David Paterson, who is up for reelection next year, needs to reevaluate his spending habits, according to State Democratic sources who spoke with the Times. Not only does he currently have only $5.4 million in his campaign account (roughly half of what potential primary rival Andrew Cuomo can boast), but he's raising money more slowly than before. In the first half of this year, he raised $2.4 million, which is significantly less than what he raised in the first half of 2008. (Cuomo raised $5.1 million in the last six months.) Paterson's also spending profligately, at a rate three times that of Cuomo. The Times listed some of his more colorful expenses:
To foot the bill for luxury hotel accommodations for the governor, his wife and two aides during the presidential inauguration, the campaign paid more than $20,000. There was the $1,000 bar bill racked up by the governor and volunteers at a Harlem lounge, and the time a photographer was reimbursed more than $200 for liquor that was used for a “campaign meeting.” There were also hundreds of dollars spent on dinners at Manhattan restaurants like BLT Steak, the $720 worth of gifts from Tiffany that the first lady gave out, and the $1,600 for lodging two staff members on two nights at the Beach House Inn on Shelter Island.
If nothing else, it seems kind of fun to be on Team Paterson. But perhaps the most embarrassing expenditures the governor has made this year have been on consultants hired to jack up his approval ratings. He's had fourteen on the payroll at various times, and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars — which seems a little silly, when you consider that in the past six months his popularity has only plummeted, reaching dismal levels. At least all that alcohol he bought was guaranteed to get people drunk.