Tales from the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State

Tales from the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State

by Daniel L. Feldman, Gerald Benjamin
     
 

“Laws are like sausages,” Otto von Bismarck is said to have remarked. “It is better not to see them being made.” Even among sausage factories, New York State’s legislature is notoriously dysfunctional, but as Tales from the Sausage Factory reminds us, this was not always the case. Indeed, in the early 1980s, New York’s legislature… See more details below

Overview

“Laws are like sausages,” Otto von Bismarck is said to have remarked. “It is better not to see them being made.” Even among sausage factories, New York State’s legislature is notoriously dysfunctional, but as Tales from the Sausage Factory reminds us, this was not always the case. Indeed, in the early 1980s, New York’s legislature was a model of professionalism. Cowritten by former state legislator Daniel Feldman and political scientist Gerald Benjamin, Tales from the Sausage Factory offers an up-close look at how law and public policy are made in New York State. Drawing on Feldman’s experiences as a member of the New York State Assembly from 1981 to 1998, the book focuses on four major battles over public safety policy in the 1980s and 1990s—organized crime control, the Rockefeller drug laws, sex offender notification, and gun control. Not afraid to name names along the way, Feldman and Benjamin show how politics works in New York State and how major public policy questions are decided (both in the legislature and the courts), as well as how New York’s legislature might rise above its present dysfunction to recover the professionalism it once had. At a time when frustration with at state government is at an all-time high, Tales from the Sausage Factory is a much-needed reminder of what we can—and should—expect from our state legislators.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781438434018
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
09/01/2010
Series:
Excelsior Editions
Pages:
391
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface

Prologue The State Senate Scandal of 2009

1. Getting the Job and Starting It: Politics, Ethics, Values

2. What Counts When Legislators Decide

3. How Things Work

4. Playing by the Rules, and Changing Them

5. The Organized Crime Control Act

6. Getting Into the Prisons and Drugs Business

7. Reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws

8. Beating the Leadership, Winning in the Courts: Sex Offenders and Megan’s Law

9. Guns—The Struggle in the Legislature and Courts

10. Life in the Legislature: Politics and Lawmaking

11. The New York State Legislature—On Balance

Sources
Appendix
Index of Names
Subject Index
Index of Cases

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >