Reform and the Comptroller Succession

With a number of Assembly members vying for the comptroller position, it’s hard see how one is substantially more qualified than the others.

It’s safe to say that from the point of view of the reform-minded governor, independence from the legislative leaders ranks high on the list of qualifications. One way that could have been demonstrated, apparently, was to buck the Assembly leadership two years ago by signing on to a resolution written by former Assemblyman Scott Stringer supporting some rules changes recommended by the Brennan Center.

That’s what Joe Morelle of Monroe County did, and he was later rewarded with a letter of support from the Brennan Center folks Jeremy Creelan, a lawyer now in private practice but who earlier helped put together the Brennan Center’s report.

The changes were designed to democratize the legislative process by empowering rank-and-file members and reduce the power of the Assembly Speaker. A risky move in the pre-Spitzer days.

The other most often-mentioned comptroller candidates – Richard Brodsky, Tom DiNapoli, and Pete Grannis – didn’t sign on.

Update: Creelan was in private practive by the time he sent his letter in support of Morelle. The Brennan Center does not support any candidates.

– Azi Paybarah