ALBANY—David Paterson took to the airwaves in central New York this morning, continuing his efforts in recent days to defend the state budget enacted last week by the Legislature.
On WHAM in Rochester, Paterson said "I feel like a person running around picking up newspapers off of every lawn" with regard to the budget. While he remained firm on his stance that budget negotiations should never be (and are never) done in public, he said, "For my part, I think I should have had the leaders sit in public and talk about the budget a little more."
Then he was asked whether it was too early to think about his political future, in light of continued poor standing in the polls.
"I think that at a time when 140,000 New Yorkers have lost their job since last year, and foreclosure notices are up 35 percent—so I'm talking about things relating to the 19 million New Yorkers, and what happens to me is inconsequential. It's kind of like when a football team is behind in the game, and the question is: Are we going to keep the coach? What happens to me is immaterial. Obviously, anyone who was managing through the amount of cuts that we've made to the budget—I think as people start to recognize that, they will see that the management here is a lot better. But even if they don't, why is that really a big deal, what happens to one individual? There are so many people in this state who are literally struggling on the edge of survival."
He was also asked about his plans to reintroduce a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, both on WHAM and during another interview on WGR in Buffalo. In that second interview, Paterson said, "I recognize that it does not appear that the votes are in the Senate," but that he wants to push the bill anyway to force debate on the issue.
"Let people get on the floor and debate these bills," he said. "Sometimes I wonder what they're doing taking so long to debate these bills where they already know which way it's going to go."