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Paterson settles into the job

I'm still trying to make up my mind about David Paterson, but the governor sure has been interesting to follow since succeeding Eliot Spitzer in March.

He didn't start out great -- beginning with admissions of cheating and doping isn't a good introduction, even though they're largely irrelevant -- and doing the three-men-in-a-room thing to pass a bloated state budget certainly wasn't encouraging.

Getting rid of qualified folks like Roger Kelley at the Power Authority simply because they were Spitzer appointees doesn't strike me as good government. Nor does adding staff to his office at a time of growing deficits. He wasn't part of solution to the failed effort to reform IDAs, either.

Like a lot of folks, I started thinking "What the hey?"

Paterson_2 Maybe he needed time to figure out the job, maybe the issues have forced him to assert himself, but no matter the reason, Paterson is showing more of late.

He's facing the state's fiscal problems head on while much of Albany remains in a state of denial. He got the State Senate to bite on his proposal to cap property taxes and in the process has managed to tick off a lot of folks who have had things their way for far too long. He took a decisive stance on same-sex marriages. He helped hammer out a good brownfields reform bill.

And, he ignored the pleas of his buddy, Mayor Byron Brown, and vetoed a bill that would have weakened the city's control board, a surprise move I suspect had a lot to do with his new best friend in Buffalo, Bob Wilmers, who was a force behind the establishment of the board. Let's see if he's willing to break ranks with Brown over land bank legislation that awaits the governor's signature.

I'm not saying everything Paterson has done of late is good. But he's not shying away from issues that too many in Albany would prefer he'd leave alone. More than anything, I find his evolution interesting. I'm not sure if the story will wind up with a happy ending, but it's fun following.

Here's a couple of recent analysis pieces, one from  New York Times, the other from Newsday.

What do you think of Paterson so far?


State government
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