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   David A. Paterson papers 2005-2011.

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); David A. Paterson Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

The papers consist primarily of records created or maintained during David A. Paterson’s tenure as Lieutenant Governor and Governor of New York. The papers include approval and veto messages, budget materials, certificates, correspondence, litigation records, messages of necessity, photographs, press releases, proclamations, program bills, resolutions, schedules, speeches, video recordings, and visitors’ logs.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1705
Bib ID:10611989 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Paterson, David A.
Title:David A. Paterson papers 2005-2011.
Physical description:38.75 linear feet ( 31 record cartons and 1 flat box) and over 100 Gigabytes of digital files.
Language(s):In English
Access: There are no access restrictions to the majority of the records. Records that are designated as privileged papers by the donor are restricted for 15 years from the date of donation. Digital records are not fully processed at the time; the Rare Book & Manuscript Library anticipates that digital records will be available for research in the second half of 2015. This collection is located off-site. The paper records in this collection are located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in sixteen series and several subseries:

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Description

Scope and Content

The papers consist primarily of records related to David A. Paterson’s tenure as Lieutenant Governor and Governor of New York. Records dating from 2005-2008 also include records related to the tenure of Governor Eliot Spitzer. The papers include approval and veto messages, budget materials, certificates, correspondence, litigation records, messages of necessity, photographs, press releases, proclamations, program bills, resolutions, schedules, speeches, video recordings, and visitors’ logs.

The papers document the legislative, programmatic, and policy priorities of the Paterson administration. The records include approvals, vetoes, and messages of necessity on legislation, clemency records, correspondence, directives of the Governor’s Office of Taxpayer Accountability, proclamations for extraordinary sessions of the legislature, program bills, and public statements. These records not only document goals and priorities, but also the strategies that the Paterson administration used to further these goals within the realities of the political system in New York State.

The papers include all correspondence maintained by the Governor’s Correspondence Unit, which consists of nearly all incoming correspondence and responses made by the Governor or his representatives. In addition, the records include daily visitors’ logs for visitors to the Executive Chamber in both Albany and New York City that document the individuals and organizations that sought to influence state policy. These records serve to document contacts, discussions, and the development of policy by the Paterson administration.

The records also document high-profile policy decisions. In particular, the collection includes records related to the appointments of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch. The papers include constituent correspondence that was received by the Governor’s Office on the subject of the pending appointment to the U.S. Senate in late 2008 and early 2009. This correspondence documents public opinion on the appointment of a replacement for Senator Hillary Clinton, especially with regards to the consideration of Caroline Kennedy for the seat. The records also include correspondence of the General Counsel and litigation records related to Skelos v. Paterson While the Counsel’s correspondence is incomplete, the papers that were preserved document high priority matters in the administration. The litigation records document the historic case of Skelos v. Paterson , in which the Court of Appeals upheld the right of the Governor to appoint a Lieutenant Governor in the event of a vacancy.

The papers are rich in materials that document the Governor’s public appearances, events, and statements. The papers include daily media advisories of the Governor’s schedule, photographs, press releases, speeches, and video recordings. The majority of these records are arranged chronologically, except that the speeches in the paper files are filed by subject. These materials make it possible to look at several types of records that are related to the same public event. These records document the administration’s public relations strategy, as well as the public dissemination of information, on issues, policies, and events that occurred during Paterson’s term in office.

The papers include some records that are also available from other sources, but as they are helpful to the understanding of the Paterson administration these records have also been kept in this collection. These records include executive budget materials, appointment records, approval and veto messages, certificates, designations, executive orders, resolutions, press releases, and board and commission records.

The majority of the records exist only in digital format. All video recordings and the vast majority of correspondence and photographs exist only in digital format. There is some duplication between other digital records and the paper records in the collection, particularly for records related to appointments, approval and veto messages, budgets, clemency, designations, executive orders, press releases, proclamations, resolutions, schedules, and speeches. There are a few records that are only available in paper format, particularly the constituent correspondence related to the appointment of a replacement for Senator Hillary Clinton, program files, selected correspondence files, and the visitors’ logs for the Executive Chamber in New York City. The arrangement of the papers largely follows the folder structure of the digital records.

According to a survey of the records in this collection created by Glen Bruening, former Assistant Counsel to the Governor Paterson, in 2012, there are important records missing from the papers of Governor Paterson. Bruening expressed concern that valuable records were either discarded or not transferred in the period of time before efforts were made to collect the archival records of the Paterson administration. In particular, Bruening noted that few records related to programmatic matters had been received from either the Director of State Operations or the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries to the Governor.

Websites of former Governors of New York State are archived and maintained by the New York State Archives; this collection does not include a copy of Governor Paterson’s website.

Digital records are not fully processed at the time; the Rare Book & Manuscript Library anticipates that digital records will be available for research in the second half of 2015.

Series I: Appointments, Nominations, and Designations, 2007-2010

This series consists of certificates, correspondence, and other records related to appointments, nominations, and designations.

Subseries I.1: Appointments and Nominations, 2007-2010

This subseries contains copies of certificates and form letters related to appointments and nominations.

Subseries I.2: Judicial Appointments and Designations, 2007-2010

This subseries contains copies of certificates to judicial appointments and designations.

Subseries I.3: Senator Appointment--Constituent Correspondence, 2008 November -2009 January

This subseries contains constituent correspondence received by the Governor’s Office regarding the pending appointment of a replacement for Senator Hillary Clinton. The bulk of the correspondence was received through submission forms on government websites and then printed onto paper.

Subseries I.4: Miscellaneous Designations, 2007-2010

This subseries contains copies of the designation letters sent by the Governor.

Series II: Boards, Commissions, and Programs, 2006-2010

This series contains records related to boards, commissions, and programs. The files include correspondence, reports, resolutions, subject files, testimony, transcripts, and white papers.

Subseries II.1: Records of Boards and Commissions Created by the Governor, 2008-2010

This subseries contains records related to several boards and commissions that were created by the Governor. Many of these records appear to be reports. The subseries includes records from the New York State Seagrass Task Force, Commission on Property Tax Relief, Hinckley Reservoir Working Group, National Ocean Council, New York Invasive Species Council, New York State Commission on State Asset Maximization, Office on Taxpayer Accountability, and the State Energy Planning Board.

Subseries II.2: Approvals of Civil Service Commission Resolutions, 2006-2010

This subseries contains copies of resolutions. These resolutions document actions taken by the Civil Service Commission and approved by the Governor.

Subseries II.3: NYS Commission on Higher Education, 2007-2008

This subseries contains records related to the Commission. The records include correspondence, meeting materials, reports, subject files, testimony, transcripts, and white papers.

Subseries II.4: Miscellaneous Program Files, 2007-2010

This subseries contains files related to Energy and Environment programs and Health and Human Services programs.

Series III: Budget and Finance, 2007-2010

This series contains records that document activities related to government spending and state budget planning, as well as actions taken during the state’s fiscal crisis in 2009 and 2010.

Subseries III.1: Executive Budget Materials, 2007-2010

This subseries contains materials related to the Executive Budget Submission, including the agency presentations, briefing books, capital program plans, financial plans, governor’s budget bills, and media briefing books.

Subseries III.2: Directives of the Office of Taxpayer Accountability, 2009-2010

This subseries contains directives issued by the Governor to State Agencies. These directives document the Governor’s initiatives to reduce spending during the state’s fiscal crisis of 2009 and 2010.

Subseries III.3: Governor’s Line Item Vetos of 2010 2010

This subseries contains the Governor’s Line Item Vetoes of legislative member item grants and other spending in the state budget in 2010. The vetoes document a part of the Governor’s strategy to reduce government spending during the state’s fiscal crisis of 2009 and 2010.

Series IV: Clemency, 2007-2010

This series contains copies of certificates of pardon or commutation that were signed by the Governor and sent to applicants.

Series V: General Correspondence, 2007-2010

This series contains correspondence received by the Governor, and the responses sent by either the Governor or his representatives. The correspondence documents events, policy decision, and other activities related to the work of the Governor and the Governor’s Office. The majority of the correspondence is available only in digital format.

Subseries V.1: General Correspondence, 2008-2010

This subseries contains correspondence received by the Governor, and the responses sent by either the Governor or his representatives. These correspondence files were maintained by the Governor’s Correspondence Unit. The correspondence documents events, policy decisions, and other activities related to the work of the Governor and the Governor’s Office.

Subseries V.2: Special Correspondence, 2008-2010

This subseries consists of a digital folder entitled “Miscellaneous Correspondence” that contains copies of letters signed by the Governor Paterson that are related to either high priorities or to historic events that occurred during his term.

Subseries V.3: Selected Original Correspondence, 2008-2010

This subseries contains a small amount of original correspondence received by Governor Paterson. The records include congratulatory cards and correspondence received after Governor Paterson’s inauguration, correspondence from government officials, and a special occasion correspondence file.

Subseries V.4: Correspondence Received with Reports, 2007-2010

This subseries contains cover letters that were received with reports that were sent to the Governor’s Office. The majority of these relate to reports that government agencies are required to send to the Governor’s Office.

Subseries V.5: Miscellaneous Correspondence, 2009-2010

This subseries contains a paper file of miscellaneous correspondence from 2009-2010.

Series VI: Daily Public Schedule, 2001-2010

This series contains copies of daily media advisories regarding the Governor’s public schedule for 2007-2010. The 2007 file includes daily media advisories for both the Lieutenant Governor and the Governor.

The original record is the digital file of the schedule; the paper record is a copy.

Series VII: Executive Chamber Daily Visitors Logs, 2007-2010

This series contains the Executive Chamber Daily Visitors’ Logs for the Governor’s Offices in New York City and the State Capitol in Albany. These logs contain the names and affiliated organizations of visitors to the Executive Chamber.

Subseries VII.1: New York City, 2007-2010

This subseries contains the Executive Chamber Daily Visitor Logs for the Governor’s Office in New York City. There are no digital copies of the original paper files.

Subseries VII.2: State Capitol, 2007-2010

This subseries contains the Executive Chamber Daily Visitor Logs for the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol in Albany. The original record is the paper file; the digital file is a copy.

Series VIII: Election Proclamations, 2007-2010

This series contain copies of proclamations signed and issued by the Governor.

Series IX: Executive Orders, 2008-2010

This series contains copies of the Governor’s Executive Orders.

Series X: Governor’s Counsel’s Correspondence, 2008-2010

This series contains a portion of the Counsel’s correspondence but it does not contain a complete record of the Counsel’s activities. The correspondence that was retained documents high priority matters. The general correspondence in the paper file appears to largely duplicate the general correspondence in the digital file, except that correspondence for 2008 is only available in the digital file.

Series XI: Legislative Materials

This series contains records that document the activities of the Governor’s Office that relate to the Legislature. The records include approval messages on legislation, messages of necessity, proclamations for extraordinary sessions, program bills, and veto messages on legislation.

Subseries XI.1: Approval and Veto Messages on Legislation, 2007-2010

This subseries contains copies of the Governor’s approval messages and veto messages for bills that had passed in both houses of the Legislature. The records also include media advisories on approvals and vetoes for 2007 and 2009.

Additional records documenting the line item vetoes of 2010 can be found in Series III: Budget and Finance.

Subseries XI.2 Messages of Necessity on Legislation

This subseries contains copies of the Governor’s messages of necessity on legislation.

Subseries XI.3: Proclamations for Extraordinary Sessions of the Legislature

This subseries contains copies of the Governor’s proclamations calling for extraordinary sessions of the Legislature. The majority of these proclamations date from 2009 and serve to document the Governor’s response to the leadership crisis in the New York State Senate and the state’s fiscal crisis.

Subseries XI.4: Program Bills Submitted to the Legislature, 2007-2010

This subseries contains copies of program bills submitted to the Legislature by the Governor, his staff, or departments.

Subseries XI.5: Miscellaneous Legislative Files, 2009

This subseries contains copies of the Annual Message to the Legislature and records that are related to the New York American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Series XII: Litigation Related to the Appointment of Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch, 2009

This series contains copies of the legal papers filed in the Skelos v. Paterson case. In this case, the New York State Court of Appeals upheld the Governor’s constitutional authority to fill a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor by appointment.

Series XIII: Media Files, 2007-2010

This subseries contains photographs, press releases, speeches, and video recordings.

Subseries XIII.1: Photographs, 2007-2010

This series consists of event and portrait photographs from the Executive Chamber, documenting the activities of the Governor, his wife, and other senior staff. The photographs also include portraits of the Governor, his wife, and senior staff. As the photographs document the Governor’s activities, the subject of images from 2007 and early 2008 is usually Governor Spitzer rather than Lieutenant Governor Paterson.

Subseries XIII.2: Press Releases, 2007-2010

This susbseries contains copies of press releases. The files are arranged chronologically.

Subseries XIII.3: Speeches, 2008-2010

This subseries consists of speeches made by Governor Paterson from 2008-2010. Signature speeches are filed first; all other speeches are filed alphabetically by topic. Each topical file includes a list of all the speeches related to that topic in the file.

Subseries XIII.4: Video Recordings, 2008-2010

This subseries contains video recordings that document the activities of Governor Paterson. The video recordings primarily document the Governor’s appearances, communications with the media, and participation in events. The subseries also contains video recordings of Governor Paterson’s major speeches and a few recordings related to the activities of the Lieutenant Governor. The video recordings were maintained by the Governor’s Press Office.

Series XIV: Other Approvals and Requests, 2008-2010

This series contains copies of the Governor’s requests for federal disaster designations and miscellaneous approvals.

Subseries XIV.1: Requests for Federal Disaster Designations, 2008-2010

This subseries contains copies of requests made by the Governor to the United States Secretary of Agriculture for federal disaster designations.

Series XV: Miscellaneous Directories and Reports, 2007-2010

This series contains an Executive Chamber Directory (2010) and copies of miscellaneous reports; the majority of these files are related to the 2007 Report to the People.

Series XVI: Priveleged Records, 2005-2011 (Restricted Until 2029)

This series contains privileged records related to both Governor Spitzer and Governor Paterson. The records include briefings, calendars, monthly call reports, and records related to Spitzer’s campaign and transition into the Governor’s Office, Paterson’s debate preparation in 2006, programs, speeches, state asset maximization, and the transition to the Cuomo administration in 2010.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions to the majority of the records. Records that are designated as privileged papers by the donor are restricted for 15 years from the date of donation.

Digital records are not fully processed at the time; the Rare Book & Manuscript Library anticipates that digital records will be available for research in the second half of 2015.

 This collection is located off-site. The paper records in this collection are located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); David A. Paterson Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Finding aid available online.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Processed by CCR 2014.

Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi October 2014.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion October 10, 2014 Finding aid written in English.
    2014-10-10 File created.
    2014-10-13 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
BudgetsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
CorrespondencePortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Digital ImagesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Digital Moving Image FormatsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Memoranda.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Photographs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Speeches (Documents)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Video RecordingsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
African American governors--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Drugs--Law and Legislation--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Emigration and Immigration--Government Policy--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Finance--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gillibrand, Kirsten 1966-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Governors' Spouses--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (State)--Executive DepartmentPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (State)--GovernorPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (State)--LegislaturePortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (State)--Office of the Lieutenant GovernorPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (State)--Politics and governmentPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Paterson, David A.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
People with visual disabilitiesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ravitch, Richard 1933-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Same-sex marriage--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Social Justice--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Spitzer, EliotPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Stem cells--Research--Government Policy--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Suffrage--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Voting--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

David A. Paterson was born on May 20, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York, to Portia (née Hairston) and Basil Paterson. Basil Paterson, a labor lawyer, was also involved in politics and served as the first non-white New York Secretary of State and as the first African-American Vice-Chair of the National Democratic Party. In order for Paterson, who has been legally blind since infancy, to be educated in a regular classroom, the family maintained residences in Harlem and Hempstead, Long Island. Paterson attended elementary school and high school in Hempstead, graduating from Hempstead High School in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia University in 1977, and a J.D. at Hofstra Law School in 1982.

After finishing law school, Paterson worked in the Queens District Attorney’s office, and then as an aide to New York City Clerk David Dinkins. In 1985, Paterson was elected to represent Harlem in the New York State Senate. In late 2002, Paterson was elected Minority Leader of the New York State Senate, unseating incumbent Martin Connor, and became the first non-white legislative leader in the history of New York State.

In 2006, Paterson was elected as the first African-American Lieutenant Governor in New York State. As Lieutenant Governor, Paterson provided leadership on several key issues including passing legislation for stem cell research, presenting a statewide plan for renewable energy, working to prevent domestic violence, and advocating for minority and women owned businesses.

In 2006, Paterson was elected as the first African-American Lieutenant Governor in New York State. As Lieutenant Governor, Paterson provided leadership on several key issues including passing legislation for stem cell research, presenting a statewide plan for renewable energy, working to prevent domestic violence, and advocating for minority and women owned businesses.

Paterson became Governor of New York on March 17, 2008, following the resignation of Governor Eliot Spitzer. He was the first African American and first legally blind Governor of New York State. The largest issues facing the state were the recession and the resulting fiscal crisis in the state, and Paterson was the first elected official in the State to speak openly and frankly about the severity of the state’s fiscal crisis. Budget negotiations were tense throughout Paterson’s tenure, and the state ultimately made $42 billion in budget cuts by the time he left office in 2010. Some of the tactics that the Governor used in handling the fiscal crisis, particularly that of using temporary spending bills to advance his own fiscal priorities when state budgets were not adopted on time, set precedents for the future governance of the state. Paterson’s handling of the state’s fiscal crisis helped the state to avoid insolvency, a downgrading of its credit rating, and the state of financial hardship experienced in other states. However, the budget cuts, layoff plans, tax increases, payment delays for Medicaid and education, among other decisions, made him unpopular in the state at the time.

Despite the economic downturn, the Governor made progress on immigration, same sex marriage, the Rockefeller Drug laws, and other issues. The Governor created panels to review pardon applications from immigrants with prior criminal records who were facing deportation; ultimately, 24 applicants were pardoned at the end of his term. The Governor was also successful in working with the Legislature to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws by eliminating harsh mandatory minimum sentences and by giving more latitude to judges in sentencing non-violent offenders. The Governor was less successful on same-sex marriage: he successfully issued a directive that that required New York State agencies to recognize same-sex marriage licenses from other states, but the Legislature did not legalize same-sex marriage during his term. The Governor also pursued initiatives that would support minority and women owned businesses, enacted the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, reformed the Empire Zone Program, and ended New York City’s practice of warehousing data on individuals who were stopped due to "stop and frisk" but ultimately found to have done nothing illegal.

The Governor also established legal precedent in his appointment of Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch. The appointment helped to resolve the leadership crisis in the State Senate in 2009. A lawsuit challenged that the Governor did not have the constitutional authority to make this appointment, but his right of appointment was upheld by the courts. The case established the Governor’s right of appointment of the Lieutenant Governor, allowing for adequate provision for the gubernatorial succession in the event of a vacancy.

Governor Paterson intended to run for a full term as Governor. However, it was thought that he was too unpopular, and so a liability to the Democratic Party, and it was revealed advisors to President Obama asked him to withdraw his candidacy in September 2009. Paterson persevered, but additional concerns surfaced over the next few months. By early February 2010, there were two ethics investigations involving the Governor. The first charge was witness tampering, as it had been established that Paterson had contact with a woman who was seeking an order of protection against David A. Johnson, his long-time aide, while the case was active in the courts. The second charge was perjury, where it was alleged that the Governor sought and accepted free tickets to the World Series from the New York Yankees, but later claimed that he intended to pay for the tickets during an inquiry. As support for his candidacy continued to erode in light of these allegations, Paterson ended his campaign on February 26th stating that, "I am being realistic about politics. It hasn’t been the latest distraction; it has been an accumulation of obstacles that have obfuscated me from bringing my message to the public. Therefore there are times in politics when you have to know not to strive for service but to step back, and that moment has come for me." He ignored calls for his resignation, however, and finished the remainder of the term in December 2010.

Outside of politics, Paterson is nationally recognized as a leading active advocate for the visually and physically impaired. He is a member of the American Foundation for the Blind. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Achilles Track Club, having completed the New York City Marathon in 1999. Paterson has also worked in higher education, serving as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs from 2000-2007, as an adjunct professor of Government at New York University from 2011-2012. Most recently, Paterson was appointed the Distinguished Professor of Health Care and Public Policy at Touro College in 2013.

Paterson has also served the Democratic Party and the Coalition of Northeast Governors (CONEG). He has served as a member of the Democratic National Committee, as a board member of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, and as the Chair of the Coalition of Northeast Governors (CONEG). He became the Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee in May 2014.

Paterson has been active in other areas since leaving office. He serves on several boards, including the board of CODESMART Group Inc., a national subject matter expert for ICD-10 education and compliance, which he joined in March 2014, and the board of Medient Studios, Inc., an entertainment content creation company, which he joined in May 2014. He began a five year term on the Board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in June 2012. He is also a founding member of the Job Channel Network (JCN).

Paterson has also worked in the media, hosting a radio show on WOR 710 in New York City from 2011-2012, and co-hosting another radio show with Curtis Sliwa on WNYM 970 in 2013. Governor Paterson continues to be active in speaking engagements, and often appears as a guest commentator on political news programs.

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