A day after he came out swinging against rumors of a scandal that have dogged his administration for nearly a week, Governor Paterson spoke with Don Imus about the media kerfuffle, as well as the potentially shady Aqueduct deal.
Once again Paterson claimed that unseen forces were working towards his political destruction.
"Someone is going very far out of their way to see that I'm not a candidate this year," the governor said. "I don't know who it is; I just know that it's a well-orchestrated attempt to do this."
Paterson continued, saying that the media and special interests are painting a negative picture of the governor despite his successes in office.
I think the special interests and that relationship with some media outlets is creating the scenario that somehow I should not be reelected when in fact I have closed $33 billion of deficit in 20 months. I have made these payments to all the state's creditors. I've made sure that the schools and the local governments have been funded, balanced budgets, kept the credit ratings strong. I'm black, I'm blind, and I'm still alive. Now how much better do they want me to be?
Changing topics, Imus quizzed Paterson on recent allegations of cronyism involving the awarding of a state contract for racetrack video gambling machines.
While a number of media outlets have called for an investigation into the how the Paterson administration chose the Aqueduct Entertainment Group for the lucrative contract, as well as into the role political kingmaker Reverend Floyd Flake (an minor investor in the company) played in the decision, Paterson flatly denied any ethical wrongdoing in the matter.
And finally, in an attempt to put all those cheating (and swinging) rumors to rest, when asked by Imus if he's slept with anyone besides his wife since taking office, Paterson said bluntly, "No."
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