Obviously there was a fiasco with the former comptroller in NY State (Alan Hevesi). However, the gall that they NY legislature has is incredible. They wasted taxpayer money in a search for a replacement, narrowed to the three top candidates and then decided to appoint one of their own!! Nassau Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli, to succeed Alan Hevesi as state comptroller
The comptroller in the state of NY wields a huge amount of power in the financial community. One decision of where to place funds can have a massive impact on any company involved. What better way to pay off some of your financial backers than to appoint one your own members to a post that awards billions of dollars of investment to who they see fit. Who do you think the new comptroller will see as a fit manager for funds? A backer of the Democratic party? A backer of Sheldon Silver? Sick.
I am not saying that Hevesi was good, what I am saying is that the comptroller should be independent of influence from a party. Sure, whoever the New York comptroller is will certainly be influenced by others and will probably have some self dealing. Honestly, it comes with the post. Probably nothing direct, but there will be tremendous indirect benefit to the comptroller his/her friends and family. That has always existed and probably always will. What I am saying is that these benefits should not have this direct tie to our state government. The power in Albany is far too concentrated already. Imagine how much more power will be had when there are Billions of dollars to throw here and there based upon what you are doing for the party or for a particular politician. The comptroller has oversight of the the State’s $140 billion dollar pension system.
To top it off, the assembly reneged on a deal it made with governor Eliot Spitzer to choose only from candidates deemed qualified by an outside screening panel.
Maybe I am being naive in thinking that the self selection, or self dealing, hasn’t been the case all along. Well, if it has been, it was kept a little more private. This is brazen.
You might question how this is related to Buffalo. Well, everyone in NY loses with the power that this legislature abuses. Selecting an insider from downstate will further insulate upstate, and WNY, from the consideration it deserves in state government.