The hottest item up for grabs Saturday night at the Booker T. Washington Middle School spring auction was a tour for four (two kids, two adults) of Albany conducted by none other than Governor (as of 1 p.m. today) David Paterson. The lovable gov, whose son attends the Upper West Side school, had offered the outing way before his former running mate Eliot Spitzer’s call-girl troubles. Bidding began at an impressive $2,000 — the initial bidder had to leave the party early and left his offer by proxy — but quickly climbed to a final price of $3,700. The item “obviously got a lot cooler in the last week,” announced the auctioneer, who added that any money collected would be returned “if, with everything that transpired, David is not able to honor it … We haven’t been able to get a hold of him.” The winner, who had been bidding determinedly but wouldn’t discuss his prize with this reporter, won’t be able to ask Patterson about the events that led to his new position, however. A caveat included with the description of the item read: "In order to comply with New York’s ethical and legal guidelines, consistent with the public trust, and to prevent actions that are intended, or appear to be intended, to achieve personal gain or benefit by the successful bidder of this item, kindly refrain from the discussion of specific professional and government business activities during your visit." This is as it should be; Paterson clearly understands that people should be paying big bucks for a good time with him, rather than vice versa. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
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