Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Review of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
    Let’s time-travel to the year 2012 and the world is raving about none other than Katniss Everdeen. I remember being in elementary school, begging my mother to let me dress up as her for my birthday. Now it’s over ten years later and I’m still just as excited for the new movie as I was […]
  • Found Family Books for the Holidays
    The holidays are quickly approaching and for some of us that means seeing our family. However, family has a loose definition. It could mean blood or who you were raised with. It could also mean people you’ve found during your life journey. Either way, the holidays are meant for spending quality time with those you […]

Paterson, N.Y.’s first black governor, sworn into office

ALBANY, N.Y. – David Paterson was sworn in as New York’s governor yesterday, becoming the state’s first black chief executive and vowing to move past the prostitution scandal that has rocked the state Capitol.

Paterson, who is legally blind, was interrupted at several times during his address with thunderous applause. Before he spoke, lawmakers gave him a two-minute standing ovation and chanted: “David! David! David!”

“This transition today is an historic message to the world: That we live by the same values that we profess, and we are a government of laws, not individuals,” Paterson said.

Paterson, 53, rose from the lieutenant governor’s office after Eliot Spitzer resigned last week amid allegations that he hired a call girl from a high-priced escort service. It was a dramatic fall for Spitzer, who was elected with an overwhelming share of the vote and who had vowed to root out corruption at the Capitol.

Spitzer was not in attendance at the ceremony.

“We move forward. Today is Monday. There is work to be done,” Paterson said. “There was an oath to be taken. There’s trust that needs to be restored. There are issues that need to be addressed.”

Paterson spoke without notes for 26 minutes – about half of it engaged in the banter and self-deprecating humor that helped define him as a lawmaker and lieutenant governor. It seemed aimed at smoothing the damage Spitzer did with his adversaries in the Legislature.

Paterson drew howls from the audience when he poked fun at his disability and deadpanned that he would accept an invitation to dinner with the state’s top Republican, Sen. Joseph Bruno, only if his “taster” could come along. He playfully teased Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, a former small-college basketball star, that he is ready to school him on the court. And he told the story of how Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver stopped him from accidentally bringing his gavel down on a glass, saying he didn’t want him to turn the Legislature into a Jewish wedding.

Lawmakers including presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and governors from three neighboring states attended Paterson’s inauguration.

Paterson has said he will get right to work on the state budget and other matters. The Legislature faces an April 1 deadline to pass an estimated $124 billion budget and fill a nearly $4.6 billion gap.

Paterson was Spitzer’s lieutenant governor for just 14 months. Before that, he was a Democratic state senator since 1985, representing parts of Harlem and Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He would be the first legally blind governor in the nation to serve more than a few days in office.

His father, Basil, a former state senator representing Harlem and later New York’s first black secretary of state, was part of a political fraternity that included fellow Democrats U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins and former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton.

The mood at the Capitol was ebullient and most politicians said they were hopeful that Paterson can help the state recover from the shock of the past week.

Bruno said the Democrat-led Assembly and his Republican majority in the Senate remain billions apart in budget negotiations, and “David is going to be right in the middle.”

Silver, talking to reporters on his way into the ceremony, said adopting a budget will be the priority even with the recent turmoil.

“It’s a daunting task, but I think with all the good will that’s created, with the leadership of David Paterson, we’re going to have a logical conclusion to a budget

process,” he said.

Federal prosecutors must still decide whether to pursue charges against Spitzer. The married father of three teenage girls was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes – including a call girl “Kristen” in Washington the night before Valentine’s Day.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *