This morning Eliot Spitzer, our most recent attorney general, was sworn in as New York state's 54th governor. He immediately signed five executive orders into law, basically establishing ethical guidelines for state workers and making the government more open to the public.

That the new governor signed into law what was effectively one of the platforms he campaigned on was amazing in and of itself, but to do it on the first day was somewhat amazing. His predecessor didn't really do anything until he'd been in office almost two weeks, and his first act was signing extradition papers to send a convicted murderer to another state to face the death penalty there, which New York didn't have at the time (and pretty much don't have now).

Many of us have become jaded as we see politicians campaign on platforms that never seem to get fulfilled, but I tend to believe that's not really as important as the act of showing that you're at least trying to do something positive for the people who elected you. In a way, it's how most people look at those who are in leadership positions. For the most part, unless the leader is a total idiot, people want to see someone who's confident, visible, and appears to be trying to do something positive for those they represent. That's why people smile when leaders pick up babies, or are shown shaking hands in crowds; it makes them human, and makes them seem as though they really care about something.

This move is particularly illuminating for New York, as we had our most recently elected controller resign before taking his oath for reelection because of his misuse of governmental employees (after earlier in the year saying President Bush should be shot between the eyes), and the president and majority leader or the state senate is under investigation for possible improper business dealings with a consulting company.

When people can't trust the leaders they've chosen, things can't get done. In business, if one doesn't trust the leader of the company, nothing good comes of it. In sports, if the team captain isn't giving a full effort, neither will anyone else. Leaders are accountable, whether they want to be or not. They have the choice to either step up their game and make everyone better, or not even try and bring everyone down with them.

This was a nice first step from Governor Spitzer; I hope to see more action related steps from him as time goes on, whether I totally agree with everything or not.