So the big New York Times expose that was rumored to outline resign-able offenses has never materialized, and probably won’t. Instead there have now been two anything but flattering articles, the second of which was published last night.
First, on Tuesday there was a profile of Paterson’s senior adviser David W. Johnson which goes into his troubled past and sudden rise to be one of the most important players in Paterson’s administration. That being said, it’s not entirely convincing in the sense of actually showing Paterson to be a bad governor. Anonymous staffers indicate Johnson is not a good adviser, and the article sort of wonders aloud if a criminal background, especially (unproven) allegations of domestic abuse, should preclude someone from rising to such a position.
Now comes the second article, which is much more to the point of Paterson’s ability to govern. It is worth a full read, and casts the Governor as someone who is detached from the job and seemingly out of his depth. Key summary:
Those interviewed describe the governor as remote from the most seasoned people around him, and increasingly reliant on people whom he feels comfortable with but who lack deep experience in government, including his former driver, David W. Johnson, and his former Albany roommate, Clemmie J. Harris Jr., who retired from the State Police on disability a decade ago and has been appointed special adviser to the governor.
Some lawmakers say that despite the state’s crippling crisis, Mr. Paterson has seldom engaged with them, beyond denouncing them. And several former state commissioners say he has virtually no involvement with those he has running major agencies, only rarely participating in policy meetings.
Will there be a third article?
If you were thinking about donating money to Paterson’s campaign, which launches officially tomorrow – do these articles give you pause about his right to or chances for re-election?
And finally – assuming for a moment Spitzer could have acknowledged his indiscretions but not been forced from office for them, would NY have been better off with him as a disgraced one-term governor than with his replacement?
Paterson Aide’s Quick Rise Draws Scrutiny (NY Times)