New Governor, New Scandal

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Not even a fortnight since Eliot Spitzer’s resignation, problems with New York’s newest governor, David Paterson (CC ’77), have already surfaced. The New York Daily News is reporting that Paterson had used campaign funds to purchase clothing, bar tabs, and hotel stays at a Quality Inn on the Upper West Side (at which to carry on extramarital affairs, naturally).

He also apparently gave one of his girlfriends $500 in July 2002, but his aides were later quoted as saying that he “misstated” that he had done that. Paterson explains that one of his girlfriends, Lila Kirton, had attended a campaign event, and therefore the $500 he used to reimburse her was a “professional” expense.

Paterson maintains that he paid back these expenses (well, most of them). However, this doesn’t change the fact that politicians aren’t allowed to use campaign money for non-campaign-related expenses.

If Paterson is forced to resign, next in line for the governorship is Eliot Spitzer-mortal-enemy Joseph Bruno, the New York State Senate Majority Leader.

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  1. wtf?!

    bwog: "that he had did that."

  2. 33939393  

    Kali for governor!

  3. Wow  

    I love New York and NYC politics to an absurd degree, but if Bruno becomes Governor, I may be forced to go back home to the Midwest.

    Oh lord.

  4. difference

    paterson never campaigned as a crusading do-gooder, as spitzer had. hell, he never campaigned to be governor at all. the schadenfreude is a bit misplaced here; it lacks the same dazzling hypocrisy. and, I mean, not only was he open and honest about it, but his wife cheated on him too.

  5. Justice is blind  

    Why can't we all just look the other way?

  6. Boohoo

    So someone in NYS politics did something not so nice or ethical? I'm bored. This is not the stuff of forced resignation. He paid for the charges, and the criminal penalty is rarely harsher.

    Also, NY has a long and vibrant history of dirty politics...not quite LA politics, but there are plenty of deep-seated rivalries that beget less than ethical behavior. See: Joe Bruno and Shelly Silver, Tammany Hall, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.

    • ....  

      So if this isn't a big deal, explain why Bill Clinton was nearly impeached for merely lying about an extramarital affair.

      • First

        Bill Clinton wasn't nearly impeached for lying about an extramarital affair; he was impeached, just not removed from office. Second, perjury is not "merely lying," no matter how insignificant you view the subject matter to be. It's a federal crime that often carries jail time as a penalty. Third, the Republicans in Congress hated Bill Clinton a hell of a lot more than those in the NYS Legislature hate David Patterson.

        Simply put, it's a less serious crime committed by a less prominent politician in a less rancorous situation.

  7. the difference

    Using campaign funds for personal purposes is also a federal crime, as far as I'm aware. I would hardly belittle the seriousness of David Patterson's offenses. Were he the governor two weeks ago and were these matters uncovered prior to his disclosure, I guarantee you he would not be the governor anymore. The only reason this has not become a career-ending fiasco is that he released this information of his own volition. Had Bill Clinton done the same, his troubles would have been over immediately.

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