Super Troopers: By "Secret Rule," Smokeys Shadow Gov
The New York Post reveals a "secret new rule" that prevents Governor Paterson from abandoning his security detail of state troopers "unless they have a signed order from him instructing them otherwise." (Paterson also increased the size of his security detail.)
The Post of course makes the most of former Governor Spitzer's hooker and Joe Bruno surveillance problems, which are assumed to be the cause of all this. But we have to ask: who made this "rule"? We see nothing about it at the New York State Assembly page, so it can't be part of some legislation, unless they're really burying it good.
And though Runnin' Scared obviously doesn't have much of a research budget, we can find no state agencies who can make rules for the Governor that don't apply to everyone else (though if there is such an agency, we hope they will make more entertaining rules for him, such as one that requires him to wave his arms over his head and shout "Is everybody happy?" at least once during every press conference).
Presumably by "rule" they just mean that the Governor has so stipulated. But that invites a sort of Young Frankenstein situation: No matter what I say, don't open that door! What if they Gov decides he doesn't want to do it anymore? Do the troopers then have the authority to seize the Governor for non-compliance?
We recall the quick revelation Paterson made, when he unexpectedly became Governor, of his past cocaine use. He said he only tried it "a couple of times," but no one, so far as we know, has checked that out. Maybe the Governor lowballed it. Suppose he had been a total cocaine cowboy for years: who would have been paying attention, back when he was just Basil Paterson's kid? A blind hereditary politician who is maybe going to serve on a few boards after his Lieutenant Governorship (an office so innocuous that they once gave it to Betsy McCaughey Ross) -- who knew?
Now that he's Governor, though, maybe someone thinks he needs a little extra supervision. We note with interest that when Paterson appointed Colonel Harry Corbitt as State Police Superintendent in March, he called it his "most important appointment," per Capital 9 News. It seemed at the time like an odd thing to say, but maybe there's more power in that job than we thought. Earlier this month Paterson vetoed a bill that sought to override the state cops' ban on trooper plea-bargaining in traffic cases. That's an odd battleground on which to fight the Legislature, unless you figure it's better to piss off Shelly Silver than the boys in the barracks.
We don't like to get too deep into permanent-government speculations, but if we were running this show and we had a guy in office we weren't sure would play along, we'd surround him with minders, too.