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Eliot Spitzer Plots Return To Politics With Run For NYC Comptroller

Eliot Spitzer

Elliot Spitzer, who resigned as Governor of New York after it was revealed that he had used high-priced prostitutes while in office,  is re-entering politics with a run at one of the top city-wide offices in the Big Apple:

Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as governor of New York five years ago amid a prostitution scandal, is re-entering political life, with a run for the citywide office of comptroller and a wager that voters are ready to look past his previous misconduct.

In a telephone interview on Sunday night, Mr. Spitzer, 54, sounding restless after an unwelcome hiatus from government, said he had re-envisioned the often-overlooked office and yearned to resurrect the kind of aggressive role he played as New York State’s attorney general. He said that after consulting with his family and taking the temperature of the city’s electorate, he believed New Yorkers would be open to his candidacy. “I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,” he said.

His re-emergence comes in an era when politicians — like Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina and the New York mayoral contender Anthony D. Weiner — have shown that public disapproval, especially over sexual misconduct, can be fleeting, and that voters seem receptive to those who seek forgiveness and redemption.

His decision startled the city’s political establishment, which is already unsettled by the rapid rise of Mr. Weiner, who also plunged into a campaign without party elders’ blessing.

Mr. Spitzer batted away a question about whether the reception enjoyed by Mr. Weiner, who is running neck and neck with the front-runner Christine C. Quinn, factored into his decision, but said he was approached regularly by New Yorkers who say they would support him if he ran for office again.

“It happens all the time,” he said. “People who walk with me on the street say, ‘People really do want you to get back in.’ ”

Mr. Spitzer, who built a national reputation as a zealous watchdog of Wall Street while attorney general, imagines transforming the comptroller’s office into a robust agency that would not merely monitor and account for city spending, as it does now, but also conduct regular inquiries into the effectiveness of government policies in areas like high school graduation rates.

Such a reading of the office, which would significantly expand its scope, could put Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, into conflict with the city’s next mayor, much as his tenure as attorney general put him at odds with federal regulators of Wall Street.

“The metaphor is what I did with the attorney general’s office,” he said. “It is ripe for greater and more exciting use of the office’s jurisdiction.”

Since Mr. Spitzer’s resignation as governor, public surveys have shown little appetite for his run to elective office. So instead, he has worked as a television commentator on CNN, Current TV and NY1. None of them seemed to satisfy his thirst for political combat. Asked if he missed the frenetic pace and power that comes with a public platform, Mr. Spitzer responded readily, “Yes.”

The son of a wealthy real estate developer, Mr. Spitzer said he would pay for the campaign himself, forgoing the city’s public financing system. The race is expected to cost several million dollars.

Mr. Spitzer has little time to waste: To make the primary ballot in September, candidates for citywide office — mayor, comptroller and public advocate — must collect at least 3,750 signatures from registered voters from their political party by Thursday.

With Mr. Spitzer’s name recognition and three million Democrats in the city, this should not be a difficult task, but he plans to flood the streets and supermarkets with some 100 signature gatherers starting on Monday.

“I am going to be on the street corners,” he said. “We will be out across the city.”

Does Spitzer actually have a chance in this race? I’ve honestly got no idea, but he’s got the name recognition and the money and, as both Mark Sanford and Anthony Weiner have shown us recently, bouncing back from a sex scandal doesn’t seem to be as hard as people might have thought that it was. Yes, the poll numbers are saying that the voters are negative on him, but there were polls saying the same thing about Sanford and Weiner when they first entered their respective races. Sanford, of course, ended up winning his race and Weiner has, at least at the moment, made the New York City Mayor’s race a two-person race between him and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. So, anything seems to be possible and that’s probably what Spitzer is counting on. Besides, notwithstanding his downfall, Spitzer’s record as a crusader against Wall Street may be one that would play well in a populist campaign in the city, although it obviously cause Wall Street to send a lot of money to his opponents.

Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith isn’t counting Spitzer out:

Spitzer has basically nothing in common with Weiner, aside from their low body fat, and shared (and lightly observed) Jewish faith. Weiner is a talented politician who left Congress with no major legislative accomplishments and everything to prove. Spitzer was a major force in American public life for eight years despite having no particular talent for politics. Weiner’s online romances brought him down because they were weird. Spitzer’s ordinary sin — any number of politicians have survived prostitution scandals — ended his tenure as governor because his governorship was already going terribly.

The question about Weiner is whether, as Mayor, he will be able to turn his talent for communications into leadership, something he’s never done — but the sort of thing that can happen when you’re mayor, as it did to Ed Koch.

The question for Spitzer is whose head he will take off first.

Spitzer was, as New York State Attorney General, a terrifying and fascinating figure. He had learned from his legendary former boss Robert Morgenthau that under-resourced public prosecutors can’t beat deep-pocketed law firms on a level playing field, and that where banks and wealthy defendants may have time and money on their side, prosecutors can use the press to erase at least the first advantage.

(…)

New York City Comptroller does not have the kind of tools to play on the national stage that pertain to the office of New York State Attorney General. Spitzer also faces a capable candidate — Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a smart and well-liked local pol. But there are elements of an opening for Spitzer in the fact that the Comptroller manages some of the biggest pools of money in the world, retirement funds for city employees. He told the Times: “It is ripe for greater and more exciting use of the office’s jurisdiction,” whatever that means.

One thing is true: There is more demand than supply right now in the Democratic Party for the sort of outsider, frankly anti-corporate politics embodied by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren — that that turned her into an instant star and one of the party’s top fundraisers. And Eliot Spitzer would be one hell of an activist shareholder.

I do have one thought, thought, though. Perhaps Mr. Spitzer could have said something slightly less obviously joke-worthy than “I am going to be on the street corners” when describing how he’s going to collect the requisite petition signatures by Thursday.

The only question now is which disgraced politician is next on the comeback list. Larry Craig? Jim McGreevey? John Edwards?

Finally, as always, we can count on the New York Post to be on top of this story as only they can be:

Spitzer Post

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. edmondo says:

    What is Elliot Spitzer thinking? We prefer our politicians to be whores, not use them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Truthfully, yes. His first mistake was honestly ever resigning in the first place. Nobody that I knew, including me, cared that he was banging prostitutes. That said, we didn’t much care about Weiner’s playtime activities either.

    Weiner would, without a doubt, have been reelected had he not stupidly resigned. I suspect that Spitzer would have as well.

    Spitzer’s real crime, insomuch as we’re talking about NY politics, was IMO going head to head with Joe Bruno in a turf war.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  3. Yea, who cares about the fact that the Governor was breaking the law using state resources? Or the hypocrisy demonstrated in the fact that, as Attorney General, he’d utilized tremendous resources going after prostitution rings?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  4. edmondo says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug,

    Do you even read your own blog? If you had, you would know from the comments that only Republicans are hypocrites. Only Republicans are corporate whores who will give an industry multi-billion dollar tax breaks for a $10,000 campaign contribution. Only Republicans campaign on one side of an issue and then “evolve” after election and take the opposite side like a freshman law school student who changed teams in moot court.

    Democrats good. Republicans bad. Any deviation from those simple rules will get you the wrath of stonetools and the other DNC acolytes.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

  5. Barfour says:

    I think voters will look at Spitzer’s record and decide if they will forgive his mistakes and failings and give him another chance.

    Katrina vanden Heuvel once said that some big financial institutions on Wall Street commited crimes that lead to the financial crisis of 2008, and Spitzer is someone who knows how to find evidence of these crimes. Is there any truth to this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Give it a rest, Doug. I agree with you that his behavior was unethical and in some cases illegal, but NY’ers, including myself, just really didn’t (and don’t) give much of a damn who the Governor is screwing.

    Nobody ever asks how law enforcement was turned on to that problem in the first place, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it wasn’t a tip-off from Bruno or somebody else similarly situated in Albany. They do not like challenges to their fiefdom, especially not when those challenges come from what are regarded as city politicians.

    Frankly, most of us, at least the ones that I know anyway, don’t really give much of a damn about prostitution in general and think it should just be ignored. NY isn’t Virginia. We’d have reelected him. I’d have been willing to bet $$ on it, and I don’t take losing bets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  7. steve says:

    Of course he wants back in office. That is not surprising. He had enough decency to resign and I wish he had the good grace to not run again, but I guess he does not. What I really hope is that the people of New York (and elsewhere) reject not only him, but all of these guys. Are we really so short on people with decency and character that we need to resort to putting the Sanfords and Spitzers back in office? Depressing.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  8. rudderpedals says:

    @Barfour:

    Is there any truth to this?

    At the time I was certain the banksters took him down. I wouldn’t rule out Bruno and the banksters working together on this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Ben says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The problem isn’t the prostitutes, it’s the insanely ballsy amounts of hypocrisy. He made quite a big show about going after prostitutes when he was a prosecutor, and was banging them the whole time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Andre Kenji says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Give it a rest, Doug. I agree with you that his behavior was unethical and in some cases illegal, but NY’ers, including myself, just really didn’t (and don’t) give much of a damn who the Governor is screwing.

    I do agree with Chicago Tribune´s Steve Chapman that the real prostitution scandal is that prostitution is illegal. On the other hand, imprisoning prostitutes(Many of them single mothers trying to feed their children) while giving free pass to politicians that uses their services is something that we´d from a Banana Republic, not from the United States.

    (And yes, most countries that could be considered Banana Republic´s have better prostitution statures than the US).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. @HarvardLaw92:

    It’s been noted that Spitzer prosecuted a number of prostitutions rings during his legal career. So I actually do care that he was banging prostitutes. We have enough politicians that are happy to advance their careers by destroying the lives of ordinary citizens while thinking themselves above the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. So after Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, what other disgraced former politicians can New York City elect? Maybe John Edwards for DA?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. stonetools says:

    I think all these folks attacking Spitzer would have some credibility if they were all calling for the resignation of Senator Doug Vitter of the Bible-believing, family values state of Louisiana .I searched, but didn’t see any posts by Doug calling for Vitter’s resignation. Guess that’s the operation of the famous rule IOKIYAR.

    I think that government officials who engage in this sort of misconduct should be punished, but that forced resignation is too strong a penalty. (That should be the responsibility of the voters). I think that censures, fines, and loss of committee memberships should be the remedy for legislators. I’m thinking maybe something similar for governors

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  14. Andre Kenji says:

    I don´t think that Dave Vitter should have resigned. He should have been arrested.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Frankly, most of us, at least the ones that I know anyway, don’t really give much of a damn about prostitution in general and think it should just be ignored. NY isn’t Virginia. We’d have reelected him. I’d have been willing to bet $$ on it, and I don’t take losing bets.

    Your right, NY isn’t VA, it’s Louisiana.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  16. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “So after Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, what other disgraced former politicians can New York City elect? Maybe John Edwards for DA? ”

    Sure. Why not? Why don’t we judge these candidates on what they’ve done in office, not in their personal lives?

    Spitzer was one of the tiny handful of elected officials to go after the banks for the crimes that tanked the world economy. And so yes, I’d forgive him the prostitution, and even the hypocrisy of going after prostitution rings (although that one is more difficult for me).

    If there’s an alternative out there who isn’t a whore to the banks, I’d vote for him or her instead. But I’m sure as hell not seeing it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    But there are elements of an opening for Spitzer in the fact that the Comptroller manages some of the biggest pools of money in the world, retirement funds for city employees. He told the Times: “It is ripe for greater and more exciting use of the office’s jurisdiction,” whatever that means.

    Am I the only person who gets nervous when the guy (who hopes to be) in charge of pensions wants to make “greater and more exciting use” of them?

    Handling pensions is really important but boring stuff. Retired employees don’t get excited when the check shows up each month, it’s what they expect. Spitzer will get no kudos for it. The only way anyone is ever going to get excited is if the check doesn’t show up, and nobody wants that kind of excitement or the recognition that comes with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. @OzarkHillbilly:

    What Spitzer probably means is that he plans to use the pension as leverage to demand corporate reform from companies in exchange for investing in them. While those reforms may be a good idea, one only has too look to CalPERS to see what happens when a pension’s management is more interested in the politics of their investments than in the actual returns and security of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. john425 says:

    These two could share a platform and run on the same ticket as “Der Weinerspitzer”. They could also ask for Alec Baldwin’s endorsement. Democrats have no shame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  20. James Pearce says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Yea, who cares about the fact that the Governor was breaking the law using state resources?

    Hmm…I seem to have forgotten the whole Spitzer trial.

    Now I’m not denying he visited prostitutes….just saying that there’s this whole process we have for determining whether someone broke the law, and if you want to get all high and mighty over the presumption of innocence for, say, murderers, you might want to do the same for a guy who allegedly banged a hooker with knee-length black socks. Unless he’s a Democrat with different political views. That, I admit, would make it more difficult.

    And hypocrisy? In Spitzer’s case, it was hubris more than hypocrisy that led to his downfall. And that’s the reason he should never be allowed near another public office again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    what happens when a pension’s management is more interested in the politics of their investments than in the actual returns and security of them.

    Yep, and hence my nervousness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I haven’t noted that at all. I did note that the AG’s office obtained a civil injunction preventing a travel agency with a prostitution abroad tilt to its business from advertising, effectively shutting it down.

    I note that his office brought criminal charges against the owners of said agency, and that matter has deteriorated through three indictments to the point where it is currently a case of promoting prostitution in the 4th degree, a crime considered to be so penny-ante in NY that it’s a misdemeanor usually levied against doormen and bartenders. It’s a fricking fine, and not even much of one at that. All these years later, nobody has been convicted of anything.

    What I haven’t noted is Spitzer’s office prosecuting actual prostitutes in these admittedly political D&P shows.

    Honestly, no. I don’t do much in the way of moralizing, which tends to put me in the same boat as the majority of my fellow New Yorkers. Your business is your business; mine is mine. Who you screw is absolutely your business, whether you pay for it or not. I don’t elect a governor to be Mister Rogers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  23. Caj says:

    Eliot Spitzer was a fantastic politician who did a dumb thing. He’s not alone in that field. There are many out there who have done dumb things and come back in the public domain. Only for some reason when it’s a democrat they are the worst of the worst according to some! Republicans are forgiven by God and supporters and all’s well with the world! Spitzer and Weiner both made silly mistakes and were both missed as they were strong powerful people. Good luck to him. He’ll do a good job if he wins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  24. Tony W says:

    I wish Spitzer would run for national office. Hypocrisy and general scumminess in the bedroom notwithstanding (ahem, Mr. Clinton), I greatly admire his work calling out the financial “services” industry for the corporate welfare whores they are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. Ben says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Even Spitzer thinks that it’s fair to call him a hypocrite:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/08/spitzer-fair-argument-to-call-me-a-hypocrite/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  26. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben:

    So he’s a hypocrite? Whoopty fricking doo … He screwed a hooker, and I just don’t care about that enough (ok, I don’t care about it at all …) to not vote for him.

    Find me a politician who isn’t a hypocrite. Again, I don’t elect a governor to be Mister Rogers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  27. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Speaking frankly though, I can’t imagine why Eliot would want to bother running for another elected office, which is a pretty thankless place to be in NY, unless he’s just so insanely bored that he needs something to do with himself.

    The guy’s worth about $50 million. His dad, who is pushing 90, is worth half a BILLION. He doesn’t need to be doing anything at all except watching the clock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. Facebones says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yep. The global recession was caused in part by pension managers investing in AAA rated mortgage backed securities that turned out to be dog shite.

    I know I don’t want my pension involved in anything more exciting than mutual funds and government bonds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. PogueMahone says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Give it a rest, Doug. I agree with you that his behavior was unethical and in some cases illegal, but NY’ers, including myself, just really didn’t (and don’t) give much of a damn who the Governor is screwing.

    As others here have noted, it is not who he was screwing, but the hypocrisy of spearheading the prosecution of the “little people” who were alleged of doing the same thing he was doing purely for political gain.
    You then rationalize it by stating that the whole thing boiled down to promoting prostitution in the 4th degree… a ” fricking fine, and not even much of one at that. All these years later, nobody has been convicted of anything.”

    Is that the sum of his hypocrisy? I doubt it.

    The “deterioration” of the charge surely didn’t come cheap. I’m sure those charged suffered legal bills, frustration, loss of monetary gain, and incalculable heartache.

    I don’t mean this as a personal attack – as I don’t know you – but this is typical of the prosecutor’s attitude. That the final verdict of whatever charge is the final outcome. Nevermind the subsequent consequences of the charge in the first place.
    Lives get ruined, no matter if the final verdict is an acquittal.

    I don’t live in NY. So you guys elect whoever you want. But don’t piss and moan when others call you out for electing a demonstrable hypocrite.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @PogueMahone:

    but the hypocrisy of spearheading the prosecution of the “little people” who were alleged of doing the same thing he was doing purely for political gain.

    I’m guessing you missed the part where his office wasn’t prosecuting prostitutes. It (tried, badly) to prosecute the owners of a travel agency which it alleged was facilitating international travel for the primary purpose of prostitution.

    I have no problem ceding that it was done for political purposes. Getting elected in this country unfortunately involves pandering to a seemingly endless number of groups, all of whom want their agenda pushed. In this case, Spitzer was pandering to ultra-feminists, whose votes he needed. That’s the name of the game for every politician in America (without exception), nowhere more so than in NY, and I don’t fault him for doing it. In order to govern, you have to get (and stay) elected.

    Cynical? Maybe, but that’s reality.

    But don’t piss and moan when others call you out for electing a demonstrable hypocrite.

    Not to seem arrogant, but when have you ever, EVER, known anybody from NY to remotely care what anybody else thinks of them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  31. @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m guessing you missed the part where his office wasn’t prosecuting prostitutes.

    That’s if you’re only counting his stint as the New York Attorney General. There’s also his earlier stint in the New York County District Attorney’s office. And they did prosecute prostitutes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  32. PogueMahone says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Answer me this, Harvard. Is this: “…a fricking fine, and not even much of one at that. All these years later, nobody has been convicted of anything” a sum of the consequences of being charged with a crime?

    And this, “Not to seem arrogant, but when have you ever, EVER, known anybody from NY to remotely care what anybody else thinks of them? ” can be applied to just about every one from every region in the states.”
    I live in Texas (although I’m not from here). And this attitude permeates every level of culture and politics here in the Lone Star State. You can think that you New Yorkers have exclusive rights on indifference to the opinions of those who live elsewhere, but come down here and they’ll shove that indifference in your face – and grin ear to ear with pride when doing so.

    And besides, if you truly do not remotely care what anybody else thinks of NY’ers… then why bother commenting on what a Virginian thinks?

    And btw, if you want to evoke your opinions on the hypocritical characteristics of Texas politicians, then have at it. You won’t receive any objections from me.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    There’s also his earlier stint in the New York County District Attorney’s office. And they did prosecute prostitutes.

    Nah, under Morgenthau he worked in the rackets bureau. He wouldn’t have prosecuted prostitutes there.

    Prostitution is handled by special victims, and is typically low interest. Cops are more interested in moving prostitutes along in NY than they are in arresting them – meaning they are infrequently arrested unless they are committing other rimes (drugs, etc.) as well. Pros alone just isn’t worth the time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @PogueMahone:

    Answer me this, Harvard. Is this: “…a fricking fine, and not even much of one at that. All these years later, nobody has been convicted of anything” a sum of the consequences of being charged with a crime?

    Which is what, exactly? Spitzer didn’t have to pay attorneys during his foray into potential prosecution? That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    I live in Texas

    You have my most profound sympathies …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. @HarvardLaw92:

    Nah, under Morgenthau he worked in the rackets bureau. He wouldn’t have prosecuted prostitutes there.

    Except he prosecuted at least two prostitution rings while he was there:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/nyregion/10cnd-spitzer.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You need to read it again ….

    as attorney general Mr. Spitzer also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

    Those prosecutions involved a larger targeting of the Mafia, and they did not occur during his tenure at the NY County DA’s office.

    We’ll just have to disagree about the rest. Him banging a prostitute doesn’t bother me in the least. Whatever hypocrisy might have been involved doesn’t bother me much either. It is what it is.

    I’m a NY’er, and I’ll probably vote for him, given the other abysmal candidates that are likely to be on the ballot. if nothing else, having him back in the position of sticking it to the Street is a nice proposition. If you live here as well, feel free to vote against him. If you don’t live here, well, like I said above, we’re not much concerned with what other people think about us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  37. PogueMahone says:

    Which is what, exactly? Spitzer didn’t have to pay attorneys during his foray into potential prosecution? That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    That’s circular reasoning. It’s okay that Spitzer caused others legal fees because he himself may have had legal fees during his potential prosecution.

    What a joke.

    But I’m starting to see a complete picture here from you, HarvardLaw92.

    “Give it a rest, Doug… who cares about the sex scandal.”
    “It’s okay that he prosecuted those for committing the crime that he also committed. Nothing became of it. [other than the subsequent consequences of prosecution that I refuse to address]”
    “What do you care, anyway, Virginia? This is NY!! Piss off!!”
    “It wasn’t Spitzer who put away streetwalkers, it was the guy down the hall.”
    “Spitzer should be forgiven for the immeasurable costs that he inflicted onto others for committing the same crime, because … you know … it’s just the way it is.”

    I’ve got it now. HarvardLaw92 is Elliot Spitzer. Or at least one of his attorneys. Because nobody would go to bat that hard for a demonstrable hypocrite on a blog run by Virginians unless he had a personal stake.

    I live in Texas

    You have my most profound sympathies

    Okay… I’ll give you that one.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. Andre Kenji says:

    I don´t care about people that patronizes sex workers. Many of them are good people, and that´s more that can be said about politicians. On the other hand, double standards are a problem. You either prosecute everyone that patronizes sex workers, or you don´t prosecute anyone.

    Double standards where laws exists only to little people is a main problem in a Latin America. The United States does not need that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @PogueMahone:

    I’m just not seeing it. Your problem with Spitzer seems to be that his prosecution subjected people to the expense of defending themselves.

    Well, yea, that’s what happens when you break the law. Spitzer broke the law, and suffered the same costs that he ostensibly subjected others to. It’s a nullity as far as I can see.

    He wasn’t convicted. They haven’t been convicted. He paid legal bills; they paid legal bills.

    I’ve got it now. HarvardLaw92 is Elliot Spitzer. Or at least one of his attorneys. Because nobody would go to bat that hard for a demonstrable hypocrite on a blog run by Virginians unless he had a personal stake.

    Neither. I just don’t care much for moralizing. If you think he’d be ineffective in the job, then by all means make an argument as to exactly why, but don’t come at me with these moral qualms and/or feigned outrage about him. They don’t interest me. I’m a Jew, but I’ve never been much for garment rending …

    Personally, I think he’d be very effective in the job, despite his past actions, which

    1) Didn’t bother me to begin with, and;

    2) Have no bearing on whether or not he’s qualified to do the job. He’s far more qualified, IMO, than the other people who are running, ergo he’ll get my vote.

    As for the rest, this is an article discussing New York. Of course I’d have an interest in it. Why, though, would you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Double standards where laws exists only to little people is a main problem in a Latin America. The United States does not need that.

    The United States was built on that. I understand everyone’s kneejerk rejection of hypocrisy but really, when was the last time any of us voted for a Saint?

    Let’s all grow up. Acknowledge the hypocrisy in our elected officials, THEN…. Acknowledge the hypocrisy in our continual voting for them.

    They ain’t Saint’s. But we keep putting them into office. What does that make us?

    Sinners. Get used to it.

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  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Well, yea, that’s what happens when you break the law. Spitzer broke the law, and suffered the same costs that he ostensibly subjected others to. It’s a nullity as far as I can see.

    He wasn’t convicted. They haven’t been convicted. He paid legal bills; they paid legal bills.

    Uuuuhhhh Harvard? As one who is not unsympathetic to your point of view? Can I point out that according to you, he has a wealth totaling $50 million and his daddy has a wealth totaling $500 million? Of the whores and madams (or pimps) how many had that kind of a war chest?

    Speaking for my ownself, getting a speeding ticket costing a $150 AFTER my attorney plea bargained it down to excessive noise, and then paying my attorney $150 in addition means a little more to me who has a net worth of $100,000 and makes $50,000 a year (with the wife, $90,000) than Elliot Spitzer paying a few lawyers a $100,000 or 2, especially when daddy warbucks has his back.

    Just saying….

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  42. @HarvardLaw92: So you don’t care that he used STATE RESOURCES to go after the very people he was screwing, breaking the laws he was trying to enforce in the process?

    He’s a career politician, an utterly despicable person who has no business being in elected office.

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  43. Also: I find it hilarious that Democrats are shrugging this off while simultaneously laughing at Larry Craig. You people will do anything.

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  44. PogueMahone says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I’m just not seeing it. Your problem with Spitzer seems to be that his prosecution subjected people to the expense of defending themselves.

    You’re not seeing it, I reckon, because you have the typical attitude of a prosecutor. You believe that the consequences of a prosecution amounts to the sum of the final disposition and nothing more, and that pursuing the prosecution – despite the question of the morality of the prosecution – is simply the mechanics of someone’s job.
    My problem with Spitzer is not that he simply made defendants pony up legal fees, but he was happy to use the power of the state and to take the people’s tax dollars to punish those committing an act that he was quite happy to do himself (as well as take tax dollars for his salary). For me, it is despicable.
    He used the prosecutor’s office to further his own career and cared little about the laws he was supposed to uphold.

    Moreover, I heard Spitzer on Hardball today. Smerconish asked Sptizer if prostitution should be legal. Spitzer answered stating that prostitution is “…integrally related to other aspects of crime [human trafficking and drugs], and I’m not ready to go there.”
    Well, Governor, if prostitution was legal (a) it might not be integrally related to other aspects of crime, and (b) you already went there.
    So here you have a guy that claims that prostitution is associated with human trafficking, and he participated in it.

    If NY’ers want to elect him, then by all means. But you shouldn’t advise others to “give it a rest” about the “sex scandal.” And, if he is elected, then I hope he does a good job.

    Cheers.

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  45. wr says:

    @Christopher Bowen: “”Also: I find it hilarious that Democrats are shrugging this off while simultaneously laughing at Larry Craig. You people will do anything. ”

    Do you also find it hilarious that Republlicans are shrugging off David Vitter while simultaneously laughing at Spitzer?

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  46. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You don’t speak for The NYers I know. Aside from breaking the law and arrogantly believing the law and rules don’t apply to him, Spitzer sucked as governor. He was hated and loathed by the state senate and assembly. The former controlled by Republicans, the latter by his own party. He alienated everyone by ordering them to approve his reforms. His budget. His programs. This in a state where the leaders of the senate are at least as powerful as the executive.

    I have lived here all my life and no place needs reform more than NY however I don’t think the solution is a snotty, privileged, rich brat whose daddy bought him every election he won. Budgets weren’t passed, his reforms ignored and his agenda disregarded. When he went down democrats as well as republicans cheered. The problem with him and Weiner and even Christine Quinn isnt their qualifications. It is their abrasiveness and arrogance. Plenty of people are smart enough to be a governor. Few have the personality to work with others to get results. Spitzer was a classic ego maniac whose hubris took him down.

    As far as I’m concerned, that is where he belongs.

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  47. Laurence Bachmann says:

    This liberal democrat would rather see a Republican elected then Spitzer. Even if you believe governors should get away with soliciting pros AND using NY state employees to facilitate it, let’s consider his record as governor. He sucked. Hilariously, this arrogant “the rules don’t apply to me” rich brat ran as a reformer!

    His idea of reform was that he would tell leaders of the NY legislature what to do. If they didn’t he would publicly attack, insult and bully. The man who bought hookers and misused state employees improperly tried to get police to investigate the Senate Leader (someone equally arrogant and corrupt named Bruno). When that became public he lied and denied he initiated the vendetta. Spitzer’s idea of governance was telling everyone they were wrong and he was right. When he resigned democrats were as thrilled as republicans. They hated him too.

    He is a rich brat whose father has bankrolled every one of his elections, giving him an overwhelming advantage. To say he earned the governorship is like congratulating Nelson Rockefeller for working his way up through the ranks in NY state politics. Even stupider is the argument about whose disgraced hypocrites–republicans or democrats– are worse. Scum is scum. and between Rangel, Weiner, and Spitzer, et al NY has more than most.

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  48. @wr: David Vitter is scum. Elliot Spitzer is scum. The people defending them are pathetic. This transcends partisan politics.

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  49. @PogueMahone: “My problem with Spitzer is not that he simply made defendants pony up legal fees, but he was happy to use the power of the state and to take the people’s tax dollars to punish those committing an act that he was quite happy to do himself (as well as take tax dollars for his salary). ”

    Not to mention that there’s already one good reason he’s going for this position.

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  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    No argument. He’s as abrasive as they come, and always has been.

    That said, as I noted, the field for this particular race is abysmal.

    John Burnett’s candidacy is going, and will go, nowhere.

    Julia Willebrand – Green Party. Enough said?

    I’ve known Scott Stringer for years, and while I respect him, he’s equally abrasive, and far more representative of the problems inherent in having worked one’s way up through the borough political system. Since you live here, you know exactly what (and probably who) I’m talking about.

    Kristin Davis is a joke. I’m 100% sure that even she doesn’t take her candidacy seriously. Certainly nobody else will.

    So, that leaves me with Eliot. Perfect candidate? Not by a longshot, but he’s currently the best one out of an abysmal field. If the field changes down the road to give me a better alternative (which I don’t see happening), I’ll change my vote.

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  51. wr says:

    @Laurence Bachmann: “His idea of reform was that he would tell leaders of the NY legislature what to do.”

    Your problem with Spitzer is that he didn’t show sufficient respect to two of the most corrupt politicians in the nation? That he didn’t pretend that the NY state legislature is anything but a cesspool? Oh, the humanity!

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  52. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Sorry, no sale. There are worse things than coming up through the political ranks. For 12 years voters here sold the mayoralty to a billionaire. We give senate seats away to Clinons and Kennedys because we love celebrity. I don’t know how old Andrew Cuomos kids are or their circumstances, but they could be mentally retarded and I am sure they will one day govern this state. Basta.

    Now, Elliot Redux. Do we just forget he was one of the worse governors to ever hold the office this last half century. An executive whom EVERYBODY hated? Apparently, being the disgraced son of the HALF billionaire make you the head of the Reform & Repentance Party and wipes the slate clean. And I don’t give a fuck who he fucks but I do care if snotty rich pols use their power to settle political scores or to climb politics’ version of the corporate ladder. That type of abuse was classic Spitzer. A man who can garner sympathy for Joe Bruno is evil personified.

    EVERYTHING he does is with the purpose of aggrandizing power. A Robert Moses for the 21st century. The guy who knows what’s best for everyone and will ram it down your throat if you disagree. One was more than enough for me. Support him if you like. I will be at as many events as I can screaming SCUM!!!

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  53. wr says:

    @Laurence Bachmann: Let me guess: You think it would be a Nazi-like injustice if investment bankers had to pay income taxes like everyone else instead of getting the special 15% carried interest rate…

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  54. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @wr: Guess again Ahole (bet you have to guess lots before you get anything right). I object to rich snotty bastards buying political power with daddy’s money. Pity you don’t as well. Now you understand. Bet you don’t get to say that every day.

    Care to go again, chump?

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  55. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @wr: My problem is he didn’t work with the representatives of legislature, also elected by the people. In other words, he didn’t do his job. He was governor, not king. Too bad neither of you understands the difference You and he should learn it. When you do you might succeed in your next endeavor.

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  56. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    I object to rich snotty bastards buying political power with daddy’s money.

    FIFY :-D

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  57. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Sorry, Harv but no. I wouldn’t know him from the other downtown suits, of whom there are many, if he were just rich. Since Bloomberg decided to buy a third term and a dispensation on term limits from Chrissie Quinn i have had enough of the rich shmearing the immoral. Spitzbull, IMHO, represents the worst of both worlds

    We can agree to disagree on this but 1) he was a horrible governor 2) he doesn’t play well with other children–and yes, the other kids are aholes of the first order–but this is a democracy. You work with and build coalitions among those who are elected, not the ones you prefer to have been elected 3) giving people like him investigatory powers is foolish. He did some good as AG. He also abused his power.

    Abuse of power is (for me) the other side of the “money buys power coin”. They are what makes this city and state the New Illinois. And what makes Spitzer such a lousy choice. Thanks for debating without the sneering assumptions. Much more pleasant arguing with an adult.

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  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    I agree. Eliot can be, and often is, a monumental douchebag. That’s just how he is.

    That said, we tend to like our douchebags

    It likely won’t hurt him at the polls, certainly not in the boroughs anyway

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  59. Laurence Bachmann says:

    On Wednesday during lunch at Union Square I was bombarded by Spitzbull’s paid “volunteers” trolling for signatures to get him on the ballot ($800 per paid volunteer!). When assaulted at various times during the day I gave different names and bogus addresses, praying he’s challenged

    It’s not a lot, but if all NYers give just FIVE alias and phony abodes WE CAN DO THIS, PEOPLE!

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