David Paterson's Newest Political Scandal Is Jay-Z Related

Probably a lot of this face going around this morning. And for good reason: embattled governor David Paterson is facing questions about the legitimacy of a late January billion dollar-plus contract Paterson awarded shady development corporation AEG to run the slot concession at Aqueduct Racetrack. AEG's most famous partner? None other than Shawn Carter, who was brought into the company at a seven percent stake in the heady days of early September, back when Jay was blessing Paterson at various press conferences and the governor was returning the favor, turning up at Jay's big Blueprint 3 benefit blowout on September 11.

These were the baffling late summer weeks in which MTV received an unexpected co-sign on their election of Jay-Z to "2009 Hottest MC in the Game" status. "I can personally attest to his commitment to New York and the impact he has on New Yorkers of all ages," Paterson wrote. "He is most definitely deserving of the top-MC-of-2009 title." Now questions--and a "federal investigation," according to the New York Post--are looming over whether Jay's sweetheart deal was given in an effort to influence his good buddy Governor Paterson.

"Jay tells me, 'I've got your back,'" Paterson told Esquire in its abhorrent Jay-Z profile last month. For their part, AEG denied wrongdoing: "Given [Jay-Z's] superstardom and his long and deep connection to New York, the partners thought he could bring a unique perspective to shaping a facility that would truly be an entertainment destination...The partners were looking to bring in someone who could bring marketing and community advice to the team." Probably bad news for Obama that this is the week Jay decided to tell the world that they still text one another like secret best friends. No doubt Secret Service is purging Michelle's closet of all House of Dereon-related items, even as we speak. [NYP]

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