Spitzer and Cuomo Sworn in as NY Gov., Attorney General

At midnight in Albany last night, Eliot Spitzer was sworn in as Governor of New York.

"Day one has begun," Spitzer said to a resounding cheer after being sworn in. "It is a joy to be here. It will be exciting. I will do my best as the public has asked me to do."

Also sworn in was Andrew Cuomo -- as state Attorney General -- the position Spitzer had before the election.

Gov. Pataki, Spitzer's predecessor, tried but failed to implement significant reform to the state's draconian Rockefeller law for drug offenders. Spitzer needs to make real reform or repeal of the law one of his top priorities.

As a commentator in the Albany Times Union wrote last month:

Mr. Pataki's role in reforming the Rockefeller drug laws was one of example. Long before reform legislation came to his desk, he had used his holiday clemency powers to include prisoners who had been serving long years behind bars under the law's mandatory guidelines. The clemencies served as a signal to the Legislature that he was prepared to embrace change. Eventually, the Legislature agreed to reform some of the harshest penalties, but many second-level offenders continue to be subject to lengthy sentences.

Passed in 1973, the Rockefeller drug laws were intended to get kingpins off the streets. Instead, their reach falls more often on low-level runners, including many first-time offenders. Mr. Pataki's successor, Eliot Spitzer, must continue to fight for reform.

Cuomo has campaigned both against the Rockefeller drug laws and the death penalty.

Here are some of Spitzer's positions on issues:

Spitzer has declared support for gay marriage. He says he supports the death penalty only in the most egregious cases, such as terrorism. He has called for expanding health care coverage to include all uninsured children by the end of his first term. He favors abortion rights and aggressive environmental protection.

New York did okay with Spitzer and Cuomo.

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    Governor Spitzer (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by TKindlon on Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 05:28:20 PM EST
    Hello from Albany--Eliot Spitzer's inauguration was a sight for sore eyes, enriched with sounds for sore ears. Mr. Spitzer was focused, optimistic and eloquent. After he'd finished his address--and it was no strain to hear the echoes of FDR, John Kennedy and Winston Churchill in his words--Judy Collins sang a spiritual.

    It was breathtaking.  Just like magic.

    Albany is suddenly starting to feel like a city that's been liberated, the way Paris must have felt after the GI's vanquished the Nazis on August 25, 1944.

    Tonight there's a big free party downtown. Everybody's invited. Natalie Merchant and James Taylor are singing.

    For the past six years it seems we've been hanging on for dear life while a small group of agenda-driven oddballs have run America straight through the looking glass. We've been forced to listen to ignorant men who have nothing but contempt for due process of law tell us that their kangaroo courts have provided "fair trials."  We've been forced to grit our teeth while men who've never heard a shot fired in anger lecture us about combat, patriotism and sacrifice. You get the idea.  It's been a very long six years.  

    But, now, finally, a new generation of clear headed public servants is coming to power and this place we call home is beginning to feel like the place we grew up in again.  

    We've weathered the storm.  

    Now it's time to get our soldiers and Marines home from Iraq, time to fix New Orleans, time to undo all of the legislative damage that's been done.  We can do this and we must do this.  

    Happy New Year!


    Very moving (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 06:51:39 PM EST
    Great post, Terry... Happy New Year.

    Whew! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Jan 03, 2007 at 02:32:42 PM EST
    Such drama!  I can hardly believe anyone is left alive in the State of New York after the past administrations!  They all deserve a medal, or at least several tax increases to celebrate.  Maybe more rights can be taken away like so many guns!  Don't forget, it all about the city.  skip flyover country, those people don't deserve anything.

    Spitzer yes, Cuomo no (none / 0) (#1)
    by space on Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 04:17:45 PM EST
    I see no evidence that Andrew Cuomo posseses even a small fraction of the legal minds that both his father and Eliot Spitzer do.

    Sure, his opponent was odious. And he is a Democrat.  But, really, all evidence points to the conclusion that Cuomo ran for AG simply because no other prominent political poisition was available.