In the summer of 2009, Republicans who lost their half-century control of the Senate mounted a coup with three dissident Democrats. That power struggle gridlocked the legislature for weeks until the dissidents struck deals for lucrative leadership posts in return for going back into the Democratic fold.
"It was about this time that Andrew Cuomo, now viewed as the inevitable victor in the 2010 gubernatorial election, began to make his presence felt within the Paterson administration," Ravitch writes.
"It was nothing formal. But Paterson, after the string of scandals that beset his administration, never recovered his authority; people on Paterson's staff, as well as senior civil servants, became increasingly responsive to public and private statements made by the governor-in-waiting."
Cuomo behind the scenes
Ravitch wrote "it was clear" that Lawrence Schwartz, both Paterson's chief of staff and now Cuomo's top aide, "was already taking directions from the attorney general. Cuomo had the good taste not to try to pre-empt Governor Paterson's authority explicitly, but everyone inside the apparatus had a clear sense that the transition of power was well on its way."
Ravitch said Cuomo's criticism sank the fiscal rescue Ravitch was appointed to create in the wake of the state's worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. Later, when speculation ran rampant that Paterson would resign, Ravitch said Cuomo called to ask whom Ravitch would appoint as lieutenant governor.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi had no immediate comment yesterday. Paterson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ravitch, a Democrat who had key roles in the 1970s in saving New York City from bankruptcy, will release his memoir, "So Much To Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics and Confronting Fiscal Crises," on April 23. Public Affairs is the publisher.
Cuomo essentially calling the shots as governor even when he was still just attorney general.
Classic control-freak behavior from a classic control freak.