Black Leaders Still United Behind Paterson, in a Fractured Sort of Way

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Photo: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The city's most prominent black political leaders — who also happen to be Governor Paterson's strongest supporters — met at Sylvia's in Harlem last night to discuss what should become of our beleaguered governor. When they emerged two hours later, it was, thankfully for Paterson, not with a call for resignation — even as resignation becomes more popular among New Yorkers by the day, according to a new poll — but instead, for patience. Until the investigations of Andrew Cuomo have been completed, Paterson has every right to remain the governor, many attendees said afterward.

But not everyone agreed. According to Al Sharpton, there was a minority faction at the meeting who wanted Paterson to step down, like, yesterday. In fact, there were reports earlier in the night that Sharpton himself "had hoped to wrangle a consensus to push Paterson out." When asked after the meeting if he still supported Paterson, Sharpton, tellingly, evaded. "I'm the convener," he said. "There were people on both sides."

NYC black leaders: Paterson should stay in office [AP via Google]
Sampson Says “It’s Too Soon” To Decide Paterson’s Fate [LoHud]
Gov. Paterson aide Peter Kauffmann quits hours before Harlem bigs convene to offer guv their support [NYDN]