[UPDATE BELOW] The rumor mill is churning right now about a "big, damaging" New York Times "bombshell" story that supposedly features some ruinous dirt about the personal life of Governor David Paterson. Elizabeth Benjamin at the Daily News hears it "will be far worse than his acknowledged extramarital affair with a former state employee." Remember when you first heard about Eliot Spitzer's involvement with prostitutes, and everyone was like, "Okay, so who the hell is David Paterson?" Well, let's get to know current Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch! (We would link to his official New York State website, but, heh, that doesn't even exist.)

UPDATE: The Times Union has pointed out two recent rumors swirling around Paterson. One, of course, was highly publicized (nuzzling and kissing a young woman who was not his wife at a New Jersey restaurant). The other rumor, which didn't get as much traction, has a State Trooper opening the door to a utility closet at the governor's mansion and finding Paterson and an unidentified woman (both clothed) embracing. Paterson's staff vehemently denies all that, but it's also rumored that he and his wife have an "open" marriage and are swingers—a lifestyle choice that would raise eyebrows but probably not a "bombshell" that would force resignation. Casey Seiler at the Times Union writes:

Rumors about a possible publication date for the story have ranged from Monday to today; the latest suggests Sunday, but it’s hard to believe that the Times would hold the story much longer when knowledge that it’s pending has put every other reporter in the Capitol and elsewhere on the scent. Possible reasons for delay include editorial fine-tuning and thorough legal review.

Someday, a sociologist might be able to use an analysis of the rumors currently flying around the Capitol as their dissertation topic. Information from credible sources slowly becomes wilder as it spreads out. Sometimes, the chain of information is circular: A calls B, who calls C; then C calls A, who discovers that the story has changed markedly on its journey.

As for Ravitch, you may recall that he is old and white and not blind, and was sworn in at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. The Wikipedia tells us his family history in New York dates back to the 19th century, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia, and went on to Yale Law School. Ravitch was also the third generation to take over his family's construction company, and he's credited with building the first integrated housing projects in Washington, D.C. He ran the MTA from 1979 through 1983 (declining a salary), and Mayor Ed Koch once called him a "Renaissance man." It's unclear what role hookers, cocaine, and extra-marital sex play in his past, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here.