Former Gov. David Paterson didn’t mince words today about the troubles of the Senate Democratic Conference he once led, saying they were “dysfunctional” during their time in the majority in 2009 and 2010.
“It was such poor management, if that isn’t the definition of dysfunctional – there’s no code about it. Dysfunctional is dysfunctional, no matter who does it,” Paterson said on Fred Dicker’s radio show.
Paterson, the state’s first black governor, disputed that coalition between Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference is a racial issue.
He said in 2008, he met with the so-called Four Amigos, a rogue group within the Democratic conference, and “I had to take the longest shower I ever took in my life after that.”
He also knocked Sen. Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, the former Senate majority leader, who last week joined the IDC.
“Malcolm Smith, who is getting like the tennis ball of Wimbledon. Every day he’s bouncing back and forth between parties,” Paterson said.
He also said federal prosecutors should dismiss corruption charges against former Senate Majority Joseph Bruno after his initial conviction was thrown out of court. And he suggested that his former boss, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, may have erred when he prosecuted former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg — a case that was also dismissed.
“It’s kind of sad because when you’re around him you get the sense he never did anything wrong,” Paterson said of Greenberg. “The only thing he did wrong was to become wealthy and famous.”
As for Paterson’s strange appearance over the weekend at a brewery opening in Syracuse? “I was just looking for a place to eat with some friends.”