State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is on the warpath against the overspending and fiscal gimmicks that have put New York on the brink, but as his GOP rival Harry Wilson gleefully pointed out yesterday, DiNapoli voted on plenty of those good-time budgets when he was in the Assembly.
Asked about his old budget votes during an endorsement by the Building and Construction Trades Council on the City Hall steps, DiNapoli said it all took place in different times.
"I wouldn't say I would regret voting for any of them. When you're in the Legislature, an important part of the focus, for better or for worse, is on a deadline, on a budget deadline, on a session deadline. Our legislative process doesn't do enough to encourage the long-term view of our decision-making. That's why you have an office like controller, to look at the numbers not from the point of view of making a policy choice, but from the point of view of saying, what are the implications in terms of trends long-term?
"I wish it was a different time. I wish we had the kind of economy we had five or six years ago. ... You have to look at decisions in the context of the time, you know, that you're planted in."
For what it's worth, DiNapoli claimed he hadn't read Wilson's comments, and dismissed Gov. Paterson's slap at him this morning for not proposing solutions -- saying his job as comptroller is to warn of problems.