Antics and Semantics

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Last November, Governor Cuomo participated in the temporary reopening of a GAP warehouse located in Fishkill, New York. The reason, according to his press release, with the infusion of $2.65 million in State Funding (approved by the Legislature) he stopped the company from relocating to Tennessee, saving approximately 1,000 jobs. Assuming the funding is nothing more than a helpful loan, …

Electing Great Leaders

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The jacket cover for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book “The Bully Pulpit” – Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, reads in part as follows: During the years 1890-1920, “the gap between rich and poor has never been wider….legislative stalemate paralyzes the country….corporations resist federal regulations….spectacular mergers produce giant companies….the influence of money in politics deepens…bombs explode …

Chasing Rainbows: The On-Going Saga of Public Authority Agency Reform

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Introduction Public authorities have always had a controversial history in New York State. Responsible for the  maintenance of the state’s most important infrastructure, including bridges, state dormitories, airports, mass transit, housing etc. they are known for excessive and wasteful spending, massive accumulation of debt, a lack of transparency, and last but not least weak governance. Public authorities are state-chartered public …

Drowning Democracy

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Last December, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, a Democrat representing lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn released a report explaining how some 11,000 Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) have transformed into personal piggy banks contributing near-unlimited sums of money to political candidates of their choice, often anonymously. His report has one clear message. In doing so, they routinely violate the …

A presumption of openness.

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

President Barack Obama signed into law on June 30th a long sought after upgrade of the Freedom of Information Act known as the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The altered legislation codifies a “presumption of openness,” strengthening the proactive disclosure of information in digital format thereby making “open data” immediately accessible, by default, on-line, at no charge, in formats conductive …

One Word Rules the Day

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

A defining moment in Bill Clinton’s presidency occurred in 2007 when he told a grand jury (with respect to Monica Lewinsky) “there’s nothing going on between us.” How so, “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was …

Eany, meany, miney, mo – who’s the next to go?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Eany, meany, miney, mo  – who’s the next to go?   Over the past few weeks a signicant number of new subpoenas’ have been issued by Federal prosecutors, that if proven sustainable, will open up yet another chapter in today’s corrupt, disingenuous, dysfunctional state government. They involve on one end of the spectrum findings against Sheldon Silver’s replacement, Assembly Speaker …

“Put it in the books”

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Accountable Government Howie Rose, a Mets sportscaster, ends every win with the cry “Put it in the books.”  The Mets win, the Mets win! E.J. McMahon, a political analyst and senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute,   described the recently approved $156 billion state budget “big trouble for New York.” Why? The endgame of this year’s state budget negotiating process was …

We’re No. 1 – Most corrupt in the nation!

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The above photo of Dean Skelos, Andrew Cuomo and Sheldon Silver was printed in the New York Post at the start of the 2015 legislative session. I’d like to name it “See no evil, Speak no evil, and Hear no evil.” Each individual looks haggard, with Dean’s eyes closed, the governor contemplating his navel, and Sheldon obviously not a happy …