‘Slushgate’ just tip of the iceberg (Metro NY)

I neglected to post here about this Monday’s Metro NY column, but then, Metro has neglected to post it to their site yet, either. (Or update their site at all this week, for that matter.) You can read the PDF version here; a taste of what it’s about:

If you’re a New Yorker frustrated with the workings of our local government it’s hard not to be gleeful at news that lawyer Norman Siegel has sued for a judicial inquiry into the city council “Slushgate” scandal. The suit, based on a 19th-century city charter provision enacted after legendary account-padder Boss Tweed funneled half the city treasury to his cronies, is a longshot; still, it’s fun to picture council speaker Christine Quinn being hauled before a judge to explain why she thought allocating council funds to nonexistent groups was a bright idea.

Cheap thrills aside, though, many budget watchers say the council scandal is penny-ante stuff compared to the tried and true way for elected officials to spend money with little to no public oversight: the New York City budget… [read more]