Mourning In America

A New York Democrat on politics, journalism, and the Mets

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Tuesday, May 13, 2003
 
Marty Markowitz: Restoring the Faith A brewing scandal alleging widespread corruption in the nomination of judges in Brooklyn has been getting a lot of attention of late, but this job ad indicates that meritocracy still reigns in some corners of the borough.


 
Who Said People Don't Change? One of the leading themes in stories about New York State government at the moment is about how "Governor" Pataki's anti-tax fervor reflects a "return to his roots" as a conservative, mirroring the platform he ran on in 1994, after a brief move to the Rockefeller wing of the party in his 2002 re-election drive. Rarely noted is Pataki's apparent permanent abandonment of his socially conservative discomfort with state-sponsored gambling.

In his NYC column in the Times this morning, Clyde Haberman notes:

Gov. George E. Pataki, who shows an abiding affection for this form of revenue, has struck deals to create new Indian-run casinos. An underlying premise is that economic development for American Indians means turning them into croupiers.
Pataki's affection had to be learned. In 1996, he was awarded a "merit badge for honesty" by the editorial page of the Christian Science Monitor after he directed the state lottery to change its advertising to drop promises of "instant, fabulous wealth designed to lure a gullible public." Since then, as the state's need for lottery revenues has grown, the board has returned to its old ways, most notably with the current "If I Had a Million Dollars" campaign. Wonder what kind of merit badge that campaign is eligible for?