Shining bright lights on backroom deals in the NYC body politic.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


To the Peanut Gallery

A bit of a diversion here. More often than not, you have more interesting things to say than we do. And so, without further ado ...

Here's to your:

1. Mathematical Brilliance. Responding to our recent posting on lulus, one anonymous blogger had this to say:

For one there are too many committees, for two its easy to see how a council member could become beholden to a Speaker if he/she controls whether or not they will receive a $10-20K/year tax-payer subsidized bonus.

Let's see there, a quick visit to the City Council website reveals that there are 43 standing committees for 51 members. That's more than twice the number in the U.S. House of Representative with 435 members. So 43 x $13,000 (an guestimated average lulu) = $559,000. The city spends more than half a million dollars every single year on these perks! For what? Does committee work not fall under the roles and responsibilities of a council member???

The people of this city, and our elected representatives, should campaign to more efficiently organize the committees into 16 or 17 bodies and we should call for the end of lulu's (or at least standardize them at an equitable level of say $2 or 3,000.

2. Cranky Independence. In response to The Politicker's recent shoutout to our Term Limits posting, oft-Politickering Cranky Independent made this comment:

Has anyone asked the members of the City Council if they actually believe in democracy? How about the state legislature? How about the editorial board of the New York Times? Until they say "yes," don't assume they are hypocrites. Our politicians believe in democracy the way the leaders of some of our corporations believe in competitive free markets.

3. Excuse Making. In response to our posting on Speaker candidate Lew Fidler's refusal to dance with those who brung him, Bored at Work had these words of support:

Do voters elect the Speaker of the US House or the US Senate Majority leader? No, their colleagues in the majority party do so. Same in NYC for Speaker. All of a sudden this is news?

4. Knowing Her Daddy. Lastly, in response to our discovering that Speaker candidate Christine Quinn takes a quarter of her contributions from big NYC real estate, an anonymous blogger made this observation:

The people of this city need to realize just how much of a slave even the most "harmless" politicians have become to special interest.

Stay tuned! More to come...


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