Archive for February 21, 2010

The Kessel NYPA Watch, February 21, 2010 – By George J. Marlin

February 21, 2010

The Kessel Barometer: Bad News for Governor Paterson
The Paterson Barometer: Bad News for Richie

Wildlife biologists know that before the tsunami strikes, birds and small mammals, like squirrels, jackals and weasels, head for high ground to avoid the wrath of the storm.

Yesterday, at Hofstra University in Nassau County, the Kessel Barometer, which tracks the behavior of a rare species—Kesselus hackus—declared David Paterson politically dead. You see, Paterson picked Kessel out of the dustbin of State political history after Kessel was summarily fired by then Governor Spitzer early in 2007 and our Accidental Governor installed him as CEO of the New York Power Authority. In ordinary times, Kessel is loyal—as long as it serves his interests and those of his political masters.

Well, Kessel’s loyalty has expired and yesterday, only a few miles from his South Shore home, Kessel didn’t show at the Governor’s election campaign announcement. Given Paterson’s weak poll numbers, desultory performance as Chief Executive and the devastating New York Times page 1 story on Friday, the flight of elected officials from the Paterson train wreck is unsurprising. But unlike these pols who have independent careers and who don’t owe their livelihoods to Paterson, Kessel’s revival is due solely to Paterson’s decision to accede to Al D’Amato’s intercessions. Hence, Richie’s failure to stand with Paterson is a shocking act of political cowardice.

Like the birds headed away from the shore as 80 foot waves approach, Kessel’s betrayal of his most recent patron is the surest sign of Paterson’s political demise.

Political watchdogs should expect to witness Kessel’s unseemly attempts to curry favor with the presumptive Governor. Long time observers of Kessel’s career will remember Governor Mario Cuomo’s statement in 1995;  “I lost contact with Richie Kessel, who somehow was able to swim the political rapids from the Democratic side to the Republican side.”

The clock is ticking on Richie Kessel.