When a plane crashed outside Buffalo about 10:20 on a Thursday evening last year, killing 50 people, aides to Gov. David A. Paterson of New York could not find him for more than three hours, and it was nearly five hours before his office released any statement about what was the deadliest air disaster in the nation since 2001. Mr. Paterson later had difficulty explaining the delay and suggested that when trying to reach him an aide had been calling the wrong telephone.
Last summer, as some advisers warned him that he needed to travel around the state to shore up his poll numbers, Mr. Paterson spent long stretches in the Hamptons, relaxing with friends and mingling with wealthy donors and celebrities.
And last month, with the state facing a deadline to apply for $700 million in federal education aid, the governor waited until the last minute to try to bring lawmakers together to agree on a plan. His efforts failed, leaving the application in doubt.
Mr. Paterson, as he has said, never asked to be governor. But from the time he succeeded Eliot Spitzer nearly two years ago, he has said he is dedicated to the job and intent on winning it in his own right this fall.
On the eve of his election kickoff, however, interviews with dozens of current and former aides, legislators and friends reveal significant criticism about Mr. Paterson’s management of the state and of his election effort.(continue reading here at NYT)