Today, Everything Changes (for One State Senator)

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Photo: NYSSenate33.com

Eliot Spitzer isn't even governor yet, but the cleanup of Albany is already under way. Devoted readers of Daily Intel may remember learning the specifics of member items — constituent-pleasing pet projects that state lawmakers get to finance with a total of $85 million in play dough. The biggest outrage reported then was that Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver's slate of aid recipients skewed ever so slightly Jewy. Well, apparently, for State Senator Efrain Gonzalez, the definition of "pet projects" hewed even closer to home: He's been indicted for allegedly using state funds to pay for two residences in the Dominican Republic and — in a truly delightful touch — his cigar bills. For those keeping score, this is the seventh indictment among the city's Albany delegation in the last three years, and the third in the last six months.

Gonzalez Case Puts Focus on Member Items [NYS]
Earlier: Albany Reveals Pork, and Silver Makes It Kosher