The end of the session in Albany—when the state budget is being approved—is sometimes known as the “Whac-A-Mole” season. Special interest legislation pops up, to be passed through and approved (often unread) by the state legislature and sent to the governor’s desk.
Public watchdogs play a game of “Whac-A-Mole” with these bad bills, whacking them at every turn. The nickname “Whac-A-Mole” season was used in 2009 and 2010.
Whac-A-Mole is an arcade redemption game. A typical Whac-A-Mole machine consists of a large, waist-level cabinet with five holes in its top and a large, soft, black mallet. Each hole contains a single plastic mole and the machinery necessary to move it up and down. Once the game starts, the moles will begin to pop up from their holes at random. The object of the game is to force the individual moles back into their holes by hitting them directly on the head with the mallet, thereby adding to the player’s score. The more quickly this is done the higher the final score will be.
Environmental Advocates of New York
the [green] capitol insider
June 15, 2009
This time of year is affectionately known as “Whac-A-Mole” Season at Environmental Advocates of New York. Bad bills pop out of the Legislature every spring like moles on the golf course after a heavy rain.
Here’s a mole that needs to a good whack. The Governor advanced legislation to allow for the capturing and sequestering the greenhouse gases underground. And of course, this bill paves the way to build a new, super expensive, coal-fired power plant in Jamestown, New York.
New York (NY) Times
Varied Bills for Special Interests Move Quietly Through Albany
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
Published: June 30, 2010
“The end of session is affectionately known as Whac-a-Mole season,” said Blair Horner, the legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, a consumer and environmental watchdog group. “It’s when the public should spend a lot of time looking for bad bills.”
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Thursday, July 01, 2010 • Permalink