What’s with the numbers?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On November 10, in the course of a radio interview, Governor Cuomo remarked “that his sky-high poll numbers are less about him personally and more about the renewed pride New Yorkers are taking in state government since he took office.” He also commented that “I don’t know people who don’t say, boy the government is working better now.” Obviously, the …

“To infinity and beyond”

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

By chance, I happened to notice that on November 9th, The Huffington Post reported that a potential Republican challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a 2014 gubernatorial race, was defeated in his reelection bid for Erie County Executive. Yup, it’s a fact. The governor has a “war chest” of $6 million set aside for a reelection bid. He is riding …

Why is leadership lacking when most needed?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On January 5, 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a ceremonial oath of office, promised “to restore New Yorkers’ faith in a capital racked by fiscal turmoil and ethical lapses.” In his State of the State address that followed, he presented an action plan that would “take the significant steps needed to reinvent, reorganize and redesign government, to make it more …

‘The temper of the times’

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

All of my columns have been in an effort to bring the need for real reform in Albany to the attention of Herald readers. I have tried to focus on concerns that highlight egregious happenings that can no longer be tolerated for obvious reasons. On a personal level the reaction to my columns has been extremely positive and I appreciate …

‘It ain’t over ‘til it’s over’

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Yogi Berra, who caught for the New York Yankees for over nineteen years, is known for his sage advice. Let’s consider how this particular “yogi-ism” applies to our political leaders in Albany and in particular, to State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C) from Elmira, NY. Why? He just announced that he will chair a “revamped” Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency …

“Legislating Ethics”

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

A good friend who is a retired attorney recommended I take a look at the new “Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011” (PIRA) that was a dominant theme of the governor pre-election ethics reform campaign. This legislation (S-5679-2011) was sponsored in the Senate by Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos will, using a memorandum just published by the compliance practice of …

‘Reform: Running on empty’

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

This column reviews the “Annual Report on Public Authorities in New York State,” just released by the Authorities Budget Office (ABO). Its publication is probably one of Albany’s best keep secrets. Produced by a professional and dedicated staff of internal auditors, the report clearly outlines why the reform legislation enacted over the past six years will not even come close …

Is regulatory reform working as intended?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

For a period of about two years leading up to the 2006 statewide elections, “public authority reform” gained increasing attention as an important policy issue. Why? The politicians in office at that time could no longer ignore some excellent investigative work completed by the Assembly’s Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions (born out of the Canal Corporation scandal) and two …

The 2011 New York state legislative session: What got done?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

My last two columns “As promised: keeping tabs” (June 30-July 6) and “Is the bloom off the rose?” (July 21 -27) provided information to evaluate the session-ending accomplishments of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Two fundamental questions were raised. Has there been a real transformation in the way the “people’s business” is …

As promised: keeping tabs

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “We made a difference.” The quote appeared in a June 27 Newsday story explaining how Andrew, Dean (Skelos) and Sheldon (Silver) fared in the past tumultuous legislative session that came to a close last week. The paper’s overall assessment is positive, with the New York Post also crediting the governor with “political skills, the likes of which …