Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dear Governor Paterson: I never liked you

I have my biases just like anyone else.

Add to that the fact that I'm somewhat vindictive and not particularly forgiving and, frankly, it makes me the type of person whose bad side you don't want to get on. And if you are on my **** list and you fall? Well, I'm not going to feel guilty about enjoying it.

I'm not saying this as a threat. It is merely a disclaimer. Usually you get those at the end in small print, but I like to put mine out front.

I was never a fan of David Paterson. I'm not afraid to call him “the accidental governor.” I mean, let's be honest here. If Eliot Spitzer were a combination of more discreet and less freaky, we still wouldn't know anything about David Paterson. And we'd all be just fine with that, I'm sure.

When Paterson assumed the role of governor, he had a radio tour to introduce himself. I was working for WECK and WLVL at the time and got the same email every other talk show host in the state got; announcing that the new governor might consider being a guest on my show to tell the taxpayers what he was all about.

I called the number on the email, hoping to set up a live interview with the governor, the third we'd had since I had started my talk show several years ago – but the first who had offered to do a live interview. Or at least, I thought that's what the offer was.

I wish I could recall the conversation verbatim, but I cannot. I do remember whoever I talked to telling me that Cheektowaga and Lockport were not important enough to warrant the new executive's time. The woman on the other end of the phone didn't seem to care that radio waves were capable of traveling and just because the stations were licensed to Cheektowaga and Buffalo didn't mean that only residents of those communities would hear it.

“Yeah, we're licensed to Cheektowaga,” I told her, “but the majority of our listeners are actually from Buffalo, the second largest city in the state. You may have heard of it?”

The preceding paragraph is paraphrased, but that was the gist.

It didn't matter. She wasn't buying it. And just as quickly as David Paterson had become governor, I was done with him. Frankly, if his media people were that clueless, I could only imagine how bad he must be.

He didn't disappoint. He struck me as equal to his aide in terms of cluelessness. Honestly, I've been thinking for days of something he did that impressed me or gave me any sort of notion that he may have been more intelligent than I gave him credit for. I came up empty.

The thing that has frustrated me most about Governor Paterson has been his constant insistence that he was “making the tough decisions” by deciding to raise taxes. I've never gotten the impression that any politician ever has lost sleep over deciding to raise taxes.

Now, deciding not to run for a full term as governor cause your administration is plagued with scandal? I'm thinking that might have caused “the accidental governor” to lose a few winks.

So it's been decided that this partial term will be his last. Good for us. I would have to say to the governor, though, “Why wait? I mean, really. Just go now. You haven't accomplished anything yet. And now that you're a lame duck, you're not going to.”

In short, allow me to add myself to what is surely going to be a long line of journalists who suggest to to governor that he should do us all a favor and resign.

If that seems vindictive to you, it's because it is. Not that it matters. He won't care about my opinion. I'm not from a big enough city.