Today, the NY Times launched announced its new editorial series on the incompetence of the NY State government, called "Failed State." A year away from state elections, a fired-up Times rails against the "inbred system [which] allows so many lawmakers to abuse the public trust," summarizing some of the more egregious abuses of the past couple years and some of the major grievances which they plan to address in the series. Warning—if you don't already want to head up to Albany with a pitchfork, you will now:
- The Times calls its section about ethics reform, "Albany Needs Adult Supervision" and notes, "A year after the Spitzer [ethics] reform, a top official for the new ethics commission was accused of being unethical."
- On Campaign Finance Reform: "An individual can give only $4,800 to a candidate for president, but $55,900 to a candidate for governor."
- On a Transparent Budget: "Details are guarded like state secrets. Want to know how much taxpayers spend on roads downstate? Forget it."
- On Election Reform: "Elections should not be an income source for sleazy lawyers whose business is bumping candidates off ballots."
- On Mapmaking Tomfoolery (lawmakers can change their districts every 10 years): "The maps are so bizarre that one upstate district has been nicknamed 'Lincoln riding a vacuum cleaner' because of the way it looks as it reaches here and there to pick up enough friendly voters for a one-size-fits-one-party district."
Their litany of (justified) complaints against Albany is pretty staggering when you take a step back, especially considering how many denigrated officials its spit out. Maybe what's most remarkable is how everyone in town seems to be on the same page these days. This series, together with similar on-going ones by the Daily News and the Post makes a holy trifecta of majorly angry NY dailies demanding reform.