Don't go, Gov. David Paterson -- yet
So, the pall bearers were called, and they carted off New York Gov. David Paterson's (D-N.Y.) 6-day old campaign for a full term in the Empire State on Friday. Some folks want him to vacate Albany altogether. And that may be necessary depending on how state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's investigation comes out. But if it is, Paterson shouldn't resign -- leaving another shock to the system in his wake -- until his administration completes a new state budget that closes an estimated $8 billion deficit.
Because Paterson is despised by the leaders he needs to complete the fiscal plan, many are suggesting that Paterson hand off budget negotiations to Lt. Gov. Dick Ravitch. Excellent idea. Is he the ideal choice? No. In a perfect world the governor elected by the people would be doing it. But the world proved to be imperfect in March 2008 when Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) had to step down after his involvement in a prostitution ring was revealed. But now Paterson is the Nancy Kerrigan of state politics, though he is hobbled by his own actions.
The budget is due April 1. The process of putting it together has always been an unholy mess that has at times not produced a fiscal plan until Fourth of July weekend or later. An experienced hand like Ravitch, who isn't interested in elective office beyond his current term, could be what Albany needs to at least fulfill its obligation to keep the state's lights on. Paterson should give him the authority to do it.
| March 1, 2010; 8:07 AM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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