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Paterson's aide dismisses critical New York Times profile

ALBANY - Gov. David A. Paterson's aide is dismissing a critical profile of the Democrat as gossip-laden and subjective.

The New York Times, citing former administration officials and unnamed staffers, portrays Paterson as often detached from the pressures of the job and his election campaign and increasingly reliant on people who lack government experience.

Friday's long-awaited profile that spawned weeks of rumors targeting Paterson said he is increasingly close to two longtime friends, former roommate and aide Clem Harris and a former girlfriend, Gabrielle Turner, whom he hired to a key post in his Washington office.

Noting that the article "offers no explosive revelations," Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann said the story fails to accurately portray Paterson's reasons for some actions and fails to note the successes.

On the two aides in particular, Kauffmann said:

"Clem Harris is a trusted aide to the governor who put his graduate studies for a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania on hold to serve the people of New York."

"Gabrielle Turner's hiring followed a standard protocol and she filled a needed role in the Washington office."

Kauffmann charged that the Times - "in trying to deliver a spectacular expose about the Paterson administration that would somehow meet the expectations of weeks of overhyped media intrigue - has instead produced a gossip-laden, subjective and poorly sourced narrative."

The Times didn't immediately respond to a call seeking comment Friday.

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