Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another Nail in Paterson Political Coffin?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A New Paterson Scandal Bubbling Up From the Depths?

The blogosphere is abuzz that there may be a scandal set to erupt surrounding the escapades of embattled New York Governor David Paterson. Gothamist, HuffPo and others are busy saying that there's something there, and that the New York Times is sitting on the story until they're ready to release it, which could have come as early as yesterday and may go sometime this weekend or Monday. The rumor - and I stress that it's rumor - is that it involves wife-swapping and drugs at the Governor's mansion.

Just how much there is actually there? Paterson's infidelities wouldn't actually surprise anyone given that he copped to being unfaithful the day after he took office. He even had campaign funds used to pay for the hotel rooms used in his affair. But wife-swapping at the Governor's mansion? Not so much. Not that I want to picture such things either.

What is more likely is that it's going to focus on Paterson's banning state troopers from the mansion and how that can be viewed as scandalous or an abuse of discretion.

Yet, we've got rumors of continued infidelity even without the latest rumors. I posted the reports of his apparent rendezvous at a New Jersey steakhouse (Palm River Terrace in Edgewater, which is a great steakhouse for the food btw). Paterson denies any wrong-doing. There are rumors that he was caught in a closet with another woman, yet for all the rumor, there is nothing there.

This is a non-story, and not even the National Enquirer is jumping on this story. For now.

Paterson is wounded politically, and is facing a potential challenger in the form of juggernaut Andrew Cuomo, the state attorney general who has raised funds like there's no tomorrow and would probably crush Paterson in the primary. The only reason that the New York Times would be a delay in running the story is that it would be literally buried behind the news surrounding the massive snowstorm hitting the Mid-Atlantic (and which has pretty much missed New York City except for Southern Brooklyn and Staten Island).

And just in case that these rumors do pan out? Meet Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch. He was the former head of the MTA and has experience running major agencies and has political ties to pretty much everyone in the Democratic party. More important is the fact that he was central to bailing New York out of the fiscal disaster of the 1970s. That's a skill that's sorely lacking among many of the state and local officials.


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