Earlier this month Albany announced new “Empire Gold” license plates that came with an attractive design and a $25 fee. They were going to require all New York motorists to buy them, whether they needed new plates or not. People went nuts, but Governor Paterson asked them to consider the $129 million the plate plan would bring into the state’s badly depleted coffers, and to propose alternatives. “If I were to reverse this because of the outcry,” Paterson said, “there will be outrage from everywhere about everything. ”
In an interview on WWRL-AM, Paterson said the license plate idea “was a revenue grab. We’re admitting it.” He also said, “Is that an idea that in a normal circumstance would make any sense? No, it doesn’t make any sense because people don’t need license plates early.”
This has been picked up by media outlets around the state. It’s possible that Paterson is hoping his brutal honesty will reflect well on him; recent polls show citizens more inclined to blame the legislature than him for the parlous state of the state. But we wonder if he seriously considered the option of just keeping his mouth shut.