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Posts Tagged ‘David Johnson’

Governor Paterson Loses Another Top Comm. Official

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After being named in one of several New York Times bombshells about Governor David Paterson, press secretary Marissa Shorenstein resigned today. She was named directly as an active participant in an effort to cover up domestic abuse allegations involving the Governor’s closest adviser David Johnson. Luckily for her, her call to the victim didn’t go through. Shorenstein told the Observer’s PolitickerNY blog on March 2nd that she hired a lawyer as a result.

Shorenstein was one of the last communications officials still with the Governor. Tracy Sefl left in January before the series of stories hit, and director of communications Peter Kauffman left on March 4th.

Morgan Hook, a former TV reporter, was quickly upgraded from upstate press secretary to director of communications upon her departure.

Here’s Shorenstein’s full statement:

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Gov. Paterson Press Secretary Named in Latest Times Bombshell

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Governor David Paterson‘s press secretary Marissa Shorenstein is one of two people named in the latest of a series of New York Times stories about allegations of abuse levied at top aide David Johnson, who has since been suspended indefinitely without pay.

Shorenstein, according to the story, tried and failed to reach Johnson’s ex-girlfriend to get her to describe an altercation with him as non-violent, just a day before the bombshell landed about the Governor’s longtime friend and driver-turned-adviser.

The unnamed source was kind though, keeping daggers pointed at the boss and not the messenger, stating the call was to “reconfirm what the governor had said before, that it was not an acrimonious — it was not a friendly breakup but it wasn’t acrimonious, that the allegation itself was not true.”

RELATED: Governor Paterson Ends Bid for Full Term

MORE: No Damage Control Possible for Paterson in Third Times Bombshell

MORE: Sources Conflict on Gov. Paterson Crisis Strategy

Governor Paterson Ends Bid for Full Term

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At 3:17 p.m. today, New York Governor David Paterson ended his bid for a full term at a press conference, and addressed the media swarm that has surrounded him for weeks. “I have never abused my office. Not now, not ever,” he said.

“After three weeks, all rumors were dispelled in the end,” Paterson said, in reference to the media cycle precipitated by rumors of a huge New York Times scoop. We know now that it was his closest adviser David Johnson — who did work in a communications and policy capacity — that was the source of the biggest problems.

All the major news networks carried the presser live, except for NBC which was showing the USA vs. Finland hockey game. For more on that, turn to TVNewser shortly.

RELATED: No Damage Control Possible for Paterson in Third Times Bombshell

Sources Conflict on Gov. Paterson Crisis Strategy

Times Scoop on David Paterson Reveals PR Struggle

No Damage Control Possible for Paterson in Third Times Bombshell

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The third New York Times bombshell on Governor David Paterson dropped today, confirming what we learned from sources two weeks ago. Paterson’s relationship with close adviser David Johnson has destroyed his image and his future in politics. The piece confirmed with Johnson’s ex-girlfriend that a beating occurred and that the Governor’s office hoped to cover it up.

Unlike the first story about Johnson which was actually well handled by the Paterson camp, or what’s left of it, this one left the embattled Governor with no damage control cards to play except to say that it was Johnson’s girlfriend who initiated the phone call to him, not the other way around. According to the story, she got the call just before she was scheduled for a court appearance that would’ve filed a protective order against Johnson. She failed to appear and the case was dismissed.

The story also shows that Paterson knew the exact nature of the bombshell when he met with the paper’s editorial board on February 8th, all while crying foul on accusations in the tabloids of marital affairs and influence peddling.

The other move left was for his office to issue a statement late last night, asking the Attorney General to open an investigation, and to suspend David Johnson without pay. The AG is of course, ironically, his challenger for re-election Andrew Cuomo.

One of our sources close to the “horrible” situation tells us Paterson won’t resign until he has another job lined up.

RELATED: Sources Conflict on Gov. Paterson Crisis Strategy

Times Scoop on David Paterson Reveals PR Struggle

Times Scoop on David Paterson Reveals PR Struggle

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After weeks of speculation, the “bombshell” profile about New York Governor David Paterson dropped today in The New York Times, on page A1, above the fold, no less.

Except, the profile is about David Johnson one the two close advisers that are giving the Governor bad advice, sources close to the administration say.

It was revealed that Johnson, at one time Paterson’s driver who worked his way up to a six-figure salaried director of executive services, is in fact a convicted felon, and may have problems with violence against women. The revelations were not enough to force Paterson’s resignation today as predicted in the meta-story that has been unfolding over the past week about what exactly the smoking gun was.

The meta-story of Times + tabloids vs. Paterson aside (you can review the chain of events on FishbowlNY), there are two PR-related elements that emerge: Johnson is definitely acting in a communications capacity, and the story itself was handled well by whomever is in control of Paterson’s image. The former, critics argue, has divided the staff and contributed to a deep hole Paterson has to dig himself out of if he has any hope for re-election against the well financed Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

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Former Paterson Strategist Joins Kathleen Rice’s Run for New York AG

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Less than a month after leaving her post at Governor David Paterson‘s office, Tracy Sefl joins Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice as a strategist in her bid to replace Andrew Cuomo as New York Attorney General. At least four Democratic candidates are expected to run for that office.

In the press release, Rice said of Sefl, “I trust Tracy’s political judgment, her integrity, her passion for progressive politics and her ability to effectively communicate with the public and with members of the media.”

Sefl was part of Paterson’s communications team for just under a year. As PRNewser noted last week, the Governor seems to rely more on his inner circle of advisers including David Johnson, the subject of the “bombshell” New York Times story that was expected to force a resignation.

Sources Conflict on Gov. Paterson Crisis Strategy

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According to a source familiar with New York Governor David Paterson‘s administration, there is no communications strategy, and he relies too much on his own flawed judgment — and that of his personal advisers David Johnson and Clemmie Harris — over his professional communications staff (see The New York Observer for more on Johnson and Harris).

As the media and voters await the supposed bombshell profile in The New York Times that is said to force the resignation of embattled Governor, his communications staff is hitting back against allegations of extramarital affairs and influence peddling, or at least it appears there’s a coordinated effort.

However, a source with inside knowledge of the administration tells PRNewser all is lost at this point, and that there is no coordinated damage control effort:

“His comm ‘strategy’ is mainly a product of himself. He disregards his staff and listens to outside friends (and those 2 close advisors’) voices, but mostly he listens to the one that’s loudest in his head: his own. His senior staff think he is nailing his own coffin and are embarrassed by these latest bizarre interviews.

The Times story is still running. At this point, many feel it doesn’t even matter what’s in it. He is cooked.

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