Paterson asks Kennedy, five others for disclosure

Caroline Kennedy isn't the only contender for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat -- bad news for her, as her poll numbers are dropping fast.

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 6, 2009 5:45PM (EST)

Caroline Kennedy has taken a beating for her refusal to make a public disclosure of her finances. But she'll have to make a private disclosure, at least: New York Gov. David Paterson has asked her, and at least five other contenders for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, to fill out a 28-page form.

The New York Times reports that the other people known to have received the form were Nassau County executive Thomas Suozzi and Reps. Steve Israel, Carolyn Maloney, Kirsten Gillibrand and Jerrold Nadler. Those under consideration are asked about their employment history, their finances and their criminal record, or lack thereof.

Kennedy's finances will remain private for now, however -- her answers will not be made public.

Meanwhile, Kennedy's been seriously slipping in the eyes of New Yorkers. A new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling shows that 44 percent of the state's voters now think less of her than they did before she began campaigning for the appointment. Only 23 percent of respondents said their opinion of her has improved. And while a similar survey last month had Kennedy getting a plurality of support, with 44 percent backing her, 58 percent of respondents now said they want to see state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo get the nod. Only 27 percent still favor Kennedy. And her favorable/unfavorable balance is at a dangerous level: 44 percent said they have a favorable opinion of her, while 40 percent said their opinion of her is unfavorable. (The margin of error was plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.)

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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