In his State of the State speech tomorrow, an embattled but somewhat resurgent Governor Paterson will unveil a bold, sweeping set of government-reform proposals “the most ambitious ever suggested by a sitting governor in New York,” in the opinion of the Times. And some of them might even become more than just quixotic suggestions, someday. Maybe! The plan includes term limits on all statewide officers and members of the legislature, a centralized ethics-enforcement commission, and a slew of new campaign-finance laws matching public funds for statewide candidates, a $1,000 cap on individual donations and a $250 limit for lobbyist donations, and a ban on corporate contributions, among others.
Of course, Paterson will need the cooperation of the state legislature to make these proposals a reality. The public’s anti-incumbent sentiment and general disgust with Albany will help, but it could be a formidable if not hopeless task getting Pedro Espada Jr. and the other egomaniacs in the Senate to actually limit their own power. Either way, Paterson at least shows New Yorkers that they already have a reform-crusader in the Governor’s Mansion. Who needs that other guy, anyway, Andrew what’s-his-face?