Raia: Voters Lose In Comptroller Debacle

January 30, 2007

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-East Northport) today publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the selection of our state’s next comptroller. Raia was highly critical of the unwillingness of Alan Hevesi to resign prior to the election and believes that voters are being cheated.

“It’s unbelievable to me that the selection of the state’s top fiscal watchdog has turned into a game of political football. Instead of an endorsement from Governor Spitzer, we should have witnessed an ultimatum and Hevesi should have resigned prior to the election,” said Raia.

Raia noted that an independent panel presented three candidates to the legislature and now it’s time for legislative leaders to make their move. However, Raia does not expect a timely vote and is anticipating the release of the governor’s Executive Budget without the state’s top fiscal officer in place.

Raia also questions the panel’s independence, having heard that the governor lobbied very hard for his top three picks. The panel was supposed to pick 5 candidates, but shirked its responsibilities by only picking three.

“How long do we have to wait to fill such a vital position as State Comptroller?” asked Raia. “I can only hope for the people of this state that the candidate is chosen based on merit and not political affiliation."