Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Is Hevesi’s Ride Over?

Even when revelations that NY State Comptroller Alan Hevesi had improperly used state resources to chauffeur his wife came to light, most assumed Hevesi would be able to run out the clock because of the overwhelming registration advantage Democrats enjoy in the Empire State. Yesterday, in an unprecedented ruling, the State Ethics Commission threw a monkey wrench into the works, by ruling that, yes indeed, Hevesi had broken state law and forwarded his case to the legislature for action (Post and Sun coverage).

Frankly, most in Albany do not know what happens next. The commission has never issued such a finding against a state-wide elected official before. Strangely, few on the right-side of the blogosphere have picked up the story, despite rightly excoriating Hevesi for joking about shooting President Bush in a commencement address earlier this year. Oddly, the only national blog pick up the story so far is Daily Kos.

Republicans have a viable, but under-funded candidate in Christopher Callaghan. By uncovering Hevesi’s abuses, he has already saved New York tax dollars. If Hevesi holds on to win, New York might have to endure the spectacle of impeaching a high ranking official, with presumed Governor Spitzer hand-picking his successor. The Comptroller’s job is indeed a powerful one, a combination of state auditor, treasurer, and sole trustee of the state’s $140 billion pension fund, in which role, according to the NYSun “Mr. Hevesi has been busy investing the state's pension fund in firms managed by his campaign contributors.” Surely New York deserves someone better in the job. Culture of corruption anyone?