Monday, March 10, 2008

Client 9

I've always liked Elliot Spitzer because of his aggressive pursuit of corporate bad guys.

Still, what they say about Caesar's wife probably goes double for Caesar, especially when he makes his personal probity and incorruptibility his key selling point. That's why it's hard to see Spitzer surviving the prostitution scandal that broke today.

You can argue that this is purely personal business that has nothing to do with his official duties, and I would agree with you 100%, but in this case, I don't think it's going to make a difference. Not only can he kiss his future political ambitions good-bye, I don't see him keeping his job.

I know, it sucks, but it is what it is.

It does, however, open up an interesting result.

Here's what the New York Constitution says:

ยง 5. In case of the removal of the governor from office or of his or her
death or resignation, the lieutenant-governor shall become governor for the
remainder of the term.

In this case, the Lieutenant Governor is David Paterson, who represented Harlem in the State Senate from 1985 until he was elected Lite Gov in 2006. The interesting thing is that if he becomes governor, not only will Paterson become the first black governor of New York, he will also become the first blind governor of any state. I don't know anything about him politically, although I do know that he was elected minority leader in 2002. Still, Sptizer's loss, when it comes, will bring about two big milestones.


Blogger John said...

I don't think this issue is a purely personal matter for Spitzer. If he were having an affair, that's personal and shouldn't really be relevant in the political scene. But he's not. He's engaged in breaking the law. A law that he signed as governor, and similar to laws that he enforced as AG. How can we trust that he isn't breaking laws across the board? He always seemed like he was sticking up for people against corporations, but what if he was on the take the whole time, going after scapegoats or high profile cases to take the heat off of his backers? I don't necessarily think that's likely, but we have to consider it a possibility now.

March 12, 2008 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Tom McC said...

I agree with John. I think there can be a legitimate discussion about whether prostitution should be legal, although that will not get far in most of this country (and I'm not certain I think it should be legal, mainly because of the enormous potential for abuse and exploitation of the prostitutes themselves). I can also overlook his hideous infidelity. But he did break the law. In doing so, he also seems to have gotten caught by an act of stupidity that the dumbest wall st trader would not have attempted (since they all go through compliance training): he sent more than $10k by wire, but in order to make it look like less, and avoid having his bank report it to the govt, he broke it into smaller payments. This also triggers reporting. This means either that he wanted to get caught ("Crime & Punishment" often comes to my mind in cases like this) or that he's too fucking stupid to be governor.

March 12, 2008 10:11 PM  

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