Sure, we take some liberties with David Paterson. It's not that we don't like the governor, we simply believe that he is so far in over his head that no matter what he does he's going to screw it up.
Yesterday we touched on Paterson's intention to lay off about 8,700 state employees as part of his efforts to balance the state's finances. Paterson has been asking the unions to reopen their contracts and waive a salary increase for this fiscal year, which began April 1. Of course they have refused.
The unions say that Paterson has refused to accept any of their suggested alternatives to layoffs. At this point, the dialogue follows the usual rhetoric you're going to hear from labor and management.
When it becomes problematic is when Civil Service Employees Association president Danny Donohue opens his pie hole. Donohue responded to the prospect of layoffs with this gem: "We think he [Paterson] needs a good psychiatrist, or he at least needs to share what drugs he’s on, because he’s not making any sense to our members."
As if that was not enough, Donohue followed up with, "If this governor doesn’t need mental health services, I don’t know who does."
What a douchebag.
Good people in this state have mental health issues and good people in this state have drug problems. To trivialize their battles by so recklessly using them as a way to attack Paterson is unconscionable.
Unfortunately that's the public sector union way. Forget about coming to the table to have a productive dialogue, let's fight the fight in the press. Even better, let's not talk about the issue itself, let's just throw out some "mental health and drug use" analogies to make our point.
How 'bout this suggestion, Danny? You go home, put a pistol in your mouth and pull the trigger. I mean, what's to differentiate what you've suggested with those who battle with depression and suicide every day?
As a man with a handicap, Paterson has lived with labels his entire life. Unfortunately, punks like Danny Donahue only know how to use labels to make a point.
Paterson is far from the top of our favorite elected official in the state right now, but he needs to hold his ground on this one on principle alone.