During Lt. Governor David Paterson’s first press conference since Eliot Spitzer was revealed to be “Client 9” of a ring of high-end call girls, an intrepid reporter asked the question on everyone’s mind: Did Paterson have any experiences with prostitutes that the press corps should know about now?
“Lobbyists,” quipped Paterson who will be sworn to office on Monday as the first African-American and visually-impaired chief executive of the Empire State.
Paterson was met by applause from the press corps in his first press conference since Spitzer’s resignation.
“This has been a sad few days in the history of New York, and for me it has been sadder—my heart goes out to Eliot Spitzer, his wife Silda, his
two three daughters, his parents” he began, calling Spitzer’s parents his “other family.”
His responses to questions seemed to occasionally trail into silence, and his legislative agenda remained somewhat vague, perhaps evidence of what has been a rollercoaster of a political week. He took questions in good humor, fielding questions with calm wit after turbulent times.
The conference made evident the stylistic differences between Paterson and Spitzer, with the Lt. Governor deferring to negotiation and further study to address several pressing statewide issues. He revealed that he asked Spitzer to delay his resignation so that Patterson may more quickly establish an agenda for the remaining legislative session.
“We cannot afford to waste another second, we have a budget that is due and we cannot waste another cent” he said.
When asked about congestion pricing, perhaps the most pressing New York City agenda item, he dodged the question, only saying that the plans have “evolved, changed and mutated at different points” and that he would be “taking a look at it.”