GOP: Judge suspends lieutenant governor plan

(AP) - Republicans said Thursday that they havesecured a court order suspending Gov. David Paterson's plan toappoint a lieutenant governor to preside over the gridlocked NewYork Senate. GOP Senate spokesman John McArdle said a judge in Nassau Countyissued the order overnight. He said it temporarily suspendsPaterson's plan to have Richard Ravitch provide a tie-breaking voteand preside over the Senate. Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann said the temporaryrestraining order was received Wednesday night, after he said allthe necessary appointment papers were filed with the statesecretary of state. Ravitch, a former Metropolitan Transportation Authoritychairman, said he didn't know of the court action. Ravitch said he was sworn in at 8 p.m. Wednesday, hours afterPaterson made the surprise appointment long thought to beconstitutionally prohibited. The Senate has been gridlocked since a June 8 coup by aRepublican-dominated coalition over the Democratic conference thatthought it won the majority. McArdle said the court order is scheduled to be argued Friday. The coalition had immediately slammed Paterson's appointment ofthe 76-year-old Democrat known for crisis management as a politicalmove to boost his weak poll numbers as he campaigns for election in2010. Paterson's televised speech was promoted through his campaignWednesday and robo calls were made Wednesday night by the campaignpraising the Democratic governor's action. Ravitch told The Associated Press Thursday that he will be"addressing serious problems that the state faces and I am not nowand I will never be a candidate for elected office." Ravitch recently championed a transit bailout plan. He waschosen by then-Gov. Hugh Carey to help dig New York out of its 1974fiscal crisis. He also worked for President Lyndon B. Johnson in1966 and was part of the National Commission on Urban Problems.