It seems Governor Paterson’s communications director Peter Kauffmann has a bit of the Rahm Emanuel in him, if this e-mail exchange with Albany reporter Elizabeth “Liz” Benjamin is anything to go by. Benjamin, then reporting for the New York Daily News, told CJR she has “no fucking clue” what the e-mail was about or who the “dem operative” in question is nine months after the fact, but you might make some guesses looking at her posts at the Daily News’s Daily Politics blog between February 2 and February 8.

Here is the exchange in which Kauffmann says that if the leaker continues “feeding reporters this bullshit” he “will separate his head from his body.” The marathon running? Well the only connection I can find is that Benjamin is a triathlete.










Actually, it’s a little more Malcom Tucker than Rahm.

And Benjamin’s response?










UPDATE: Politico’s Ben Smith has a “safe guess” on who the marathon man in question might be.

CJR isn’t sure who he’s referring to, and Kauffmann told me he didn’t remember. But given that Cuomo had just that week brought on Phil Singer and his new firm Marathon Strategies, that seems like a safe guess.

I saw Kauffmann and Singer together at yesterday’s New School panel, incidentally, where Kauffmann seemed to be resisting the temptation to tear Singer (with whom he went to work for Cuomo) limb from limb.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.