As the MTA’s self-imposed Doomsday rapidly approaches, New York Gov. David Paterson is resorting to a tried and true political method of buying time and votes for the MTA. According to The Post, Paterson is attempting to buy MTA votes with a $279 million slush fund for Senators. It’s government pork at its finest.
Fredric U. Dicker writes:
Gov. Paterson plans to tap into a little-noticed, $279 million slush fund to “buy” the votes of state Senate Democrats who are resisting his bridge-toll plan and pared-down budget, The Post has been told.
The slush fund is buried in Paterson’s $121 billion proposed “bare bones” state budget and is made up of reappropriated pork-barrel “member item” money left over from past years.
Much of the slush money was appropriated for projects backed by Senate Republicans, who narrowly lost their majority to the Democrats in the November election. That money could now be shifted to Democrat-favored pork.
It’s unclear if this move will actually help win votes for the MTA. New York State Senators are anything but honest and could just take this money and run. But if it works, Paterson’s about-face on pork spending will just be another move in the long line of political compromise for the sake of the MTA.
Hopefully, this $279 million gamble works. We can’t afford for it not to.