Monday, July 03, 2006


The New York Times has an editorial, here, about the secret accounts set up by the State Legislature and of which we have written repeatedly:
Maybe it was somebody's idea of a very inside joke. But for some time now New York State officials have referred to a huge pool of hidden money appropriated by lawmakers each year as the "007 accounts." These accounts amount to $200 million each year to finance a long list of pork-barrel projects across the state. The funds are controlled by state leaders and appear in the budget in anonymous chunks, listed under health care, economic development or some other broad category.

. . . Grants are often awarded to community centers, clinics or other enterprises whose payrolls are padded with family members and friends of the local legislators. Last year, one chunk of money found its way to a charity controlled by former Senator Guy Velella, even after Mr. Velella was jailed for taking bribes.

Were they ever to become completely public, the files would surely yield many more conflicts of interest and cases in which state funds are being quietly funneled to friends , families and contributors. That is to be expected when so much public money is handed out in the dark. It's time to blow the covers off Albany's secret 007 accounts.

As we have said before, please contact your State Senator and Assemblyperson and ask what they are are doing to make this information public.