As details continue to trickle out about the intimidation of a woman abused by a top aide to Governor Paterson, the calls for Paterson to, at the very least, end his reelection campaign continue to grow louder from elected officials across the state. What we’ve learned is that the woman, Sherr-una Booker, was, in fact, the one to call Paterson but only after an intermediary passed a message from the governor that he wanted to speak with her, according to Booker’s lawyer. It’s also being reported that the trooper who spoke to Booker was none other than Major Charles Day, the head of Paterson’s unnecessarily large 200-man security detail. It’s “inconceivable that David [Paterson] didn’t know about it,” a source tells the Post.
Clearly, any chances that Paterson had at reelection, which were already slim to none, have evaporated completely. But forget another term — Paterson’s bigger problems are a probe by the attorney general’s office, which could find criminal wrongdoing by the governor, and growing calls for him to step down right now. Two of those calls came from the Post and the Daily News, which ran front-page editorials today calling for his immediate resignation.
“It’s time for David Paterson to close out his role in one of the strangest episodes in New York history — and turn over the affairs of state to his lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch,” the Post editorial reads. “David Paterson is not qualified to be governor of New York. And he can spare the state he has sworn to serve a lot of unnecessary turmoil and pain by simply stepping aside. Without further delay.” The Daily News was no less adamant. “Paterson must relinquish command so that Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch can advance the interests of 19 million citizens as Albany makes epochally hard choices in cutting spending.”
Well, you have to give Paterson credit for one thing: His crusade to appoint a lieutenant governor despite the constitutional murkiness of such a move turned out to be prescient. Paterson may or may not step down, but last night he sounded more and more like a man open to at least ending his campaign. There’s speculation that he could make the announcement as soon as this afternoon.