We love reading both Elizabeth Benjamin in the Daily News and Frederic U. Dicker in the Post, so we were delighted when they both had scoops about David Paterson this morning. We’re sure Paterson, the Governor Formerly Known As “Cuddle,” was slightly less delighted. First, Dicker reports that Paterson has secretly been urging a tax increase on individuals earning more than $500,000, in order to make an additional $8 billion to cover the budget deficit before his re-election campaign in 2010, when the taxes will mysteriously fade away. Though he’s publicly opposed such an increase, according to Dicker’s sources, he’s privately encouraged it. Also in the new budget a .5 percent sales tax hike might appear.
While this will appease some people, the flip-floppery isn’t so great for Paterson’s wobbly image. Neither is Benjamin’s report, over a secret review taken in 2005 of his office when he was Senate Minority Leader. According to the analysis, Paterson led by consensus, employed aides who were only required to perform extraneous and minor tasks, and allowed his managers to booze it up with subordinates and show up to work hung over. There was “a lack of communication; no real message; no real platform and no agenda,” said one worker. The kicker: The study was ordered by Paterson himself, who, in 2005, wanted to analyze how efficiently his caucus was operating.
We can only imagine Paterson somewhere in Albany reading the papers this morning and chanting to himself: “Just wait until 2010 when you can tell everyone you cut taxes. Just wait until 2010 …”