Gov. David Paterson's (D-N.Y.) really ugly week
New York Gov. David Paterson's week has gone from bad to worse. A Siena Poll released Monday showed that his political prospects were on life support. But a New York Times story today detailing the horrific domestic violence case against a senior aide and Paterson's contact with the victim can only be described as a death rattle for his reelection efforts.
The girlfriend alleged that David W. Johnson tore off her Halloween costume, choked her with one hand, smashed her into a mirrored dresser and took away her phone so she couldn't call for help. Twice she tried to get a restraining order against Jones. The night before her third attempt, she received a call from Paterson. According to her lawyer, Paterson said, “If you need me, I’m here for you.” She failed to show up in court the next day. Paterson confirms making the call, but insists she initiated it. He's suspended Johnson without pay. And he's asked state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate allegations of intimidation of the victim by the State Police and his administration's actions in the matter.
Paterson's standing in the minds of New Yorkers was already low. But that Siena poll carried even more bad news for the man who kicked off his reelection effort last Saturday. His job approval rating sits at 35 percent. Just 22 percent of those polled think he's doing an "excellent" job. And his presumed rival for the Democratic nomination for this November's gubernatorial election, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, would beat him in a head-to-head match-up by 42 points. Elizabeth Benjamin at the Daily News points out that Cuomo even has a 20-point lead over Paterson among African American voters. All those numbers are lower than they were in January.
Paterson's slide has been steep and persistent ever since he botched the selection of a successor to fill the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (The state's budget mess hasn't helped either.) And today's revelations make the situation worse. Call the pall bearers.
| February 25, 2010; 8:17 AM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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