Disgusted with boomer pols who have their thumbs up their asses, New York’s old-timers are stepping up and trying to get it done.
As you may have noticed, former MTA head and current Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch, 73, was given the job of announcing the new state budget plan while Governor Paterson hid out. That plan, with borrowing overseen by a board of appointees, in some respects resembles the Municipal Assistance Corp that helped pull New York City from the brink of bankruptcy years ago — a similarity only the Post’s E.J. McMahon seems to have noticed, perhaps because so many reporters hadn’t been born yet during the 1970s.
Speaking of Big MAC, the Mayor who came in right after it was formed, Ed Koch, 85, has unveiled more of his plan, which was previewed in the Times last week, to rescue New York from its terrible politicians.
Along with the expected generalities, Koch and his confederates, who met today in Manhattan, say they plan to go to the state capital and put “leading political figures ‘on the record’ on how they plan to change Albany now.” They will also draft a “Contract With New York” and, in the manner of Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party Movement, try and make legislators sign onto it.
This seems to be a trend. President Obama recently hauled back the musty Paul Volcker to help fix the banking mess that has not been responding well to the ministrations of young Tim Geithner and company. We also notice Felix Rohatyn, the 81-year-old former chairman of the old MAC, has been called in as a special adviser to Lazard Brothers. (Rohatyn has been saying some nice things about a possible Governor Ravitch, too.)
Plus former Governor Mario Cuomo seems to be speaking out more than he has in years. And when his son Andrew, poll-plagued by the Paterson investigation, wanted to get out from under, he didn’t go to some hotshot young lawyer, but to the venerable former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, 72.
Maybe this time next year voters will send many of our current leaders back to live in their parents’ basements, and hand control of the state over to a council of elders.