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New York Governorship Race

Updated on March 3, 2010

Paterson Ends His Bid for Governor of NY

Last week, embattled New York Governor, David Paterson, who assumed the reigns of leadership for the state in 2008 after then governor Elliot Spitzer resigned over a prostitution scandal, announced that he did not intend to run for election to a full term.

With this action, Patterson became the latest in a growing list of democrats who, for one reason or another, are throwing in the towel on a bid this election season.

Although Paterson blamed what he called an accumulation of obstacles for his decision, many believe that it was, to a considerable degree, informed by his role in or handling of the domestic violence incident between an aide, David Johnson, and a female associate---a matter that he has since asked the New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, to investigate.

According to media reports, Paterson supposedly had two of his staff members contact the woman and subsequently himself, per the woman’s attorney’s recount, called the woman directly.

Regarding the bare facts, what is known is that something transpired between Johnson and the woman. Exactly what, who did what to whom or how serious that exchange really was is unknown. But it is alleged that the state police possibly attempted to pressure the woman to keep quiet.

With the new allusions of contact or attempted contact by Paterson and his aides, it is obviously being insinuated that the state police possibly wasn’t the only governmental authority with an expressed interest in keeping this incident from public knowledge or scrutiny.

Interestingly though, Johnson has not been charged with any crime. Neither has the intent or content of the conversation between Paterson and his aides or Paterson and the woman been determined.

Nonetheless, it was still significant enough to anchor Paterson’s decision to close down his campaign and abandon a bid for the governorship of New York.

What I find concerning is the general feeling of foreboding and squeamishness that has engulfed democratic politicians. Democrats appear afraid, distracted, unsure and cowering. Whatever confidence the public hitherto had in their ability to govern is fast evaporating. Republicans are emboldened and even brazen in their resolve to take it to them.

Right or wrong, if Paterson thought that simply closing down his campaign offices would douse the controversy over the domestic violence incident or appease cynics and detractors who seeming to have tasted blood, are gunning for more, he must be sorely mistaken, even naïve. The New York chapter of the National Organization for Women is now publicly calling on Patterson, whom they admittedly qualified as “a strong advocate for women’s equality and for ending violence against women,” to resign!

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