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Thursday, December 16, 2010

NY State Governor David Paterson Regrets Not Firing Aides Who Led Smear Campaign Against Caroline Kennedy

Governor Paterson believes that the unfounded rumors about Caroline Kennedy were wrongly spread by members of his staff, and he should have fired the people who created the smear campaign.

What about the Gotcha Squad who work every day on creating unfounded rumors about tenured teachers pushed out of their classrooms, and ultimately their jobs?

Let's look at the story below very carefully, and apply the essence to the rubber rooms. Paterson doesn't like his staff making up false stuff about Caroline Kennedy. So, why does he allow Principals to make up things about tenured teachers and permit these teachers to be vilified and thrown away like garbage?

What we need is a system that penalizes principals and superintendents who knowingly, recklessly and arbitrarily make false claims about a person, and pursue fake "just cause for termination". FINE THE PRINCIPALS if they charge a teacher unfairly.

NY Gov. Paterson: Staff should have been fired after Caroline Kennedy Senate post rumors

MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press, December 13, 2010

N.Y. (AP) — Gov. David Paterson said Monday that he should have fired all staffers "potentially involved" in spreading unfounded rumors about Caroline Kennedy after she dropped out of contention to be appointed U.S. senator.

Paterson's stand on Monday in a WWRL-AM radio interview was much harder than after the episode played out in January 2009, when just one campaign staffer left as a result. Then, Paterson was still widely thought to have directed or been involved in the attack on Kennedy, although an ethics probe later reported no wrongdoing.

But the long and unsavory process to select a senator to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton after she left to become U.S. secretary of state led to Paterson's political free fall before he chose Kirsten Gillibrand, then a little-known congresswoman. Ugly repercussions alienated the Kennedys.

It left Paterson looking indecisive and his administration looking mean-spirited in a process so wild he said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg even urged Paterson to appoint himself.

Paterson, who took office after a prostitution scandal ousted his predecessor and didn't seek election to a full term, said Monday his political downfall was helped along considerably by what he called a dysfunctional "political club" in the media that seeks to run government in Albany and has "no standards at all."

"Caroline Kennedy was insulted and castigated by people who worked for me," Paterson said in the latest of his interviews in the final days of his administration. "It was outrageous ... all the people who were potentially involved should have been immediately dismissed. Like, immediately."

The New York Public Interest Research Group filed the complaint over the Kennedy leaks with the state ethics commission. The good-government group questioned how confidential, personal information submitted by those who sought Paterson's appointment to the Senate apparently got to the campaign staffer who lost her job.

"When someone is seeking a high position they shouldn't be treated like trash, and the governor didn't do anything about it," NYPIRG legislative director Blair Horner said. "Almost two years later the governor is describing his participation as an innocent bystander, which he may have been, but that would be disturbing in itself."

The Senate appointment process included often contradictory hints by Paterson that made national headlines and public criticism of people who sought the political plum.

Paterson said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he was urged to appoint himself to the U.S. Senate seat. Before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution investigation in 2008, forcing Lt. Gov. Paterson into the seat, many Democrats had expected Paterson, a former Democratic state senator, would succeed Clinton if she were elected president.

"Everybody said to me, particularly Mayor Bloomberg, 'Appoint yourself to the United States Senate. Get out of Albany because with the budget (problems), you can't win there,'" Paterson told the AP.

Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said the mayor doesn't divulge any private discussions he may have had on the matter with Paterson.

Soon after, Paterson's headaches were compounded when the state Senate was embroiled in a power struggle. Paterson's departure for Washington could have meant the next governor would be Sen. Pedro Espada, a Bronx Democrat who is now under investigation for use of state grants at his health clinics and who lost his seat in the fall elections.

"I thought that would be irresponsible," Paterson said.

Gov: I Should Have Fired Aides Who Trashed Caroline Kennedy

State of Politics
Caroline Kennedy
Gov. David Paterson this morning expressed chagrin over his handling of the Caroline Kennedy mess last winter, saying it was a mistake not to have immediately fired aides who launched a smear campaign after she withdrew her name from consideration for Hillary Clinton’s US Senate seat.

“Caroline Kennedy was was insulted and castigated by people who worked for me,” Paterson said on AM 1600 WWRL. “And it was outrageous. It was wrong. And as the person in charge. I had to take responsibility for it.”

“… I think that when there’s been that kind of degradation of a person who had only signed up to be a candidate – in other words, they had put themselves out as a candidate – the one thing I think should have happened was that all people who were potentially involved should have immediately been dismissed, like immediately.”

In other words, the people who participated in leaking information to the media about her, which, by the way, was false information and gossip, that everybody who was potentially involved should have immeidatly been dismissed.”

Paterson did take responsibility for the leaks about Kennedy’s alleged tax, nanny and marital problems back in February 2009.

But he did not immediately fire the campaign consultant who masterminded the release of the information, (although she was eventually let go), nor did he ever axe the staffers who did the dirty work.

Paterson’s discussion of the Kennedy debacle came in response to a caller who asked if he wished he had done things differently and selected her to fill Clinton’s seat instead of former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand and if that choice had tanked him with the media.

The governor replied that while he does believe that moment marked the beginning of the end of his relationship with the press, but also noted that he couldn’t have chosen Kennedy even if he wanted to because she withdrew her name citing “personal reasons that she declined to explain.”