David Paterson

Paterson’s Portrait To Be Unveiled Sunday

Former Gov. David Paterson will have his official portrait unveiling on Sunday, according to an invitation for the event obtained by Capital Tonight.

The event is expected to include Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is listed as a “special guest.”

The unveiling is due to take place at 2:30 p.m. in the War Room of the state Capitol on the second floor.

With Paterson’s portrait going up and the recent additions of likenesses of former Govs. George Pataki and Mario Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer is the only modern-era governor to not have his likeness hanging in the Hall of Governors on the second floor.

Paterson, the state’s first black governor and the only legally blind one to serve, was elevated to the office following the resignation of Spitzer in the midst of a prostitution scandal.

It is a remarkably fast turnaround for Paterson’s portrait to be unveiled, considering he left office in 2011 and was even discussing the possibility of a portrait two years ago.

It is unclear who paid for the portrait (it’s traditional for supporters of former governors to raise the funds necessary to cover the cost) and who painted it.

Governor David Paterson Invitation – March 2 2014 (2) by Nick Reisman

No Congressional Run For Paterson

Former Gov. David Paterson ruled out a run for the Harlem seat held by longtime Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Paterson said he hoped Rangel would run for another two-year term later this year as he mulls whether to run for re-election and interviews potential successors.

And he praised Rangel as an “exemplary leader.”

“Since leaving the Governor’s office I have had the good fortune to explore many exciting opportunities in broadcasting and other private endeavors while continuing to be active in public service at the MTA and also finding time to travel and spend time with loved ones. I anticipate a number of exciting opportunities in the coming weeks and months, but running for Congress will not be one of them.”

For what it’s worth, Assemblyman Keith Wright — who has also been named as a potential Rangel successor — has said he’s certain the 83-year-old will run again.

Paterson currently has a drive-time radio show co-hosted with Guadrian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.

The full statement:

As a long-time resident of Harlem I have always had a very strong affinity for the issues and events that impact the 13th Congressional District. I have also always believed that answering the call to public service is an endeavor that can only be undertaken at one hundred percent capacity, unwavering in the commitment required to effectively represent those that would elect someone to lead. Over the past months speculation surrounding the possibility of attempting to potentially succeed Congressman Charles Rangel has arisen and, with the 2014 election cycle rapidly approaching, I would like to make it clear that I have no intention of running for Congress in the 13th District, either now or in the future.

Since leaving the Governor’s office I have had the good fortune to explore many exciting opportunities in broadcasting and other private endeavors while continuing to be active in public service at the MTA and also finding time to travel and spend time with loved ones. I anticipate a number of exciting opportunities in the coming weeks and months, but running for Congress will not be one of them.

Further, Charles Rangel has been an exemplary leader in our community and continues to fight every day for the people throughout the entirety of the district. It is my hope that he will run for re-election and continue to be our representative in Washington.

Paterson Thinks Spitzer Will Be Back

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer will be back, his one-time lieutenant governor predicted this morning in a radio show interview.

David Paterson, who was elevated to the governor’s office after Spitzer resigned following a prostitution scandal, predicted his ex-boss would bounce back from his loss in the Democratic primary for city comptroller to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Paterson believes that had Spitzer entered the race earlier as opposed to July, the 52 pecent to 48 percent would have been different.

“I think he can run again,” Paterson said on Fred Dicker’s Talk-1300 radio show. ”I think if he started at the same time earlier in the year, he came so close, it would have been a different outcome.”

Whether that means a primary campaign statewide in 2014 against sitting Democrats like Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman or Gov. Andrew Cuomo even, well, that’s unclear, Paterson said.

“I don’t think he will come back that quickly, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of former Governor Eliot Spitzer,” Paterson said.

Still, a primary campaign statewide against for Spitzer seems outlandish and unrealistic.

Former aides to the ex-governor say he has received offers from different media outlets to contribute in some form, and expect he’ll want to stay in the public eye.

The former governor, who now has a new radio show with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, praised Stringer as “an excellent candidate” who he had endorsed during the primary over Spitzer.

Paterson attributed Spitzer’s loss to a for-hire field operation and compared the campaign to Spitzer’s only other failing effort, his 1994 run for attorney general.

“He comes in late, tries to literally throw money at the election,” Paterson said.

Paterson also predicted what many observers had believed, that a Comptroller Spitzer would have been a major thorn in the side of whoever won the mayoralty.

“Had Eliot Spitzer had won as comptroller, he would have been an automatic threat to whoever is going to be elected mayor in four years because he is one who is not afraid to attack sacred cows,” he said.

Paterson: Press Trying To ‘Humiliate’ Spitzer

Former Gov. David Paterson is holding fast to his endorsement of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for city comptroller, but he is still refusing to criticize his one-time boss, Eliot Spitzer.

Paterson told Capitol Pressroom host Susan Arbetter this morning in a radio interview that the press in New York City — especially The New York Post, The Daily News and The New York Times — are trying to

“They have this rule that if you endorse Scott Stringer you have to say something bad about Eliot Spitzer and I’m not going to do that,” Paterson said in the interview.

Paterson held a formal endorsement news conference alongside Stringer on Monday, though it was noted on this blog and elsehwere that he would make any critiques of Spitzer or say whether Stringer would make a better comptroller.

Paterson had endorsed Stringer before Spitzer’s semi-surprise entry into the race last month.

Today, Paterson wouldn’t say if he would have backed Spitzer instead if he had entered the campaign earlier.

The conflict, in part, is easy to see, given that Spitzer elevated Paterson from Senate minority leader to lieutenant governor, who then became the state’s first black governor following the March 2008 resignation.

At the same time, Paterson’s time as governor was rocky to say the least and he was clearly relieved to finally leave Albany in January 2011 when Andrew Cuomo took office.

“I endorsed him and I stuck to my endorsement when the former governor entered the race,” Paterson said.

He ripped into the media for its treatment of Spitzer, suggesting he was also sympathetic to the former governor, who he says he still sees.

“The allegedly reports the news, but in this race the media is trying to make the news,” Paterson said while adding the city’s major dailies “are going to just destroy and humiliate Eliot Spitzer.”

Paterson also claimed the press is rooting for a Spitzer victory in the comptroller’s race wondering what the media would do should he lose this fall.

“I betcha they’re home at night, hanging on to their dolls, hoping he wins,” he said.

Paterson is a high-profile African-American endorsement for Stringer, who polls show lags Spitzer among minority voters. A PAC has been set up to aid Stringer that is specifically targeting minority voters.

Paterson joked he wanted to form a “group therapy session” for black voters and others who support underdog candidates.

“The African-American community tends to support people who are under attack,” Paterson said.

Paterson: Lhota Has ‘No Class’ (Updated)

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and Democratic former Gov. David Paterson are in a war of words today over finding fault for the MTA fare hike.

Lhota, the former MTA chairman who presided over the increase, blamed Patersona and legislative leaders in a recent GOP mayoral forum for the hike because they “took hundreds of millions of dollars” from the MTA to plug budget deficits.

In a radio interview with Curtis Sliwa this morning on New York City’s AM 970 The Answer, Lhota said there was nothing to apologize to Paterson for after Sliwa suggested he accused the former governor of being a “thief.”

“I’m just re-stating facts,” Lhota said in the interview. “I didn’t say anything that required an apology.”

Calling in later that morning, Paterson angirly responded to Lhota’s claim, saying the money needed to be moved around in order to stave off a fiscal crisis.

“In addition to not knowing anything about the budget, he’s now showing he has no class,” Paterson said. “The reality is that between 2008 and 2009 the budget deficit quadrupled in this state and I did everything to make sure New York didn’t wind up in the place California got in. We were able to balance the budget. We balanced the budget by taking a number of resources away from the MTA and we projected it out of far as 2013 to keep the budget balanced.”

He added that Lhota is “a man who has no class, or better yet, class without the cl”

Paterson was appointed to the MTA board by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2012.

UPDATE: Lhota took time out from campaigning to call us to respond to this post. He noted the word “thief” never crossed his lips, but rather it was Sliwa who was “being provocative” by characterizing the former MTA chairman’s comments in that way.

“What I said was that (Paterson) and the Legislature took money from the MTA that had been dedicated there to balance the budget, and in the process they said the fares would have to go up every two years,” Lhota explained. “…I told Curtis on the show that I never said anything like that, and I’m not responding to anything like that.”

“…It’s well documented the money was taken out of the budget for the MTA. That’s merely a recitation of facts that you have to remind David.”

Coming To A Radio Near You: Curtis And The Gov

Former Gov. David Paterson will be a permanent co-host with Curtis Sliwa in New York City, AM 970 announced.

Paterson was formerly the drive-time host on WOR, but was fired when the station changed hands.

He and Sliwa will host a new show from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. dubbed “Curtis and the Gov.”

Sliwa will continue to host his morning show from 6 to 9.

“I am ecstatic at the prospect of returning to talk radio at AM 970 The Answer and co-hosting with one of the living legends in the business, Curtis Sliwa,” Paterson said in a statement. “Working with Curtis, as opposed to being a solo host, gives me a wider birth to air my opinions and strike up an interesting back and forth with an outspoken and articulate critic on everything.”

Since declining to run for a full term as governor in 2010, Paterson has also taken up teaching, and is currently a lecturer at Touro Medical School.

Radio has been a preferred medium of the legally blind Paterson, who has governor even guest co-hosted Mike Francesa’s WFAN show for a day.

Paterson Doesn’t Rule Out House Run


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.

Paterson: I Would Have Preferred No Senate

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.”

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Paterson Bemoans Low-Quality Legislature


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.

Professor David Paterson Heads To Touro College

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.