Nearly two weeks after the Daily News reported that hired PR gun Judy Smith was behind the childish attacks against Caroline Kennedy after she backed out of contention to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, the New York Times concurs, and adds more detail:
According to advisers to the governor who were involved in the process, the leaks against Ms. Kennedy were coordinated by Judith A. Smith, a consultant who has been acting as the governor’s top communications strategist. On Jan. 22, the morning after Ms. Kennedy withdrew, Ms. Smith spoke to Mr. Paterson, then went to the governor’s Midtown Manhattan offices, the advisers said. There, she told at least two people to call major media outlets around the state.
She instructed them to tell reporters that the governor had been dismayed by Ms. Kennedy’s public auditioning for the job, that he never intended to select her as senator, and that the tax and nanny issues had led her to pull out of consideration. It is not clear how Ms. Smith would have known about those issues; she was not authorized to have access to Ms. Kennedy’s confidential application. Mr. Paterson was briefed on the application’s contents the night of Jan. 21, hours before Ms. Kennedy officially withdrew.
The Times is too polite to spell out the obvious implication: that Paterson told, or at least authorized, Smith to arrange the attacks. Which he partially hinted at yesterday. Come on, dude, of all people you — who used to leak to columnists like Fred Dicker all the time before you were governor — should know how Albany works. Absolutely nothing stays a secret for very long.