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Monday, June 8, 2009

Paterson Outraged, But Powerless

June 8, 2009
By Elizabeth Benjamin for The Daily Politics, New York Daily News

Gov. David Paterson finally broke his silence about today's Senate coup, holding a Red Room press conference at 8:15 p.m. this evening to denounce the GOP and their Democratic accomplices and declare his support for Malcolm Smith.
"The actions taken on the senate floor today need to be exposed for what they are, an unnecessary distraction to government, dressed up in the cloak - falsely - of reform and good government," Paterson said in a statement.

"...I don’t care if I am the only one standing, but someone has got to stand up and say that this is wrong."
Paterson went on like this for some time, using punchy words like "outrage," "dysfunction" and "dereliction of duty." He chastised the Senate Republicans, saying: "The last two weeks of session is not the time when we conduct campaigns."
The governor also pledged to New Yorkers that he would "not allow this to go on much further." But when he was pressed during the post-statement Q-And-A with reporters, including the DN's Glenn Blain (who sent the quotes), Paterson readily allowed that there's not much he can actually do.
"I have no way to actually dictate the process other than to use this forum to express my feelings about it, not as much as a governor but as a citizen of the state," he said.

Paterson said he would work with whoever is legally designated majority leader, but stressed that he still considers Smith - not Dean Skelos - to be the bearer of that title.
He added: "I encourage them to come to the table and work it out so they can agree who the majority leader of the Senate is because the people need us to get to the other issues."

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