Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Governor David Paterson: Indefensible

I have defended New York Governor David Paterson in the past, and I stand by my defense of him. Today, however, I cannot defend Paterson.

When President Obama called Paterson to persuade him to pick the highly inexperienced -- yet very privileged -- Caroline Kennedy to replace Senator Hillary Clinton, I defended Paterson's option not to comply with the White House. Ironically, most New York residents did not prefer Kennedy until after Paterson rejected her, and this decision contributed to a plunge in his approval ratings.

Furthermore, when Obama publicly and awkwardly tried to convince Paterson not to run for office, I defended him -- and the vast majority of New York residents agreed. The issue was one of democracy. New York voters, not the White House, should determine Paterson's fate.

Finally, when rumors recently emerged implying that the New York Times was poised to run stories regarding infidelity by Paterson, I defended him against what would have constituted tabloid journalism. The NYT ran two stories on Paterson that did not raise an eyebrow and which convinced many observers that the paper was simply running in the direction of muck. The final NYT "bombshell," however, prevents me from defending Paterson.

It appears that Paterson directed state officials to contact a woman who had filed an abuse claim against David Johnson -- an aide to the governor. Paterson's conduct is reprehensible. Rather than conducting an investigation and suspending Johnson, he apparently sought to "silence" the matter. According to the latest news, he may have even directed the woman to lie about the situation. This behavior by Paterson could, in fact, violate the law. At the least, it is highly unethical, which is why Paterson is now no longer seeking office and why I cannot defend him this time.

4 comments:

Matt P. said...

"When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?"

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Here are my thoughts on the matter in verse:

Fanfare for the Common Crook [Today's News Poem, March 3, 2010]
“Mr. Johnson also attended the World Series game in question and was involved in soliciting the tickets from Yankees officials. The tickets, with a face value of $425 each, were for seats a few rows behind home plate.”
--Nicholas Confessore, and David M. Halbfinger, The New York Times, March 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/nyregion/04paterson.html?hp

“For the second time in two days, Racine police arrested a shoplifter who went on the attack when confronted by store personnel... Reports said the 23-year-old security guard watched Budner take the $179 coffee maker and then walk past the last point of purchase at JCPenney Tuesday just after 6 p.m. The guard told officers he chased Budner, who fled out the northwest doors of the store, across the parking lot into the Applebee's restaurant parking lot. ”
--MARCI LAEHR TENUTA, The Journal Times, March 3, 2010 12:46 pm
http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_5454bf0e-26f5-11df-b45c-001cc4c03286.html

I) A Fine Distinction
Accusing me of being high? I'm low!
And lower all the time. So what? I took
A piece of crap. It wasn't worth much dough.
You treat me like another sort of crook!
Just look at David Patterson. He stole
From New York state enough to burn in hell:
Indulging him because he rode a poll
And throwing desperates like me in cells
Because confusing rules of theft and gift...
I will admit my ignorance of laws.
I might not know the proper ways to sift;
To play the legal code and use its flaws
But isn't there a code all thieves can use?
To see what is legit and what's abuse?

II) Why the River Lethe
A puff of weed destroys the pain
Of traumas pent within the brain.
A snort of coke for richer folk
Will lace a harshness in their jokes.
With both, a drug is just the means
By which they glimpse at better scenes.
We own whatever we obtain.
Since loss is pain, we must sustain
Our gains—though loss is life's great crux,
We stave its rush with lots of bucks.

We yearn and so we die in bits
And bored to death between the scares
We drink whatever gives us fits:
As life denies us, takes our wares

In increments too small to note—
A tiny death by desk: a rote
And wearing task of paper null.
This prison has no outer hull:
Its bars are codicils of ink,
And lawyers form its monied links.
And when another fucker's crashed
And tossed in bins as if he's trashed
He'll seek that perfect cup of joe
He has an image he must show

The world: that he loves only pleasure—
Or fears life's pain: they've equal measure.

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Ah, and fyi, that's from http://toylit.blogspot.com/2010/03/fanfare-for-common-crook-both-movements.html

ps: If you delete this post, please delete the prior one as well, as I forgot to put the URL on the original post to demonstrate that it's my composition.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Matt: Nice quote!

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