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Friday, January 26, 2007

Ridiculous Ethics

- The New York Sun is reporting today that State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver favors tossing aside the Ad Hoc Committee's franchise recommendation in its entirety. This would render the months of the panel's work, and the "selection" of Excelsior Racing meaningless, an outcome that many had anticipated given the change of administration in Albany.

Mr. Silver mocked the ad hoc committee's grading system under which the category of "integrity" counted for about a fifth of the evaluation and was assigned a larger weight than "financial viability."

"The other process gave weight to ethics, which was ridiculous," Mr. Silver said. "If you're unethical but you bid an extra $1 million, we may take you. But if you're ethical and bid $1 million less, it doesn't help you."
Say what? Is it just me, or does Silver's quote make little sense? Leave it to a New York politician to be quoted in a newspaper as saying that giving weight to ethics is "ridiculous," no matter what context he really intended. I see a negative campaign ad somewhere in his future. In any event, the folks at Empire Racing, and NYRA I suppose as well, must be thrilled about Silver's statement.

Silver is also extremely cranky over the decision by a panel commissioned to recommend a replacement for former Comptroller Alan Hevesi to bypass Democratic Assembly members in favor of three candidates with more financial experience. One of those selected is William Mulrow, a principal of Excelsior Racing. This could set up a confrontation with Gov Spitzer, who favors an outsider over a legislator.


Green Mtn Punter said...

Alan, no, it's not you as I had the same reaction to Silver's comments. Cognitive dissonance reigns supreme! Here in VT it's 15 below zero, the economy is fast headed into the tank, we lose good jobs by the thousands, can't create any new ones, out of control school budgets continue to fund the nation's best education for students who leave the state to go elsewhere, ski season is a bust, and on and on, so what do the pols in Montpelier talk about? Global warming?! Impeaching Bush?!
So, which collection of state politicians exhibit the most absurd level of cognitive dissonance, NY or VT? Perhaps the makings of a new reality TV show?

Anonymous said...

Great Idea, "The Nation's Most Shamelessly Corrupt Politician" coming soon in primetime.

Unfortunately it would take a century to wade through all the potential contenders.

With Pataki and soon Bruno out of the picture, the franchise winner will ultimately be decided in a formerly smokey back room at around 2am and attached as a line item in fine print to some otherwise meritorious bill that can not be vetoed. In other words, standard operating procedure.

Anonymous said...

I think Silver garbled what he had heard Spitzer spout about the flaw of having integrity a weighted criteria not that it shouldn't be considered it all. If you recall, Elliott said that integrity shoud not be a weighted factor but considered a precondition for consideration. It didn't quite come that way out of Silver's mouth, did it?