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Go Fisch

October 21, 2010

Gotta give it to ole Joe Fisch. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for him to hold his extraordinary Aqueduct report until after the election.

But he didn’t. Instead, he laid bare the tawdry goings on the State Senate and the Governor’s office whereby a billion dollar deal was steered to an unqualified bidder, AEG. The report confirms everyone’s worst suspicions about what went on behind the scenes. In this regard, it wasn’t favoritism, which is too nice a word. It was corruption, and it needed to be exposed.

Of course, the participants will all claim that no laws were broken. They’ll cite the fact that this was a selection process in which normal procurement rules were not in effect. This may actually be a real defense in the courts, but it doesn’t change the fact that the deal was rotten, and everybody knew it.

So what happens next? The IG has referred his findings to federal authorities and, ironically, the state Public Integrity Commission. We say ironically because the last bombshell report by the IG involved this very commission, which was found to have leaked confidential information in the Troopergate matter to the Governor’s office.

Nothing ever came of that report, except that the former executive director of the commission, Herbert Teitelbaum, was allowed to quietly resign. In fact, the commission members all privately trashed Fisch, whom we’re beginning to think is the only honest man in Albany.

Will this report be similarly ignored? It is not likely. It is sure be seized by Senate Republicans who will use it as perhaps the clearest example yet of how unsuited the Dems were and are to control the house.

Some people are now saying that Fisch’s release of the report was political. We disagree. Voters needed this information before, not after the election. To have held it would have been wrong.


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