I’m not a New Yorker, but the idea of bringing Spitzer down this way brings me a nice warm feeling in my belly. Tucker Carlson on MSNBC would disagree with me because he felt this was an awful way to bring him down and that it should have been for any countless other non-ethical reasons that have stung Spitzer in the past. I do however feel awful for his family – an affair is bad enough particularly with a prostitute, but when it goes public… So Eliot Spitzer got caught via some cell phone records of using a high class prostitution ring called The Emperors Club. How poignant when considering that Spitzer probably considered himself emperor of New York. Spitzer at the end of a press conference today said he would “report back in short order”. I’m guessing that would be with a resignation.
What makes this ordeal ironic is that Spitzer himself took down several prostitution rings as New York’s Attorney General and spoke with revulsion and anger after one such case in 2004 that nabbed 16 people operating a high-end prostitution ring on Staten Island. Other tactics that Spitzer has used in the past have also proven to be questionable leaving one to scoff when hearing Spitzer say things like, “I have always stated that I want ethics and integrity to be the hallmarks of my administration.”
Some of those tactics include using the state police to cause political damage to rival State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. The Governor ended up apologizing in that case. Another political rival, NY State Assembly Miniority Leader James Tedisco, was told by Spitzer, “Listen, I’m a f*&%ing steamroller and I’ll roll over you and anybody else,” which is what he did when Tedisco opposed Spitzer’s bill to get driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Spitzer cut $300,000 in state funding for health care and education grants in retaliation in the Schenectady area which is a Tedisco constituancy. In a case brought against Bank of America broker Theodore C. Sihpol that Spitzer lost and was scolded by a judge and jury over, the Wall Street Journal wrote on June 10, 2005 that Spitzer “has become famous for assailing a business practice that is either controversial or legally ambiguous, and then using leaks via the media and the threat of indictment or the destruction of an entire company to force his targets to surrender”.
I guess Spitzer was just playing politics as usual despite his pledge to “reform Albany”. Know any other politicians pledging reform and change? Hmmm…