Well, this seems to be working out pretty damn well for David Paterson, the current and still reigning Governor of the great state of New York. In fact, it couldn't have worked out better if those nasty rumors were orchestrated by the governor himself!! (Ha ha.) There is no blockbuster story, he gloated to the press after being interviewed by the Times' Danny Hakim, who, he says, questioned him about campaign expenditures, his choice of restaurants and various hiring decisions. [NY Post]
So, the governor gets to portray himself as a victim of the press, always good for ample sympathy from folks of all political stripes. And he gets the opportunity to turn the tables on a press corps which has been particularly harsh on him during his troubled tenure.
They gave me an answer such as: We’re not responsible....But I do think I was owed, as a human being, if not professional journalism, the right and the opportunity not to have the people of the state of New York thinking that their governor is about to resign when there hasn’t been on shred of evidence that any of these charges that had been made about me are even true." [Daily Politics]The press comes off either as arrogant, as in the case of the Times, or as gossipy perpetrators of a rumor-fueled feeding frenzy, as with the rest of the press and bloggers like yours truly. And, at least for a day, we didn't even hear about Aqueduct. That much.
Tuesday evening, Joe Sexton, The Times’s Metropolitan Editor, said: “Obviously we are not responsible for what other news organizations are reporting. It’s not coming from The Times.” [City Room]But it seems to me that it wouldn't have killed the Times to have put out the word that it had nothing up it sleeve. Not that they were under any obligation to do so; but I don't understand why they wouldn't once things got out totally out of hand. Were they somehow protecting their journalistic integrity? Otherwise, it just seems kinda pretentious to me; it was almost like they relished prolonging the suspense. Still, the question remains: Was it all a total fabrication as the governor claims? Or was the Times merely unable to substantiate to its standards and satisfaction?
Meanwhile, the Queens Courier reports that the local Ozone Park community supports the selection of AEG, also good news for the guv. “We’re not unhappy that AEG got the contract.“ Oh. Well. That's actually not all that enthusiastic. Though more so than Smelly Deal or Dave's Dying Deal. However, Community Board 10 chair Betty Braton did add: "It’s a solid proposal with more jobs and community benefits.” Check out the article, which has some interesting comments about the losing bidders....most interesting of which is the notion that the community was turned off by SL Green's drawings of the Hard Rock Cafe sign - "a giant guitar [logo at the entrance to the facility] was more suited to Times Square than the neighborhood."
Darryl Greene is out at AEG as previously reported; and James Odato reported in the Times Union yesterday that he held a .6 percent stake. Additionally, he wrote that the Rev. Floyd Flake holds the same stake. That caught my attention, because last week, in trying to trivialize Flake's stake, the governor said it was .06 percent, making him, in Paterson's view, not even a minority owner, but a minute owner. And that decimal point placement, confirmed via email by the reporter, makes a huge difference when you're talking about the kind of money that the Big A racino is expected to generate. The Daily News reported over the weekend that the expectations are higher than Yonkers, which paid out nearly $156 million for the casino operator during the last fiscal year. .6 percent of that comes to $936,000, as opposed to a tenth of that using Paterson's math. I'd say that's more than minute, even if that's a gross figure. And even for Flake.