A source said by NY Magazine's Daily Intel blog to be "close to the Paterson camp" said that, while the (possibly) imminent NY Times story will contain new revelations of marital infidelity on the part of the governor, "the piece is PG-13, not XXX." And he added:
"Not to say it won't be problematic, but the Aqueduct situation? That's potentially criminal.Whoa, those are pretty strong words. Whether or not the governor deprived the public of his honest services in this particular case is impossible to say, and just maybe inappropriate to ponder in print. Still, it seems to me that the reader, I think it was jk, who predicted that a guilty verdict in the Bruno trial would augur caution and discretion on the part of the Aqueduct deciders, was decidedly wrong!
In fact, I also saw today where Senator Malcolm Smith, who, just two months ago, told the NY Times "I have no interest in working in that business," (a quote which has apparently since been scrubbed from the article online), on Monday refused to rule out a job at the Big A with AEG.
“No one ever rules out anything. If someone were to say to me, ‘will you rule out running for president, Malcolm,’ I wouldn’t rule that out." [Capitol Confidential]Nice going there Malcolm; smart move to attract even a small slice of the focus away from the embattled governor. Unless he was just trying to help his good buddy out. Does anyone want to take my bet that he ends up working there? I didn't think so. (One of his pals won't be there anymore though.)
[UPDATE: AEG partner Jeffrey Levine says: "We can unequivocally state that Sen. Smith nor any government official involved in this process will ever be employed by Aqueduct Entertainment Group or any of its partners, investors or affiliates," Levine said. [Albany Times Union]
The Times report is not yet in draft form according to the Daily Intel post; and the reporters are supposed to interview the governor on Tuesday (he met with the editorial board on Monday).
It's interesting, this whole thing all sounded rather familiar to me. So I did a search of the LATG archives, and sure enough, found a post that Elizabeth Benjamin wrote on March 27, 2008, just a couple of weeks after the Times broke the story that led to Paterson's ascension to governor, entitled Times Strikes Fear In Albany's Heart.
State lawmakers and competitive Capitol reporters alike have noted with some trepidation how unusually crowded The New York Times' Albany bureau is this week, and are all abuzz about what big story the Gray Lady might break next.But I don't recall any such "big story" on the subject emerging afterwards. And sure enough, the same reporters that Ms. Benjamin mentioned then, Nicholas Confessore, Danny Hakim, and Serge F. Kovaleski, are also reportedly working on this one.
The assumption, of course, is that the target du jour is Spitzer's replacement, Gov. David Paterson, who has revealed much about his personal life since his swearing in on March 17, but nevertheless remains the subject of considerable speculation. [Daily Politics]
So, if the story is, again referring to the Daily Intel post, an "in-depth profile of the governor focused on his personal character," then it's altogether possible that it's just old news which wasn't fit to print then, but I guess is now that the governor is really the target du jour. While I defended the governor up and down against what I saw as an aggressive media during and after the Caroline Kennedy affair, in this case, he brought it upon himself. Still, the press seems to take a particular delight in going after this guy, doesn't it? Fred Dicker's piece in the Post on Monday was particularly vicious, though consider the source.
The Times's internal standards, it's worth noting, require the kind of tight sourcing that would make allegations like those in Dicker's piece, particularly anonymous ones, about personal behavior hard to get into print. "We do not inquire pointlessly into someone's personal life," the guidelines state. And in the wake of the flap over a story reporting that John McCain's staff suspected he was having an affair, the paper is likely to be wary of anything that could be interpreted as innuendo. [Politico]So perhaps the rumored story will, again, not come to pass. Whatever happens, I still maintain that the governor is basically an honest and decent man who has done a credible job under impossible economic and political conditions, and who is on the right side, in my view, on issues such as the Rockefeller drug laws, gay marriage, and reproductive rights. Why he stumbled so horribly on what should have been a relatively straightforward decision is really hard to say.