Richard Ravitch, come on down...

paterson ravitch announcementYou're the next contestant on the bizarre reality show that is New York State government. David Paterson just announced that he's appointing Richard Ravitch to the post of lieutenant governor.

Ravitch theoretically will now be able to cast a tie-breaking vote in the frozen state Senate (if quorum ever comes together). The key word is theoretically -- because Paterson's appointment will almost surely set off a flurry of lawsuits. If Ravitch's appointment holds, it would at the very least clear up some of the questions about the gubernatorial line of succession.

So who is this Ravitch guy? A quick primer after the jump.

Age: 75 76

Education: Columbia, Yale Law

Experience: Ravitch is best-known for his tenure as the head of the MTA in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- he's been credited with saving the system from a fiscal breakdown. He also played a key role in helping New York City survive its fiscal meltdown in the mid-1970s.

Ravitch also represented major league baseball owners when they pitched a salary cap to the players' union in 1994 -- that situation ended up with a season-ending strike.

He's also served as CEO of a bank and on the boards of a bunch of orgs.

The best single backgrounder on Ravitch is from the New York Times.



Just when you thought it couldn't get any sillier.

What ever happened to the folks who appointed themselves Lt. Gov?

Is there movement out there to fix this in the State constitution?

I will not stand in the way of anybody else being Fake Acting Lieutenant Governor and have tendered my resignation effective immediately. I retire my erroneous claim to the position so that our state can move forward illegally and illegitimately.

God bless New York.

So what's Stan Lundine, Mary Anne Krupsak and Mary Donohue doing these days? Probably kicking back with a couple of cases of Schlitz and thanking the heavens for only having to deal with governors who advocated the drinking of PCB-tainted water, the indecisiveness of running for President, and those ever-present knocks on the door from Alfonse D'Amato - and all the while, knowing that even in those days, it wasn't as crazy as it is now.

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