May 14th - 11:15 am
Mark Sanford may not be the only former governor in the House of Representatives.
Former Gov. David Paterson in an interview with Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 radio show did not rule out running for the Harlem seat held by Rep. Charlie Rangel, but he acknowledged the longtime Democrat incumbent will likely seek another term.
“I think he’ll run,” Paterson told Dicker. “When you’ve done anything for 44 years, where do you go?”
Paterson says he would “listen to people” before committing to a run for Congress.
“I watch the political landscape,” Paterson said when asked about his interest the seat. “People are not talking about issues that affect people.”
There’s an obligatory grain of salt with everything Paterson says: He has a tendency to speak off the cuff and then, on occasion, contradict himself later.
The former governor, who succeeded Eliot Spitzer after his resignation after becoming engulfed in a prostitution scandal, is now a professor at Touro Medical College in New York City.
Paterson, of course, brings his own baggage to a Congressional run.
Among them: He declined to run for a full term after it was reported he intervened in the domestic abuse case of one his aides, while also accepting World Series tickets from the Yankees and then lying about it under oath.
But since leaving office, Paterson has remained in the public conversation, including a stint as a drive-time radio host on WOR in New York City.
Rangel was nearly unseated last year when Sen. Adriano Espaillat made a serious run for the post, but lost in a Democratic primary.
The heir apparents to the seat also include Assemblyman Keith Wright, the state Democratic Party co-chairman.
Apr 30th - 1:38 pm
Former Gov. David Paterson joked he would have preferred just a state Assembly and no Senate, even though he kind words today for the Independent Democratic Conference.
Paterson, the state’s first and only visually impaired governor, was back in Albany today to help honor the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.
The Democrat has had his share of issues with the Senate when he was office, with a protracted leadership coup tying up action in the chamber after he assumed office when Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal.
Paterson said he preferred the two-party system as opposed to the current coalition set up in the chamber, but did compliment the IDC for being issue-based.
“I think generally speaking the two party system is better most of the time when you’ve had these groups of people weaving back and forth between Republicans and Democrats,” Paterson said. ”But I would say this particular IDC with Senator Klein has made it more issue based than before so I certainly respect their effort.”
Paterson said that so far it doesn’t seem the coalition has fallen into being a completely political pact and said both sides have “done very well.”
“I don’t 100 percent agree with it, but I think they have really forced both sides to deal with some issues that they think are important,” he said. ”In that regard, where this usually turns into a totally political pact, they’ve done very well.”
And given the choices of a Democratic-led, Republican-controlled or IDC-GOP hybrid, Paterson said he just would prefer to not have a Senate at all as governor.
“When I was governor I would have preferred there was no Senate — just a unicameral Assembly and we have done fine,” he said with a laugh.
Paterson again derided the caliber of state lawmakers elected today, blaming them for the growing number of corruption scandals. He said there’s more money in politics than before and that’s hindered Democratic and Republican cooperation.
”We used to get together with my Republican colleagues and have dinner and talk about issues and it created a bonding,” he said. “You see very little of that now because we spend so much of our time raising money to fight each other.”
Apr 9th - 11:22 am
Ex-Gov. David Paterson decried this morning in a radio interview what he said was a lack of talented candidates running for public office, calling some “lower caliber” than when his father was in office or when he first started in the state Senate.
“I think the best and the brightest are not going into government,” Paterson said told Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 radio show.
“What’s gone from Albany is nobody’s passionate about anything but personal gain,” he added.
But Paterson also gave Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver a pass on the corruption scandals have infested Albany and said that if he was governor, he wouldn’t seek to have the powerful Democrat removed from his leadership post.
“Who could be around Albany for 20 years and not be accused of something,” Paterson asked rhetorically.
In typical, unabashed Paterson fashion, the former governor then referenced his own ethical troubles from when he was in office, including his intervention on behalf of an aide who was arrested for domestic abuse charges.
That wasn’t the only scandal that marred Paterson’s time as governor, an office that he assumed after Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in the midst of a prostitution scandal.
In December 2010, Paterson was fined $62,000 for accepting World Series tickets from the Yankees and then lying under oath about how he got them.
Now a professor at Touro College in New York City, Paterson was booted from his perch as a drive-time radio host last year. The radio show on WOR had been an occasional spot for Cuomo himself to call in and drop news in a relatively friendly setting.
Paterson in the interview said he was “deeply jealous” of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ability to work with the Legislature and doubted the current governor would want to unseat Silver, who has been speaker since 1994.
Dicker reported on Monday that Cuomo and his inner circle had discussed ousting Silver over the weekend and possibly install Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle. Cuomo’s office has stringently denied there’s any discussion to remove Silver.
Cuomo in his own radio interview on Monday said he didn’t want to meddle in the affairs of the Legislature and called Silver a “partner.”
Paterson, the former Senate minority leader, was succeeded in that post by Sen. Malcolm Smith in 2007, who now is accused of orchestrating a bribery scheme to put himself on the Republican mayoral ballot.
The former governor said he was perplexed by the alleged effort to pay off party leaders saying there was a legal way to do that anyway.
“All of these things they wanted to do illegally they could have done legally,” Paterson said.
Feb 21st - 11:09 am
Touro College has hired former Gov. David Paterson to be a distinguished professor of health care and public policy, the school announced today.
The college in a statement said Paterson will “draw upon his experience” in his roles as governor, lieutenant governor and a state senator to provide lectures to medical and law students on health care-related policy and the government’s role.
“We are proud that Governor Paterson will become Professor Paterson by joining the faculty of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine,” said the college’s president Alan Kadish. “It is clear that public policy will continue to play an ever-greater role in the provision of health care, and we want our students to have a deep understanding of their profession. Having David Paterson offer his insight will prove to be invaluable.”
Paterson certainly could use the work.
The former governor was the drive-time radio host at WOR in New York City, but the show was cancelled after the radio station’s ownership changed hands late last year.
Jan 28th - 2:24 pm
Compliments of the Syracuse Post-Standard’s Michelle Breidenbach: A YouTube video of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Sen. John DeFrancisco and former Gov. David Paterson joining forces with a CNY band called The Blacklites for a nearly nine-minute rendition of “Mustang Sally.”
The one-time-only (we hope) gig took place at the Mayor’s 2013 Winter Ball Saturday night – Miner’s signature fund-raising event at the Museum of Science and Technology. The $250-a-head party was closed to members of the press, but The Blacklites posted this video on their website.
Miner recently announced she’s seeking a second term, and she’s so far unopposed, although Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey has asked DeFrancisco to consider challenging her. The veteran senator hasn’t yet commented on whether he’s even considering a run.
The mayor, who is also Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hand-picked state Democratic Party co-chair, has been disagreeing publicly with the governor of late over his pension smoothing proposal as one way to assist financially strapped cities like hers.
Paterson has been spending a lot of time in the Syracuse area lately, Reportedly, he has a girfriend in the area. (He and his wife, Michelle Paige Paterson, announced last fall that they have separated after 19 years of marriage).
The former governor also made a stop at Syracuse’s famed Destiny Mall over the weekend, where he hit the go-kart track even though he is legally blind – a fact that he reportedly did not disclose to the ride’s operator.
Dec 20th - 5:07 pm
A spokesman David Paterson confirms a report that the former governor will no longer be hosting his radio show on WOR after falling victim to a round of layoffs by the news/talk station’s new owner, Clear Channel.
“Governor Paterson’s run hosting his afternoon drive program on WOR has come to an end,” Sean Darcy told NY1. “As someone who had to do significant housecleaning when he took over as chief executive, these moves by the new management come as no surprise.”
“As governor, he was oftentimes in position to dish it out, so he is certainly someone who can take it.”
“In anticipation of this eventuality, Governor Paterson has been exploring a number of different options both in and out of the media and will be working towards finalizing some of those options after the New Year. He has greatly enjoyed being part of the rich, proud history of WOR radio and would like to thank the Buckley family, Jerry Crowley and the entire WOR team for the opportunity.”
Paterson, who has said his visual impairment led him to become a big radio fan at a young age, replaced conversative host Steve Malzberg back in September 2011, taking over the 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. slot. The former governor’s show featured an ecclectic array of guests, including his successor and one-time political rival, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Radio host” has not been the only job title on Paterson’s resume since he left office at the end of 2010. He is also a chairman at the risk management consulting firm Icon Group Compliance Services, and, as of this past spring, a member of the MTA board.
Dec 11th - 1:04 pm
Former Gov. David Paterson gave a tough assessment this morning of his successor as Democratic leader in the state Senate Malcolm Smith today, suggesting that his new colleagues in the Independent Democratic Conference should “re-think” giving him a leadership post.
Paterson, never the most reliable narrator in these interviews, criticized Smith for never taking up issues as the Democratic leader and knocked him for flirting with a run for mayor of New York City on the GOP line.
“Malcolm Smith who is like the tennis ball at Wimbledon bouncing between parties,” he said on Fred Dicker’s Talk-1300 radio show. ”First he’s running for mayor of the city of New York as a Republican and now he’s an independent Democrat. How can he be in there if he wants to run for mayor as a Republican.
Paterson did compliment Smith for not bending to then-Sen. Pedro Espada over leadership perks, but he said the IDC should be wary of giving Smith a leadership title.
“… the only thing have ever hear about Malcolm Smith is he wants an important leadership position,” he said. “If that independent Democratic conference thinks they are create diversity by giving him a leadership position when he has sold out everyone around him, they’ve got to really re-think that.”
Paterson did criticize the Senate Democrats during their time in the majority for overspending their office budgets, which he said gave Sen. Jeff Klein and the IDC a good reason not to stick with the mainline conference.
And he said Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing the smart thing by not getting involved in the ongoing leadership struggle. Paterson said that when he injected himself into the internal workings of the Senate as governor, he was “rewarded” with criticism from rank-and-file Democrats.
“I never heard the rest speak out against the way they treated me,” Paterson said. ”If Gov. Cuomo has any apprehension, maybe he read the newspaper articles about how they attacked the previous governor.”
Nov 21st - 5:43 pm
Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, expounded on his op/ed in today’s Journal News that pitched the idea of a coalition government in the Senate this afternoon on former Gov. David Paterson’s radio show.
Klein told Paterson that the IDC would be a “permanent” third conference in chamber and pointed to the success of the past two years under a Republican majority.
Without committing support to either conference, which is currently locked in two absentee ballot counts that could decide the control of the chamber come 2013, Klein said that his conference could work in a coalition to get things done.
He listed a variety of goals, including increasing the state’s minimum wage and overhauling campaign finance laws as measures that could be accomplished in a coalition.
“If we’re able to promote progressive Democratic values, that’s what governing is all about,” Klein said.
Klein added that he didn’t think all of those goals would “magically happen” if Democrats were in power.
Klein, along with Sens. David Carlucci, David Valesky and Diane Savino formed the IDC nearly two years ago after Republicans regained control of the chamber.
If Democrats win both the 46th Senate District and the 41st, they would have a numerical majority. But one Democrat, Brooklyn Sen.-elect Simcha Felder, has said he plans to conference with the Republicans.
“The idea way to deal with the progressive issues of the day… is through bipartisan governing,” Klein said.
Klein also repeatedly mentioned Cuomo’s efforts at getting those goals accomplished and that a functioning chamber was above all what voters wanted.
His venue to air this was interesting, too.
Paterson was governor during the Senate coup of 2009 and was only able to break through the mess when he appointed a lieutenant governor when the chamber was deadlocked at 31-31 (it later proved to be moot when a Democratic lawmaker returned to the fold). Paterson claimed today that he considered keeping the Senate at 31-31.
Paterson’s drive-time radio show is also a frequent haunt for Cuomo to give the occasional interview as well.
Jun 22nd - 1:29 pm
Doing a little post-session house cleaning, and I ran across this clip from my interview earlier this week with the Durg Policy Alliance’s Gabrial Sayegh, who came on the show to express dismay over the Senate Republicans’ failure to take up Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to decriminalize public possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana.
I noted that this is the first significant drug law reform move Cuomo has made since he took office in January 2011, which is noteworthy due to the fact that he was an outspoken reform advocate prior to his election to the state attorney general’s office in 2006.
In fact, it’s not a stretch to argue that Cuomo used the issue of Rockefeller Drug Law reform as a vehicle to raise his public profile as he engaged in the long-term project of repairing the political damage caused by his failed 2002 gubernatorial run.
Given Cuomo’s history, drug law reform advocates were very disappointed when he finished out his first year without issuing any pardons or clemencies – a practice that traditionally has been exercised around Christmastime, but also had fallen into decline (Mario Cuomo commuted the sentences of 37 people over 12 years, while Eliot Spitzer gave out just one), until former Gov. David Paterson took office.
According to Sayegh, the Cuomo administration is starting to look at this issue, and action might come before the year is out. Also, he praised the governor for working to improve implementation of the existing Rockefeller Drug Law reforms.
“While it’s not been much in the public view, the governor’s office has actually engaged with drug law reform advocates around the Rockefeller Drug Law reforms and trying to make sure they’re implemented correctly,” Sayegh said.
“And for reformers who have paid attention to this this is a huge, huge development and a very important one. Because the reforms happened in 2009, and we’ve seen reductions in the number of peolpe going to prison…but there’s more that can be done within the existing law.”
Jun 19th - 5:01 pm
With the June 26 primary less than a week away, the intra-party battles are heating up all over the state. Lots of mailers and robocalls are starting to hit. Here’s the latest, recorded by former President Clinton, for his onetime aide, Sean Patrick Maloney.
Maloney, a former top official in the Spitzer and Paterson administrations, is one of five Democrats running in NY-18. Whoever wins next Tuesday will continue on to challenge Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth in the November general election.
Maloney has been playing up his Clinton connection hard in this race. Not so much his time in the Spitzer/Paterson administrations, although he’s not shying away from it, either. His role in the so-called Troopergate scandal (he acted as the former governor’s in-house attorney during the investigation, conducted by none other than then-AG Andrew Cuomo, against whom Maloney ran in the 2006 Democratic AG primary), cost him the New York Times endorsement. (The Gray Lady went with Richard Becker instead).
Here’s the script of the robo from Clinton, who happens to be a Westchester County resident (is Chappaqua in NY-18, does anyone know?):
“Hello, this is President Bill Clinton, I’m calling to tell you why I endorse Sean Patrick Maloney for Congress in the June 26th Democratic Primary.”
“Sean worked closely with me in the White House. I know how much he knows about our economy, how much he cares, what his values are, what his talents are. And I know he’ll be an outstanding member of Congress. He was part of our team that created jobs, grew our economy and balanced the budget. I think he’s the best candidate in the race to take on the Tea Party and put people back to work. So I hope you’ll vote for Sean on Tuesday June 26th. Thanks.”