If not for a scandal somewhat whimsically known as Choppergate, New York State would probably have a video game law of its own by now.
GamePolitics readers may recall that the Empire State seemed well on its way to passing video game legislation in June. But a bitter feud which erupted between Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R, left)) has derailed much of the state’s pending legislation, including the video game bill.
The scandal is rather messy and involves Bruno’s use of State Police helicopters to get to political fundraising events. There are also accusations that leaks from Spitzer’s office about the chopper rides were calculated to embarrass Bruno.
Things have gotten so ugly that Spitzer and Bruno are said not to be on speaking terms. The feud may delay the state’s legislative agenda into 2008. Newsday quotes Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters on the dust-up:
I don’t know that I would be holding out a lot of hope that the leaders are going to sing ‘Kumbaya’ and come together in the next month. This is a lame-duck session. Everybody is waiting until the 2008 election.
For his part, Spitzer remains publicly optimistic. Writes Newsday:
The governor also identified three other items — collecting genetic information from all criminals, better school meals and keeping violent video-games away from children — as potentially ripe for agreement.
Spitzer warned against exploiting Choppergate. “If anybody among the three of us uses [the scandal] as a rationale, stated or not, for not getting these issues accomplished, we aren’t fulfilling our mandate to the public,” he said, referring to legislative leaders.