“This is a winter of reckoning,” David Paterson told the state legislature this afternoon, “and I come before you today not just to talk of the State of the State, but also for the state of our self-governance–a fragile instrument of our popular will which has become the will to be popular. Look at history: Cultures of addiction to spending, power, and approval have ruined empires and now they threaten the Empire State. But I come here to day not to replay old grievances or in any way to reclaim lost ground, but we come here to rebuild.”
The part about old grievances wasn’t entirely true. Mr. Paterson attacked the legislators he’s been attacking for months–just not by name this time–and he reiterated a proposal for ethics reform in Albany, a call that had already been declared “dead on arrival” by at least one good government advocate.
There was plenty of wrath to go around. The governor also lit into the “moneyed interests”–who “have routinely demanded special treatment without any regard to others”–and even attacked “so-called good government groups who hide their donors behind walls of sanctimony.”
One person who got some nice things said about him? George Pataki.