Friday, February 26, 2010

Paterson reportedly to not seek election

Several news outlets, including The Times-Union's Capitol Confidential blog, are reporting that Gov. Paterson will end his campaign for governor.

The decision comes in the wake of a devastating piece by The New York Times on the case of a top Paterson aide who was accused of 'violently assaulting' a woman. She claimed that a member of the governor's security detail pressured her to drop the claim. The State Police superintendent admitted a trooper visited the woman but claims there was no pressuring involved; the Times notes that the State Police had n jurisdiction in the matter.

Then, the Times reports, just before she was due to return to court to seek a final protective order, the woman got a phone call from the governor, according to her lawyer. She failed to appear for her next hearing on Feb. 8, and as a result her case was dismissed.

The deputy commissioner for public safety then resigned after claiming she'd been lied to by the affair by the State Police superintendent.

I've long been an admirer of the governor but his saga is a tragic case. He is quite clearly the only person in Albany with the fortitude to address the state's fiscal crisis and generally take on powerful vested interests. And he's taken courageous stands on important issues like equal rights for gays and ethics reform. But few seemingly good men have shot themselves in the foot more often than Paterson.

Further, any moral high ground on ending the culture of corruption in Albany has completely evaporated because of this affair. The politicization of law enforcement, which also undermined his predecessor's credibility, has to be one of the most unacceptable things in a state governed by the rule of law.

Additionally, in the wake of the different but related scandals involving Sens. Hiram Monserrate and Kevin Parker, the last thing Albany needs is more tolerance of disgusting domestic abusers and bullies.

Maybe, this organization should start giving seminars at the Capitol.

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