Spitzer may have promised that everything in Albany would change on day one, but not even his most idealistic boosters expected his first budget to be magically pork-free — and it's not! But there's one significant shift from the Pataki years: That porcine barrel's contents — $170 million worth — are itemized right there in the budget. This porky glasnost may be good for the public interest, but the real winners here have got to be Albany reporters, like the Times Empire Zone kids, who had all sorts of fun picking it apart. After the jump, some highlights they found.
• Shelly Silver's favorite Jewish charities still get a typically juicy cut — $1 million — although not as juicy as they could: Last November, Silver was found to have funneled 14 percent of the state's entire discretionary-spending kitty to his Lower East Side district.
• Euro-wimps rule: A soccer hall of fame gets $100,000 — ten times the endowment to a boxing hall of fame.
• Safari Club International, Tucson-based psychos who want to hunt grizzlies and gray wolves, get a $50K valentine from the State Senate Republicans.
• Mixed signals: A Staten Island gun club gets $5,000 while New Yorkers Against Gun Violence gets $4,500.
• And $2,000 is earmarked for nut-allergy awareness. Which is a bargain, seeing how it gets the phrase "$2,000 is earmarked for nut allergy awareness" into every media outlet, thus raising awareness of, you know, nut allergies.
A Budget That Covers All the Bases [Empire Zone/NYT]