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Former US governor bashes PP

Sunday, August 16, 2015
Former New York Governor David Paterson, left and former Congressman Edolphus Towns who were guest speakers at the PNM’s rally in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Photo: JEFF MAYERS

Former New York governor David Paterson yesterday bashed the People’s Partnership Government while addressing thousands of supporters at the People’s National Movement (PNM) rally at Woodford Square in Port-of-Spain.

Paterson criticised the Government for failing to implement PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley’s housing plans.

Paterson said the Government was dishonest with citizens and “shut down” all the agencies that measured statistics on progress.

“The Moody’s rating agency...downgraded the credit for Trinidad, and just a few days ago, the largest commercial bank has now reduced the amount of revenues of US dollars. But the people of Trinidad, they don’t need a bank or a rating agency to know how bad the quality of life has been in the last few years.”

Paterson said hundreds of businesses were going out of business, that the national budget was “wildly” out of balance, and many more were without food or shelter than “anytime in the last 20 years.”

During his short speech, he said since the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led Government had failed to follow Rowley’s plan on public housing, it was time to vote her out of her public house.

Paterson justified his presence on the PNM stage, saying that New York held the largest group of Trinidadians outside of T&T and that his family was originally from T&T.

Paterson was elected by the Democratic caucus of the Senate as minority leader on November 20, 2002, becoming both the first non-white state legislative leader and the highest-ranking black elected official in the history of New York state. He became known for his consensus-building style coupled with sharp political skills.

Although he spoke of voting out the People’s Partnership, he was never elected to the NY governor’s office but became governor by default when his predecessor, then NY governor Eliot Spitzer, resigned amid sex scandal allegations.

In 2010, Paterson suspended his own run for office after his administration became embroiled in a domestic violence case involving one of his personal aides. In 2008, Paterson and his wife admitted they had intimate relationships with other people during a rocky period in their marriage several years ago.

Paterson is the first African American governor of New York and the second legally blind governor of any US state.

Towns brings greetings to PNM

The second US guest at the PNM rally was former congressman Ed Towns who served in the US House of Representatives from 1983 to 2013. 

Towns spoke for about two minutes bringing greetings to the crowd. 

“I am just so excited about what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard and I am certain that when Dr Rowley becomes prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, eyes have not seen and ears have not heard about the good things that he’s gonna do on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Towns ended by saying the only place that success comes before work was in the dictionary.

Towns worked on behalf of underserved Brooklyn communities and won recognition from several organisations for his efforts. 

In November 2000, Towns was severely criticised by India for requesting that the White House “declare India a terrorist state” because of “the pattern of Indian terrorism against its minorities.”

Towns published a “list of attacks on Christians” to bolster his views. The White House dismissed the allegation, saying there was “no credible evidence” of any government involvement in the massacre.”

In 1992, Towns was named in the House banking scandal, having written 408 cheques on an overdrawn bank account. On April 16, 2012, he announced his retirement. 

Governors can speak out

The Sunday Guardian understands that because of the US separation of state and federal government, governors are not aligned to the State and are therefore allowed to speak out on any issue and on any platform.


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