All in all, I’d say Governor Patterson has had a bad week. His poll numbers, for lack of a better term, suck. He’s been the subject of speculation concerning his fidelity to his wife. And now, his top campaign advisor has up and quit after less than a year with the job. This is a woman who worked on both Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid and John Kerry’s 2004 White House effort. This is a woman who has backed losing candidates before, and didn’t jump ship. And, despite early campaigning (TV ads began a year in advance of the election, in November of 2009), it doesn’t seem as if New Yorkers want David Paterson back in office. In fact, while Governor Paterson’s approval rating rises and falls, 60% of New Yorkers would prefer someone else to run in his place. What does this tell us?
This makes me say “hmmmmmmm”. Not because I disagree with this at all. Even though I’m a registered Democrat, I hope to Goddess that Paterson does NOT get into office this year. Frankly, the only thing that gives Paterson any credit in my eyes is that he has been a continuous supporter of LGBT civil rights and marriage here in New York. That is his only endearing quality. Many other decisions he has made since March of 2008 are as much the voice of inexperience as they are of delusional infallibility.
Granted, the fiscal crisis we are in is NOT his fault. However, some of the steps taken to defeat this recession ARE. Never before in New York history has education suffered so much. When I graduated last May, the hiring freeze at the Department of Education was expected to last two years. Now, with another $146 million being cut from the budget, our children will suffer even more. Even CUNY has had to cut back on spending because the funds just aren’t there. Lack of teachers, lack of materials, lack of space, lack of any kind of connection between student and teacher, lack of parent involvement due to financial strain on the family… these are just a few of the scenarios that are likely due to these budget cuts.
And of course, the ones to suffer the most are the ones who have no voice. In wealthy communities like Belle Harbor, Queens, I doubt they’ve seen so much as a single cent loss due to these cuts, because the families in that area have the money and means to support both the educational and extracurricular programs they desire. In lower-income areas, however, where these special programs are needed most, these schools will not get the money they need to adequately educate and care for our kids. Can someone tell me what kind of sense that makes?
Governor Patterson’s website lauds how he “successfully negotiated an MTA bailout plan allowing commuters to avoid painful service reductions”. Really? Where the hell as I? Because the last time *I* checked, the MTA was once again cutting service, raising fares and eliminating essential programs like Student Metrocards and door-to-door Access-A-Ride service. If Patterson wanted to be REALLY proactive, he would haul in an independent financial advisor, complete with credible CPAs and have them go over the MTA’s books, both the organization itself, and the head honchos. Considering that the MTA is an association that a few years ago, indicated a SURPLUS, and who is now claiming destitution, I believe that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and an independent auditor is just what we need to get answers.
I would love to be able to support this man as my candidate, as I do believe he has come a long way, and he was thrust into this position very suddenly (by Elliot Spitzer’s infidelities). However, the last two years have shown that his naiveté has cost not only current new Yorkers, but future ones as well. And I’m not alone. Top Labor Unions are clamoring for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to run for Governor with the Democratic Party nomination. Polls reveal that he would whoop Paterson’s ass in a Democratic primary election. I don’t know much about Andrew Cuomo, so my question becomes, which is the lesser of two evils? And who the hell is running on the Republican ticket?