The watch is on. Word around town is that Spitzer is expected to resign today (Wednesday), having cut some sort of deal with Federal Prosecutors. CNN and Capital News 9/NY1 are reporting that transition discussions have already begun between Spitzer’s people and the staff of Lt.Gov. David Paterson. Here’s to hoping that all this is true.
Ed Koch had some interesting comments on this. He called it “a Greek tragedy,” and that Eliot “has a screw loose.” Gotta luv Hizzoner.
Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R-Schenectady), has stated that if Spitzer doesn’t resign in the next 24-48 hours, he will file articles of impeachment. Don’t think this an idle threat. With all that Spitzer has done in the 14 months since taking the oath of office, even Democrats, and hard line ones at that, are looking at ways to get rid of him. No one wants this to go to impeachment proceedings. We have a State budget due in a few weeks, and an impeachment trial would hurt what chances there are for an on time budget.
How do I figure this? By listening to top Democratic leaders talk on the various news shows. Sheldon Silver said it’s all on Spitzer. He did not say he would support Spitzer whatever his decision, but that Eliot needed to “focus on his family.” Malcolm Smith, the Senate minority leader talked about the budget negotiations, and working with David Paterson (Not Eliot Spitzer). Even Democratic congressional types, like Kirsten Gillibrand are putting a lot of space between themselves and Spitzer.
The usual spin machine seems to have thrown a gear for Eliot and his mess. Just about every paper in the State has an editorial calling on Spitzer to resign. His approval numbers are barely above those of the US Congress, and BELOW those of George Bush. For a guy that got 69% of the vote in 2006 (a bit ironic eh?), having an approval rating of around 30% after just over a year is amazing.
Even so, there have been a few half-hearted, and extremely tenuous attempts to “defend” Eliot. The Albany TU tried to imply that the wire taps used to snare Spitzer were because of Bush. Never mind the fact that the taps were court approved, and with a warrant. But of course, they’ve acted as an agent of Spitzer’s for many a moon now, aiding an abeting him in some of his dirty tricks.
Well, have to wait and see what today brings. If he doesn’t resign, expect a political fire storm.