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.
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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