Thursday, July 22, 2010

Not Hedging Her Bets

As the NY Post is reporting today, Connecticut governor Jodi Rell is putting on a full court press to attract hedge fund mangers to relocate in her state: "Nutmeg State officials are dramatically stepping up their efforts to poach New York businesses -- wooing hedge-fund honchos to relocate by promising an "intimate" meeting with Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell at a swanky steakhouse in Darien, according to a letter obtained by The Post. Rell wrote to Timothy Selby, president of the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable, last Friday warning him that a proposed $50 million tax on certain hedge-fund managers is still alive in Albany -- and that's a great reason to move their businesses and jobs to her side of the border."

With NY State way up there in the not so great places to do business pantheon, the latest tax the wealthy move is just another step in the wrong direction-further stimulating the out migration that has sent hundreds of thousands of former New Yorkers to greener-and cheaper-pastures. It's another reason why the current front runner to replace the accidental NY governor has made lowering taxes and cutting government waste-along with political corruption-the main subject of his election platform.

Paterson, for his part, hasn't ruled out the hedge fund tax, saying: "he supported the out-of-state tax only "because we couldn't get the Legislature to do the other revenue raises we thought were more constructive." Sure, like other business crippling levies that are forwarded instead of the more challenging effort to streamline the huge state government bureaucracy.

But to be fair, perhaps Paterson was more preoccupied by the ongoing scandal involving his Body Man Johnson-as the NY Daily News helpfully explains: "The woman at the center of the scandal that crippled Gov. Paterson's administration is breaking her silence - and demanding prosecutors charge one of his former top aides. Sherr-una Booker, who dropped her first abuse complaint against boyfriend David Johnson after a talk with Paterson, said she is following through now because she wants the truth to be told. "It's the right thing to do," Booker said in her first interview, at times close to tears. "I don't want any woman to go through what I went through."

And Paterson, quick to jump on his bully pulpit to attack Hiram Monseratte, was right in the middle of this-looking a lot like an obstructer of justice: "When Booker sought an order of protection against Johnson days later, she told a court official the state police were pressuring her to drop her case against him. She held firm - until a short phone call with the governor, whom she knew socially, on Feb. 7. The next day, she skipped a court date to finalize the order of protection. "It is very vivid in my mind," Booker said. "The truth will come out." Paterson also reached out to two female state employees to speak with Booker about what had happened, sources said."

So, Andrew Cuomo has his hands full should he succeed this clueless knave-cleaning up the ethics mess while, at the same time trying to undo years of high tax and anti-business legislative actions that make New York such an inhospitable place to live and work. Be careful what you wish for Andrew.