The Post-Standard, a Syracuse newspaper, has prepared a Special Report titled “Proof is in the Pork”on how the state’s top three leaders control a $1.2 billion slush fund”. Although this report was prepared in October, 2004, I feel that it is still an important topic worthy of review, especially in light of Governor Pataki’s (presumed) presidential aspirations.
The three men who run New York’s government have stuck state taxpayers with $1 billion in debt over the last seven years to pay for a series of secretive slush funds under their tight control.
Gov. George Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno pulled it off with a tactic that, while legal, skirts the state constitution’s requirement that new state debt be approved by voters.
The three used their dominance of a loosely regulated arm of state government called public authorities to borrow the money. The governor and legislature committed the workers who pay New York’s income tax to a decade or more of repayment — plus interest.