Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Council on the Warpath?

In today's NY Sun Russell Berman reports on the City Council's weighing in on the Indian cigarette controversy. Council member Lou Fidler has introduced a resolution that calls on the governor to start enforcing the tax laws. As Finance Chair David Weprin says, "I think it's outrageous that the governor is not enforcing the law..." The Council plans to hold a hearing on the measure after the budget process is completed.

The paper goes on to recount how this dispute is pitting Pataki against Attorney General Spitzer, an elected official who feels strongly that the governor needs to enforce the law. Clearly, however, the state's claim that Indian violence is a reason for not enforcing the law doesn't sit well with the sponsor of the Council resolution. "'I don't believe it's appropriate to succumb to that'...Lewis Fidler of Brooklyn said, 'I don't believe you negotiate the enforcement of a statute when it's legal and on the books.'"

Amen to that. Things are starting to move in the right direction on this issue and the Gristedes lawsuit will certainly roil the waters further. Isn't it time for the mayor to step in and join us?