Black Leaders’ Support May Buy Time for Paterson

Adam Goldman and Michael Gormley, Yahoo News, March 5, 2010

New York Gov. David Paterson might have won some time when he received what has become rare support from influential black leaders as he tries to ride out allegations in two scandals that threaten his job and led to the resignation of three top staffers.

{snip} Late Thursday night, black leaders in New York City said he deserves his right to due process and should stay in office.

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Group members led by the Rev. Al Sharpton said they want to meet with the governor to discuss his ability to continue to govern.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn said in an interview afterward that there was overwhelming support for the idea that Paterson is entitled to the presumption of innocence until the investigation is finished.

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Outside the restaurant, Sharpton was asked explicitly if he supported the governor.

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Former Mayor David Dinkins said Paterson absolutely should remain in office. Former state Comptroller H. Carl McCall made a case for Paterson to stay, while others reportedly were angry inside the closed meeting, with some calling for Paterson to resign.

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Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday showed plummeting support for Paterson among New Yorkers. The poll found that 46 percent of New Yorkers say he should finish out his term, while a survery released earlier in the week had that number at 61 percent.

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