In the hope of breaking the deadlock in the NY state Senate, yesterday Gov. Paterson appointed former MTA chairman Richard Ravitch as Lt. Governor, the job Paterson held before the Eliot Spitzer scandal.
Paterson said he appointed Ravitch because the leadership void needed to be filled. He said state law did not prevent him from making the appointment. “Today I will appoint a lieutenant governor who will fill out the remainder of my term with me,” Paterson said, adding that Ravitch won’t seek a full term. The appointment of Ravitch, who once worked for Gov. Hugh Carey in the 1970s, however, may lead to litigation. Earlier this week Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said filling the vacant post would be unconstitutional. Ravitch is chairman of the Commission on Metropolitan Transportation Authority Financing, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust’s Board of Trustees and the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust’s Advisory Board.
The lieutenant governor can cast tie-breaking votes in the state Senate, but it may be a long time before Ravitch could do so, as the Senate GOP leadership has promised a lawsuit to block his appointment. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a peep about the marriage equality bill in weeks.