Category Archives: Eliot Spitzer

Sex, drugs and politics QUESTION

Here’s a promise for you: I’m never running for elective political office. You never know what skeletons, or even perceived skeletons, might pop up. Well, maybe when I’m 70, when I will be able to honestly say, “I don’t remember” when asked about my presumably sordid past.

I’m thinking about this because New York’s NEW governor, David Paterson, is caught up in some sexual infidelity. Truth is, I don’t much care because it’s none of my business, and, unlike his predecessor, “I’m a f***ing steamroller” Spitzer, he hadn’t set the morals bar so high that his affairs are major disappointments. Mostly because most people outside of Albany didn’t even know who David Paterson was until a little over a week ago. In any case, he’s likely to survive this politically because he would be succeeded by the Senate Majority Leader, who is a REPUBLICAN, Joe Bruno.

This begs the questions:
1) How much of a person’s personal life should be open to the public when he or she is considering running for public office?
2) How far does one get to dig about someone’s history and place as relevant? I recall that GWB said some years ago that he had not done certain drugs (cocaine, I believe) in the previous 25 years, answered in such a way that it suggested that perhaps he HAD used it earlier than that. As much as I dislike GWB politically – and I mean a WHOLE lot – I don’t much care about an old drug bust.


Dead Man Walking

As the Sheriff of Wall Street slinks into the sunset, New Yorkers are left with Disbelief. Disappointment. Disgust.

When I first heard the story, I thought, somehow, that Governor Spitzer was involved in the indictment of a prostitution ring. He was, but not at all in the way I could possibly have imagined.

If it were a case of a guy falling off the fidelity wagon, the average politician might very well survive that. But when it’s Eliot Spitzer, the self-proclaimed paragon of virtue, busily fighting corruption as NYS Attorney General; when it’s “it’ll be different” when he’s governor from “Day One”; when he’s well-known for chastising the moral compass of subordinates, it becomes difficult to shake a prostitution charge, and at the Mayflower Hotel in DC, of all places. Especially when it appears that there was an ongoing relationship with this prostitution ring going back to last July, not just a one-time fling on the day before Valentine’s Day (how sweet) with money being laundered to hide his identity.

If the hypocrite isn’t already gone this morning, he will be soon, if only because he no longer has the moral authority to govern. Yesterday, at his press conference, so short that it was shown in its entirety on the local news stations, he said in his apology that it was a private matter, and while he does have much explaining to do to his wife (one of his chief legal advisers!) and his three daughters, aged 13 to 17, he has much to explain to the rest of us.

I got this from a conservative website: “This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multi-tiered management structure… It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.” — Governor [then Attorney General] Eliot Spitzer (D-NY), on the 2004 break-up of a Staten Island prostitution ring

Is it strange to think that a man with daughters would be less likely to be involved with a prostitute five or six older than his oldest daughter? Perhaps. Undoubtedly, it’s sexist to be surprised that a man would cheat on his quite attractive, as well as extremely intelligent, wife.

The fallout of this is that the next governor of New York, David Patterson, will be black and legally blind. Son of the NYC-based politician Basil Patterson, who ran for Lieutenant Governor back in 1970 (Arthur Goldberg and Basil lost to Nelson Rockefeller/and Malcolm Wilson), David will be a more conciliatory figure than Eliot Spitzer, who described himself a a “f***ing steamroller”. Whether we’ll have an on-time budget – it’s due by April 1 – is up in the air.

I voted for Eliot Spitzer for governor in 2006 to try to change the dysfunctionality of Albany. That he wasn’t able to do that in Year One, with distractions such as Troopergate and licenses for illegal aliens, was merely disappointing. With this revelation, I feel betrayed. And much to my surprise, angry.


Gorillas in the Midst

First, I want to note that Lydia had her surgery yesterday. It went fine, technically. Obviously, more on this soon. Thank you very much for your support. It does cut into blogging time, though, so I’ll be brief.

An important holiday. But then you knew that, didn’t you?
You may have noticed some slight changes in this blog. That’s because I’ve finally switched to the new Blogger, powered by that gorilla of search, Google. It allows for an easier way to indicate labels. It also allows me to edit every post I’ve ever done (some 800), rather than the last 300. I probably won’t spend a lot of time on retrospective stuff, but each day I post, I may add tags on an old post or two, so that in a couple years, I’ll have tagged the whole thing. Or not.
I knew that the way I did the transition would throw out the categories of bloggers I visit, because I had done the same transition on the Friends of the Albany Public Library site. (BTW, if you’re in Albany, vote Yes on the school and library issues, Tuesday, February 6, from noon until 9 pm.)
However, since the links needed to be revisited anyway – add some, delete some – I’m OK with the chaos, for the short term. Think of the blog as having one of those annoying Man at Work signs on it. Some guy in overalls from Buffalo is musing about his move to the new Blogger.
Philip Glass, the big magilla of minimalist music, turns 70 today. I had a girlfriend who HATED his music, and when we broke up, I went on a Philip Glass marathon – not recommended. My favorite Glass recording is this one.
Former guerrila (!) leader Fidel Castro’s dying and Miami’s throwing a party. Seems unseemly, somehow.
Governor Spitzer, the big gorilla politically around here, releases the budget today. Let’s see if he keeps those high approval ratings.
Sheldon Silver, the powerful Speaker of the state Assembly, has been like a petulant child, because none of the three finalists to become Comptroller (replacing Alan Hevesi, who resigned because of the “Driving Mrs. Hevesi” scandal) is an Assembly member. A committee interviewed 18 candidates, including five Assembly members. Frankly, picking a legislator would have been business as usual, and “business as usual” in Albany has been dysfunctional as long as I can remember. Let it go, Shelly.
Get that tobacco monkey off your back. NYS specific, but with some useful data for all.
Baseball player Tony Suck, who played as though he were wearing a gorilla suit, based on the stats from his brief career.
Finally, Dennis the Menace – “Gorilla Warfare”