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August 28, 2010

Paterson's penchant for fudging facts seen as context for potential perjury charges; Atlantic Yards episode deserves a mention

Atlantic Yards Report

When trying to get support for bad development, it helps to have politicians in high places who put little value in telling the truth.

Now they tell us. An article in today's New York Times, headlined With Paterson, the Simple Facts Can Get Complicated, begins:

A thoroughly honest politician has pretty much always been considered an undiscovered species. But for Gov. David A. Paterson, the distinction between the truth and an untruth can get unusually murky.

Once asked if a statement was accurate or inaccurate, Gov. David A. Paterson replied, “Neither.”

On Thursday, an independent counsel asked the Albany County district attorney to determine whether Mr. Paterson intentionally lied to investigators about paying for baseball tickets, something that could lead to the governor being charged with perjury.

But how do you sort that out? After all, according to many people who deal with Mr. Paterson, it’s not always clear when he might be intentionally lying and when he is just saying wrong things. Or doing something that, by his reckoning, is neither lying nor telling the truth.

And it contains this summation:

But these same people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they continue to deal with his administration, say Mr. Paterson tends to fudge facts, as well as to tell one group one thing and another the opposite.

...

Those of us who saw Paterson (at the Atlantic Yards arena groundbreaking) claim, ridiculously, that Atlantic Yards would "have job creation the likes of which Brooklyn has never seen," got a pretty strong hint of all this in March.

But that anecdote didn't make the Times today. After all, the reporter on the scene took Paterson's claims at face value.

Then, and now, that was unwise.

NoLandGrab: Is Atlantic Yards going to be a powerful economic engine that will benefit others besides Bruce Ratner? Was it approved after a careful public review? Neither.

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Posted by steve at August 28, 2010 9:26 AM