More on New York Governor David Paterson


Here’s a little more information on New York Governor David Paterson. I had received a request to provide more information on Gov. Paterson’s blindness and whether he was born with the condition. This is how the New York Times describes the circumstances:

He also grew up legally blind, after an infection as an infant that left him totally without sight in his left eye and with severely limited sight in his right. His family moved to Long Island, where they found a school that agreed to educate him in regular classrooms.

The same article quotes Gov. Paterson on some of the obstacles he has faced.

When he was elected Senate minority leader, Mr. Paterson recalled the discrimination he had suffered because he is disabled. “So I have had this desire my whole life to prove people wrong, to show them I could do things they didn’t think I could do,” he said. “This is just another.”

His rise to power in the New York Senate.

In 2002, however, Mr. Paterson shot to unusual prominence for a Senate Democrat. With two other Manhattan legislators, Eric Schneiderman and Liz Krueger, he staged a coup that ousted the sitting Senate Minority Leader, Martin Connor. The Manhattanites saw Mr. Connor, of Brooklyn, as overly resigned to Republican control of the body. They wanted to fight more actively to retake it.

Rumors of a coup surfaced immediately after the 2002 election, prompting Mr. Connor to demand that Mr. Paterson make his position public. On Nov. 8 of that year, Mr. Paterson issued a statement that he was not seeking Mr. Connor’s job. Five days later, he stood flanked by 14 other Democratic Senators, declaring that he had the support he needed to take Mr. Connor’s job.

Here’s a statement from Paterson’s office today.

Like all New Yorkers I am saddened by what we have learned over the past several days. On a personal level Governor Spitzer and Silda have been close and steadfast friends. As an elected official the Governor has worked hard for the people of New York.

My heart goes out to him and to his family at this difficult and painful time. I ask all New Yorkers to join Michelle and me in prayer for them.

It is now time for Albany to get back to work as the people of this state expect from us.

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