New York Gov. David Paterson consulted with "key Democratic leaders" over the weekend to discuss either a) his imminent resignation pending a New York Times report that he is a corrupt snuggling swinger or b) just talk about stuff.
Paterson has been battling maddeningly vague rumors that the Times is on the verge of publishing a career-ending story detailing either previously undisclosed marital infidelities or some sort of official corruption that will cause him to immediately resign. Today the Associated Press reports that Paterson spent the weekend in meetings and on phone calls with Democratic leaders, apparently prepping them for the fallout:
A Democrat close to the situation, though, said the meetings included discussions about whether Paterson would resign or announce he will not run because of the unsubstantiated claims in the whisper campaign surrounding the governor's behavior. The Democrat spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Paterson's spokeswoman told the AP that the calls were routine fundraising and strategy sessions. She also told Gawker yesterday that the mythical Times story does in fact exist, and that it's a perfectly normal boring profile for Metro.
In the exceedingly likely event that Paterson's spokeswoman is lying while desperately trying to forestall the inevitable, several possible scenarios have emerged: There's the swinging thing, which is buttressed by recent stories in the New York Post about a state trooper on the governor's security detail discovering Paterson "snuggling together" with an unidentified woman in a closet and Paterson being spotted "neck-kissing" a young lady in a New Jersey restaurant. There's also a rather run-of-the-mill corruption angle: Paterson recently delivered a contract to run a casino at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens to a company that Queens politico Rev. Floyd Flake partly owns, after which Flake met with Paterson to discuss a possible endorsement for Paterson's re-election bid. The Post's Fred Dicker writes today that many of Paterson's aides consider the Aqueduct deal "corrupt" and are threatening to quit over it, and that Paterson's "poor work habits and late-night, booze-fueled 'disappearances' at trendy nightclubs and undisclosed locations" have wrecked his staff's confidence.
"The rumors about the Governor are a sad reflection of Albany politics," Lazio said. "No public official deserves to be the subject of over a week of innuendo and nasty speculation. If the New York Times is working on or has a story then they should confirm or print it. If they do not, then they have an obligation to stop this rumor mongering right now. Common decency demands it."