Fare Hike Four to Paterson: Not So Fast

In case you’ve forgotten who’s in charge these days, Governor Paterson’s nomination of Jay Walder to succeed Lee Sander as MTA chief was quickly met with a joint statement from Malcolm Smith, John Sampson, and Fare Hike Four members Pedro Espada and Carl Kruger. In the interest of "transparency and accountability," the senators say they plan to put Walder in front of their committees before any decision is made. Kruger, for his part, tells The Daily Politics that he doesn’t consider the backbone of the region’s economy to be a particularly urgent agenda item.

"We’ll look at it over the course of the next couple of months," said
Kruger. … "After that, we’ll finish our vetting process, which hasn’t even
begun yet, and we’ll have a better idea about the timetable (for a
confirmation vote)."

When Liz Benjamin informed Kruger that Walder has already spoken of restoring public trust in the agency — a task that will be much more difficult thanks to shameless hucksters like Kruger himself, the senator replied:

"I come from Missouri; don’t show me, tell me. I mean, everybody says
they’re for oversight and accountability. What does that mean? What
does it mean?

I swear, this blog just writes itself sometimes.

  • Shall I attempt a translation of NY State Senatese to English?

    “Vetting Process” – Holding the nominee hostage until there is some selfish quid pro quo arranged with the governor.

    “Oversight” – Ignore 99.9% of everything the administration does until you want score a few quick political points, then shamelessly run away from any responsibility from your own actions (or inactions).

    “Accountability” – Everyone in state government (and city for that matter) should do exactly what I want, even sleazy, shady deals that ignore the average voter/taxpayer’s needs, however ALL of my own actions are above reproach.

    This is why it’s strange and confusing to a state senator that someone ELSE might be in favor Oversight & Accountability, because that would mean that person might want something…obviously couldn’t just be good public policy unless it relates to power politics somehow…

  • And these clowns think they’re endearing themselves to the public… and sadly, they probably are. And of course they don’t care about the region’s economy–they’ve only just begun sucking it dry. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

  • I think we need to have some letter writing/email/fax campaign to the State Senate if things turn for the worse. Of course, seeing how the Fare Hike Four are still acting even after many of their district’s voters protested their actions (especially Diaz and Monserrate), I doubt it’ll make a difference to them.

  • I think we need to have some letter writing/email/fax campaign to the State Senate if things turn for the worse. Of course, seeing how the Fare Hike Four are still acting even after many of their district’s voters protested their actions (especially Diaz and Monserrate), I doubt it’ll make a difference to those two.

  • I personally helped many people call their state senator’s offices to support the Ravitch plan…I hope it helped.

    The real language these guys speak is power politics. The Working Families Party or new Democratic forces need just run primaries across the board against these jokers.

    The old machines look really bad in the light of day. A new merit based system needs to rise up to fight it. All it takes is about 10-15k votes to knock out a sitting Senator in a primary. Half that for an Assembly district.

    TWU & WFP where are you?

  • Uh, Carl, it’s called the “Show Me State,” not the “Tell Me State.”


  • Larry Littlefield

    “TWU & WFP where are you?”

    Pursuing a retirement at age 50 or younger after 20 years of work or less, to the detriment and exclusion of anything else.

    It’s time to give up the idea that producers of public services will support the interests of consumers of public services in a place with close to the highest state and local tax burden as a share of income in the United States. They’ll destroy us if they can, as long as those retired and with seniority can live elsewhere, and in NYC they can.

    When other generations were in charge one could count on a conscience, but not this one.

    Just remember two kinds of people are getting richer: the executives who sit on each other’s boards and set each other’s pay, and today’s senior citizens, particularly retired public employees, who control various legislative bodies in the post-democracy era. Everyone else is getting poorer. And it is a matter of power and greed in both cases, not free choice and exchange.

    When the economy is up, the privileged grab more, and when it is down everyone else is sacrificed due “circumstances beyond our control.

    That the TWU was willing to agree to have all its members pay something for health insurance, like everyone else, rather than screw the newbie is frankly better than I expected of them.


The Four Stooges

OK, we have a winner of yesterday’s photo caption contest. Democratic State Senators Hiram Monserrate, Carl Kruger, Pedro Espada, Jr. and Ruben Diaz, Sr. will henceforth be known as "The Fare Hike Four." While we’re at it, we figure if the State Senate is going to treat New York City’s transit riders like clowns and […]

State Senate on Transit Funding Meltdown: It Wasn’t Us

After omitting bridge tolls from last spring’s transit funding package, then raiding the "piggy bank" to the tune of $143 million, Albany’s neglect of the MTA has left millions of transit-dependent New Yorkers in the lurch. Yet lawmakers have shown no inclination to get to work patching the agency’s ever-widening budget hole, much less coming […]

Today’s Headlines

Next Fare Hike Could Be 4.5 Times Bigger, Thanks to MTA’s Looming Debt Bomb (Reuters) Unlicensed Dump Truck Driver Killed Laurence Renard as She Crossed First Ave. (News, Post) Drunk Dump Truck Driver Hit ‘Nick’ Sundarawadu as He Refueled on Side of Road (News, Advance) Carl Kruger Keeps Pushing to Ban Pedestrians From Using Headphones, Cell Phones (AP) […]

MTA Doomsday Hotline: How to Reach Your State Senator

If you’re having a "mad as hell" kind of morning and want to channel your frustration over imminent doomsday fare hikes and service cuts, here’s where you can track down the number for your state senator’s Albany office. Those in the Union Square area can also drop by Transportation Alternatives’ phone-a-thon, which will be going […]

Give Espada and Monserrate the “Oil Slick” Award

It would be nice to shame every member of the Fare Hike Four, but we’ll settle for the two on the right. Thanks to the folks at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign for pointing us to this excellent survey from EPL/Environment Advocates. State Senators Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate are finalists for the "Oil Slick" award, […]