After it was suggested by a lawmaker and good government groups that he actually did have the power to appoint a lieutenant governor, Governor Paterson simply said, “I want to thank Assemblyman Gianaris, Citizens Union and Common Cause for working to try to find a way to break the impasse in the Senate. The issues they raised in their letter have been under review for some time by my Counsel. I look forward to working with these groups and others to find a way to end the stalemate and get the Senate back to work.” However, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said that Paterson actually can't appoint a LG to help break the State Senate stalemate!

Cuomo's office explained that another section of the state Constitution "expressly provides that 'the lieutenant-governor shall be chosen at the same time, and for the same term' as the Governor. The Legislature did not authorize a Governor to bypass this provision of the Constitution and fill a vacancy in the Office of Lieutenant Governor pursuant to Public Officers Law § 43," (Section 43 is the one mentioned yesterday).

In any case, Paterson is stuck in New York, perhaps not wanting to give State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. an opportunity to grab power. According to the NY Times, "He has turned down an invitation to attend the National Governors Association’s annual meeting in Mississippi later this month and even scuttled plans in late June to attend a wedding just across the Connecticut line...In an appearance at the Statue of Liberty with Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey on the Fourth of July, Mr. Paterson made a point of mentioning that Liberty Island was indeed part of New York. Mr. Corzine then joked that Mr. Paterson had better be careful not to fall in the water on the boat ride back because he could end up in New Jersey waters."