Spitzer: “Fight for your money”

Any warm fuzzies between Upstate and Downstate generated by Spitzer’s State of the State talks (plural) – were there really any? – seem to have dissipated as Mike Bloomberg wants New York City’s contribution to the $1 billion Upstate Revival Fund cut down. The Rochester D&C opines:

The backdrop for Bloomberg’s complaint is the faltering performance on Wall Street, the mortgage crisis that has hit the financial sector hard and the likelihood that New York City bonuses won’t be the treasure trove for the state that they’ve been in recent years. The Big Apple’s shine has lost its luster.

Meanwhile, Spitzer is doing the usual drop-in visits on Upstate businessmen, but with a new message: “Let’s you and him fight.” (Meanwhile, Frank Cammuso’s cartoon this morning in the PS is just wicked.)

“You have to form a coalition to go to Albany and fight for this fund,” [Spitzer] told a meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York at Syracuse Research Corp. in North Syracuse. “I am personally dedicated to making it real.” … “If we are going to succeed, I need your voices,” he said. “You need to go to Albany in person, by telegram or by Pony Express.”

In other “news,” Peter Vallone is at it again with the NYC secession talk. So much for a new age of Empire State unity.

Nevertheless, I find Spitzer’s fighting talk worth taking to heart on some local issues. “Fight for your money” is going to have to be internalized by anyone who wants to get anything done in a general economic downturn. That goes for any terrific local ideas about free college for city students. Locally, money for initiatives is going to start drying up. Jim Walsh is leaving, and that means the pork faucet is being shut off. Private corporations will have less cash to promise. Alumni donations to universities will falter. Some people, unused to not having plenty of cash to burn, will move on to greener pastures. Now is the time when we’ll see who is really in it to win it, or just in it for the easy going. Nobody will win this fight unless they get out of their remote towers and engage their own people during the hard times, rather than retreating at the first sign of the money drying up.