The Morning Read: Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford is dead at 93.

John Edwards is about to announce a run for president, using hard-hit New Orleans as a backdrop.

The New York Post is skeptical.

Eliot Spitzer denied that his appointment of Nassau County Republican Michael Balboni to be his top homeland security official is part of any “ulterior scheme” to help Democrats take back the state Senate.

Democrats and Republicans on Long Island are scrambling to replace Balboni when he goes.

Some supporters of Rudy Giuliani are reaching out to the families of 9/11 victims about 2008, Maggie reports.

Sam Roberts writes that race was a key issue when Basil Paterson ran for lieutenant governor, but is largely a non-issue for David Paterson as he prepares to assume that office.

Democratic pledges to restore civility to Congress “carry risks,” according to the Times.

George Pataki defended his record in an interview with the Sun, contending that it’s impossible to be ideologically pure when you have a state to run.

Republican state Senator John Bonacic sent out a letter calling for his colleagues to toss Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

Peter King is opposed to a revised immigration bill that he says amounts to amnesty.

Joe Biden is going to fight any proposed buildup of troop levels in Iraq.

The mayor called the racially and ethnically diverse new class of police recruits “a gift to the city.”

The city Conflicts of Interest Board released a letter scolding a Council staffer for inappropriate use of a business card.

Leaders in East Harlem and the South Bronx are angry over a City Hall deal that would allow fancy private schools in Manhattan to have “first dibs” on some of the renovated ballfields on Randalls Island.

Developer Bruce Ratner has installed surveillance cameras outside the properties he owns at the future location of the Atlantic Yards project.

The cost of doing business in New York State is high.

There will be no holiday clemencies from the departing governor.

And here’s a handy guide to all the newly elected members of Congress.

– Josh Benson