Handicapping the Next Paterson Resignations


David Paterson’s administration is “peacing the fuck out,” as the young people would say. Peter Kauffmann, the governor’s director of communications, handed in his resignation, effective at the end of today. In an e-mailed statement, Kauffmann noted that he “cannot in good conscience continue in my current position” because “integrity and commitment to public service are values I take seriously.” Assuming these are values the rest of David Paterson’s administration takes seriously — because, after all, they are our state government — we can only conclude that anybody who stays on is, from Kauffmann’s vantage point, an integrity-lacking spineless hack now attempting to ostensibly demonstrate something resembling loyalty. And who’d want to be live that way? Anyway. More people are gonna go, who’s it gonna be?

Peter Kiernan, Council to the Governor: 2-1 Kiernan’s name was on the letter the New York Yankees received when Paterson solicited them for tickets to the World Series. And Kiernan told them it was legal! Sure, he wasn’t under oath, but Paterson was when he noted that he assumed everything was cool. Kiernan, as his council, presumably advised him that they were “cool.” And if he didn’t, why the hell not? That’s his job, to be the lawyer for the governor. Probably doesn’t want to get disbarred (which is the kind of scrutiny he’d receive right after resigning), but he also doesn’t want to look any more complicit in The Yankee Panky Scandal than he already does (basically: very). Or at the very least, like an incompetent lawyer. Resigning could relieve some of the pressure of this.

Press Secretary Marissa Shorenstein: 5-1. Kinda just became communications director! Mazel tov, you’re moving on up in the world, etc. Pull of awesome careerism pulls hard. If she weathers this storm, might end up with, you know, a gig that’s not awful! But her parents already told the Daily News they’re worried about their daughter, and parents are almost always right about shit you don’t want them to be right about, especially if they have lots of money and are huge democratic donors, like hers do and are. Also, already lawyered up. And:

  1. Have you ever dealt with Jewish parents yelling at you about your job? No? Go away.
  2. The private sector pays better.
  3. Quitting now and blaming it on the boss before he finds a way to fault her is pretty standard operating procedure in cases like this.
  4. Finally: Would you want to be Paterson’s communications director right now?

David Paterson, Governor: 10-1 Hasn’t resigned despite repeated calls to do so. As a politician, he’s a professional egotist. But in a politically vegetative state so long as he has two separate scandals and a depleting staff to deal with. Doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and he possibly didn’t! Or didn’t know he was wrongdoing? Other than maybe writing a book some people would maybe want to read, post-governor prospects don’t look great. Lacks Spitzer’s teevee-friendly charisma and chutzpah, doesn’t have a huge private sector gig waiting for him when he’s done (like Bloomberg), is just kind of *whah-whaaaah* done after this until further notice, as evidenced by a national call not to run for a second term. Probably gonna hang in there as long as he can, though. Having something to do is nice, as is being paid, even if it is a government salary. Bored and unpaid is no way to live, unless you have a Sugar Mama/Daddy. Which he doesn’t. That we’re/he’s aware of.

Jeffrey Pearlman, Assistant Counsel to the Governor: 25-1 For one thing, so goddamn obscure I couldn’t even Google Image him, so I just decided to use “Sad Kitteh” instead. On the other hand, didn’t do nothin’, doesn’t get name-checked by press, and not really in the line of fire on much of what’s going on right now. Then again, lawyers are sneaky. Pearlman could become the fall guy for Peter Kiernan if Kiernan’s awesomely cunning. You know those stories about people who throw away winning lottery tickets? Now might be the time to check and see if you were ever lied to on a FOIL request. If so, $100 on this could get you a decent weekend in Miami. And at this point, it wouldn’t be entirely shocking, either.