For much of the last few months, David Paterson, the accidental governor of New York, has showed a stunning lack of leadership. As the MTA floundered and Doomsday approached, Paterson didn’t — or perhaps with a disjointed and disunited State Senate, couldn’t — take the bull by the horn to deliver an intelligent and thorough funding package for the beleaguered transit authority.
Today, though, Paterson, the governor slammed the state legislature for its inaction and inability to fund the MTA. The Senate, he said, is displaying a complete lack of “professionalism” as numerous Senators claim that no real solutions are on the table.
“No, we’re not starting all over again, because the issues are right there; they’re right on the table. We thought we had a good plan,” he said this morning. “I don’t understand how there aren’t 32 senators that won’t pass that legislation.”
For the most part, though, the governor hedged his bets. Paterson’s name-calling and words won’t mean much if he doesn’t act. He says he won’t keep the state senators in Albany during the upcoming Passover/Easter week. He says he won’t force a timetable and trusts the Senators to understand that the MTA’s situation is “critical enough” to require action. Is that naivete or stupidity? Had the Senate understood that a month ago, we wouldn’t be talking about this.
The final paragraph in Elizabeth Benjamin’s Daily News write-up basically sums up David Paterson’s response to the MTA:
“In the next few weeks, I would think that we would move forward with a resolution or we’re going to have to find ways to make the Legislature only address that issue,” he said, adding that he is prepared to use “any means necessary” to prevent the massive fare hikes recently approved by the MTA, (which, for the record, was a vote he did not try to prevent).
Leadership we can’t believe in.