Thursday, July 26, 2007

Of Crimes, Coverups, and So Forth

Image credit: Wikipedia

It appears that Eliot Spitzer has gotten into a bit of trouble in his new job. Despite having grown up in the region, I try to stay out of Northeast politics, because I'm just not that aware of things after several decades' absence. I just can't help myself here, though.

Without Eliot Spitzer, there might never have been an Enron investigation. Spitzer's determination to investigate the wrongdoing of Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling was a sharp contrast to the Bush Administration's disinterest in the affair. If it weren't for Spitzer's investigations as New York State Attorney General, there might never have been a federal investigation into the matter. "Kenny Boy" might still be alive today outside of prison if it weren't for him.

So I feel a certain gratitude.

Apparently, some of Spitzer's aides haven't been quite as aware of government ethics as they ought to be. They prompted an investigation into the use of state vehicles by the lead Republican in the New York senate, Joseph Bruno. It turns out not only that Bruno did nothing illegal, but that the current New York AG is in something of a lather over what appears to be an unethical use of the state's investigative powers for political purposes:

A scathing report issued on Monday by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo concluded that the governor’s staff had broken no laws but had misused the State Police to gather information about Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader, in an effort to plant a negative story about him.

Spitzer’s Office Vows to Fight Investigation

Now the legislature is trying to investigate, and Spitzer has claimed executive privilege. Any of this sound familiar?

So, Mr. Spitzer, as one Northeasterner to another, let me try to put this in perspective for you: Nixon. Coverup. Crime, Kapish? You're not a prosecutor any more. You're a governor. The rules are different. Let 'em dig through your desk drawers. You've only been there seven months. They can't be that dirty already.

UPDATE (July 27): The AP reports:

Half of New Yorkers suspect Gov. Eliot Spitzer knew more than he has said about a plot by his aides to use state police against Republican Senate leader Joseph Bruno, according to a WNBC-Marist College poll released Friday.

Spitzer knew more, says poll

As I said in the comments, I assume Spitzer had nothing to do with this. Inevitably, though, people will suspect wrongdoing when a politician, particularly an executive, acts this way.


Anonymous said...

I keep repeating to myself, What the hell is he THINKING???

Surely someone who was such a tenacious hardass as a prosecutor should be able to see how bad this looks.

Cujo359 said...

That's what I'm wondering, too. The only explanation I can think of is that, thanks to being a prosecutor for so long, he's used to keeping what he's doing a secret until it's time to go to court, or whatever.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work when you're caught red-handed using your office's power for illegitimate reasons. While I assume Spitzer wasn't actually responsible for this silliness, he's in charge, so his entire office becomes suspect.

I'd have fired the two idiots who did that the day I found out about it, because of all the crap I knew they'd have brought on the office. This is one of the many reasons I'm not a politician.

Anonymous said...

Don't think that Spitzer isn't a very political politician because of the AG veneer. He is a VERY political politician. I don't know, but his hands may be dirty. I wouldn't put it past him.

New Yorker and reluctant Spitzer supporter,


Cujo359 said...

It's always possible that he was involved, op99. If anyone should have known better, though, it's Spitzer. It was his successor who took him to task, after all.

Anonymous said...

"It was his successor who took him to task, after all. "

Cuomo covets the office of governor - he lost a nasty nomination fight to Carl McCall in 2002. Since Spitzer was virtually nominated by acclaim in 2006, and won in a landslide, Cuomo's got to take the bloom off Spitzer's rose somehow if he hopes to be guv before he's an old man. (I know - that argues that Spitzer may be clean, lol.)