while death was the news hook back in 1983, the reason Erastus
Corning 2nd earned second place on this list was his lifeóand
his long, long (41 years) term as Albany mayor. So that choice
is a celebration of sorts.
Jenningsí election to that same seat was not a scandal, but
just good old political news, his ascendancy gaining importance
as years passed and he took a more powerful hold on the Albany
Democratic machine. And thereís nothing particularly scandalous
about a snowstorm, but the one that hit the region on Oct.
4, 1987, was as destructive as it was beautiful. Unforecasted,
it took us by surprise with big heavy snow that clung to leaves,
making for gorgeous scenery even as it crippled us with broken
branches and downed power lines.
of the stories were simply horrific. The Thruway bridge collapse
in 1987 sent 10 motorists plunging to their deaths; the Ethan
Allen sank on Lake George without warning in glorious weather,
killing 20; Wyley Gates killed four family members and stunned
the small town of Chatham; and the grisly murder of Peter
Porco and subsequent trial and conviction of his son gripped
the regionís newsies with its over-the-top sensationalism.
for good old political scandal, we saw John Sweeney self-destruct
before our eyes; Jim Coyne got an arena built, but in the
process got convicted of bribery and mail fraud. But nothing,
nothing compared to the sight of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, fresh
from getting caught, um, with his pants down, apologizing
to the state for his bad behavior while his wife stared like
a deer in the headlights behind him. Once a rising star, now
the Mayflower Hotelís most notorious guest.
respondents ranked up to 10 choices, and points were tallied
as follows: 10 for 1st place, 9 for 2nd, and so on.
Eliot Spitzerís prostitution scandal and resignation (80)
Mayor Erastus Corning 2ndís death in 1983 (46)
rise, fall and conviction of Albany County Executive Jim Coyne
murder of Peter Porco and trial and conviction of his son
1987 Thurway Bridge collapse over the Schoharie River (21)
snowstorm of Oct. 4, 1987 (20)
controversy over General Electric and PCBs in the Hudson (19)
The October 2005 sinking of the Ethan Allen on Lake George,
killing 20 (18); The 1986 murders by Wyley Gates of his father,
fatherís girlfriend, brother and cousin (18)
Tie: Jerry Jenningsí election to Albany mayor and takeover
of the machine (15); The scandals plaguing U.S. Rep. John
Sweeney and his defeat by Kirsten Gillibrand (15)