NY Lawmakers Like Count Dracula, Governor Says

September 9, 2008 - 11:15 AM
Gov. David Paterson said Monday that some New York state lawmakers are like Count Dracula, showing pleasant faces to lull citizens' advocates but then becoming bloodsuckers when the sun goes down.<br />
Albany, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. David Paterson said Monday that some New York state lawmakers are like Count Dracula, showing pleasant faces to lull citizens' advocates but then becoming bloodsuckers when the sun goes down.

The governor, known for his use of humor, later backed off.

After making the comparison to a disabled rights group, he explained to reporters that he was trying to illustrate the frustration of having lawmakers seem sympathetic to a cause but then taking no action after the advocates leave the Capitol.

"There were legislators who I used to think practiced their own versions of being Count Dracula _ in that they were very nice to the advocates when they came to Albany," Paterson said. "And then (the advocates) get back on the buses by four o'clock. By five o'clock the sun would go down and they'd go back to being who they really are _ a bunch of blood suckers."

The civil rights group members have lobbying on a range of issues affecting the disabled and attending a conference. Paterson, who is legally blind, urged them to keep pressing their cases despite the frustrations.

"I didn't say that my colleagues were blood suckers. I said that there were certain people who listen to advocates, and as soon as they left and it got dark, were acting in that way _ like Count Dracula _ because they really didn't care," Paterson said.

Spokesmen for the state Senate and Assembly declined to comment on Paterson's remarks.