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New York Post ^ | December 9, 2004 | NICOLE GELINAS

Posted on 12/09/2004 6:23:31 AM PST by OESY

Elliot Spitzer is running for governor. The attorney general who thinks he single-handedly cleaned up Wall Street now wants to clean up Albany. But the Spitzer model of corporate governance that worked so well for him in Manhattan won't work Upstate.

Spitzer was able to "reform" Wall Street only because New York's financial luminaries care about their corporate and personal reputations. New York state's officials don't.

Spitzer said Tuesday that he's running for governor to "make state government more responsive and accountable." That's a fine idea — and Spitzer's pithy diagnosis of Albany's woes is apt: "The system is broken. The state is facing a crisis."

But Spitzer thinks that he's qualified to reform a corrupt organization — the State Capitol — because he's done it before. "We did it in the financial industry . . . and we can do it in government," he said.

The parallel is false.

Sure, Spitzer can rattle off a long list of victories against the private sector....

Corporate executives must respond to any legal charges within hours — and they must resolve those charges within months. Shareholders and clients won't stand for any legal or regulatory uncertainty....

Spitzer can't call a state official "corrupt" to any good effect if that person or institution refuses to care. And the obstacles to reform in Albany — Gov. Pataki, state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and other bureaucrats — don't care.

These officials know that important people — business leaders, editors, good-government groups — think they're corrupt. But it doesn't cost them anything — so they don't change....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: New York
KEYWORDS: canalcorp; dickgrasso; economy; glaxosmithkline; insurance; jeffgreenberg; jobs; marshmclennan; mccall; mutualfunds; nyse; spitzer; tortreform; wallstreet

1 posted on 12/09/2004 6:23:31 AM PST by OESY
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