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by Jay Gallagher

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another shoe falls on Paterson

The other shoe from The New York Times dropped on Gov. David Paterson today, in the form of a story on its front page that portrays the governor as remote, unfocused and maybe even over his head as governor.
The story follows one two days earlier that said a former driver and now top aide, David Johnson, has been arrested for drug crimes and also involved in domestic-violence incidents.
The story represents another blow for the governor, who has even had trouble rounding up people to attend campaign kick-off events this weekend, has historic low poll ratings and is having difficulty raising money. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is far ahead of the governor among Democrats who have been asked by pollsters whom they want as their party’s candidate for governor in November.
Paterson often works short days, is unavailable for hours at a time, seldom talks to state commissioners and leans on advisers with little experience in government, according to the story. He has also spent thousands of scarce campaign dollars on bills from expensive restaurants and bars in Manhattan and a resort in Florida, the paper reported.
In response, Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann said the article “offers no explosive revelations about Gov. Paterson. Despite a nasty and seemingly coordinated effort to attack the Governor based on nothing but rumor and innuendo, what we are left with is a profile of a sitting governor tackling historic challenges in a time of crisis for our State.’’
Paterson told The Times that “This latest kind of bashing of me is a depiction of me in what is, in my opinion, a racialized, hypersexualized and more or less dissolute context.’’
He said he resented being profiled in a way “that it appears that all I am doing is drinking, chasing women, doing drugs.’’

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