Well, this will teach me to sleep in on a day off.
Seems that while I was soundly sleeping, our Governor, Eliot Spitzer, had to face up to chrages he paid a prostitute in Washington DC $4300 for a few hours of “work.” Seems that while Eliot was in DC to meet with NY Congressional people, he got caught in a FBI wire tap sting on an international prostitution ring. An FBI affadavit listed Spitzer as “Client 9,” with a clear indication that this was not the first time.
How Spitzer ever got this far in politics amazes me. Here’s a guy who, only a year ago, could “do no wrong.” Yet in the year since assuming the mantle of Governor, has done everything under the sun to self destruct. Well, some of us suspected that he would, given his tactics while AG, but nothing like this.
First was his “dirty tricks” scandal involving Joe Bruno. That is still under investigation not only by the Albany County DA David Soares (sort of, but that’s another story), and the Spitzer packed Public Integrity Commission, but has tied up the NY Senate with investigations. Indictments on that should be forth coming, at least for Darren Dopp.
Then came his back room expositions. “I’m a F***ing political steam roller” was widely publicized, even if it didn’t have legs as a story. While promising “transparency” in State government, he liked to be a classic school yard bully at every opportunity, and closed out the press and the public from it. He threatened state legislators, local politicians and elected officials, and didn’t get away with it, like he did while extorting setlements from Companies and individuals he investigated as AG.
Just to top himself, he came up with an insane, and highly unpopular idea of giving illegal aliens NYS Driver’s Liscenses. Not only did that gather a lot of heat from with in the State, but attracted a lot of bad national publicity. Not to mention putting his gal Hillary on the hot seat in the Democratic debates. He was forced to back off on that plan, with County Clerks almost unanimously opposing it (and many refusing to enforce it), as well as the general down turn in his popularity.
And now this. He was already facing a lot of ethical inquiries form his past actions, and now he adds being named in a Federal prositution probe. How much more can the State of New York take from this guy? And this couldn’t have come at a worse time, with the State Budget deadline looming (The Legislature and Senate just announced their budgetary visions). We have a property tax crisis that needs addressing immediately. We have a budget deficit that keep growing everytime someone speaks. And has to go get caught with his pants down.
Enough is enough. Never mind that he should never have been elected in the first place, Spitzer needs to resign now. Yes, this would leave David Patterson as Governor. That’s OK, as even if Spitzer remains in office, he’ll be voted out next time anyway. But while he won’t be a political force, Patterson at least won’t be dealing the State anymore image blows by his personal actions (at least as far as I know).
This is a big opportunity for the State of New York. Patterson has an opportunity to step up and bring things back on track. Sure, he may not be the “reformer” that Spitzer painted himself as, but he won’t be causing bad publicity. This is his chance to prove himself to be more than just a capable State Senator from Downstate.
For the GOP, if they can get their act together, can retake a lot of lost ground, and potentially make inroads in other areas. That is, if the Democrats don’t force Spitzer out and condemn him like they have every Republican ever caught in similar circumstances. If they don’t do that, then they will suffer at the polls.
Local news outlets are reporting that Spitzer will hold another news conference and give another statement today. Speculation is that he will resign (50-50 odds at the moment), and that David Paterson will have signed the papers to take over prior to the announcment (followed by his taking the oath). A few(very few) have speculated that Paterson may not take the office of Governor, which would mean the duty would then fall to Joe Bruno (R-Brunswick). While interesting and certainly fodder for the rumor mill, I highly doubt that this will happen. I don’t think that either Paterson or the rest of the Democratic Party will allow this to happen. Not to mention I’m not sure Joe would take it. I am of the opinion that Joe is happy where he is, and the power he wields. Becoming Governor might actually be a step back for Joe.
And here’s an interesting piece from TIME
And one more. This story is getting play on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning Show (ESPN2 and ESPN Radio). They compared how Spitxer’s wife looked at his news conference, and how their wives would react. Golic made a comment referencing the TV movie, “The Burning Bed.” “I bet she said, just go to bed honey, and was waiting with the rope, a can of gas, and a match.” Apparnetly the studio crew is too young to get the reference, which is funny in and of itself. Oh, and they also slammed the hourly rates of the Club…