Paterson’s Allies Falter, Papers Call for Resignation

New York Governor David Paterson said Thursday that he would continue to seek reelection, despite mounting criticism following a damaging New York Times story on his administration. But for the first time, Paterson also said he was open to the prospect of stepping down.

This change of tack comes as Paterson’s allies are faltering in their support. New York Democrats are saying straight-up that the governor stands almost no chance of winning an election.

The Times story, which you can read here, details Paterson advisor David Johnson’s alleged assault of a girlfriend, inappropriate intervention in her case by Paterson’s personal security detail, and a suspicious phone call between the governor and the woman before she failed to appear in court to press her case against Johnson. Paterson’s head of public safety, Denise O’Donnell, resigned the day after the story broke.

Following the story’s publication Wednesday night, New York Post and the New York Daily News published editorials that called for Paterson’s resignation. The Times was more measured, saying that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should thoroughly investigate Paterson’s role in the scandal.

Advice for Paterson and Cuomo from New York’s editorial pages after the jump.

The Post‘s piece, “Enough, Governor,” tells Paterson he should hand off gubernatorial duties to his lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch:

The scandal, of course, is just the latest in a string of Paterson fiascos — ranging from his allegedly politically motivated awarding of a casino contract to months of nonfeasance in the conduct of his daily duties — that has reduced state government to a sad, shabby joke.

The Daily News expresses a similar sentiment (in somewhat oddball language):

Having demeaned his high office, having exposed a character flaw that plays out as a truth deficit, Paterson is punchline rather than punch.

The Times takes a more moderate approach:

It is now the duty of Mr. Cuomo, who is planning to run against Mr. Paterson in November, to conduct a fair and swift investigation. Weary New Yorkers, who must be wondering if anyone in Albany can be trusted, will be watching closely.