ALBANY—After a story this morning revealed state taxpayers are on the hook for almost $20,000 in hotel bills for David Paterson's trip to the inauguration, the head of the State Republican Party is calling on Paterson to pay it on his own.
Joe Mondello put out this statement:
Given the financial crisis facing families, businesses and New York State government, Governor Paterson should immediately return the nearly $20,000 in taxpayer dollars he spent on lavish hotels in Washington.
While the Governor and his entourage were staying in unbelievably overpriced $1,200 a night hotel rooms and attending inauguration parties and events, families are slashing their household budgets and making do with the bare bones necessities of life. Even worse, while Governor Paterson and his aides are working the party circuit, he is trying to ram through countless tax hikes that will further constrain family budgets and businesses' bottom lines.
The only respectable thing for the Governor to do would be to return that money immediately, so that already overburdened taxpayers are not forced to pick up the tab for his overpriced, outrageous expenses.
A Paterson spokeswoman told Joe Spector in the initial story that the expense was justified to represent New York "at a moment of national importance."
Paterson's campaign committee has about $4.8 million on hand.