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Monday, February 08, 2010

Pummeling Paterson

As bad as things have been going for Governor David Paterson over Aqueduct, they are apparently about to get worse, and significantly so.

For about two weeks now, Albany has been buzzing that the New York Times was preparing a blockbuster scandal exposé about Governor Paterson, one that could seriously affect his chances for reelection. [NY Magazine]
The story is said to involve the governor's personal conduct and, according to Elizabeth Benjamin, the first to mention the buzz in the media, will be far worse than his acknowledged extramarital affair with a former state employee.

In fact, the buzz reached such a fevered pitch, that there are already rumors about his impending resignation. Those stories are being denied.
"This is a new low even by the standards of Planet Albany," said Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann late Sunday. "The circus of the past week entirely fabricated out of thin air and innuendo is an embarrassment for all who have played a role in fueling it."

"I've never seen the rumor of a story becoming the story as this one has," said Doug Muzzio, politics professor at New York City's Baruch College. [AP]
If the governor is indeed sliding towards political oblivion, it was the Aqueduct affair which supplied the initial push. Paterson, who made the front page of the Daily News on Friday, was again strafed by the press over the weekend in editorial and columns such as this, this, this, and this. And it's all pretty ironic, though entirely his fault, that the AEG selection has raised questions about his integrity in the matter. That cloud was instead supposed to be hanging over the head of Senator Malcolm Smith and the Senate Democrats; indeed, it was the governor who was supposedly holding out against them (in favor instead of the outfit which employed his political advisor as a lobbyist). Indeed, Paterson could very well have gotten through this unscathed if AEG meets Speaker Sheldon's conditions and begins construction in due time.

But his meeting with the Rev Floyd Flake, which the press is reporting as being three days after the selection, but in fact was the morning after Friday afternoon as far as business days goes, was an error of judgment so grievous as to qualify as bizarre. What was he thinking....or who could possibly have told him to do such a thing?

Well, actually, according to a report last week on the Post's Page Six, it was none other than the aforementioned Paterson political advisor/SL Green lobbyist (now ex-lobbyist) Bill Lynch while on an Acela train last Sunday. That would be pretty damn funny if it is indeed the case that the lobbyist for the group Paterson didn't select gave the governor advice which amounted to certain political suicide as far as any hopes of re-election goes.

According to Crains New York, AEG was set to meet with the community late last week and begin "pre-construction" of thee site on Friday. And it's a good thing if they hit the ground running. Of course, everyone wants to know if they can come up with the cash by March 31; and many people seem to believe that they cannot.
Sources raised questions about where AEG will find $300 million -- the up-front licensing fee it must pay to move ahead with the project.

The lead financial partner for AEG is a Canadian merchant bank, Clairvest, whose total assets come only to about $300 million, a Post review found.

AEG yesterday said that Deutsche Bank -- which is not a partner -- will provide additional financing. [NY Post]
I think at this point, AEG should be given a short leash on demonstrating that it has the cash. We can hardly afford to wait until March 31 to find out otherwise.


Anonymous said...

One article qouted Peter Kiernan, the Governor's lawyer, as stating that AEG had 30 days to pay the money.

Anonymous said...

30 days is fair, but if it is not in the bank on day 31 they need to select someone else, no delays. Enough is enough, put up or shut up and go away.

As for the Governor, I am one of his few supporters believing he could possibly be independent due to the nature of his rising to power and in fact his attempts at reeling in the legislature's insane spending.

But the purely political manner in which he has handled this important decision has led me to sour on him, and his decision to sit down with Flake immediately after this leads me to question his competance. I don't care who advised him, he should know better.


I don't need no stinking scandal to decide this man is not qualified to be Governor, have seen enough, go away.

Not that the next up will be any better, see the new boss, same as the old boss.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how long the Times has been sitting on this story?

Let's see, Patterson wants to reign in spending and his opponent is supported by the national Democratic machine from Obama on down to Shelly Silver, could that influence the Times decision to run with this hit piece that will likely be short of actual facts?

As I wrote above, I dont care anymore since I am done with the blind gov anyway, but why do they feel the need to destroy the man when he barely is registering in the polls and is on the verge of completely disappearing?

He really must have rubbed someone the wrong way.

jk said...

NY slots pick runs rinky-dink Nevada casino (exclusive)(NY Post)

Paterson botched chance to clean up Aqueduct bidding process

By BRENDAN SCOTT Post Correspondent

jk said...

'Paranoid' gov going ballistic

Last Updated: 9:12 AM, February 8, 2010


ALBANY -- Gov. Paterson is lashing out at top aides for the growing debacle surrounding what they consider a "corrupt" Aqueduct gambling deal decision -- and suggesting that they'll soon be fired, The Post has learned.

alan said...

Darryl Greene is out:

Greene’s inclusion in the AEG team became increasingly troublesome because of Assembly Sheldon Silver’s conditions on supporting AEG as the winning bidder. His four conditions clearly state that the winning bidder for the rights to operate and build the Aqueduct racino cannot include people with criminal histories involving financial infractions.

Anonymous said...

AEG runs a dump outside of Vegas. A dump would fit well with Aqueduct. Just the place where Alan and his family could spend weekends.

The gov has been observed being "blind drunk." He is another hack voted in by the dregs of society.

Ernie said...