Hey, Big Spender! That would be Gov. Paterson.
The New York Sun reports that Paterson, since succeeding Eliot Spitzer in March, has expanded his payroll to the point where it's now larger than the combined staffs of the governor's and lieutenant governor's offices four months ago.
He has also handed out hefty pay raises to his staffers - including his 28-year- old chief flack, whose pay now nearly equals the governor's own, and another staffer whose salary was doubled, to $130,000.
Indeed, fully 35 percent of Paterson's aides now get six-figure paychecks.
Now, all this might well be just a case, as the governor's office insists, of "paying competitive salaries" to attract "top-flight talent."
But this is the same governor who, upon taking office, ordered an across-the- board 3.5 percent budget cut for every state agency.
In fact, Paterson directed that any commissioner who couldn't make the cut "and still be effective" should "take another look at it."
And if that still didn't work, he warned, "maybe we'll have somebody else take a look at it."
But when it comes to his own office, "austerity" isn't in Paterson's vocabulary.
The governor's office now has 176 employees, up from 160 under Spitzer. Paterson's yearly payroll totals nearly $15.7 million, an increase of more than 10 percent over the $14.2 million Spitzer was spending.
Paterson says he plans to reduce spending via "attrition."
The "attrition" dodge is the oldest in the book. It never happens.
And it won't - because New York's accidental governor appears to have a problem saying "no" to his own.
He needs to work on that.