Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here

Well, well, Liz B is reporting that Tom Golisano may be looking to play a roll in the state senate kerfuffle: "Just when you thought this Gang of Three thing couldn't get any stranger...It appears Tom Golisano wasn't kidding when he said he intends to remain an active force in reshaping the state Legislature, particularly when it comes to the Senate, control of which has been hanging by a thread since the Nov. 4 elections. A source close to Golisano confirms the Rochester-based Paychex billionaire has been chatting with the Gang of Three and is working on putting together a face-to-face meeting with its members - perhaps as early as tomorrow."

But as Liz puts it: "It's unclear what, exactly, Golisano is up to here." What is true, however, is that Golisano has put governmental reform at the top of his agenda-something that Senator Kruger has also listed as a priority: "My source noted that the Gang of Three has been talking of late about power-sharing and breaking the longstanding tradition of majority rule in the Senate, which is something that Golisano, who is big into government reform, appreciates."

What's fascinating here, is the disbelief that Kruger's able to generate when talking about governmental reform-for some folks he just doesn't fit the Upper West Side poster boy image of what passes for reform in NYC. But we've been around long enough to see through the ersatz reform posters; those posing as reformers almost always end up posterizing a gullible public. So, in our view, if David Paterson can morph into a fiscal conservative, than Carl Kruger can certainly champion healthy legislative change-the proof will be in the pudding here.

And, as he tells the Observer's Jimmy Vielkind: "What is Joe Lieberman in the United States Senate, is he a Republican or a Democrat?" Kruger asked. I replied he was an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. "I like to think that at the end of the day when we go into the washroom and we close the door and look into the mirror, we all want to think that we're independent." With the decline of conviction in the state senate, we challenge any one to chastise Kruger for his political independence.

Which doesn't mean that politics will no longer be allowed. As the Observer points out, Kruger has been very generous with his own campaign contributions-at least as far as the governor and the gang is concerned: "A week before the election, State Senator Carl Kruger sent thousands of dollars to fellow members of the now "gang of three" senators, election filings released this week show. State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. received $4,000 on October 27, on top of a $1,000 contribution in August. Kruger also sent $5,000 to State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., the other member of the gang of three, in October."

Any real political reform will need all of the allies it can muster-which means that money will always be an issue; unless, of course, you are the mayor who can posture as a reformer while he practices the hardest of hard ball politics.