Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Governor's spokesman re ESDC appointment: "Ms. Hankin directly supervised all broad policy matters related to ESDC in the Governor's Office"

So this is how news works, apparently.

More than a day after my article on Arana Hankin's appointment as Atlantic Yards project manager appeared, the Daily News followed up with a blog post that wasn't merely a one-line cite but essentially a rewrite with no new information (and pretty much my critical perspective, calling her a "loyalist").

The Daily News didn't wait for a confirmation or comment from the Empire State Development Corporation, nor was the agency asked the obvious question: why was the job not advertised?

But Morgan Hook, a spokesman for Gov. David Paterson, did respond later today:
"Arana Hankin has worked tirelessly on behalf of the State of New York for more than six years, including better than three years in the Governor's Office during the Spitzer and Paterson administrations. As part of her vast portfolio, working under the guidance of Deputy Secretary Tim Gilchrist, Ms. Hankin oversaw all economic development in downstate New York, including Atlantic Yards and lower Manhattan development. You correctly write that ESDC oversees the project, but fail to point out that as part of her portfolio, Ms. Hankin directly supervised all broad policy matters related to ESDC in the Governor's Office. Additionally, Ms. Hankin worked as a senior member of the Governor's stimulus cabinet, tasked with the distribution of billions of dollars in federal aid to New York. Ms. Hankin is more than qualified for her new position. To characterize her appointment in any other way is both factually inaccurate and unfair."
I don't doubt that Hankin had her hand in various policy matters. But if she really oversaw economic development in downstate New York, how could she let Paterson claim, ridiculously, that Atlantic Yards would "have job creation the likes of which Brooklyn has never seen"?

A note on the Daily News

Whatever my criticisms of the Daily News, at least they did the professional thing and cited their source. The New York Post, as a reader points out, is notorious for ripping off blogs.

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