Gov. Spitzer's first year in office has seen a liberalization of NY State's parolee releases, with a disturbing trend: (link)
January 19, 2008 -- ALBANY - Nearly every one of the 225 violent felons authorized for release during Gov. Spitzer's first 11 months in office had been convicted of murder, records made public by the state Parole Board yesterday showed.
The figures revealed that 215 of the inmates granted parole were convicted murderers while the rest had been convicted of either attempted murder or kidnapping.
Thankfully, this outrage has not gone unchallenged: (link):
February 6, 2008 -- ALBANY - Charging that Gov. Spitzer is "very soft on criminals," Senate Republicans yesterday announced legislation designed to stem the recent increase in paroles of inmates convicted of violent felonies such as murder...
Last year, Spitzer's first year in office, 235 violent felons, or 17.5 percent, were released from prison, compared with 148 during Republican Gov. Pataki's last year in 2006 and 73 in 2005.
Not that Spitzer stopped there: (link)
January 27, 2008 -- A doctor's note would be a get-out-of-jail-free card for many violent felons under a new cost-savings plan in Gov. Spitzer's budget.
Proposed legislation buried deep within Gov. Spitzer's budget plan last week would allow the state to free scores of seriously ill and incapacitated inmates now crowding prison hospitals - saving the state $5.4 million in annual medical costs.
Soft on crime? You decide. It's interesting to note that Gov. Spitzer still acts like he's the Attorney General, when it comes to his political opponents. By that I mean the bullying tactics he used when in that office, and how they've continued in his current post. See my previous post on this subject for the details. (link)
Some of his earlier bullying is coming back to bite him, as detailed exclusively by Frederick U. Dicker, in the NY Post. (link)
January 21, 2008 -- Public Service Commission officials may have hidden telephone records in an effort to undermine a Republican member's claim that she was threatened by Gov. Spitzer's top energy aide, The Post has learned.
Some phone records backing Commissioner Cheryl Buley's explosive claim that former Spitzer energy adviser Steven Mitnick sought to intimidate her weren't provided by the PSC last spring to Inspector General Kristine Hamann, a source close to the investigation said.
Spitzer and his administration have continued their "bullying" tactics more recently, as well: (link)
January 29, 2008 -- ALBANY - Gov. Spitzer and an aide privately threatened the Business Council after it criticized his record-high budget, backed a Senate GOP economic package, and hinted it would support a Republican candidate in a special Senate contest, sources have told The Post.
The sources, including several lobbyists close to the council, the state's largest business organization, said council leaders were bluntly told last week that their organization wouldn't be consulted on critical tax policy and economic decisions if they didn't stop criticizing Spitzer and praising the Senate GOP, which Spitzer has vowed to defeat in the November elections.
Ah, but it wouldn't be complete without a political "(cheap) shot across the bow," to cement the image Gov. Spitzer wants to project: (link)
February 12, 2008 -- ALBANY - Gov. Spitzer yesterday announced hearings on the subprime lending crisis, but invited only Democrats.
The move prompted charges that Spitzer was using the state Banking Department in an unprecedented effort to help Democrats win control of the GOP-controlled Senate.
"The governor is politicizing what is supposed to be a nonpartisan agency of the state," declared Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Rensselaer).
Russ Haven, counsel to the New York Public Interest Research Group, called the Banking Department's action "odd," noting, he couldn't recall this happening in the past.
Bank Department spokeswoman Jacqueline McCormack contended Senate Republicans were excluded because "the initiative for the forums" came from Democrats.
A key lobbyist, noting that the forums will include representatives of the banking and mortgage service industry, told The Post, "That reads like a message from Spitzer for them to make contributions to the Senate Democrats."
Year two of Spitzer's tenure looks to be as bad, if not worse than his first. Spitzer's "ace in the hole" has been Hillary becoming president, because he would get to pick her replacement. Cindy Adams wrote, on Jan. 15th (almost a month ago), about local pols kissing up to Hillary, hoping she'll push them as her replacement to Spitzer: (link)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Lt. Gov. David Paterson, Long Island's Steve Israel, etc. - rushing to help her. Volunteering to knock on doors. Ingratiating themselves. On spec. In case she wins. Although the Gov appoints her successor, his decision alone, one vote and one vote only, no Senate confirmation required, they figure as president she could lean on Spitzer.
Uh-oh...his "ace in the hole" is no longer the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, much less the actual presidency. Here we go again. It's ironic that Hillary's troubles arguably started after she flubbed a question about Spitzer's "illegal driver's license" policy proposal. This guy has been more than his own worst enemy. He's hurting everyone in NY State.
I haven't always been a fan of the NYS Republican Party, but I am a NYS Republican. The party needs to fight Spitzer on all fronts, if they hope to defeat his blatant "bullying" tactics to "steamroll" his way into controlling the NY State Senate. I should thank Gov. Spitzer, for energizing NY's GOP, actually, if the backlash against his policies, and his political tactics, is as big as it deserves to be. Only time will tell, but I'm optimistic that NYers are already sick of Spitzer's "Steamroller Socialism."