Common Cause/NY Applauds Appointment of Ravitch as Lieutenant Governor

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

July 8, 2009


Read this release in PDF.

Common Cause/NY Applauds Appointment of Ravitch as Lieutenant Governor

Appointment evokes a spirit of cooperation which is sorely needed to rebuild the Empire State, good government group says

Common Cause applauds Governor Paterson for appointing a new Lieutenant-Governor, a bold and much-needed action that will help to bring an end to one large factor contributing to the ongoing Senate stalemate. By filling the vacancy, the Governor is ensuring the State Senate will once again have a presiding officer who can cast a tie-breaking vote and put to rest the question of succession.

Common Cause is pleased that Governor Paterson has followed the recommendation put out forth by Common Cause/New York, the Citizens Union of the City of New York and Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, and will pursue this legal and constitutional course of action. In the days since Common Cause announced its recommendation that Governor Paterson appoint a new Lieutenant-Governor, a number of legal experts and constitutional scholars have come forward in support of the idea, demonstrating its constitutional viability.

Common Cause/NY commends the Governor on the appointment of Richard Ravitch, a choice which makes it clear that this appointment is not about politics, but about getting New York State’s government working again. “Mr. Ravitch clearly brings to the partisan meltdown in the Senate a spirit of cooperation for the public good that has been sorely lacking,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY. ” He evokes an era where partisan politics and personal priorities took a back seat to the effort needed to save the City and State. It’s that spirit which we need to call on again in order to bring back the Empire State and which Common Cause/NY’s Empire State Project will work to evoke in order to regain the prominence that our state deserves,” she concluded.

Appointing a new Lieutenant-Governor is far from what is ultimately needed to address the dysfunction that has allowed the gridlock in Albany to continue. Systemic problems with New York’s ethics, election, and lobbying laws, which contributed to the current crisis, will need to be addressed to bring long-term stability and accountability to the State Government. Before the Governor and Legislature can enact long-term solutions to Albany’s dysfunction, however, the Senate must first get back to work.

Common Cause/NY is a non-partisan citizen’s lobby whose goal is open and accountable government.