Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spitzer's "Government By Vengeance": Young and Poor Hardest Hit

In my last column, I noted that the NYCLU thanked NY Gov. Spitzer for his "illegal alien drivers license" plan. I wonder if they'll thank him for this week's stunt.

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R) has pledged to sue Spitzer, to block the drivers license plan. Now, Spitzer has blocked $300,000 of "member item" spending in Tedisco's district.

"Member items" usually mean pork, but in Tedisco's struggling Assembly district, the money was designated for, among other things, the following: Upgrading one school district's elementary school playgrounds; video surveillance upgrades for another; finally, $100,000 for Schenectady's health clinic, which provides free health care for poor and uninsured people. Tedisco predicts that this will shut the clinic down, harming the most needy people in his district.

It's not hard to see why the Gov's poll numbers are in a freefall, and not likely to come back up anytime soon. Still, it's five years until he stands for re-election, which is a long time for the electorate's collective memory. He is still getting more deeply caught up in the "dirty tricks" travel scandal, having to admit his aides tried to forward Sen. Joe Bruno's travel records to the IRS, in the last few weeks.

Let's hope he's no longer governor by the time the next scheduled election comes around.

UPDATE: "Smoking gun" emails have been exposed by Tedisco, "showing Gov. Spitzer's administration had OK'd funding for a local health-care clinic last month - before suddenly canceling the grant on Monday ," according to the NY POST (NYC's real "paper of record"). You won't read about this in the NY Liberal Times, folks.

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