When then governor Eliot Spitzer left office in disgrace over his episode with sex for hire and clandestine meetings with call girls for large financial bills and possible cover up by his security detail the then Lieutenant Governor Paterson was forced into action. This was to the consternation of many who both opposed and supported him to be rid of the abrasive and racket busting inquiries by Spitzer who had made many political enemies.
So we had another first, the first Black Governor of New York State and his rating as the lowest perhaps in the history of the office. It is hard to make a city of gold out of a city of sand. When the bedrock goes only ankle deep and your predecessor has left you with a personality vacuum that your personality cannot fill. With financial issues, hassles between political parties and the media waiting in the wings like buzzards for the kill. Welcome to the new world of politics where no political office holders are above reproach. It’s just where the lamplight shines and then it was on Governor Paterson who admitted to some marital infidelities of his own.
Amid rumors of pressure by his party to not seek election he continued on without any apparent expectation to resign or not seek another term. But the pressure of a fading economy and party battles in Albany and loyalty to associates closed the door on his future in office.
Many of his constituents came from across the waters looking for freedom. They were told that the resolution of all problems and financial success could be found in America in New York City where the streets were paved with gold. Embarking into the harbor and many shuttled to Ellis Island for processing it was a different reality for immigrants in an immigrant nation. There were no streets of gold only golden dreams that had to be worked for. Many were confined to Ellis Island for medical reasons or criminal backgrounds. Those that made it to the city often found lack of opportunity, crime, poverty, racism, lack of medical attention and political corruption. Tammany Hall and the political machine that ran the city for so many years eventually evolved as law and changes in the immigrant population did as well. Few could be called success stories in the sense that they over achieved the American Dream.
Governor David Paterson came from those humble beginnings as most have with the exception of Native Americans the DigitalJournal
reports: “Opinion Native Americans finally more than casinos” who have had their own problems and have been mired in racism. But in the story of Black Americans or African Americans or whatever flavor of descriptions is most appropriate to present company is the word American. Hard enough to meander through the system and the opportunities and the lack of equality is to have to do all those things when you are almost totally blind. Maybe the eye can see a little less of the things that are wrong and more of what are the solutions and no object should shine brighter than gold.
His record is that almost of a phantom with many accomplishments but suddenly thrust into the public spotlight. Under pressure to put Caroline Kennedy into the Senatorial seat vacated by Hillary Clinton Paterson did not fold and instead little known Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed. The backlash from that decision has been tremendous but Paterson made a decision something that has eluded a lot of the gang in Washington that cannot do anything without the partisan approval of everybody. Perhaps Governor Paterson has gold in his soul if not in his sight.