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Is upstate up a creek without a power leader in Albany?

Should upstate be worried that state government is now being officially led by residents of downstate?    

   For only the second time in state history, all of New York's statewide officeholders and its two legislative leaders are from downstate.

   There are different schools of thought on this.

   One is that downstate interests have been driving Albany for so long now that it shouldn't really matter much.

   Another is that downstate politicians still need upstate … for votes that is … come election years.

   Then there is the "We're all one state" theory. That is promoted by Gov. David Paterson and other downstate leaders who say the future of the state overall depends on the ability of upstate to rebound economically. To that end, the theory goes, it does not matter where the state's leaders reside, but only that they show fairness to all ends of the state while recognizing that upstate has unique needs that need to be addressed.

   But upstate business leaders, and politicians speaking privately, remain cautious and, several said, scared.

   They worry: Can statewide officials and legislative leaders who spend most of their days in the skyscraper canyons of Manhattan and nearby suburbs on Long Island really relate to upstate?

   … Tom Precious

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