President Obama wants him gone.
New York Democrats want him gone to clear the way for favored machine son Andrew Cuomo.
Gov. David Paterson met privately with key Democratic leaders about his re-election plans as questions swirl around the state capitol about a variety of unproven accusations involving the Democratic governor’s personal conduct.
Paterson campaign spokesman Richard Fife said the weekend meetings and calls had nothing to do with the accusations but were “routine re-election campaign calls.”
“The governor started making calls two weeks ago to step up his campaign effort and get ready to officially announce his re-election campaign,” Fife said. “The calls were — and are — going well … And then look what happens — a coordinated effort to stop him and spread rumors.”
A Democrat close to the situation, though, said the meetings included discussions about whether Paterson would resign or announce he will not run because of the unsubstantiated claims in the whisper campaign surrounding the governor’s behavior. The Democrat spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
…”I’ve never seen the rumor of a story becoming the story as this one has,” said Doug Muzzio, politics professor at New York City’s Baruch College.
Here’s the latest on Paterson’s damage control efforts.
No happy endings here.
The NYPost has an exclusive on some of Paterson’s corruption woes:
Gov. Paterson is lashing out at top aides for the growing debacle surrounding what they consider a “corrupt” Aqueduct gambling deal decision — and suggesting that they’ll soon be fired, The Post has learned.
“He’s become paranoid. He sits gnashing his teeth, looking around for scapegoats among the people around him,” said a source frequently in contact with Paterson. “He’s lecturing them, launching into tirades, and he’s demoralized the entire staff in the process.”
In response, several Paterson aides have signaled they may quit over what some call his “corrupt decision” to give the lucrative Aqueduct gaming contract to a questionable consortium that includes the Rev. Floyd Flake of Queens, whose political support the poll-challenged governor has aggressively sought.
“Aqueduct was the last straw for many of them, they all want out,” said a source close to Paterson’s aides. “Even on the inside, the Aqueduct decision is seen as corrupt,” added a second administration source.
Vilifying corporate America over executive salaries and bonuses may be great populist politics, but it is adding up to a gaping hole in the state budget.
Just two weeks after Gov. David A. Paterson released his proposed budget for the fiscal year starting April 1, the state’s fiscal picture has worsened sharply. Most of it is attributed to a drop in Wall Street revenue.
Gov. Paterson foresees an $8.2 billion deficit in the next fiscal year, up $750 million from what he anticipated when he released his $134 billion spending proposal for next year. An estimated $400 million of the higher deficit is attributable to increased Medicaid costs, but much of it stems from lower revenues.
The state has collected about $400 million less than projected from last year’s “millionaire’s tax” tax on high-income New Yorkers. However, Wall Street’s response to the national outrage over huge year-end bonuses has reduced state revenues by about $1 billion less than expected at the end of January…
…Restrictions on compensation forced on banks that accepted federal bailout funds have not only limited cash bonuses but also caused firms to alter how they pay their top executives in order to remain competitive. More companies are using restricted shares of stock that cannot be sold for a year or more and leaves it for recipients to decide when to pay taxes on the shares. Most have chosen to defer their tax obligations.
The changed compensation payments and the timing of the bonus payouts each account for about half of the tax shortfall, Mr. Megna said. The state could recover by April about half the taxes not paid by Wall Street. The rest could take two or three years to recoup.
But it doesn’t end there. The lost income ripples throughout the regional economy with less spending on dining out, new clothes or new housing that sustains jobs and generates additional income and sales tax revenues….