Spitzer vs. Silver?
November 8th, 2006
Eliot Spitzer had barely a minute to relish his record-breaking victory for governor before the city’s commentators began cautioning him about the hard job ahead.
Times notes that the govern-elect has repeatedly vowed to clean up Albany’s notorious “cronyism and the culture of secrecy.” But the editorial cautions, “Albany regulars…seem to feel that they can grind the new governor down the same way they did his recent predecessors …. It will take enormous skill and resources for Mr. Spitzer to keep appealing directly to the public in order to force the old guard into accepting change.
To the Daily News’ Errol Louis, that old guard is personified by one man: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “The guy is much smarter, tougher and shrewder than most people realize. And he holds institutional power that nobody can touch, not even a reform-minded governor who has vowed to change Albany,” Louis writes. “Silver … holds nearly as much political power as the governor, and often uses it to grind Albany’s gears to a halt.”
In an op-ed in the Sun, Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute agrees. Silver, she writes, “has represented that lack of accountability for over a decade…Mr. Spitzer’s success or failure in neutralizing Mr. Silver’s future influence will give New Yorkers an indication of whether Mr. Spitzer’s efforts at reform will succeed or fail.” She urges Spitzer to find a way to maneuver Silver out of his leadership post so the new governor can really bring reform to the nation’s famously dysfunction state capital.By Gail Robinson on November 8, 2006, 9:20 am
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