Tag Archives: Eliot Spitzer

From Spitzer to Paterson; A Tale of Two Governors and a State That is Screwed

Bookmark and Share  May we have a moment of silence please.

The announcement that Governor David Paterson of New York will close shop on his week old effort to be elected to his first full term as the state’s chief executive warrants a certain degree of reflection.

It is the final note to an Administration that has brought nothing but shame, despair, economic ruin and an unprecedented level of shattered confidence in government in the minds of New Yorkers from Brooklyn to Buffalo.

It started almost four years ago when three term Republican Governor George Pataki took a pass on running for a fourth term and retired. An ill prepared Republican Party had no one in the wings to step in and convincingly argue the merits of continued Republican stewardship of the Empire State. So they went with Dan Faso . After serving for a time as the New York State Assembly Minority Leader, Faso spent a few years becoming known as a perennial candidate for state wide office. His perennial status was earned because of his repeated attempts for statewide office that were followed by his repeated failure to win. But since Rudy Giuliani decided against a run, Republicans had no one to turn to accept Faso.

Democrats however had the shinning star of the Democrat party. State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer spent the previous 4 years going after Wall Street and making a name for himself as a tough, no-nonsense, law and order guy who was looking out for the little guy. A better image could not have been crafted by the greatest of political consultants. So before any nominees were officially chosen, Spitzer’s elevation to Governor was a foregone conclusion. So sure was his victory that Spitzer decided he didn’t need a big name achiever to back him up as Lieutenant. Governor. So he took a different route, one that would allow him to pick a relatively obscure State Senator. He was black, he was blind and he had no real enemies. It was a perfect situation. The handicapped African-American balanced the ticket ethnically and his personal story added a compassionate twist to the campaign.

Unfortunately things are not always what they seem though.

Spitzer was not the tough law and order guy people thought he was and Patterson, well with him, in time people would come to find out why he was a relatively obscure state senator.

About a year into Spitzer’s term, suspicious bank transfers of large sums of money by the Governor, triggered an FBI investigation which eventually found that the Governor was involved in hiring prostitutes and to make matters worse, doing so across state lines, which elevated the nature of his illegal conduct to a federal level. The good thing was that he wasn’t pimping or hiring them for others. He was just illegally hiring them for himself.

The disclosure took the shine off of Spitzer’s image faster than you could say Ashley Dupree, the name of the call girl that had been able to call Spitzer one of her regulars.

Promptly, Spitzer’s rising star fell and his swollen ego burst as he resigned from office and left New York in the hands of his Lieutenant. Governor, David Paterson.

Although Paterson initially had a rather disarming, dry, and amusing, self depredating, sense of humor, he quickly found himself the center of a developing scandal that involved state troopers and their possible leaking of some unsavory information about the new accidental governor. Paterson got out in front of the story though. He publicly announced that at some point during his marriage he and his wife drifted apart and had separate affairs. After a prying media beat the story to death, Paterson and the public came to accept the fact that those personal problems in the past were just that, in the past, and did not reflect on the stability his loving marriage now or his ability to govern.

But then came the job of governing.

This is where Paterson’s humor could not save him.

He quickly became overwhelmed by economic downturns and political strife. On the economic front, Paterson’s answer to everything was to raise taxes and even invent new taxes on things like carbonated beverages. With a state full of people that were already hurting economically, making things tougher for them was not going over well.

Meanwhile, a unique set of circumstances which saw Democrats take majority control of the state senate for the first time in decades, created an internal power struggle that had one New York Democrat State Senator switch parties and give control back to the Republicans. Democrats played a game of locking the senate chamber and for a few weeks no business was conducted. It became apparent to everyone that not only was David Paterson unable to effectively handle the state of state, he could not even control his own Party. In fact because of his Party all business in state government came to a halt.

Finally, Democrats, without the help of Paterson, worked out their own arrangement, the renegade Democrat who switched to the GOP came back home and swore allegiance to the Party he was screwing with.

But this did not stop New York from continuing to take a nose dive.

The state was in an obvious tailspin, Paterson was at war with the state legislature, he was threatening to raise more taxes, cut school budgets and avoid focusing on any relief for overtaxed, underemployed New Yorkers. This did not go unnoticed by the White House, where weary political strategists are concerned with what will prove to be a very tough midterm election year for Democrats. So quite arrogantly, the Obama Administration sent out the word that they did not want Paterson to stand for reelection. Clearly his presence on any Democrat ticket would be a drain not only on their chances of keeping the Governor’s mansion but also on the two US Senate seats up for grabs in the state as well as quite a few highly competitive House races. In his place, the White House wanted popular State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to run.

Paterson rejected the signal and defiantly vowed to run for Governor. On several occasions he even stated that the only way he was being taken out of the office of governor was either feet first in a box or by defeat at the ballot box.

The more time that went by, the worse things got for Paterson. It became clear that Paterson was unable to control circumstances but was instead being controlled by circumstances. Lacking any political appeal, public sense of leadership or political innovation, Democrats throughout the state were asking Paterson to not run. But he persisted.

Then last week, he set up a sparsely attended, low energy rally to announce his candidacy for Governor. The event was held at his alma mater, Hofstra University, on Long Island. The school administration sent memo’s to students, begging them to show up, but in the end, Paterson’s campaign kickoff was more like a wake than a rally.

Still, undeterred, Paterson spent the last week trying to find any kind of momentum he possible could. But before he could look too far, scandal erupted again. And again it involved state troopers.

This time it was reported that one of Paterson’s closets aides had been involved in a domestic assault with his wife. State troopers were involved, and at some point, Paterson was in touch with the close aide’s wife and persuading her to let the situation go and resist seeking any restraining orders against her husbands, Paterson‘s aide and friend..

Unkown to the public, an investigation regarding any inappropriate involvement by the Governor was being conducted and for more than two weeks, it was rumored that the New York Times did have some sort of bombshell revelation about the Governor.

That investigation was apparently part of it and as the Times began to release their bombshell revelation, things quickly unraveled.

Paterson’s Deputy Secretary for Public Safety abruptly resigned and issued the following message:

“The fact that the Governor and members of the State Police have acknowledged direct contact with a woman who had filed for an order of protection against a senior member of the Governor’s staff is a very serious matter,”

She added;

“These actions are unacceptable regardless of their intent.”

This announcement came after Paterson apparently admitted to talking to the woman who was the victim of the domestic assault carried out by her husband, Paterson’s confidant. At first Paterson publicly stated that the events in question were not forcing him to end his campaign but that he was going to be meeting with leaders throughout the state and talking the issue over with them.

Within hours, Paterson came back and closed down his campaign for Governor.

But still defiant, Paterson refuses to resign from office, despite calls from many state and Party officials to do so. If he does end up resigning or being charged with a crime, Richard Ravitch will assume the office of Governor.

Ravitch was a whole other story that went all the way to state supreme court.

Apparently state lawmakers, particularly Paterson’s Democrat friends in the state senate, argued that Paterson, having not been elected and only assuming office as Lieutenant Governor, had no power to appoint a Lieutenant Governor. Indeed there was no precedence for the situation. In the end, the state supreme court ruled in Paterson’s favor and Ravitch became Lieutenant Governor and is now on the verge of becoming the third Governor of New York in a little over three years.

So as this saga draws to a close, it does indeed deserve a moment of silence. For the end of a disastrous string of transfers of power, legal battles, power struggles, political infighting and unbridled irresponsibility may finally be put out of its misery.

But there are two things worth noting here.

Despite Democrat’s total control of the state and the illegal conduct, reckless behavior, irrational political power plays and total inability to lead New York, Republicans still can’t get there act together in the state. For too long they have been sitting on their arses waiting for Rudy Giuliani to come in and be coroneted. Well guess what? Once again, Rudy isn’t rushing in to save the day. So the lesson is never allow a party to be build itself around any one individual. The New York GOP has been trying to do that for years with Rudy Giuliani and where has it gotten them? About 20 or more points behind Andrew Cuomo with the likely Republican Rick Lazio.

Lazio is a great guy. He was Hillary Clinton’s opponent in her first race for Senate in New York.

Lazio is a terrific candidate and he has my support and my deepest hope for success. However, the state G.O.P.’s lack of laying down of any ground work, will make defeating Andrew Cuomo, the son of former three term Governor Mario Cuomo, almost impossible. But that’s what happens when you rely on one person, namely Rudy Giuliani, to do it all for you.

The other lesson here is that in addition to leaving the Governors office, as he said, either by ballot or feet first in a box, there is a third option for David Paterson. He could leave the office of Governor with his hands in cuffs……an option that is looking more and more possible with each passing hour.

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Scandal Plagued New York Times Said To Have Expose of Scandal On Governor Paterson

Bookmark and Share    The New York Times is said to be coming out with an exclusive expose on New York Governor David Paterson. According to sources , the details are so troubling that Governor Paterson will be dropping out of the race for Governor, if not also stepping aside as Governor.

Governor Paterson has denied that he is doing either. He also claims that that wild rumors swirling around any bombshell revelations that the New York Times may have or is rumored to have on him are scurrilous and untrue.

What those revelations in this New York Times, so-called expose are, is unknown but the blogosphere has been abuzz with suggestions ranging from heavy drug abuse while serving as Governor, involvement in a prostitution ring, or funneling state money to himself, to bribing Eliot Spitzer to take him on his Lt. Governor or taking a bribe to appoint Richard Ravitch Lt. Governor.

The only thing that is known for sure is that three Times reporters are collaborating on a news story that most likely deals with Governor Paterson’s character, or lack their of.

If while describing Paterson’s character, some sordid details arise, is not clear. For all we know Kirsten Gillibrand, the obscure Congresswoman he appointed to to the US Senate, has produced a blue dress of her own that contains the personal DNA samples of Paterson.  Which would help explain why Kirtsen Gillibrand is now Senator Gillibrand. Or it could be something as  innocuous as Paterson having not returned a neighborhood friends baseball cards back when he was a little boy in Manhattan.

I will say this though. If there is something explosive here, I would look to see if President Obama and his Chief of Staff, Rham Emanuel, have their fingerprints on the origins of the story. The President has made it clear that he and the Party do not want David Paterson running for Governor. They see his earth shattering unpopularity as a very high risk for Democrats in New York during the crucial midterm elections.  Instead, they want the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to be at the top of the ticket in November, not Paterson.

But Paterson has not bowed down to President Obama’s wishes, and such an act of disrespect for the Democrat messiah is bound to have repercussions. Especially if the President’s right hand man, “Rhambo” Emanuel is involved.

Emanuel is ruthless. He has mailed dead fish to legislators who have opposed the side he is on and even been the key figure in stories told about a dinner during the Clinton campaign where Emanuel sat at the table and began repeatedly stabbing a knife into the table as he stated the names of people who were not on the side of the Clinton campaign and adding the word, “dead”, once their name was said.  ‘So -and-so, DEAD!’….. Thump. “So-and-so, DEAD,’ thump………

So digging up dirt on David Paterson and leaking it to the New York Times is not out of the realm of possibility for the President’s Chief of Staff and head “get-it-done” guy.

But all of the speculation about  the Times story is based upon innuendos and guesswork . Which when you think about it is all that the New York Times is really based on.  I mean, ever since Jayson Blair and Harold Raines, the New York Slimes has had the credibility of The National Enquirer, which by the way was the first periodical to brake the story about the John Edwards affair.

So who really knows what will be said about Paterson in the New York Slimes?  No one believes that rag anymore and no one likes David Paterson either.

Next scandal….I mean next story.

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Kirsten Gillibrand; The Rodney Dangerfield Of Democrat Politics

Bookmark and Share   Kirsten Gillibrand is truly the Rodney Dangerfield of Democrat politics. She just can’t get any respect.

As a little known Congresswoman from upstate New York, Governor David Paterson appointed her to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton when thge former First But Not Only Lady was taken out of the picture after President Obama made her Secretary of State.   Gillibrand was not Governor Paterson’s first choice.  For that matter, Paterson wasn’t even the first choice of New Yorker’s for Governor. He only came into the position when as Lieutenant Governor, he assumed the office because of a sex and money scandal that forced Governor Eliot Spitzer out of office. Since that time Paterson has not exactly been seen as a great Governor. His approval numbers have been in the dumps.

So few were encouraged when he was given the chance to appoint Hillary Clinton’s successor in the Senate. But people were actually mildly excited when word came down that David Paterson was using the appointment to rekindle Camelot.

His first choice for the job was Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of iconic President John F. Kennedy and a true, long time resident of New York.

As the decision was leaked, it initially met with an enthusiastic reaction. Many, including Caroline, even lobbied for her appointment to the seat. But under intense scrutiny, before anything was ever official, Caroline stumbled. She could not answer questions as to why she wanted the job. She also failed to demonstrate any true desire for the job. This did not bode with many Democrats who, before Caroline was mentioned, saw Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, as a top choice for to fill the vacancy.

Then suddenly, Caroline withdrew herself from consideration.

The name game was back on. But could it really end up being Andrew Cuomo?

Had it been Attorney General Anna Cuomo, maybe.

Since the appointment was to replace Hillary Clinton, the rules of politics kind of made this a “woman’s” seat and if low-in-the-polls, acting Governor Paterson betrayed that misconception, he would have had a bunch of bitter, testosterone injected, females holding a grudge against him.

So after much consternation , Paterson made his big announcement and appointed Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to the US Senate.

The question then became who is Kirsten Gillibrand?

Gillibrand was practically unknown.

If Paterson’s qualifications were that the seat go to a woman, who is liberal and in Congress, there is a whole host of more accomplished and well recognized candidates, such as Nydia Velasquez, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Carolyn McCarthy, Louise Slaughter, or former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, to name just a few. In fact, till this day the question is still who is Kirsten Gillibrand. She has been in office for just about one year now and all that she has really done is be overshadowed by the domineering, senior senator and media whore, Schmuck Schumer.

And there in lies her problem. She was unknown and largely remains unknown. She has failed to hang her hat on any single issue or make a name for herself as anything special. Without any claim to fame to latch on to, a mountain full of hungry opportunists are just dying to push her out of the way and be king of the hill.

There was talk about several Democrat challenges to Gillibrand. For a while some lesser known names than hers toyed with the idea. Then former New York City Comptroller and the recent Democrat candidate for Mayor New York City, Bill Thompson thought about it. Having come closer to defeating Mike Bloomberg than originally expected, Thompson sees a bright future for himself. But he decided that he will forgo a run for the Senate and probably take another shot at Mayor in four years.

Then there was Eliot Spitzer. Even disgraced Governor Spitzer considered making a comeback by challenging Gillibrand for the nomination. Just about the only person who had not considered was Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Andrew is instead gunning for David Paterson’s job. Cuomo is anticipating defeating Paterson for the Democrat nomination and sailing into the Governor’s mansion.

In retrospect, David Paterson would have been much smarter to have appointed Cuomo to the Senate seat instead of Gillibrand. She was no threat to him. And had he been the Senator instead of her, few would be threatening to challenge him. Unlike Gillibrand, his name ID is high and his favorability rating are sky high.

Without that behind her, any Democrat with a green card and a dream has been looking at the chance of taking Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat away from her.

In fact more Democrats are eyeing her seat than Republicans.

Rudy declined to run and so did several others. Currently, the only Republican name of recognition considering it is former Governor George Pataki and that is unlikely.

Now the latest Democrat to contemplate shoving Gillibrand out of the picture is the cocky and arrogant, Harold Ford, Jr.

Harold Ford, Jr. is a feisty and ambitious fellow from Tennessee. He inherited a seat in congressional that was held by his father for 12 terms. In 2002 he was so sure of himself that he ran for House Democrat Leader against then Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi. Nancy beat him.

After one more term in Congress, Harold announced that he was going to seek the open U.S. Senate Seat from Tennessee. He received the Democrat nomination and proceeded to lose to Republican Bob Corker. Not long after that, he fled his beloved Tennessee, moved to New York City and took up employment as a political insider for the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch.

Now like another southern carpetbagger, Ford is threatening a challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand.

His overtures have not been met positively. After several previous possible challenges to her nomination were averted, the White House stepped in and declared that they are behind Gillibrand and no one else. This ticked off Ford. Apparently he is unaware of President Obama’s Czar-like propensity to tell who is or isn’t running for what. During the summer, the White House clearly indicated that they expect David Paterson to not seek reelection to Governor of New York because of his sagging poll numbers. They are insisting upon the nomination of Andrew Cuomo for Governor.

In the end, Ford will probably not run. He most likely won’t be able to.

You see, for all the disrespect that Senator Gillibrand is getting from fellow New York Democrats and even out of town Democrats, she has raised a campaign war chest of $7.5 million. In just nine months. In just that small amount of time, in office as a US Senator, she has raised the third largest amount of campaign money of anyone in the Senate. Only Majority Leader Harry Reid, and New York’s senior Senator Chuck Schumer has raised more. Harold Ford would have a lot of catching up to do to be competitive with Gillibrand in a primary. Even though she may not be a household name in New York yet, she is a good politician. Supporters claim she is a future President. Allies describe her as an incessant campaigner who never misses a hand to shake or baby to kiss. If true, combined with her money, pleasant demeanor, the power of incumbency and Harold Ford’s Tennessee history and voting record, he would have a better chance at catching a fully prepared catfish dinner for two, right out of New York City’s Central Park Lake than he would at winning a  New York US Senate seat.  At least under these current conditions.

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Louisiana’s Landrieu Exposed As The Magnolia Madame

Bookmark and Share    POLITICS 24/7 has uncovered another Capitol Hill prostitution ring.

In light of Saturday’s procedural vote to prevent a filibuster that would kill the Senate version of a government healthcare takeover, Politics 24/7 confirms that Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is an active political prostitute and it has been further confirmed that Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is her pimp.

According to legislation, pages 472 through 474 of the Senate healthcare takeover bill, dedicates $100 million to Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, aka; The Magnolia Madame. The money was requested by the senator for “Medicaid subsidies” and the bill has specific requirements that make it so that $100 million only goes to Landrieu’s Louisiana for this purpose. Harry Reid, Landrieu’s pimp, insured Landrieu her bonus, so long as he gets what at he wants, keeps her mouth shut and provides the 60th vote he needs.

The government takeover of healthcare will advance to the full senate for debate and it is likely to be amended. What that essentially means is that many Democrats who face some stiff competition in their 2010 reelection bids, will all be offering their services as Pimp Daddy Reid takes advantage of the amendment process by insuring that many more Magnolia Madame-like deals are made. Reid is going to have pimp his members on this one hard. The Pimp of all pimps, President Obama, has put too much on the line on this issue and for them, failure is not an option. So they will pay any price to save face and kiss all the ass they can to insure that the senate version of a government healthcare takeover passes under the nuclear option of a party line vote.

Of course, Vermont’ Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins will be knocking on the whorehouse door, to see if they too can make a dime for their services and support of a government takeover. If Pimp Daddy Reid can swing enough green their way, Snowe and Collins will make Eliot Spitzer’s high priced hooker, Ashley Dupree look like Mother Theresa. You can also be sure that Reid’s prostitution ring is not limited to women only. Montana’s Max Baucus will be showered with pork in more than a few amendments that will swing money his way. As for Joe Lieberman, his involvement in the prostitution ring does not involve financial remuneration. It involves his chairmanship of the lucrative and powerful Homeland Security Committee. If Lieberman is not willing to bend over on this vote, he is not likely to be chairman of anything, for very long.

This is not the first political prostitution ring on The Hill and it won’t be the last. But so far it is the most clandestine and most expensive one yet. More healthcare reform business has taken place behind closed doors and more pork barrel, monkey business has taken place under the sheets on this one than any other legislation that has ever preceded it.

Sadly, the existing prostitution ring is immune from prosecution. This ring is as legal as prostitution is in Vegas. But a grand jury of voters could still have a say come November of 2010. It is then that senators like Pimp Daddy Reid and Louisiana’s version of Ashley Dupree, Louisiana’s Magnolia Madame Mary Landrieu, along with Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln and several others, could be found incompetent and kicked out of office. But in the mean time, it may be too late. The damage may be done, because the more hurdles this government takeover overcomes, the more likely it is to pass.

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Will Eliot Spitzer Challenge Kirsten Gillibrand For New York’s Senate Seat?

Bookmark and Share  Reports claim that disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer can’t shake politics out of his corrupt blood.

spitzrGILLIBRANDSources state that Spitzer is looking at challenging interim U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the Democrat’s nomination for the senate seat up in November of 2010.

Failing to decide to run for that office, Spitzer is said to also be looking at a run for New York State Comptroller.

Neither would be wise but both one or the other are not out of the question.

Even though the Governor was never found guilty or charged with the misappropriation state or campaign funds, he did break a public trust. His illegal hiring of a prostitute and failure to remain faithful to his wife do indeed tarnish the trust that a public official should have from the public that they seek to lead.

Now you can claim that Spitzer has the right ideological approach to government and policies for the people, you can, I don’t, but what you can’t say is that Eliot Spitzer can be trusted.

As a former Attorney General and then Governor who was suppose to uphold and enforce the law, Spitzer broke them and acted irresponsibly. You can claim that he was never charged as such but if you do, you must then ask why was it necessary for him to resign from office?

As for the marital infidelity aspect of this story, yes, that is a personal aspect but public officials are held up to a higher standard than most people and rightly so. So under that higher standard even though Spitzer’s extramarital extracurricular activities may indeed have been private, the fact that he broke promises and failed to fulfill his commitment to his family and wife forces anyone with a scintilla of decency to ask how we can expect him to hold to his promises to the public and his commitment to them?

Personally I do not think Spitzer will challenge an incumbent Democrat for the nomination to the job that they currently hold. Kirsten Gillibrand may be a totally inconsequential figure with little power, influence and credibility but she has not had to defend herself against cheating and illegal conduct. Spitzer could try to minimize the impact of his resignation from office and try to ride a New York wave of enthusiasm for healthscare reforms and other Obama policies but so can Kirsten Gillibrand. But on top of that, President Obama will likely be supporting both senator Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the races.

Chuck Schumer’s regular six year term is up and Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Hillary Clinton after she became Secretary of State until next years special election. The winner of that election fill out the rest of the original term that Clinton was elected to in 2006 and expires in 2012.

So President Obama is more than likely going to be on the stump for both Schumer and Gillibrand. If not he will still be in New York to support Chuck Schumer but the most Spitzer could hope for would be that President Obama remain neutral in a primary between Spitzer and Gillibrand.

In addition to that, Spitzer would at some point in time have to answer to his poor selection of a Lieutenant Governor in David Paterson.

When Spitzer resigned, his number two man took over and proceeded to destroy what stability New York had left after Spitzer‘s brief time in office. This will inevitably be another factor to hurt Spitzer on the issue of judgment. His judgment left New York in the hands of Paterson and now New Yorker’s are looking forward to ridding them of Paterson.

All of these factors do not make a compelling case for electing Eliot Spitzer to statewide office again. Besides who really wants to send Spitzer back to Washington, D.C. where he conducted the clandestine rendezvous with prostitutes that led to his resignation from Governor in the first place.

So I do not personally believe that Spitzer would actually try to run for statewide office any time soon. But what I see as logical is rarely seen rational by liberals like Spitzer. I also know that politics is like an incurable disease that once you have, you can never get rid of. That being said, Eliot Spitzer is sick and by trying to make a comeback he is simply showing all the symptoms of someone afflicted by politicitus.

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