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The Missing Man

August 4, 2010

Even though we cite rejection of the Ravitch plan as a legislative achievement this year, we can’t help feeling sorry for man who developed it. 

After all, Lt. Governor Dick Ravitch was asked to develop the plan by Governor Paterson. That was his job, and he did it well enough to have the New York Times and others embrace it as workable and preferable to other budget options. 

But then Paterson threw him overboard. More than that, he made it seem like Ravitch was some kind of rogue.    

The ole man deserves better than to be embarrassed and exiled in this manner.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    August 4, 2010 2:11 PM

    It’s a shameful pattern with Paterson. He throws people overboard all the time — Charles O’Byrne, Bill Cunningham, his communications people, and even the woman who was supposed to have been his paramoor.

  2. societax permalink
    August 9, 2010 9:26 PM

    One of the lingering questions i’ve always had about the the Ravitch ‘coup’ — be serious; Lippmann’s Court of Appeals decision was a naked political powerplay just like Espada & Co’s antics — is whether Paterson’s people managed to bamboozle Ravitch into the lieutenant governor position.

    Consider: Whatever minimal control/discipline Paterson had over his party was gone and he was powerless amid the farce. How could he block Espada and look like a leader, yet without looking like he was playing the old NY-insider politics? The Ravitch appointment was a well-played move: an eminent citizen who (for media purposes) is above reproach; no obvious disqualifying political ties; a record of doing economic/fiscal “good” on behalf of the government and the people. Who could fight on political (as opposed to legal) grounds the Ravitch appointment in a time of political and fiscal crisis but without looking politically self-serving?

    Yet everything the Paterson people did afterwards was completely dismissive. Prepare a study of budget solutions (which often is the political equivalent of doing nothing), and otherwise just look like a responsible adult in the house. Could they intentionally have misled Ravitch into thinking they wanted something other than a superficial appearance?

    It must have been clear quickly to Ravitch that he was unwanted yet he stayed in the position anyway. Why — to fend off the vultures that already were starting to feed on the wounded administration?

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