Christopher Swope was GOVERNING's executive editor.E-mail: email@example.com
How the time flies. The latest crop of new governors and mayors are finishing their first 100 days in office. Is the honeymoon over? Or are these pols still feeling the love? Here's a roundup of what the papers are saying:
Jim Gibbons as Nevada's new governor. Reno Gazette-Journal
"I think he has had the roughest go in his first 100 days in office of any governor in my lifetime," said Richard Bryan, 69, who was Nevada's Democratic governor from 1983 to 1989.
Charlie Crist as Florida's new governor. Miami Herald
Listening, especially to those who have been on the outside, is the one quality that lawmakers, lobbyists and just plain voters say they admire about Charlie Crist. And today, as Crist marks his 100th day in office, his early accomplishments say as much about whom he has included than what he has achieved.
In addition to winning support from teachers, Crist has won accolades from civil-rights groups for reversing the state's course on felons' rights; from Democrats, for pushing for voting paper trails, and from consumers, for successfully persuading legislators to hold firm on a plan to lower insurance rates.
The past 100 days have made Crist's governing style clear: announce broad goals, allow others to hammer out the details to get there, then give them plenty of the credit.
Eliot Spitzer as New York's new governor. Albany Times-Union
Clearly, Spitzer has had an impact in his first three months. He signed laws on civil confinement of sex offenders and workers' compensation. The Legislature funded his plan to give health coverage to 400,000 more youngsters and 900,000 adults. He successfully pushed for a massive increase in school aid that settled long-standing complaints about under-funding of New York City and other urban districts.He obtained 100 more charter schools and at least some kind of income-based progressivity with an expanded property tax relief plan.
But his budget finally came together much as it did in years past -- in a back room with legislative leaders -- and it's replete with $170 million in pork-barrel spending. The Senate tinkered with his simplified school aid formula, to its political advantage.
Deval Patrick as Massachussetts' new governor. Gloucester Times
After taking office Jan. 4, Patrick took heat for upgrading his official car to a Cadillac while asking state officials to cut their budgets. He spent $27,000 to redecorate the Corner Office. And he was forced to defend a call he made to Citicorp, a bank regulated by the state, on behalf of his former employer, subprime mortgage lender Ameriquest....
Patrick's tenure hasn't been all trouble. He pointed to his success getting the Legislature to unanimously pass a $1.47 billion bond bill to pay for critically needed road and bridge repairs, and working with insurers to develop affordable health care plans for moderate-income residents - an important part of ensuring the landmark health care reform law works.
Chet Culver as Iowa's new governor. Des Moines Register
The new Democratic governor has excelled in fulfilling campaign promises to increase the minimum wage, raise the cigarette tax by a dollar a pack, and lift restrictions on types of stem cell research....
While he has been helped immensely by a Legislature that is controlled by his party, he suffered a setback when Democratic leaders were unable to muster the votes for a controversial law that would allow unions to extract fees from nonunion workers for services that unions provide.
Bill Ritter as Colorado's new governor. Rocky Mountain News
...as governor, Ritter immediately made two bold moves that have Colordans watching. He pushed for a shake-up of the industry-dominated oil and gas commission. And he vetoed a labor union bill he had pledged to sign after talking with leaders who worried that it would affect Colorado's ability to attract business. Ritter is the first governor in more than three decades without legislative experience, and some of the one-word answers from lawmakers reflect that.
"Green," they said. "Learning." "Amateurish."
But Ritter is quick to point out that much of what he does is away from the Capitol, whether it's an economic development summit in Montrose or a meeting with farmers in Wiggins worried about water.
Adrian Fenty as D.C.'s new mayor. Washington Post
Fenty, 36, the youngest chief executive in the District's history, has set out to create a more engaged and responsive government. He was elected in a landslide on a pledge to replace the detached, professorial approach of former mayor Anthony A. Williams (D), who was often criticized for his out-of-town travels.
The new mayor's style has helped win political support for his biggest initiatives. But despite Fenty's energy, some D.C. Council members and community leaders who have worked closely with him say they think he appears comfortable to remain in campaign mode, constantly courting the public. They wonder whether he will be willing -- and able -- to focus on the harder parts: spelling out the details for improving the 34,000-employee bureaucracy, improving the schools, reducing crime and narrowing the economic divide.
Ron Dellums as Oakland's new mayor. San Francisco Chronicle
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums entered office in January calling for an extraordinary collaboration with everyday citizens and the business community, for peace on the streets, for better schools and improved access to health care.
One hundred days later, the mayor has announced a reorganization of the Police Department with an emphasis on community policing. The rest, he's working on.
Dellums' lack of specific actions during his first 100 days in office frustrates some residents while others say it shows he is deliberating carefully about how to address the city's most vexing issues.
Andrew Cuomo as New York's new Attorney General. Washington Post
So far, the attorney general is keeping an uncharacteristically low profile with the media, countering the publicity-hungry image he developed as HUD secretary and in a failed bid to succeed his father, Mario M. Cuomo, as governor.
In his new position, Cuomo has a more targeted ambition: to fill gaps in federal oversight of industry. He has assembled an elite, bipartisan group of former prosecutors who, he said, "know how to bring and win the biggest cases that will have an impact across the nation." Many of his key staff members abandoned prestigious government posts or lucrative law firm partnerships to oversee state investigations.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.