Paterson: I'm no Liar -- Honest

patersonspeaksright.jpgHere's the news break from a mercilessly brief press conference that just ended in Albany which was supposed to deal with legislative negotiations over the budget deficit: Governor Paterson insists he's no liar.

Paterson got to answer all of one question about the budget when a New York Post reporter asked him to comment on a story in today's paper that calls him the "Lyin' King" regarding his claim to have no idea who on his staff has been smearing failed senate candidate Caroline Kennedy (the paper also included an image of the governor with a Pinocchio nose).

Not me, he responded.

"I had nothing to do with any negative characterizations of any of the candidates, particularly with Caroline Kennedy," the gov insisted.

And although Paterson said just yesterday  that he wants to find out who the leakers are, he's not going to launch any investigation.

"I'm not going to hunt down scurrilous rumors from sources I don't know," said Paterson, adding: "I have no knowledge about these kinds of attacks."

The story in question is by the Post's stir-the-drink state editor Fred Dicker who flat out calls the governor "a liar." That kind of talk used to be a heavy lift in the press, but in the post-Spitzer Albany world, anything goes now. Even the usually polite Albany Times-Union followed up with its own question whether Paterson has lost control of his own administration.

Then came the Daily News which suggested that he had to have signed off on the leaks, and went on to ask if he still wants to run for election next year.

He does and he will, but he's got no hard feelings. Paterson, who suffers a kind of political Tourettes Syndrome that makes him joke or comment on anything and everything, didn't sound the least bit offended at the less than deferential questioning he's getting from the press corps. He did say he was answering the Kennedy smear question "for the last time." But then went ahead and took another question on the same topic.

He did manage to resist responding, however,  when a reporter shouted out a last question as he left the press conference: "Have you apologized to Caroline Kennedy?"

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