Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paterson and "Selfishness"

In this morning's NY Daily News, Governor Paterson lashed out against the "selfishness" of three rebel senators unwilling to back the leadership push of Malcolm Smith: "Gov. Paterson ripped as selfish a group of three rogue Democrats threatening to stop Malcolm Smith from being named majority leader. At a time when the state faces a fiscal crisis, the three are more interested "in a fight over personal luxuries" that Paterson called a "superfluous type of selfishness that's gotten us into this mess in the first place."

Hold on there Guv, ease up on the caffeine. If we're not mistaken it's the current leadership (and the interests that rule Albany) that has developed a case of lockjaw in the face of Paterson's request for a list of things that should be cut to allay the state's budget mess. As the NY Post opines this morning in its admonition to the governor to get tough: "Gov. Paterson today presents his package to plug New York's gaping bud get deficit - but the unions and special interests that run the Legislature have already made plain precisely how they view his efforts. That is, with condescending contempt."

Just how the leadership fight can be segued into the governor's battle with an intransigent existing leadership is beyond us; in fact it was Senator Kruger who made it plain that his interest in the leadership fight involved a concern for the tax payers and small businesses of the state. We think that David should be more concerned with those who will fight him tooth and nail on budget cutting, than those who could prove to be his more natural allies.

As Senator Espada (the News mistakenly ordained him) told the News: "We have been elected to our positions," the Rev. Pedro Espada Jr. said. "The governor hasn't been elected to his yet, but he seems to make a point that we somehow don't count. We were elected to vote and the vote takes place in January, not November."

And, as the Times reported this morning, the three rebels will be developing a series of position papers that stake out their interest in, not only addressing the state's budget problems, but in reforming governmental processes as well. The question of who's best to lead the senate will hinge to a substantial extent, on the person who can best reflect the compelling needs of the state: "Mr. Kruger said that his group would be consulting with experts to come up with their own platform and then to decide which potential leader could meet their standards. Mr. Espada and Mr. Díaz have said that they expect the Democrats to control the chamber next year, but Mr. Kruger said on Tuesday that both Mr. Smith and Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican and the current Senate majority leader, “are two individuals that have not necessarily taken themselves out of the running.”

All of which may well hinge on the results of the Padavan-Gennaro recount. If the incumbent loses the race, than the dynamics of the challenge become more difficult. We'll just have to wait and see.