Governor Paterson tried his best to tamp down speculation that political dynasty scion Caroline Kennedy is a sure thing to take Hillary Clinton's Senate seat by telling WOR 71 radio that "she has pluses and minuses." Paterson said, "Caroline Kennedy obviously does have a tremendous relationship with the president, and that certainly is a plus. She does not have much legislative experience, which is a minus."
The Governor also told the Buffalo News, "The notion that I have to take Caroline is not coming from me. What I would say is that, to the media it’s Caroline and the others. To me, there are 10 to 15 good candidates." Ten to 15 candidates good enough to be sent the exhaustive, 28-page questionnaire that Paterson's staff is using for a little Senatorial-pick vetting. While Paterson's office refused to release the packet, the NY Times got ahold of one and says it shows "an apparent effort to avoid the kinds of scandals that have toppled state and federal politicians in recent history, from tax problems to criminal behavior":
The questionnaire asks candidates whether they have hired illegal immigrants, written controversial blogs or ever failed to file tax returns. The addresses for their children’s Facebook or MySpace pages were requested.
There are also questions connected to recent news events. The candidates must disclose, for example, whether they have participated “in any investment program run by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities” or any affiliation they or family members have with any financial, insurance or mortgage firms that have been the targets of investigation or recipients of aid during the current fiscal crisis.
Usually gabby Senator Charles Schumer is tight-lipped about who might be his future colleague. He told CBS 6 in Albany, "I have said to the Governor the criteria, one of which is paying attention to upstate New York. I have told the Governor what I think of each of the candidates, and the overwhelming majority I think really highly of, and I think any one of them would be good, but I haven't said who my preference is. That's the Governor's decision."