After Gawker was tipped off by Tionna Smalls about Governor Paterson hanging out at a Chelsea club Taj on Wednesday night, the Post and Daily News jumped to find out more.

The News reports, "Paterson arrived around 10 p.m. Wednesday with staffers who are friends of Rhonda Cowan, a veep for music at BET Interactive, who was celebrating her birthday at the club. He stayed three hours - and didn't attempt to dance." Taj's co-owner added, "He wasn't partying hard. He was having a civilized, chill dinner." According to the Post, some sources say he left before midnight plus, "Paterson brought his 21-year-old stepdaughter, Ashley, to the soirée... He was drinking the nightspot's sugary Elderflower cocktails ($14) and sat in a booth in the back between mugging for photos with guests. The governor stood out as the only guest warning a suit."

Smalls, who told Gawker "He need to get his ass home," had some more gems for the tabloids: To the News (which says Smalls "snitched" on Paterson): "I don't want to put down my black brother, but come on, this is ridiculous. He's the governor. You never see Bill Clinton hanging out at Marquee... The point is, it was past 1 a.m. and he should be working on something like fixing the state economy." To the Post, "I mean it's a nice event for a regular person like me that's going to come up -- but not for a governor.. I have some advice for him: Stay his ass out the clubs." If only she'd been able to tell Spitzer to stay his out of hotel rooms with hookers!

Paterson's approval ratings are down, and so is the NY State economy (depressing press release here); his spokeswoman had no comment to the Post's query about his visit to Taj.