Notable Lobbying County by County
June 12th, 2006

Teachers often seek illustrative examples that are comprehensive enough to tie all the school year’s lessons together into one final lecture or exam question. In time for finals this legislative session, Mike Spano, HAVA and circumstance have provided us with just such an elegant story.

After a failed bid for mayor and growing family responsibilties, Mike Spano (R-Yonkers) retired from the state assembly in 2004 after six terms in office. The following year, he joined the Patricia Lynch and Associates lobbying firm and doubled his salary. As a former elected official, Spano is not allowed to lobby the state legislature for two full years, but he has been able to use his clout at another, perhaps more lucrative, level.
Around the same time as Spano was settling into his desk at Lynch and Associates, legislators were slowly implementing legislation in accordance with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). On the issue of picking the new voting machines, Albany kicked the state decision down to each of the 62 counties in New York.

This manuever allowed Mike Spano, a well-connected former legislator and son offormer Westchester County Clerk Leonard Spano with a brother (Nick Spano) in the state senate for decades, to lobby the counties on behalf of voting machine manufacturer SequoiaVoting Systems, Inc.

Though well positioned to continue in this task, Spano will be campaigning this fall for a return to his old assembly seat, which is currently being vacated by Lou Mosiello, who is seeking a government job. As Phil Reisman of the Journal News writes, Moseillo was tapped in by Nick Spano to fill the gap, and is now being tapped out of the game so Mike Spano can return.

That concludes today’s lesson. For extra credit, see if you can guess what would happen to Mosiello’s pension after three years of service in a new non-assembly position.

By on June 12, 2006, 7:10 am
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