Press Beats Up Gov on 2005 Report, "Secret" Tax Plan (Update: Poll Numbers Worst Yet)
Governor Paterson hasn't been faring well in the press. At the end of last week the Times reported his town meetings have "erupted into displays of distress over his leadership and the direction of the state"; the Buffalo News said "Paterson tries to rebuild support after a shaky year." This morning it got worse: The Daily News' Liz Benjamin uncovers a 2005 report which portrays his days as state senate minority leader as, in her words, "hobbled by dysfunction and indecisiveness." Apparently Paterson asked for the report, for purposes of increasing his Party's effectiveness, and got it good and hard; one Democratic aide said Paterson was "afraid of the conference"; another said that in working for the leadership, "feel like you are fighting the people that you are working with." Patronage hires were also seen as a problem; one such was primarily responsible for putting "paper in the computer draw [sic]." The words "dysfunction" and "disorganized" also pop up. The report was supposed to be confidential, but the News found it in "a filing cabinet at the Legislative Office Building." "The complaints are nearly four years old," says Benjamin, "but the criticism is similar to that Paterson faces today."
It never rains but it pours; the State Republican Party want Albany Democrats investigated for a contribution from the whipping boys du jour at AIG, and the Post headlines Paterson's "Secret Deal to Tax 'Rich'" -- that is, to sunset a tax cut on citizens making more than half a million dollars a year.
Update: And now the piece de resistance: A new Siena poll shows Paterson with a worst-ever 29 percent approval rating. 78 percent of respondents disapprove and only 14 percent list him as their 2010 gubernatorial choice -- even Giuliani beats him in a speculative contest.
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