Video: Has Gov. Paterson lost people’s trust?

  1. Closed captioning of: Has Gov. Paterson lost people’s trust?

    >> now, richard haass , president of council on foreign relations . where do you want to start with must-reads?

    >> let's do paterson first.

    >> since we're talking about david paterson .

    >> you said "the times" should editorialize. they did strongly.

    >> it is no small thing to talk about a major public official like the governor resigning, especially when new york lost mr. paterson's predecessor to scandal. still, the current situation is intolerable. new york state has serious problems, including a deep fiscal crisis and dysfunctional and frequently corrupt legislature it needs a strong and untainted governor, whom new york citizens can trust. i think the trust has been officially broken. are we there yet?

    >> it is intolerable, isn't it? david paterson should step down.

    >> however painful paying taxes normally, it is like on steroids. the system is broken. what we're seeing in texas and more broadly if people with responsibility will act irresponsibly, people will turn to pop lymulism or worse.

    >> that's how a governor talks about seceding from the union and gets 50% of the votes. it is an intolerable situation in new york .

    >> it is embarrassing, and i think that to -- to see something like this happen and for his colleagues to notarize up and demand that he resign for the health of the party, for the health of the state. women's groups not to make a louder statement it is mind boggling that new york , which leads the way in so many ways, is, you know -- our governor is this guy.

    >> are people just so used to this?

    >> i have a theory. i have long held a theory. union. only one state where people say new york and it means manhattan. it means new york . the capital, albany , very little media up there. the media concentration here in new york . albany , might as well have the capital in burlington, vermont.

    >> maybe why it's there.

    >> and they get away with just outrageous things. the money that you were talking about yesterday for the schools? with arne duncan that they don't get.

    >> they say no to $700 million. think they can get away with anything and i want to follow up with a point you made, nicolle. i am, every day i have been here off and on for five years. been working here for five years now. and every day i'm amazed by something new in new york . it is -- and i know you feel the same way. it is a remarkable city. it is, believe it or not, for those of you who don't spend a lot of time here it is one of the most convenient cities to live in. i mean, the subway system is remarkable. even with cuts, the transit is remarkable. everything about new york to me is remarkable.

    >> the snow disappears.

    >> the snow disappears.

    >> the mayor does a good job.

    >> bloomberg, my god.

    >> amazing.

    >> the plows, going by every 10, 15 minutes . that's what i don't understand. this city has gotten it right with a couple of mayors. ungovernable city. lindsey was dead wrong. but i never understood why they have such jack asses and clowns nuptial banny. richard haass , the disconnect is stunning this is the world-class city, this is the world-class state. i lived in upstate new york . it's a great place. why do they keep electing clowns to albany ?

    >> in part the city is doing so well because it has a degree of what we used to call home rule . can i say one thing about new york ? this is the next shoe to drop in this country. we've so focused on the economic crisis . you look at new york , california. states can't print money . we have a real crisis coming down. the next phase, when a lot of states can't function. they get bailed out at the federal level or you know what. this is the major next step of the crisis.

    >> wow. going under.

    >> a downer.

    >> that's why i'm here.

    >> let's read from "newsweek." richard haass ' article "the weakest link ." in the 21st century , the principal threat to the global order will not be a push for dominance by any great power. instead, the central power will deposed by weak states, afghanistan, pakistan, yemen, somalia, haiti, mexico, congo, and others. buttressing post-saddam iraq cost a great deal, and much should be gleaned from this experience, but we should be careful not to leash the wrong lesson and rule out helping weak states. shoring them up may not be cheap, but it is less expensive than the al ternives of occupying them or ignoring them. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    >> richard, how do we draw back? we are so spread out across the globe, and it's not being an isolation ist to say we can't be the world's 911 anymore.

    >> exactly. it has to be a choice of doing what we did in iraq and afghanistan, going in whole hog and being ani isolationist. life takes place in between. what we can't do is force ourselves to do everything or nothing. the kinds of things we're doing in places like yemen now may be more of a model. we do a little bit. we do a little bit of training. shoot in drones when necessary. we don't go in like an old-fashioned imperial power .

    >> there are two sides to this also. everybody focuses on the bush years and how we went in with military force and tried to reshape the country, rebuild the country. in the 1990s , the clintons did it themselves. they would go into countries and decide they would rebuild. and that -- that famous debate between colin powell who said we won't send our troops in, and madeline albright who said we should always go in. powell is always to stay out. could it be after 16 years of this we could be pulling back to colin powell 's position?

    >> we are certainly pulling back a bit, given how economically stretched we are. there is something else to be done other than staying out completely. we have to find ways to intervene on behalf of interests that are not vital but still matter. there has to be a gray area in american foreign policy and in the public policy debate.

    >> the days of the united states rebuilding civilization's over. done.

    >> we have to get more moderate.

    >> i have to ask really quickly, the cover of "newsweek," stirring up a lot of trouble. victory at last in iraq .

    >> too positive.

    >> it is too positive?

    >> for sure. we will take months to see a new government formed. we don't know how it will operate. too soon to take out the champagne.

    >> the point was to create a democracy and a lot of people feel like that mission was accomplished.

    >> premature.

    >> reemergence of the democratic iraq . that debate goes on.

    >> premature.

    >> it is fragile, but a lot of people who spent time five years ago do think it as a fragile democracy.

    >> but not one where we won't be there operating in five years.

updated 3/3/2010 1:47:44 PM ET 2010-03-03T18:47:44

New York Gov. David Paterson forged ahead with his work day Wednesday, planning a budget meeting in the midst of a rapidly growing scandal that has now claimed two top law enforcement officials and threatens to take down his administration.

Just hours after Paterson told reporters the day before that he wouldn't resign because of his intervention in the domestic violence case involving a key aide, State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt abruptly announced he would retire effective Wednesday. Last week, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise O'Donnell quit after criticizing contact that Paterson, his staff and the state police had with the woman at the center of the domestic assault complaint.

As Paterson prepared for a Wednesday morning session with his Cabinet to discuss the state's $8 billion budget deficit, Lawrence Schwartz, his chief of staff, said the governor is determined to stay on and deal with New York's fiscal woes. He said Paterson planned a full day of meetings with staff and legislative leaders.

Paterson said Tuesday that he'll soon give his side of the scandal that continues to chip away at his administration. Amid support from lawmakers and some calls for him to resign, the governor would say only that he wouldn't step down.

On Halloween in the Bronx, Sherruna Booker told police she was roughed up by Paterson aide David Johnson, her boyfriend at the time, but she decided not to press charges. At issue is whether Paterson or anyone from his staff or security detail influenced her decision.

Paterson has acknowledged that he spoke with Booker, but said she initiated the call. He said he did not try to get her to change her story or tell her not to pursue a charge. The New York Times provided new details Tuesday on Paterson's involvement in the matter, reporting that the governor had personally directed two state employees to contact the woman.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo — often mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate by the very critics dogging Paterson — is investigating those contacts. Any criminal case will hinge on whether Paterson, staff members or state bodyguards tried to get Booker to change her story, making charges of witness tampering or obstructing justice possible.

Paul DerOhannesian, a former Albany County prosecutor, said the new revelations don't seal a case against Paterson or his administration.

"We don't know what was said, and that's very important," he said. He said that while it's highly unusual for a victim to be contacted by state police when they have no jurisdiction, or for Paterson and his employees to contact the woman, "the next question is, 'What was said?' We don't know."

Image: David Paterson
Brendan Mcdermid  /  REUTERS
New York Gov. David Paterson announces he will withdraw from the state governor's race at his office in New York in February.

Corbitt told an Albany television station that intense media scrutiny over the scandal was a factor in his planned departure Wednesday.

O'Donnell, Corbitt's boss, resigned a week ago, saying that direct contact by the governor and troopers with the woman was "unacceptable" regardless of their intent. At the time, she said Corbitt had assured her that state police were not involved in the investigation.

Paterson refused to comment on whether he had asked Corbitt to step down.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, considered the most powerful official in Albany, earlier left a lunch meeting with Paterson at the governor's mansion and told reporters: "I don't feel he should resign."

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State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs later met in the mansion with Paterson, a longtime friend who gave him the chairman's job. Jacobs wouldn't divulge details of Paterson's version of the scandal.

"I did not get the sense that the governor is considering resignation, that resignation is pending," Jacobs said.

The National Organization for Women called for Paterson's resignation early Tuesday despite his policy record of "excellent" on women's issues.

Some leading Democrats have said he should resign to avoid further damage to the party in the November midterm elections.

National Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine wouldn't answer when asked Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show about whether Paterson should resign but did say he respects Paterson's decision last week to end his campaign for a full term.

Even Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whom Paterson appointed last year, said Tuesday that he would have to resign if allegations that he abused his power are proven true.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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