Paterson, Ravitch Meet the Press, Defend Appointment; Ravitch Won’t Preside Today


David Paterson hauled out alleged lieutenant governor Richard Ravitch for the press in a lively conference, at which the Governor announced that Ravitch had indeed been sworn in, but would not preside at this afternoon’s session because he chose not to “engage in flaunting an appointment” in the face of the GOP’s restraining order — though the Gov will address that order legally.

Paterson ran through Ravitch’s many qualifications, including helping New York City “escape from the 1970s fiscal crisis” and making the MTA “one of the outstanding transportation agencies in the country.”

Ravitch in brief remarks quickly assured the reporters he “won’t be a candidate in 2010 or anytime thereafter,” and that he took the job solely “to help the Governor in what I know is his very sincere and serious effeort to make sure the State of New York gets through the enormity of the ciriss that this state faces.”

Paterson added that many counties were now unfunded due to the senate’s inaction, and “$1.9 billion is at stake at a time when our fiscal condition is worsening.”

Asked about the unseen swearing-in of Ravitch, Paterson said he had been sworn in privately “in front of no cameras” as well. When asked why he did not take time to vet Ravitch before appointing him, Paterson simply said, evidently referring to the dubious session made the Albany Coup, “I learned,” drawing a round of applause.

Paterson then railed against the senators’ “childish” stalemate (“No tennis balls at Wimbledon moved as quickly as some of these senators did in their seats,”), echoed his lawyers’ concern with the out-of-town filing of the restraining order (“What an interesting place to bring a court action”), and generally decried the whole mess, drawing yet another round of applause.