Appearing on the WABC radio show "Religion on the Line" on Sunday, embattled Governor David Paterson all but compared himself to Job, telling the host, "Many people who were undeserving have gone through all kinds of torment in history. When I look at it against that backdrop, I feel a little better. And I recognize who inevitably makes the judgment of me and try to be righteous and true to that being." (We're pretty sure he's talking about blogs.) Paterson also lamented, "I've gotten to the point where I've asked, 'Did I do something to somebody in my life that this is the atonement for it?'" Well, that's what investigators are trying to determine!
An ongoing probe is looking into whether Paterson put pressure on an alleged domestic violence victim in order to protect a top aide who allegedly choked her, tore off her clothes, and threw her into a mirrored dresser on Halloween. Several members of Paterson's administration have resigned over the scandal, but still standing, of course, is Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch. But can he be trusted? Paterson has decided that Ravitch is a "double agent" working for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and against the Governor's efforts to cut the state's projected $9.5 billion budget gap. "The governor's people feel like they've created a Frankenstein monster, a double agent,"one source tells the Post.
Paterson sees Ravitch's "budget-reform plan," which features a $2 billion-a-year borrowing plan, as an "easy out" to some of the Governor's proposed budget cuts. "Whose side is Ravitch on?" one source close to Paterson wants to know. The Governor's also mad at Silver for being "snarky." On Friday, Silver pleaded with Paterson to become an "active player" in budget talks. On Sunday, Paterson fired back on the radio, declaring, "We've been sitting here for two weeks trying to have meetings that they're dodging, wanting to have public meetings that they never seem to be prepared for. To make a snarky remark like that I think doesn't help the process." And with signature maturity, Albany limps toward the budget finish line.
Speaking of the budget "process," it "continues" today, when lawmakers are expected to agree to a weeklong recess for the Passover and Easter holidays, guaranteeing that the budget will miss the April 1st deadline, in keeping with tradition. The Senate will give final legislative approval of Paterson's emergency spending plan, then leave Albany, the AP reports. Two proposals on the table are $1 billion apart, and a senior legislative official tells the Post, "What's really going on is a game a chicken between the Senate and the Assembly."