New York governors can apparently make it anywhere!

posted at 7:00 pm on March 20, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe there’s something in the drinking water in Albany. New York has gone through one gubernatorial sex scandal just to land in the middle of another. What appeared to be limited to simply a personal issue with incoming Governor David Paterson has now blossomed into an issue of potential electoral misappropriation of funds. Paterson now admits that he may have used campaign funds to pay for his extramarital trysts — and you’re not going to believe how he categorized the expense:

Gov. Paterson admitted Wednesday he may have improperly billed his campaign for at least one hotel tryst with a girlfriend.

The hotel tryst was apparently listed as “constituent services.”

A Daily News review found that in a handful of other campaign expenditures, Paterson may have used campaign funds to cover personal expenses and misstated their purpose in public disclosure forms.

The records also show he made reimbursements, but he acknowledged he may have failed to pony up in one instance.

Constituent services? Well, perhaps Paterson wanted some truth in accounting.

After the departure of Eliot Spitzer for hiring high-priced prostitutes, New York had hoped to settle into a calmer political period with the mild-mannered Paterson at the helm. He shocked the state by immediately admitting to several affairs a few years earlier, when his marriage had foundered. The disclosure intended to get past the rumors that had run in the capital and eliminating a source of distraction for the transition.

Now, though, it looks like New York has a bigger headache. Using campaign funds for personal use is as illegal as hiring prostitutes; both of them are misdemeanors. Paterson’s offense will not likely cause him to step down, though, because as the Daily News reports, every politician in Albany has probably committed the same crime. They may not have paid for hotel expenses for paramours, but the purpose matters little to the commission of the crime.

So here’s a question for the New York political structure: if all of you are using campaign funds for personal expenses, why not just make it legal? One answer is that it destroys the firewall between campaign contributions and personal kickbacks, which is why the law exists in the first place. It’s good to know that the people New York voters elect to pass and enforce laws don’t seem to have trouble ignoring them, especially when they ignore the laws that specifically apply to themselves, which they themselves pass to make themselves appear clean.


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Prerequisites for New York politics. Guilani may have driven the sex trade out of New York and into the State capitol.

Kini on March 20, 2008 at 7:08 PM

am still waiting for him to use the “i’m blind…I thought she was my wife…” line…or “i’m blind…I didn’t know those were campaign funds…”

ocbrat on March 20, 2008 at 7:14 PM

I am beginning to believe I am through the looking glass here. Are the Dims as a whole really this arrogant and stupid? This is the gift that keeps on giving.

HawaiiLwyr on March 20, 2008 at 7:17 PM

The blind leading the blind I guess.

TroubledMonkey on March 20, 2008 at 7:18 PM

Constituent services? Does this mean she voted for him?

rmgraha on March 20, 2008 at 7:18 PM

Hookers have calling cards in Braille?

Kini on March 20, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Viva la meltdown! It could start to put NY into play for McCain.

laelaps on March 20, 2008 at 7:20 PM

So Patterson used campaign funds to pay for his extra marital romps, and got the girl a government job. That looks worse than what Spitzer did.

SoulGlo on March 20, 2008 at 7:21 PM

New York governors can apparently make it anywhere!

Are you kidding?

Of course they can do it anywhere, especially if they are blind.

Imagine the possibilities!

Well, when you’re blind, it’s all about imagination, locations don’t matter!

Indy Conservative on March 20, 2008 at 7:25 PM

It’s nice that he admitted to it and is taking responsibility for it.

Chakra Hammer on March 20, 2008 at 7:30 PM

The water in the state of New York has apparently caused a genetic aberration. The feared “dirtbag” gene has infiltrated the genetic structure of New York politicians with governors being the most susceptible. The only cure is a concerned electorate seeking honorable candidates of great integrity and of the highest moral character. Unfortunately, history tells us that those personality traits are extremely rare among politicians and therefore the people of New York State can expect many more decades of mediocre, incompetent, disloyal, fornicating politicians.

rplat on March 20, 2008 at 7:31 PM

The only cure is a concerned electorate seeking honorable candidates of great integrity and of the highest moral character.

This is NY, not Texas. We don’t have that kind of electorate. We’re more like Louisiana.

JiangxiDad on March 20, 2008 at 7:39 PM

What I want to know is why he doesn’t spell his name with two Ts, like all other Pattersons I’ve heard of.

Then there is this question:

Who’s next in line for the NY governorship?

MrLynn on March 20, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Good thing there’s plenty of Pharmaceutical companies in New York. All these politicians swapping bodily fluids with the electorate will need lots of drugs to cure any disease resistant strains that might occur.

Kini on March 20, 2008 at 7:46 PM

Why isn’t this creep resigning already??

chewydog on March 20, 2008 at 7:47 PM

Who’s next in line for the NY governorship?

MrLynn on March 20, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Syphilis, Ghonneria and Cladmidia

Kini on March 20, 2008 at 7:48 PM

Who’s next in line for the NY governorship?

MrLynn on March 20, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Republican Joseph Bruno who is also fighting corruption charges. I don’t know who follows him, perhaps a janitor.

I wonder if a sex segregated mosque instead of legislative chambers might work for Albany. And, take their credit cards away.

a capella on March 20, 2008 at 7:49 PM

What they do is have donors start special funds for travel, etc. That is what Schwarzenegger did. He has private donations pay for a private jet and his hotel accommodations and he jets all over the world. It’s just another scam.

Blake on March 20, 2008 at 7:51 PM

Remember to get your vaccinations before entering a foreign country like New York.

Kini on March 20, 2008 at 7:54 PM

So Patterson used campaign funds to pay for his extra marital romps, and got the girl a government job. That looks worse than what Spitzer did.

SoulGlo on March 20, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Agreed. Spitzer at least had the courtesy to spend his daddy’s own money instead of that of campaign contributors and taxpayers.

Hollowpoint on March 20, 2008 at 7:56 PM

What they do is have donors start special funds for travel, etc. That is what Schwarzenegger did. He has private donations pay for a private jet and his hotel accommodations and he jets all over the world. It’s just another scam.

Blake on March 20, 2008 at 7:51 PM

Are you suggesting that Paterson set up a special “ho” fund? Would that be tax deductible?

Hollowpoint on March 20, 2008 at 7:58 PM

What about Diane Dixon, another special friend of Paterson who got a cushy gig with his help?

corona on March 20, 2008 at 8:06 PM

I’m inclined to be kind to the poor sap. But thats me being a midwest sap. What would the sharks in the big apple do?

JAW on March 20, 2008 at 8:13 PM

It seems the only test needed to be a competent
Governor in any State,of course a Liberal Democrat.
Is the ability to stay within the allowed time of the
Timed Trouser Test,the quicker your pants can be pulled
up in any situation is great,however if it’s a crisis
and your a Liberal it would be definitely an asset!

canopfor on March 20, 2008 at 8:27 PM

These Dhimicrats are pretty thick. Instead of having 20 years experience they seem to have one year of experience 20 times. Let me help you guys out… Anything you do is going to come out, period. [Yell] STOP BREAKING THE LAW! [/Yell]]

Claypigeon on March 20, 2008 at 8:29 PM

I`ve lived in upstate NY all my life and don`t care who is governer anymore. They all seem to come from NYC and don`t know jack about what we need.

ThePrez on March 20, 2008 at 8:31 PM

Who’s next in line for the NY governorship?

Republican Joseph Bruno who is also fighting corruption charges. I don’t know who follows him, perhaps a janitor.

Paul Rueubens

Wade on March 20, 2008 at 8:34 PM

I’m surprised he didn’t borrow Mayor Quimby’s category: ‘Polling the electorate’.

Socratease on March 20, 2008 at 8:43 PM

What would the sharks in the big apple do?

become Gov. of NYS.

JiangxiDad on March 20, 2008 at 8:57 PM

Send in the swabs.

bloggless on March 20, 2008 at 9:03 PM

why this wasn’t ‘doesn’t count’ isn’t a difference in the laws; it’s because if they boot this guy out, it puts a Republican in office (one, ironically, who has his own corruption problems)

michaelo on March 20, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Ed,

It all goes back to the Bear Mountain Compact and the Albany political way. They figure that what happens in Albany (or in political life in general) stays in Albany.

No longer. Or, more accurately, it shouldn’t be happening any longer but still does.

It should have ended after the Boxley incident, but that didn’t changed anything. Spitzer’s mess wont change anything, and the current mess with Paterson wont change anything either because everyone is busy trying to excuse the very behavior that remains illegal on the books. No one is actually policing campaign laws against the very politicians who are supposed to be upholding the law. The supposed watchdog groups in Albany are busy providing excuses as well.

Instead, you’ve got Attorney Generals like the current NJ AG who’s busy going after JuicyCampus.com for comments made on the website and whether the site has committed fraud rather than going after corrupt politicians that are a staple of NJ politics. Heck, you only have to wave around a few thousand bucks at a NJ politician and next thing you know, you’ve got a dozen indicted and a bunch have already entered guilty pleas on corruption charges (oh, and 11 of 12 were Democrats, which got conveniently left out of much of the coverage).

lawhawk on March 20, 2008 at 9:50 PM

`ve lived in upstate NY all my life and don`t care who is governer anymore. They all seem to come from NYC and don`t know jack about what we need.

ThePrez on March 20, 2008 at 8:31 PM

Amen to that. I’m a Rochesterian, and I’d rather we just took all of Western New York and let it break off and join Ohio or Pennsylvania. Ed Rendell looks like a choir boy next to our guys.

For those of you in the other 49 states, you don’t need to say it. We know we’re retarded.

Pope Linus on March 20, 2008 at 9:52 PM

“Syphilis, Ghonneria and Cladmidia

Kini on March 20, 2008 at 7:48 PM”

The Honorable Genitle Warts!

Seven Percent Solution on March 20, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Big deal. If New Yorkers don’t mind their congressmen banging underage pages up the ass why should they care about this?

Darth Executor on March 20, 2008 at 10:35 PM

Are you suggesting that Paterson set up a special “ho” fund? Would that be tax deductible?

Hollowpoint on March 20, 2008 at 7:58 PM

For the Ho? Paterson? or the donor? or all three?

91Veteran on March 21, 2008 at 12:10 AM

The Decline and Fall of the Empire State.

labrat on March 21, 2008 at 1:25 AM

Found: Just another way to screw the constituents.

onlineanalyst on March 21, 2008 at 8:43 AM

Will this guy have to go as well?

drjohn on March 21, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Who says he can’t fill Spitzer’s shoes?

gary fouse on March 21, 2008 at 2:41 PM