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Brennan Center Leaders Named to Spitzer Transition Team

November 16, 2006

For Immediate Release
November 16, 2006

Susan Lehman, 212.998.6318

Brennan Center Leaders Named to Spitzer Transition Team

New York, NY Michael Waldman, Executive Director of the Brennan Center and Peter Fishbein, Special Counsel at Kay Scholer LLP and a member of the Brennan Centers Board of Directors were named to Governor-elect Eliot Spitzers transition committee for Government Reform. Waldman will represent the Brennan Center on the eighteen member committee charged with tackling New Yorks dysfunctional state government. Another Brennan Center Board member, Zachary W. Carter, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District and a Partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, was appointed to the transition teams Criminal Justice Task Force.

New York is on the edge of major change. The Brennan Center looks forward to working with the Governor-elect to ensure that the new administration comes equipped on Day 1 to move decisively for reform, said Waldman.

For too long, New Yorks government has been mired in stagnation and stasis, with critical problems unaddressed and key opportunities missed. Many things must change. As Brennan Center reports and litigation have identified, New York must fix the State’s campaign finance system, which is the worst among those states that claim to regulate money in politics, reform New Yorks dysfunctional state legislature, and rewrite the system for choosing Supreme Court judges.

This is a rare reform moment a once-a-generation opportunity to renew government and politics in New York. We must seize it, taking inspiration from the rallying cry of New Yorks greatest governor, Al Smith: All the ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy, said Waldman.

Michael Waldman is a nationally known expert on government reform. He was Assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting for President Bill Clinton, serving in the White House from 1993–99. He was the chief administration policy aide on campaign finance and political reform during that time. Waldman co-chaired President-Elect Clintons transition committee on political reform in 1992–93. He has taught government reform as a Lecturer at Harvards John F. Kennedy School of Government, and is co-author of Who Runs Congress? (4thed.,1984), the best-selling book ever on Congressional reform.