Friday, December 17, 2010
David Paterson always had a plan. It just wasn’t to become Governor of New York.
Leading up to 2006, he was the top Democrat in the State Senate, and doing a surprisingly effective job chipping away at the Republican lead in that house.
Paterson, who was representing Harlem, did this by letting his affable nature mask his intense desire to wage strategic campaign fights against Republicans.
“If they had an event they had to go to and they wanted us to stop debating…I would always stop,” Paterson recalled in a recent interview. “I think it got them to take their eye off the campaign.”
Monday, November 15, 2010
On Sunday, governor-elect Andrew Cuomo announced the latest round of members to his transition committee, the advisory panel that will help decide whom Cuomo brings into his administration as he seeks to "clean up" one of the country's most dysfunctional state capitals.
The headline from the weekend's announcement was the inclusion of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on one of those transition committees. Kennedy is known as much for his work on environmental issues as he is for hailing from one of the most celebrated political families in American history. More importunely, he is also the brother of Cuomo's ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy, with whom the Governor-elect has three daughters. In 2003, the couple had a particularly nasty divorce, with accusations of her infidelity splashed across tabloid pages for weeks.
The presence of Kennedy's name on the transition committee, carries a powerful, and unmistakeable message: Cuomo is suppressing whatever old and personal feuds may exist in order to find the most talented personnel.
But transition committees have, in the past, proven ideal opportunities for presenting politically optimal visuals, while not always demonstrating deep or insightful decision-making.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
By Bob Hennelly
A new report by the New York State Inspector General accuses Governor David Paterson and Democratic legislative leaders of rigging the process for picking a company to run video slot machines at Aquaduct race track.
Monday, October 04, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
Carl Paladino says he encouraged Eliot Spitzer to stay in office after he was identified as a client for a call-girl agency.
From Paladino's interview with the LA Times:
[Paladino] makes it clear that he believes the personal failings of elected officials should not be held against them if they're qualified to govern. He cites Spitzer, whom Paladino supported with campaign contributions, as an example of a capable public servant who never should have left office.
"The day before he left I told Eliot, 'Don't quit,'" Paladino said. "You show me the perfect person. You show me Mr. Perfect out there. Who? Arnold [Schwarzenegger]? The former president, Clinton? … He's human, Eliot's human, I'm human."
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Eliot Spitzer, columnist for Slate and former governor of New York, talks to WNYC's Brian Lehrer about AIG bonuses, CEO compensation, the NYS budget, and other matters of the day.
Brian Lehrer: What put AIG in your sights as New York attorney general?
Eliot Spitzer: We were approached by some sources who said that AIG, which was at the time guided by Hank Greenberg as CEO, was, to speak in street vernacular, juicing its books by creating false reinsurance contracts that would appear to add capital to its balance sheet. Now that sounds all very complicated but, what it really means is they were playing games with their accounting in order to look stronger than they were. Hank Greenberg, there are tapes that prove this, was very, very concerned with any, even minor, fluctuation in their stock evaluation.
These contracts, it was alleged, were designed to make them look better in the eyes of Wall Street. We investigated, brought a civil case to settlement of $1.4 billion. At the time, $1.4 billion seemed like a lot of money. It was the biggest financial settlement ever. The board removed Hank Greenberg because he invoked the Fifth Amendment, when he was asked about this. Four people were charged criminally and convicted for basically playing games. But it lead us to inquire and to probe into the inner workings of the company and what we saw was a mess.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009