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New York News

Governor Paterson Visits WAMC

By Dave Lucas

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-936770.mp3

Albany, NY – New York Governor David Paterson hit the airwaves the day before Thanksgiving, spending an hour at WAMC on the Round Table with Joe Donahue and Alan Chartock. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Paterson fielded a variety of questions. The 55th governor of New York minced no words when speaking about the recession, hydrofracking and the budget gap. Despite so-called "confusing signals" from the legislature, Paterson said he'd like to close the budget deficit before Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo's inauguration.

Paterson admitted wrestling with difficult decisions as he was forced to make cuts during his reign as Governor - he explained he was frustrated dealing with state commissioners. "... even people who are delegated to make those tough decisions, they don't want to do it. They want to play to the audience. You know, the governor's making me do it, but this is wrong.' And it's fine that they say that, but they have no solution."

Chartock asked if the Governor was alluding to fired DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis, let go after a memo critical of cuts to the agency leaked. "Among others," replied Paterson, "there was nothing wrong with Commissioner Grannis' memo. It was accurate whether it was leaked or whichever way it came out it was accurate, and we still had to do it." Paterson went on to explain that the layoffs of some 900 state workers could have been avoided had the public employee unions been more cooperative.

And to those who wonder what the Governor will do when he steps down... Paterson said he is thinking about teaching or working in the field of energy.