Tag: David Paterson

Not Good Enough

by on Aug.10, 2010, under New York, Politics

Look, I appreciate it’s his normal desire to have things all ways, but David Paterson is being an even bigger weenie than usual:

Gov. Paterson said Tuesday the developers of the mosque near Ground Zero might consider moving the project – and even floated the idea of offering them state land.

Paterson said the anxiety felt by mosque opponents was “not without cause” and that New York still suffers from the Sept. 11 attacks.

Paterson stressed however that he has no objections to the proposed center, which houses a mosque, and that there is “no reason” why it should not be built.

Unacceptable. There is no legitimate “cause” for 9/11 victims to be upset here. Any equivocating on that point implies that there is a legitimate connection to be drawn between crazy terrorists and the world’s 1 billion Muslims, even if in the next breath you say the opposite explicitly.

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I Suppose This Is What They Meant

by on Feb.24, 2010, under New York, Politics

Here’s the NY Times big story that was supposed to make David Paterson resign. It won’t, but he really really really won’t win now, as opposed to just really one time.

I assume that when we were all waiting for it before (around Feb. 8, remember), that probably had to do with this bit:

…just before she was due to return to court to seek a final protective order, the woman got a phone call from the governor, according to her lawyer. She failed to appear for her next hearing on Feb. 8, and as a result her case was dismissed.

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Next Governor, Pls

by on Feb.07, 2010, under New York, Politics

Here’s my prediction: Paterson won’t resign over whatever this is about.

This past week, a rumor emerged that the New York Times is working on a huge bombshell with plans to “Spitzerize” New York governor David Paterson.

Several media outlets have reported on these rumors.

Elizabeth Benjamin at The Daily News describes the report as “much worse” than the governor’s previous admission of an affair with a state employee, though she declines to name NYT by name.

We’ve now heard from a single source familiar with the goings on at the Governor’s office that the story will likely drop on Monday, and that the governor’s resignation will follow.

Rumored scandals are always bigger than real scandals.

UPDATE: No scandal reported today? I’m shocked! Oh, well, maybe he’ll resign tomorrow.

Anyway, since, K-sky asked for it, the infamous Whitey tape.

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Just Stop

by on Aug.25, 2009, under New York, Politics

David N. Dinkins, New York City’s first black mayor, offered some blunt advice on Monday to David A. Paterson, New York State’s first black governor: Don’t accuse your critics of racism.

Mr. Dinkins was reacting to comments Mr. Paterson made in a radio interview on Friday that he was the victim of a racially motivated news media campaign to keep him from running for election next year.

At first I thought this article was your standard example of “whenever one black person says something about another black person, it’s news.” But no:

Mr. Dinkins, who has been close to the Paterson family for decades, took issue with the governor’s comments.

The Obama administration is also displeased:

On Friday, Patrick Gaspard, President Obama’s political director, telephoned the governor’s secretary, Larry S. Schwartz, to express displeasure at the remarks…

In fact, yesterday the president’s spokesman had to distance himself from Paterson publicly. The basic problem, as Dinkins put it, is that “Right or wrong, it’s a fight you sure can’t win.”

I’m sure David Paterson has his pride. He’s accomplished a great deal in his life (careerwise, at least), and it has to hurt to see everyone turn against him for things he obviously believes aren’t his fault. But whining about Frederick U. Dicker’s regular bashing of him in the New York Post isn’t going to help. What did he expect from the Post? Fair treatment?

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by on Aug.23, 2009, under New York, Politics

Now Paterson is just getting lame:

Gov. David Paterson played the race card in a big way today, suggesting he is facing tougher questions about his performance and political viability than the governors of most other struggling states because he is black.

During a wide-ranging interview with DN columnist and radio personality Errol Louis this morning, Paterson said he feels he feels an effort is being “orchestrated” to get him to bow out of the 2010 race.

Now, the usage “played the race card” makes my skin crawl and always does. It has some really toxic assumptions behind it. But honestly, in this case Paterson’s argument that his unpopularity has anything to do with his race is just weak, weak, weak. Let me re-quote one of those poll findings from a couple of days ago:

Things are so bad for Paterson, the state’s first black governor, that Cuomo leads among registered black Democrats by a nearly 2 to 1 margin.

It is possible that black Democrats are also holding Paterson to a higher standard than they’d hold a white governor. But on the face of it one kinds of doubts it.

Paterson also compares his drop in the polls to Deval Patrick’s and Barack Obama’s. I have no idea what’s going on with Patrick and won’t even speculate. I suspect a good deal of what’s going on with Obama is the bad economy is dragging him down. I’m sure that’s part of what’s weighing on Paterson. Across the river it’s also weighing on Corzine, who’s also polling terribly and who doesn’t happen to be black.

It’s clear that there is a racial aspect to the nation’s nuttiest anti-Obama-ism, especially among those who still refuse to believe he was born in this country. I’ve seen nothing remotely similar in the prevailing criticisms of Paterson, and frankly it’s beneath him to suggest otherwise.

Where there is unfair, possibly bigoted criticism about Paterson going on, it touches on his disability, not his race.

As to the orchestrated campaign to get him to drop out, I’d be shocked if there wasn’t one.

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by on Aug.17, 2009, under New York, Politics

It’s hard to see how Andrew Cuomo doesn’t run with numbers like these.

Cuomo, the state’s attorney general, leads Paterson in a potential 2010 gubernatorial primary by a 61%-15% margin, a Quinnipiac University poll released today found.

That’s up from Cuomo’s 57%-20% lead in Quinnipiac’s last poll in late June.

“I don’t know how he can run,” said one prominent Democrat of Paterson.

Things are so bad for Paterson, the state’s first black governor, that Cuomo leads among registered black Democrats by a nearly 2 to 1 margin.

I wish he’d stop playing coy. National and state Democrats must be begging him to run. Maybe he just likes being begged.

Like other polls, the Quinnipiac survey shows Paterson getting trounced (53%-33%) in the general election against former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is considering a run for governor.

Cuomo, on the other hand, has a comfortable 48%-39% lead over Giuliani.

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The Great Paterson Disappointment Continues

by on Aug.09, 2009, under New York, Politics

Gov. David A. Paterson issued a sweeping executive order on Friday that would allow a handpicked group of top aides to repeal state regulations they deem outdated or overly burdensome to businesses.

When an earlier version of the order was obtained by the news media last year, it caused an outcry among labor, environmental and consumer groups, who feared that the plan would make it too easy for industries to weaken regulations and rules they opposed. Mr. Paterson’s aides backed away from the proposal and said it was only a draft.

But the final order appears largely unchanged from the draft. The order establishes a regulatory review and reform committee, made up of five senior members of Mr. Paterson’s cabinet and led by his secretary, Lawrence S. Schwartz, who has described himself as Mr. Paterson’s “enforcer.”

The most charitable explanation one can offer for this latest piece of Paterson stupidity is that he and his aides trust themselves not to eliminate truly important environmental or labor protections, just the misguided or pointlessly burdensome ones. But of course even if they have the purest of intentions, David Paterson won’t be governor forever. At some point in the not too distant future we’ll have another governor (say, next year), and who knows how pure his or her intentions will be? Institutions behave predictably. Individuals don’t. That’s why institutional protections mean something and the promises of individual politicians don’t.

Besides which New York State politics already suffers from a grotesque excess of concentrated backroom power. That’s something David Paterson should know well, since as a senator in the minority and then Senate Minority Leader he was always shut out of the back room, meaning he accomplished exactly nothing. I know of no major bills for which he was responsible during the 20 years he was in the state senate. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It does mean I didn’t know about them at the time and couldn’t find them quickly by Googling.

Those of us on the left were misled by Paterson’s history of saying the right thing, getting arrested at the right protests. I know I was comforted that when Spitzer had to resign, it looked like we’d still have someone from our side in the governor’s mansion. Perhaps we should have paid more attention to the fact that Joe Bruno sang his praises. No one  Joe Bruno loves can be all good.

But Albany’s secretive, backroom form of government managed to hide Paterson’s faults from us all, even when all his colleagues knew them well:

A bombshell secret report sizing up David Paterson’s leadership when he was Senate minority leader found his office mired in chaos, lacking clear lines of communication and hobbled by dysfunction and indecisiveness.

“Leader Paterson has a restaurant maitre d’ style of management – whatever the members want,” Jonathan Rosen, then a top staffer for Senate Democrats, told a Paterson aide who was tapped to interview staffers and compile their opinions.

One top aide who should have been imposing discipline instead boozed with subordinates and came to work hung over, one employee griped.

A politically connected hire had only one job: to make sure drawers were stocked with copier paper, another revealed.

Now we’re supposed to trust the latter-day version of this gang to shoot straight with us on environmental regulation. Whatever.

(As a minor aside, Liz Benjamin rules.)

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