Just days from announcing his choice, Paterson won't identify "about 10" people who he said are in the running to follow Clinton. He won't release the blank questionnaire he sent to each of them looking for background information. He won't turn over the candidate's completed forms. And the public isn't getting any idea how the hopefuls feel about broad or regional public issues -- or even if public policy is being discussed.
"How could it not be public? It's a blank form," said Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, the state agency that regulates enforcement of the good-government laws. Since 1976 Freeman, a lawyer, has been the top state employee who advises government and the public on interpretation of the public officers' law.
The names of those under consideration -- among them Caroline Kennedy, perhaps Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, several members of Congress and other elected officials -- should also be disclosed, Freeman said.
Paterson's Secret Senate Pick May Violate NY Law
Republicans in New York's Legislature are pushing for a special election to fill the expected vacancy in the U.S. Senate instead of allowing Democratic Gov. David Paterson to make a unilateral appointment through a secretive process.
Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, a Schenectady Republican, noted specifically that Kennedy, the perceived front-runner, has no record in elected office and her positions on public policy are largely unknown.
"We need an election - not a coronation - to ensure our next U.S. senator reflects the will of the people," Tedisco said.
NY Republicans move to force vote for Senate pick