The Libby Lobby

This week in the paper, we’ve got a look at Libby Pataki’s extracurriculars. Particularly those linked to the Cendant Corporation, which also lobbies the state extensively through the likes of Pat Lynch and Al D’Amato.

We thought the comparison with other states was particularly telling, a mark of how appearances that pass for normal in Albany would be scandalous elsewhere. (Suddenly, we sound like Fredric U. Dicker, for some reason.)

“This isn’t just a matter of first ladies who, like Mrs. Bush, adopt the traditional role of homemaker. For example, the husband of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Daniel Mulhern, recently divested himself of his own business consulting company, in part “out of concern for conflicts,” his spokeswoman, Mary Dettloff, said.

And Maria Shriver, the wife of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, refers to herself as the state’s “lead volunteer,” said her spokeswoman, Terri Carbaugh.

“She hasn’t created a firm, and she’s not consulting with people who are running legislation or anything like that,” Ms. Carbaugh said.

But let’s give Mollie Fullington her due:

A spokeswoman for Governor Pataki, Mollie Fullington, denied that there is any conflict of interest in Mrs. Pataki‘s work, calling the implication “absurd.”

“Libby Pataki is a highly qualified and effective strategist and communicator. We’re confident any number of companies would benefit from her expertise on a host of issues,” Ms. Fullington said.