Paterson May Bring Back Medically Compelled Tax Evader


Hey, this ought to boost Governor Paterson’s poll numbers — he’s thinking of bringing back Charles J. O’Byrne, his former secretary of state, who was forced to resign after it was revealed that he failed to pay some taxes and did so because he suffered from an extremely rare (or extremely popular, seen another way) medical condition called “Non-Filer Syndrome.”

Paterson told reporters that O’Byrne “made a mistake” but “he paid for it and he underwent some pretty severe public criticism for it.” He added, “No one doubted that he wasn’t doing an excellent job,” though he presumably meant the opposite.

The governor’s loyalty is touching (and possibly emotionally necessary, as he can’t really afford to lose more friends). But this is hardly the time for it. Maybe he figures Obama got away with it with Tim Geithner, so why shouldn’t he? But Obama’s poll numbers are somewhat better than Paterson’s — even though he’s spending a lot more money. At a time of austerity, why present voters with another reminder of fiscal irresponsibility?


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