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Monday, August 26, 2013

Spitzer Leads NYC Comptroller Race, but Questions Persist

In a July 8, 2013 editorial, the Wall Street Journal questioned whether Eliot Spitzer was a fit candidate for New York City Comptroller. Spitzer famously resigned as governor of New York in 2008 after his use of an escort service became public knowledge, but the editorial focuses largely on his actions while he was New York Attorney General (AG). While serving as AG, Spitzer cultivated an image as a person who would take on the powerful Wall Street interests. But critics allege that he acted inappropriately in wielding his power. For example, John Whitehead, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs, stated that Spitzer threatened him after Whitehead wrote an editorial in favor of Hank Greenberg, a then-CEO of American International Group (AIG) and a Spitzer target. According to Whitehead, Spitzer told him “You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done.

In 2005, Thomas Donahue, then-president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, blasted Spitzer’s methods: “Spitzer's approach is to walk in and say, 'we're going to make a deal, and you're going to pay $600 million to the state, and you're going to get rid of this person and that person, and if you don't do it by tonight, we're going to indict the company’...It is the most egregious and unacceptable form of intimidation we've seen in this country in modern times."

Despite valid concerns about Spitzer, his political comeback appears to be on sound footing. As of August 14, 2013, he held a 19-point lead among likely Democratic voters in the September 10th primary.

More News: Joe B. Garza

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