Monday, March 02, 2009

In Lean Times, Paterson Shows Off His Expensive Taste

As the battle for the budget becomes more defined as we get closer to the deadline to finish it, Governor Paterson's leadership abilities have been called into question. He's been adamant against a Fair Tax and at times considered passing it. He was gung ho for the obesity tax and then said it was just to make a point about our general health. Oh and don't get me started on his Senate appointment fiasco. There are many things that Paterson needs to stay straight on and his leadership ability is affected by all of those. So when it comes to shaping the budget and calling for tough cuts across the board, he had best be able to show that he can do it for himself, especially when he should show discretion in using taxpayer funds on the Governor's Mansion that he lives in. For example, buy the $20 toaster, not the one for $200.

From The NY Daily News:

A review of the mansion's expenses found that in the weeks after Paterson took over in mid-March, staff bought hundreds of wine glasses, bedding, furniture and other items.

"These are authorized expenses that are associated with the operation, maintenance, preservation and the day-to-day functioning of the mansion," said Paul Larrabee, a spokesman for the state Office of General Services, which runs the mansion.

Taxpayers footed the bill for $61,951 in equipment and other costs for the mansion during the first nine months of Paterson's administration, a 14% increase from a year earlier under then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, OGS said.

Now you may say that he had done all this a year ago, before he even had time to consider the 2009-10 budget, but those were ominous times as well. Perhaps not $14 billion-in-the-hole bad, but certainly dire enough to consider not spending tens of thousands redecorating a mansion. I get that politicians like the perks of having their office, but they should know the office can be taken away in an election if they get too greedy.