Assemblyman Richard Brodsky is giving David Paterson the benefit of the doubt.
“I’m just going to assume David misspoke when he talked about the sale of assets to fill the budget gap,” Brodsky told me in an interview this afternoon. “Hugh Carey chiseled on the forehead of the people of this state, ‘You don’t sell assets to close a budget gap.’ So, if what they’re talking about is using the sale of assets sales [to fund] an operating budget, it’s not going to happen.”
Brodsky, who chairs the committee that oversees public authorities–some of the assets that theoretically could be leased or sold under Paterson’s plan, said that privatization would only create more problems.
“This privatization rhetoric is part of what got this national economy into this awful situation,” he said. “The Bush people came in and decided to privatize everything.”
“We’re going to talk a calm, logical look at this,” Brodsky said.
UPDATE: A reader points out harsher criticism from Assemblyman Rory Lancman of Queens, as quoted by The New York Times:”I don’t think there’s a real crisis. There’s a modest shortfall which requires some modifications.” He goes on, “Lots of us had high hopes when he became governor that the same progressive senator and lieutenant governor would become a progressive governor,” and “the entire construct of this conversation he has created has been from the right. Well, which programs are we going to cut and how many employees are we going to lay off?”