A month ago, Larry “The Brain” Schwartz was summoned to Albany to take the number two staff job under Gov. David Paterson. You read it here first. (See column.) Well, in a flash, Schwartz is now number one, replacing William J. Cunningham III who apparently couldn’t cut the mustard as the governor’s secretary.
For nearly a decade Schwartz paractically ran things around here, serving as Westchester County Executive Andy Spano’s political nurse maid, hatchet man and all purpose power-behind-the-thrown. That is to say, he was “The Brain.”
So we also knew that he wasn’t called to Paterson’s side to merely shuffle papers. He’s gonna micro-manage like there’s no tomorrow. We called that, too.
Here’s a snippet from January’s column:
The way I look at it, Schwartz’s arrival as Paterson’s first deputy secretary can only improve things for a governor whose administration has been thrown off kilter by his poorly received State of the State speech, the nagging controversy over how to close a $15 billion budget deficit and the bizarre debacle over Caroline Kennedy’s withdrawal from the Senate sweepstakes.
Ever the troubleshooter, Schwartz can help right the ship in time for next year’s gubernatorial race.
Here’s a prediction: Schwartz will also revive Paterson’s goofy obesity tax on soda. Don’t forget, he was the architect behind a lot of Spano’s anti-junk food initiatives in Westchester. He’s the guy who was pushing hummus and pita bread as snack substitutes at Playland Amusement Park.