G.O.P. Nominee for Governor Worked With Legislature on Stock Sale


http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/09/22/nyregion/22faso190.1.jpg
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
John Faso has denied that his activities
for the state agency amounted to lobbying.


http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/09/21/nyregion/22faso190.2.jpg
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
His opponent for governor,
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/22/nyregion/22faso.html?ref=nyregion)
By MICHAEL COOPER
Septembe 22, 2006

ALBANY, Sept. 21 — Since he began running for governor, John Faso has played down one item on his lengthy résumé: his work as a lobbyist.


Mr. Faso has said that lobbying played “a very minor part” in the legal work he did after leaving state government. And after he was hired last year by the state’s Public Asset Fund, he said lobbying played no role at all in his work on one of the biggest financial deals in state history, the fund’s sale of stock that the state received for allowing Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield to become a profit-making company.


“This work involves no lobbying of state government,” Mr. Faso wrote in a letter published by The New York Post in February this year after the newspaper had printed an Op-Ed article questioning whether he was lobbying for the fund. “Instead, it consists of rendering corporate advice and guidance to the fund’s board.”


An examination of Mr. Faso’s billing records — as well as e-mail messages between Mr. Faso, the governor’s office and members of the fund’s board — shows, however, that Mr. Faso played a key role in securing the passage of legislation sought by the board. The bill took away the state comptroller’s oversight over the hiring of underwriters and lawyers for the stock sale.


The billing records indicate that Mr. Faso, a Republican, held daily discussions with officials in Gov. George E. Pataki’s office about the legislation in the days before it was passed in June 2005. When the Legislature agreed to pass the bill, Mr. Faso forwarded board members an e-mail message he had received from one of the governor’s aides informing him that “the Legislature agreed to a package,” and adding, “Thanks for your help!”


Members of Mr. Faso’s gubernatorial campaign staff said this activity did not constitute lobbying, because the Public Asset Fund is an arm of the state, so his work with the governor’s office was not covered by the state’s lobbying law. They said Mr. Faso had been responding to requests from the governor’s office to comment on the legislation.


“This was not lobbying,” said Susan Del Percio, a spokeswoman for Mr. Faso. “It was advising on how to get the process done, and advising on the legislation itself, saying what was needed to get the job done.”


State law defines lobbying as “any attempt to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by either house of the State Legislature or approval or disapproval of any legislation by the governor.” Lobbyists who earn more than $5,000 a year are required to register with the state.


Lobbyists for government departments are not required to register, but some quasi-governmental entities, like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Power Authority and the Thruway Authority, are required to register their lobbying activities because they are defined as public benefit corporations.
The Faso campaign said Mr. Faso was not required to register because the Public Asset Fund is a state entity, not a public benefit corporation, but government lawyers were divided as to whether the fund is a public benefit corporation.


Blair Horner, the legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, which monitors lobbying, called on the state’s lobbying commission to review the matter. “The lobbying commission should review this arrangement and offer a ruling on whether what Faso did constituted lobbying or not,” Mr. Horner said. “It’s quacking, but under New York law, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a duck.”


Lobbying has been a campaign issue for Mr. Faso. Both his Republican and Democratic opponents have emphasized his work as a lobbyist, hoping to capitalize on the notoriety of the Jack Abramoff scandal in Washington and criticism of lobbyists’ power in Albany.


The Public Asset Fund was created by the state to handle the sale of billions of dollars worth of stock that the state was given when it allowed the old Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield to become a profit-making health insurance company. The fund has five members, three appointed by the governor, one by the Senate and one by the Assembly.


The law establishing the fund refers to its “corporate existence” but does not explicitly call it a public benefit corporation.


In 2002, a financial firm working on the stock sale sought a legal opinion about the fund. Its lawyers, Hinman Straub, wrote that the fund “is not an agency, department, board, officer, commission, or institution of the state,” and noted that the members were not allowed to be state employees. That opinion could buttress a contention that Mr. Faso’s activities amounted to lobbying.


On the other hand, a 2004 letter from the office of State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, a Democrat, argued that the fund was part of the state, not a public benefit corporation.


Michael Marr, a spokesman for Governor Pataki, said, “The Public Asset Fund is a state entity, and as such is exempted from the state’s lobbying law.”


Patrick J. Bulgaro, a former member of the fund’s board who was appointed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, said he always assumed that the fund was a public benefit corporation, which would put it under lobbying laws. “If the argument is made that it is not,” he said in an interview, “then it’s the strangest entity I’ve encountered in my career.”


Failing to report lobbying is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000.
Mr. Faso billed the state $560 an hour for his work for the Public Asset Fund, according to billing records obtained under the Freedom of Information Law.


The records show that he earned more than $37,000 for his work for the fund, and that his law firm, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, earned much more.


Mr. Faso, who was a government and regulatory partner at the firm, did register as a lobbyist for four clients: a health care company, a life insurance trade group, an environmental group, and a group working to take over the Seventh Regiment Armory in Manhattan. He did not register for the Public Asset Fund.


The records show that in his work for the fund, Mr. Faso was in daily contact with the governor’s office the week that the bill passed. A typical entry, for June 23, 2005, reads, “Numerous calls/memos/emails with Governor’s office and firms re legislation.” Another entry, after the Legislature passed the bill, was for a discussion with the governor’s office “re bill signing.”


A letter Mr. Faso wrote to the fund in September, summarizing his work, says, “There were numerous calls and drafting suggestions before the Legislature did, in fact, enact the provisions essentially as suggested by the Fund.”


As it prepared to sell the stock, the fund awarded some contracts to politically connected insiders. Aside from the legal work that went to Mr. Faso, a former leader of the Republican minority in the Assembly, underwriting work went to firms that employed people with ties to the governor and the administration.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
December 1st, 2006, 06:30 AM
December 1, 2006

Spitzer to Cut Size of Gifts He Accepts

By MICHAEL COOPER

ALBANY, Nov. 30 — Moving swiftly in his efforts to change the culture of Albany, Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer said Thursday that he would unilaterally stop accepting campaign contributions greater than $10,000, which is less than a fifth of the $50,100 in individual donations currently allowed by state law.

Mr. Spitzer also said that from now on he would refuse to take advantage of several notorious loopholes in the state’s campaign finance laws that allow corporations and limited liability companies to circumvent donation limits by contributing through subsidiaries and other related entities.

In addition, he unveiled a series of ethics rules for members of his administration, including a pledge that neither he nor his aides would hold fund-raisers in Albany during the legislative session. That is prime fund-raising time for politicians here, since they are always able to corral lobbyists to attend their events.

The changes would be seismic for Albany, where Gov. George E. Pataki has sometimes proposed reforms but has not agreed to abide by them unilaterally. Mr. Spitzer said he hoped the Legislature would follow his lead by passing far-reaching laws that would eventually apply to all state officials and candidates.

Mr. Spitzer, who raised nearly $42 million in his campaign for governor, in part by taking many large contributions and some that took advantage of the legal loopholes that he has now decided to forgo, said that during campaigns, candidates, including himself, traditionally say, “You cannot expect me to unilaterally disarm.”

“We are doing that today,” he said. “We are doing that because we believe it is important to set a tone, to send a message and to lead by example.”

His announcement put pressure on Senator Joseph L. Bruno, who was re-elected here Thursday as Republican majority leader of the State Senate, one of the three positions that in effect run state government. Mr. Bruno did not sound as if he has any plans to adopt Mr. Spitzer’s ban on fund-raisers in Albany during the legislative session, saying it was “nonsense” to argue that they fostered a bad perception.

“If they want to support people here, they ought to be able to do it,” Mr. Bruno said. “And for anyone that thinks that anybody that makes a contribution buys anything other than indicating their positive support — well, then, they’re just wrong.”

Mr. Spitzer announced a number of areas where he said he planned to hold his administration to a higher standard than the law demands.

He said members of his administration would not be allowed to take gifts of more than nominal value, a stricter standard than the current law, which allows officials to receive gifts worth up to $75. Members of his administration who become lobbyists will be prohibited from lobbying any part of the executive branch for two years after they leave their posts, he said; the current law only bans former state officials from lobbying the specific agency where they worked.

Mr. Spitzer said neither he nor his lieutenant governor, David A. Paterson, would accept fees for speeches or appear in taxpayer-financed commercials, two things Governor Pataki was sometimes criticized for. Mr. Spitzer recalled that when he ran for attorney general in 1998, the incumbent, Dennis C. Vacco, appeared in numerous antismoking ads.

“Back then I said, you know, there are many persuasive voices that teenagers may pay attention to,” he said, “but my guess is the attorney general is not the most persuasive voice.”

Mr. Spitzer said that he would not accept contributions from members of his administration whom he can hire and fire, so as not to create the perception that they have to make donations to keep their jobs. Members of the Pataki administration routinely attended fund-raisers and contributed to his campaign.

Mr. Spitzer said he hoped to send a message by deciding not to attend fund-raisers in Albany during the session, which typically runs from January through June. “There is an unfortunate reality that there are many fund-raisers here in Albany on nights when the Legislature is in session when lobbyists and others congregate, can contribute to legislators, and then show up the next morning to ask them to consider A, B, or C,” he said. “And so we are simply saying, we will not participate in that.”

The governor-elect, a Democrat whose campaign promised to reform Albany, still has to get his proposals passed by the Legislature. Over the years, the Democratic-led Assembly and Republican-led Senate have balked at various changes. Sometimes, when one chamber has passed a bill, little was done to secure its passage in the other.

So Mr. Spitzer is taking the unusual step of voluntarily adhering to tougher rules for himself and his administration, and hoping the idea catches on.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a fellow Democrat, called Mr. Spitzer’s announcement “welcome news” and noted that several changes Mr. Spitzer was seeking had been passed by the Assembly over the years but never became law. “It is extremely encouraging to me and members of our conference that we will now have a partner in the executive who will join these critical efforts,” he said.

Most significant was Mr. Spitzer’s decision to limit the size of campaign contributions he will accept. New York’s current limit on single donations, $50,100 to candidates for statewide office for their primary and general elections, is the highest of any state that has contribution limits. A candidate for president, by contrast, may accept a donation no larger than $4,200. Candidates in the city may accept only $4,950, and there is a proposal to lower that.

While a voluntary ban is unusual, it is not unheard of. In 1990, Lawton Chiles was elected governor of Florida after voluntarily limiting his contributions to $100. Mr. Spitzer was roundly praised by civic groups that have long been seeking reform.

When Mr. Spitzer was asked if his decision to limit his contributions reflected confidence in his ability to be re-elected in four years against a candidate not bound by such self-imposed limits, or confidence that he would be able to persuade the Legislature to overhaul the state’s campaign finance laws, he said, “The logic is, this is the right thing to do to send a message that we meant what we said throughout this campaign, which is that we are going to change, in a fundamental way, the way government functions.”


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company