Paterson on Why Some Negotiations Shouldn't Be Public

Good-government groups have been complaining that David Paterson isn’t pushing hard enough for the kind of reforms that Eliot Spitzer advocated (to little effect) when he came into office.

One of Spitzer’s reform-minded changes was to hold public legislative negotiations, which Paterson does not favor. Today, at a press conference in Albany, the governor explained why he doesn’t think public leaders’ meetings are productive:

“You’ve never seen a union labor negotiation on television," he said. "And you’ve never seen a governor and any state leaders negotiating on television. What you do see, what you’re hearing here today, are people expressing their views and debating the issues.

"I think it’s very important to learn from the lesson last year. We tried to negotiate in public. There was a huge fight over campaign finance. On June 13, you were all there, it was right in this room, in a two-hour meeting between the leaders. The fracture from that conversation probably hurt the probability of passing campaign finance, which was the whole hallmark of our plan last year.” Paterson on Why Some Negotiations Shouldn't Be Public