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David Paterson's deepening dilemma

Something's not right about the big mess in which New York Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.) finds himself. He made domestic violence a signature issue, expanding who is covered under the state's abuse laws. Yet he stands accused of downplaying the accusations against a senior aide. He swears he didn't abuse his office, "not now, not ever." And yet, the New York Times blares on its front page today that "Paterson is said to have directed calls to accuser." That sound you hear is the governor's loosening grip on power.

The latest revelation is chum in New York's roiled political waters. Some are even trying to say race is playing a part in Paterson's problems. Oh, brother! The best way to stay out of trouble is to stay out of trouble. For Paterson, the story line that has emerged so far has nothing to do with race and everything to do with an abuse of power. Today's story based on information from "two people with direct knowledge of the governor's actions" will increase calls for the governor to resign. And yet there was a paragraph in today's story that serves as an asterisk on the entire thing. "But the governor’s state of knowledge about the alleged assault and personal involvement in the administration’s handling of it have remained murky," the reporters note.

As long as there are doubts about what Paterson knew and what he did, he should continue to fight to stay in office. Maybe I'm holding out hope that this whole sorry episode is a big misunderstanding and that Paterson's reprehensible actions will be explained away. But if state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's fast-moving investigation proves that there was nothing murky about Paterson's involvement, then he'll have to go.

By Jonathan Capehart  | March 2, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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He needs to go - he doesnt have the support of the people. He would not have won the election. Hes done.... and he is going to hurt the Democratic party...but after what they did to Hllary - they need to be kicked in the $@$@ ....

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | March 2, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The more and more I read of the transgressions by David Paterson and his staff - the cover-ups, the obstruction of justice, the blatant lies - the more and more I wish Eliot Spitzer would have read “The Democratic Conference Organizational and Structural Report” before putting David Paterson on his ticket as Lt. Governor. This report is an objective assessment of this clown’s ability to manage or more precisely mismanage.

This scathing report indicated that Paterson’s Senate Minority office as head of the NY Senate, headed by the highly inept Michael Jones-Bey, was completely dysfunctional. The unqualified and disinterested Mr. Jones-Bey, a childhood friend of Paterson, who is now incredulously Director of Division of Minority & Women's Business Development at New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation, was reported to be more interested in partying and boozing up with staff than working.

Looks like Paterson's staffers learned their ways from their boss.


Posted by: cleanupnynow | March 2, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

David Paterson and his people reached out to the woman in the David Johnson incident and personally pressured her to drop her harassment suit.

Seems to me that these accounts provide the first evidence that Mr. Paterson helped direct an effort to influence the accuser – this sounds a lot like a cover-up and obstruction of justice.

Is David Paterson for real. What planet did he land from? David Paterson mentions he has always wanted to engage in public service. Unfortunately for him, the only service he will be engaged in is serving time behind bars.

At this point, resigning is the least of David Paterson’s problems.

When will this clown as a Governor ever realize that putting non-qualified friends and ex-girlfriends and gal pals - David Johnson, Clammier Harris, Michael Jones-Bey, Gabrielle Turner, Indira Noel - on the state payroll with six-figure salaries during this recessionary period, is just not the right thing to do?

Hopefully the next Governor will get these unqualified hacks that are in positions out of their skill set, off the public payroll.

For too long David Paterson has been covering up for himself and his aide’s transgressions. Fortunately they and him have been exposed for what they are – at best useless incompetent hacks, at worst CRIMINALS.

His staff and all his friends that he has placed in jobs need to be cleaned out ...GET HIM AND THEM OUT NOW.

This UN-ELECTED GOV needs to go now, before more damage is done and more of the wrong people profit from his office.

Posted by: cleanupnynow | March 2, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The higher a person climbs,the dirtier they become. It takes special skills to contain the dirt that flows from a politicians behavior. Paterson was an amateur and got busted.

Posted by: melvin_polatnick | March 2, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Stop picking on David Paterson!

So what if he is an abysmal liar? So what if he is corrupt? So waht if he is incompetent? So what if he is imvolved in obstruction of justice? So what if ... ?

ALL politicians are incompetent, corrupt liars. It it only a matter of degree.

Government itself is failure. It is where good ideas go to die.

Posted by: RUKidding0 | March 2, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately this problem is becoming epidemic amongst the slimeballs that we have to choose from to represent us on all levels of government.It's as if that no one with any decency wants to get involved in public service any longer. When this kind of behavior becomes the norm, it is no wonder and very sad.

Posted by: Lincoln74 | March 2, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Downplaying the accusations against a senior aide"? Where does that slap-on-the-wrist characterization come from?

Paterson is accused of using the power of his office, including the state police, to intimidate a victim of domestic violence into dropping legal proceedings against her violent abuser: the governor's aide. No one even DENIES that the state police--outside of their jurisdiction--harassed the woman, and Paterson doesn't even deny that spoke to her HIMSELF.

What he claimed not to know what how violent the abuse was. But that fact is completely irrelevant! Using the power of his office to harass the victim was an abuse of power *however severe* the domestic violence was. I refuse to split that hair.

Moreover, he has shredded his own credibility, so I just don't believe his characterizations anymore. His excuse--that the woman called him--turned out to be completely disingenuous. She was returning his call after he ordered his aide contact the woman! Talk about a lie of omission!

Let me emphasize: I, a New York voter, was until very recently a supported of Paterson's. I thought he had taken unfair hits over necessary and courageous cuts to the budget. But I'm not defending this pretty manifest abuse of power. The very best interpretation is that he had completely lost control of his own administration. But the more realistic interpretation seems to be that he was involved directly in orchestrating the campaign of intimidation and harassment. Either way, he should come clean and resign immediately. He shouldn't force us to wait for an investigation, hoping that the evidence will remain to murky to remove him from office. He should lead and leave. That's what Spitzer did, and all he'd done is hire a high-priced hooker!

Posted by: uh_huhh | March 2, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

There are numerous cases where officials have further victimized victims of violence, and should be addressed.
In one case, a woman and her children were terrorized by phone calls threatening to rape and murder her and her children. To cover up the case on behalf of a well connected perpetrator, an NYPD detective came up with a demand for $900 from the victim “in order to investigate” the complaint. When no money exchanged hand… NYPD did not investigate, and later with the help of officials covered up the case. Complaints on this issue are on record with 311, NYPD and with below mentioned.
In another case, four thugs terrorized the neighborhood; robed and raped women at gunpoint. When they were caught and surrendered to police. Manhattan DA, through his assistant ordered NYPD to release all four from police custody, further jeopardizing the people… because one of the thugs was the son of a city attorney.

No true investigation would be complete without interviewing Bloomberg, Morgenthau, NYC police Commissioners, Senator Schumer, Marty Markowitz, Cuomo, Silver, NYS Judges and more, who have been doing much the same as Paterson and for too long.

By influencing Federal, State, and/or Local legal cases and/or engaging in cover ups, officials are taking a dangers path, sentencing people, especially the most vulnerable as children and women to endure significant perils to their safety, security… livelihood, while foreseeing a (merely) “political price” to be paid when/if implicated.
Official must be aware of consequences to their illegal activities. Just as in Sherr-una Booker’s case and many other similar cases as (two are) mentioned above, lives are at stake, and anything must be done to avert danger and to safeguard ones family.
Further warning will not be issued.

Posted by: Shanan1 | March 2, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Paterson is so corrupt he would make any NJ politician look like George Washington.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | March 2, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

he's fresh toast

Posted by: queensplate | March 3, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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