According to a report in today's Post, Governor Paterson is up Shell Bank Creek without a paddle, or a dollar to buy a paddle. Paterson has allegedly been using leftover cash from his campaign war chest to pay for his various legal expenses, and expected to use it to pay for his $62,125 Yankees fine. But it seems that he is in such dire straits, he may not even get the opportunity to do something ethically challenged this time.
State law says campaign funds can be used only for purposes directly related to public office, but according to the Post, Paterson had planned to pay the fine with it, which angered government watchdog groups. "It is a telling indictment of New York's inadequate election law that there could be any question at all whether a fine like this one, levied for intentional misconduct, could be paid out of campaign funds," said Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner. Paterson has been fighting off three different ethics and criminal investigations, including the World Series tickets scandal, racking up a bill close to $3 million.
He has been represented in all these legal binds by defense lawyer Theodore Wells, who also represented Scooter Libby, and who sources say is being paid about $1,000 an hour by the Governor—their time together may be coming to an end though: "I don't know how much longer Ted Wells is going to keep representing him. The governor really doesn't have a pot to piss in," a source told The Post. As of the end of November, Paterson had a little over $200,000 left in campaign funds, from over $3 million a year ago, $100,000 of which is tied up in a line of credit for his former campaign headquarters.
The Post's Albany Chief editor Fred Dicker wrote the story about Paterson's flailing funds, the same Fred Dicker who broke the World Series tickets scandal and broke the Caroline Kennedy-For-Senator fiasco, which Paterson recently called one of his biggest regrets. So maybe this is just Dicker's friendly way of giving Paterson an elaborate, depressing sendoff. Although it's only a matter of time before someone tells that guy to shut up or else.