Items tagged with 'Richard Ravitch'

Act One. Mister Fix It.

ira glass and david paterson

Ira Glass interviewing David Paterson at the Capitol in May.

This week's This American Life featured a long segment about the New York State budget. During the setup for the piece, host Ira Glass says: "For those of you who live far from New York, you need to understand a few things about just how terribly run New York State is." And then he runs through all the scandals and drama (that part runs longer than many regular radio segments).

That all leads to the appointment of Richard Ravitch, whom Glass describes as the "hero of our story." Says Ravitch at one point, when asked if he felt like he was going to into a "madhouse" after being appointed to Lt. Governor (at Peter Luger):

Yes. But I'm also... this sounds terribly pompous, forgive me... but I have a kind of romance with the whole idea of government and public service. So, at the same time I knew I was going into a madhouse, I also, it was a matter of pride that perhaps I could be helpful and there was nothing more useful I could do with my life.

Ravitch later says: "I didn't know how serious the problem was. I didn't realize the state had been faking balanced budgets for so many years."

The piece includes a bunch of people from around the Capitol, including David Paterson, state budget director Bob Megna (and his non-state-funded stress balls), Ruben Diaz, public radio correspondent Karen Dewitt, YNN's Erin Billups, the singing of Jay Gallagher and NYSNYS's Kyle Hughes.

The piece is a good overview of how the state got into so much budget trouble. It's not a hopeful picture.

The show is available as a free download this week. It's also available for streaming.

photo: Paterson admin media images

Paterson say continues to say he's staying, state stepping up tax audits, another Republican into NY 20 pool, pay by mobile in Saratoga, Dickens letters found

David Paterson told a Brooklyn congregation on Sunday that he will "keep governing till the end of the year." He also said that finishing the term would "fulfill the mission in which God placed me." [NYDN] [NYT]

It's not clear which agency will end up investigating the allegations that Paterson perjured himself during questioning about the Yankees tickets. [TU]

If Paterson were to leave office, lieutenant governor Richard Ravitch appears to be widely respected at the Capitol for his competence, experience -- and bluntness. Of course, that would mean another lt gov appointment, which could be tricky. [TU] [TU]

During opening statements in the Steven Raucci trial, prosecutor Robert Carney alleged that Raucci planned his alleged attacks for night so as to maximize their impact. Carney also alleged the Raucci's actions stole his alleged victim's "peace of mind, their comfort, their security." It also came out on Friday that a key undercover witness for the prosecution is a former cop whom Raucci's attorney called a "crook.". [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [Daily Gazette $]

Fred Lebrun says he thinks the state legislature will find a way to keep the state parks open. [TU]

The state has stepped up the number of audits in an effort to find more tax cheaters. [Daily Gazette $]

The state Board of Regents is reportedly considering cutting some Regents exams in order to save money. [TU]

One man died and a car hit a house as part of a two-car crash in Colonie Saturday. The driver who survived has been charged with Driving With Ability Impaired (drugs). Residents who live near the crash site say the residential intersection is notoriously dangerous because drivers often go through the stop sign there. (map). [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [CBS6] [TU] [Fox23]

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Speed reading the coverage of David Paterson

paterson with spitzer

In retrospect, not exactly a dream team.

We've read (too) much of the reaction to David Paterson's decision to exit the race for the governor.

Here are a bunch of the quick-scan highlights -- about lame duck status, Paterson's work habits, calls for resignation, the budget, Andrew Cuomo and... yet another SNL skit.

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Troy budget veto overridden, APD leaning toward community policing, Paterson looking for a "hand back," trailer runs into overpass

The Troy city council voted to override Harry Tutunjian's budget veto last night -- and now Tutunjian says he'll take the issue to court. The mayor says he would go jail before certifying what he calls an "imbalanced" budget. He also accused members of the city council of lying and distorting the truth. Council president Clement Campana said the council was within its rights to adjust the mayor's budget. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [@TroyMayor] [CapNews9]

The Albany police department appears to be leaning toward an embrace of community policing again. (Question: Why are fundamental policy decisions being made before a new chief comes on board?) [TU]

Now that Colonie has tightened its rules on motels that house sex offenders, Albany County Social Services has been placing them in homeless shelters and apartments in the city of Albany, according to a county spokesperson. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say they're still investigating an incident last Friday that resulted in a man being shot in the leg. [Saratogian] [TU]

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State budget widens and Paterson warns of pain, Raucci to get pension even if convicted, Gillibrand pushes repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, goat kidnapped

New York State comptroller Tom DiNapoli now says the state's budget gap could be as big as $4.1 billion. David Paterson has said that he will release a slate of proposed budget cuts that would involve "pain." LG Richard Ravitch, who's helping Paterson with budget issues, says the plan will be "asking every agency in the government to cut back significantly." As bad as things might be this year, apparently the real problem is next year when the federal stimulus money ends. As one anonymous legislator told Liz Benjamin: "Then we're in deep sh*t." [TU] [NYT] [CapNews9] [Daily Politics]

Adrian Thomas, the Troy man charged with causing the death of his infant son, took the stand in his own defense yesterday -- and testified that he had lied during his videotaped interrogation by police. Thomas said he admitted to police that he slammed the child down so he "could go to the hospital and see my son and my wife." [Troy Record] [TU]

The Troy man shot in the head earlier this week has died. It's the third homicide of the year in Troy. The TPD says it's following leads. [Troy Record] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

Albany police have arrested two men -- one already in prison, the other 18 years old -- for a 2007 murder on Second Street. [TU]

The Lansingburgh High School student suspended for having a pocketknife in his car says he's been contacted by West Point and told the incident won't have any effect on his application to the service academy. [WTEN]

Steven Raucci, the now-retired Schenectady school district employee accused of arson, intimidation and harassment related to his former job, will receive a pension of $79,067 -- even if he's convicted. [TU]

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Reaction to APD shame sign, man found dead near the Egg, Paterson and Ravitch reportedly at odds, Other Guys shoot wraps, local woman on Jeopardy tonight

A spokesman for the APD says the light-up sign on Central Ave that's set to display the names of people arrested for soliciting prostitute is no different from mug shots appearing in the local news. The spokesman says city attorneys don't foresee any legal issues with the sign. Defense attorneys aren't so sure about that. [CBS6] [WNYT] [Fox23] [TU]

A state Supreme Court judge has thrown out 39 of the allegedly fraudulent Troy absentee ballots. [TU]

A man was found dead Saturday morning at the foot of the ESP wall below the Egg near Lancaster Street. Police say they're investigating, though it appears the man fell. [Troy Record] [Fox23] [WNYT]

GlobalFoundries' "Fab 1" in Dresden, Germany -- which was built by AMD in 1998 -- is now at the center of a cluster that employs 35,000 people. [Saratogian]

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Voters testify about alleged ballot fraud, man arrested for shooting dogs, Troy police set trap for suspected muggers, live poultry market opens

A string of Troy residents testified in court yesterday that that their absentee ballot applications contained fraudulent information. And the voters mentioned that a handful of Troy city and Democratic officials had approached them with absentee ballots. A state Supreme Court judge will decide whether the ballots should be tossed from the recent Working Families primary election. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU]

The allegations of ballot fraud spilled over into last night's Troy city council meeting. Democrats and Republicans squabbled over a proposed resolution that would suspend two city marshals who have been accused of being involved with the alleged scheme. [CBS6] [Troy Record]

And handful of local municipalities released proposed budgets: Jerry Jennings' Albany budget keeps the tax levy the same, but shifts more of it onto residential tax payers; Harry Tutunjian's proposed Troy budget includes a 4.25 percent property tax increase; the proposed Colonie budget keeps the tax levy the same, but shifts a little more on commercial property owners; Clifton Park's proposed budget uses $900k from its reserve fund to balance the budget. [TU][Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

The Albany County sheriff's department announced yesterday that it had arrested a man for shooting those two dogs in Berne. Police say the man told them he killed the dogs because they were killing his chickens. The man's attorney says the dogs also killed two calves and threatened the man's family. The sheriff's department says the man isn't being charged under Buster's Law because he didn't kill the dogs in a "depraved or sadistic manner." [TU] [WNYT] [CapNews9] [Fox23]

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Voter fraud alleged in Troy, VFW punishes alleged flag burner with duct-taping, big chunk of downtown Albany for sale, mass Thriller dance planned

Thirty-four people in Troy have filed sworn affidavits alleging that absentee ballots were fraudulently cast in their name during the recent primary election. The ballots were handled by or prepared for officials of the Democratic and Working Family Parties. The Rensselaer County DA is asking for a judge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate. The affidavits were collected by private investigators working for Republican Bob Mirch, who says he will call for a federal investigation. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU] [CBS6]

Troy police have arrested a suspect for the shooting that hit a man in the head two weeks ago. The victim, who witnesses say had told a group of teens outside his house to quiet down and then was taking pictures of a fight that later broke out, is still in the hospital. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

Members of a VFW in Rensselaer County say they duct-taped a man to a flag pole for six hours as punishment after the man allegedly burned the American flag flying at their post. The man reportedly had gotten angry after he was denied a drink at the post's bar. The post's commander says the man was given three options for punishment: being turned into police, a one-on-one fight with a veteran or the duct-taping. [WTEN] [Troy Record] [TU]

Jerry Jennings has proposed using land from the Harriman State Office Campus to allow a buffer zone between the dorm UAlbany wants to build on the east side of its campus and the residential neighborhood next door. Many of the residents of the neighborhood are not happy about the proposed dorm and have been posting developments about the project to a blog. [TU]

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Source says alleged Bailey shooter talked about crime, Paterson says he's still running, big tax increases looming for Saratoga, police say isotopes point to local crime connection

A "person familiar with the investigation" says the alleged shooter in the Richard Bailey murder had been telling a bunch of people about his alleged involvement in the crime -- and that led investigators to him. [TU]

Police say a Saratoga Springs man stabbed his mother multiple times yesterday. A city court judge has ordered a mental health evaluation of the man. Police say neighbors came running to the woman's aid after hearing her scream -- and probably saved her life. [Saratogian ][TU] [Post-Star]

After the drama with Obama on Monday, David Paterson said yesterday: "Clearly I'm running for re-election." [PolitickerNY]

After yesterday's Court of Appeals ruling affirming Richard Ravitch's appointment as lieutenant governor, a top Republican in the legislature says the state's constitution should be changed to address LG succession. Now that Ravitch's job is official, he says "my golf game is going to go to hell in a basket." [CapNews9] [Daily Politics]

Rick Lazio officially declared that he's running for governor -- even Rudy Giuliani jumps in the race. Lazio said yesterday that it's time to "replace state government with a government that this state needs." [Daily Politics] [PolitickerNY]

Filming on that Will Ferrell movie starts in downtown Albany today -- here's a list of street closings and parking restrictions. [AOA] [AOA]

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State's high court affirms Ravitch appointment

Ravitch and Paterson

Richard Ravitch and David Paterson back in July when the appointment was first announced.

New York State now has a lieutenant governor.

The state Court of Appeals (New York's highest court) ruled today that David Paterson did have the authority to appoint Richard Ravitch to the vacant job.

Writes Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in the 4-3 majority decision:

The issue on this appeal is whether the Governor of the State of New York has the authority to fill a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant-Governor by appointment. We now hold that he does.

The decision goes on to argue that the post of lieutenant governor falls under "a catch-all" provision of state law that allows the governor to make appointments for positions that don't otherwise have rules laid out for their replacement (lieutenant governor being one of these jobs).

From the dissent, written by Judge Eugene Pigott:

Under the majority's rationale, the possibility exists that the citizens of this State will one day find themselves governed by a person who has never been subjected to scrutiny by the electorate, and who could in turn appoint his or her own unelected Lieutenant-Governor.

photo: ny.gov

Another gap in the state budget, foreclosure rates stay low, authority moves to buy Albany's oldest building, big plans for bus rapid transit

The state Division of Budget is projecting that New York will be short $2.1 billion during this fiscal year. The reason: less-than-expected revenues from both income and sales taxes. The projected gap will probably bring the legislature back into session in September. [NYS DoB] [NYT] [TU]

A state appeals court has ruled that Richard Ravitch can serve as lieutenant governor until the legality of his appointment is argued in court August 18. One catch: he's not allowed to preside over the state Senate or cast tie-breaking votes in the chamber. Ravitch says he been working on budget issues in the administration. [Daily Politics] [Biz Review] [Fox23]

A handful of state governors will be in Saratoga this weekend for eating, drinking, horse racing and partying a conference hosted by David Paterson. [Daily Politics]

Albany police say a man -- dressed as a woman -- stabbed a stylist at a salon on North Lake in yesterday. Police say the man then ran off with the woman's purse before being arrested. [CapNews9] [CBS6]

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Ravitch appointment temporarily unblocked, Schenectady woman set on fire, New York State owes back taxes on The Track, man saved by Pork Chop

A state appellate judge has temporarily blocked the injunction that blocked Richard Ravitch from acting as lieutenant governor. Republicans get a chance on Monday to argue that Ravitch should be re-blocked. The fight over the constitutionality of Ravitch's appointment could drag on for months -- and will probably end up in the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court. [AP/CapNews9] [NYT] [NYDN]

Schenectady police say a woman was set on fire last night during what appears to have been an argument. Police say the woman was in so much pain that she wasn't able to give them any details about the attack. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [CBS6]

Said Ron Kim during his announcement yesterday that he's running for mayor of Saratoga Springs: "There is nothing wrong with this city that can't be fixed." Kim says his administration would focus on open government, fixing the city budget and a new public safety building. Kim, a Democrat, will face Republican incumbent Scott Johnson. The two candidates were already doing some trash talking yesterday. [Saratogian] [TU] [CapNews9]

The three Democrats running for mayor of Albany will be at a candidate forum tonight at St. Sophia's. The forum will focus on senior citizens issues and will include a Q&A session. [TU] [CapNews9]

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