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Poll: Majority of New Yorkers 'embarrassed' by scandals

ALBANY - Two years of scandals involving governors and lawmakers have made more than five in 10 voters "embarrassed" to be New Yorkers, according to a poll released Monday.

The Siena Research Institute found 54 percent of registered voters said the rash of lawbreaking by state leaders "makes me embarrassed to call myself a New Yorker." Forty-one percent said they were still proud to be identified with the state.

The poll also showed deep disenchantment with state government, with 70 percent of voters saying it has never been more dysfunctional. And by a margin of 41 percent to 45 percent, they said there aren't the leaders to "clean up the mess."

Despite frustration with the goings-on at the Capitol, voters by a 55-37 margin, said they don't want Gov. David A. Paterson to resign immediately. They are also against impeachment by a 71-21 margin. "Voters have turned even more negative against Governor Paterson, yet there appears to be a sense that more disruption in Albany is not the answer at this point in time," said pollster Steven Greenberg. "And if he doesn't do it on his own, voters overwhelmingly oppose the legislature taking on the role of impeaching the sitting governor."

Paterson has been accused of interfering in a domestic violence case involving his longtime aide David Johnson. Both have denied wrongdoing.

Paterson also allegedly lied to the state's ethics watchdog about soliciting and using free tickets to a 2009 World Series Yankees game. He has said he did no such thing.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating the domestic violence case. The tickets charges have been referred to Cuomo and Albany District Attorney David Soares.

The Siena poll found voters believe the Cuomo probe will be fair, 57 percent to 38 percent. However, by a 68-27 margin, voters said they preferred the probe be conducted by an independent prosecutor with no ties to Cuomo's office.

The poll of 712 voters, conducted Sunday, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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