Panetta: New York City should be 51st state

Leon Panetta was a major proponent of statehood for New York City, according to a long-forgetten report he wrote for mayor John Lindsay.  It's significant, since Panetta is about to be confirmed as the new Secretary of Defense—among the more powerful jobs on earth.  As a staffer for mayor Lindsay in 1971, Panetta wrote that making New York City the 51st state, "... may well be the only sensible approach to governing New York City." Panetta's reasons fit the usual profile for new statehood proposals—he thought the rural legislators (read "bumpkins") were standing in the way of New York City handling its own affairs. The thing that struck me as I read the full report was how Panetta thought the best model for governing New York City was London. Yeah, London, England. Didn't we fight a war so we could avoid the British model of governing? In summary, the soon-to-be Secretary of Defense is on record saying the British system of governing is superior to the American system. You heard it here first. I wonder if that comes up at his hearings. Read Panetta's full report here.  (More on New York City statehood is in Lost States)

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