David Paterson appointed Dick Ravitch as his lieutenant governor during an address televised statewide. The governor is hoping that Ravitch will preside over the State Senate, and help break a stalemate there.
“We cannot allow for any further exposure to uncertainty and risk at a time of unparalleled fiscal difficulty,” Paterson said.
He also cited New York City’s hiring freeze, and fiscal troubles in Yonkers, as he made his decision. A class of police recruits is not showing up today.
Ravitch has a long public career, including stints running the M.T.A. and the Urban Development Corporation.
State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. told Gerson Berrero that Ravitch has already been restrained. Republicans are saying this, too.
Gerald Benjamin doesn’t think the appointment is constitutional.
“Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, c’mon up — to Albany!” Fred Dicker writes. “Maybe now we know why Paterson flunked the bar exam after three years at Hofstra Law School.”
“The governor, at least, is acting,” the Times Union says.
The News said it was a “bold and masterful stroke” and “an all-around winner.”
Republican John Faso says Ravitch is “intelligent and capable,” but his appointment is “legally suspect.”
Regardless, The Times says Paterson was “right to take the plunge.”
“Maybe he’s atoning for some long-forgotten transgression of his youth. Maybe he’s building up a surplus of good karma,” Bill Hammond writes, wondering why Ravitch would want to enter the Senate “snake pit.”
Paterson bragged about Ravitch in a robocall to supporters Tuesday night.
And below, the video of Paterson making his announcement: