The $75 Solution

« previous episode | next episode »

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Albany has a reputation as an arena for no-holds-barred lobbying. So when the head of the New York Lobbying Commission recently decided to interpret a $75 cap on gifts to apply on a yearly basis, rather than on a per-gift basis, he threw the state capitol’s political culture into tailspin.

Left Behind

Ronald B. Mincy, Maurice V. Russell professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice at Columbia University School of Social Work and author, Black Males Left Behind (Urban Institute Books 2006)
Walter Fields, vice president of Political Development at Community Services Society of New York
- on the ...


Why Wi-fi?

Esme Vos, founder of, a portal for news and information on city wide wireless projects worldwide
-on the effort to get a municipal wireless network in major cities

» Muniwireless


Lobbying in New York: Part II

David M. Grandeau, executive director of the New York Temporary State Commission On Lobbying
-on making lobbying oversight more effective in Albany

» The New York Temporary State Commission On Lobbying


"I'm Spending that Capital on the War"

Steve Clemons, senior fellow and director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and blogger for
-on the Presedent's press confrence earlier today

» The Washington Note
» The New America Foundation


Photo File: Walter Fields

The Community Service Society's Walter Fields

[listen to Walter Fields on the BL Show 3/21/06]


Doubting Thomas gets the Mic

For the first time in years, WH press corps senior prefect Helen Thomas got to ask the Prez a question in his Q & A today. Thomas then tried valiantly to get in a follow up on Rumsfeld, but W won round II.


Helen. After that brilliant performance at the Grid Iron, I am -- (laughter.)

Q You're going to be sorry. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, let me take it back. (Laughter.)

Q I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --


Lobbying in Albany: Some Figures

This morning Brian speaks with David Grandeau, the head of the New York Temporary Lobbying Commission, who's recently reinterpreted the rules to dramatically limit gifts to Albany legislators.

In the meantime, check out these stats on the top lobbyists and lobby-ers of 2005, courtesy of the State Lobbying Commission:



Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.