Governor David Paterson hit up a church in Bed-Stuy yesterday to let the people know he will not be resigning:
A defiant Gov. Paterson praised the Lord – and himself – Sunday, vowing at a Brooklyn church that he will serve out his term as governor.
“My determination is to run this state,” Paterson told congregants at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant in his most forceful comments since the scandals erupted. “I will keep governing till the end of the year,” he promised. “I will not be daunted or distracted by any voices.” For the embattled Paterson, who has faced increasing calls that he resign over his role in a bevy of mushrooming scandals, it was a fire-and-brimstone performance on a day that saw his few remaining friends trying to circle the wagons.
“We have seen the rise of Gov. Paterson,” proclaimed the Rev. Lawrence Aker before introducing the governor at the service, where the governor was greeted by warm applause from the 500 or so congregants.
“God is great,” rejoined Paterson after he took the lectern.
Paterson then launched into a wide-ranging defense of his administration, sermonizing on how he successfully repealed the state’s onerous Rockefeller drug laws, extended unemployment benefits, fought foreclosures and reined in state spending during his two years on the job. He vowed not to listen to the polls or the media, adding, “I should be listening to my own heart. And that voice tells me stand up.”
The governor has faced increasing calls that he resign after it was revealed that he intervened in a domestic violence case against his top aide, David Johnson.
Paterson has admitted to talking to Johnson’s victim, Sherr-una Booker, on Feb. 7 – he says to offer her comfort. But the next day, Booker did not show up in court, leading the judge to dismiss the abuse case.
Paterson has asked Attorney General Andrew Cuomo – who is widely expected to run for governor in November – to investigate the allegations and prepare a report that, many believe, could sink or save Paterson.
Paterson, who will headline a town hall meeting on the state budget today in Brooklyn in an ongoing attempt to show he is in charge, expressed confidence in Cuomo’s handling of the case.
“I will be talking to the investigation, not to the media,” he told parishioners. “Only the truth will clear my name.”