I find it ironic and disengenuous that the Hillarycrat detractors of Caroline Kennedy, a New York resident for over four decades, would have the temerity to suggest that the Harvard University educated author, lawyer, and philanthropist lacks the necessary qualifications to represent New York State in the United States Senate. Ms. Kennedy has always been a dignified, understated and classy mover and shaker that has used her celebrity, talent, and money to help other people. Politically, nobody could beat her under any circumstances. She can raise the money and would maintain the current number of women in the senate, which is already too few. Where the hell were these people when Hillary decided to accept the phony draft of New Yorkers to run for the Senate in a state she had never lived in? Caroline Kennedy has been a New Yorker longer than the Queen of Triangulation has been a blond. I am relieved that she has decided to throw her hat in the ring. If David Paterson is smart, he’ll appoint Caroline without any more deliberation and secure his re-election at the same time.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer, reeling from revelations that he had been a client of a prostitution ring, announced his resignation today, becoming the first governor of New York to be forced from office in nearly a century.
Mr. Spitzer, appearing somber and with his wife at his side, said his resignation is to be effective Monday, and that Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson would be sworn in to replace him.
“I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me,” he said. “To every New Yorker, and to all those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize.”
“Over the course of my public life, I have insisted — I believe correctly — that people regardless of their position or power take responsibility for their conduct,” he added. “I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor.”
Mr. Spitzer is the first governor of New York to resign from office since 1973, when Nelson A. Rockefeller stepped down to devote himself to a policy group, and the first to be forced from office since William Sulzer was impeached and removed from his post in 1913 in a scandal over campaign contribution fraud.
In his brief statement at his headquarters in Manhattan, Mr. Spitzer thanked his family for offering support and compassion, and said he had spent the last several days atoning for his personal failings.
Mr. Spitzer ended his speech by saying he would leave politics, and then departed quickly without taking questions.
“As I leave public life, I will first do what I need to do to help and heal myself and my family,” he said. “Then I will try once again, outside of politics, to serve the common good and to move toward the ideals and solutions which I believe can build a future of hope and opportunity for us and for our children.”
Since issuing an initial apology on Monday, Mr. Spitzer had been holed up at his apartment at Fifth Avenue and 79th Street in Manhattan, where his aides said he had been engaged in an intense legal and family debate about whether to resign or, as his wife was urging, to stay on.
Mr. Spitzer emerged finally at about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday with his wife by his side and got into a black S.U.V., which headed for his headquarters on Third Avenue as news helicopters followed above.
On Tuesday, as Mr. Spitzer, a first-term Democrat, contemplated his next move, the New York political world remained in a suspended state, with cries — even from fellow Democrats — growing louder for him to step down.
In one of the last and desperate rounds of the end game, a top Spitzer administration official reached out to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s staff on Tuesday to see if the governor could avoid an impeachment vote. But the prospects were grim.
Republicans had pledged to try to have Mr. Spitzer impeached and only 34 of the more than 100 Democrats in the Assembly would be needed for the matter to be referred to the Senate for an impeachment trial. It was clear during the discussions that 34 or more Democrats were almost certain to vote against the governor.
That outcome would have been a dire for the governor, because his top political rival, Senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno, leads the Senate, where a trial would have been held.
“An impeachment proceeding would force Democrats to either abandon him or defend him,” said one leading Democrat. “They would abandon him.”
Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, said Tuesday that Mr. Spitzer should do “what’s best for his family,” but stopped short of calling on the governor to step down. “It is now up to the governor to make a determination that’s best for his family. I pray for his children.” When asked what Mr. Silver thought was best for the Spitzer family, he did not respond.
Mr. Silver offered a few details of his conversation with Mr. Spitzer on Tuesday afternoon before the governor briefly spoke to the public. “I said to him then and I say it now, he’s got to take care of his family first and be concerned about them. I told him that we will carry on in the legislative process that moves the budget forward. We intend to pass our budget tomorrow. I hope the Senate will do the same.”
Mr. Paterson said on Tuesday that he had not heard from Mr. Spitzer since about noon on Monday, and did not know whether he would soon be sworn in as the state’s 55th governor.
“The governor called me yesterday,” said Mr. Paterson, who was driven to the Capitol on Tuesday and pondered going inside before deciding to avoid the swarm of journalists. “He said he didn’t resign for a number of reasons, and he didn’t go into the reasons, and that’s the last I’ve heard from him.”
Asked whether preparations for a transition were under way, the lieutenant governor said: “No one has talked to me about his resignation, and no one has talked to me about a transition.”
At a televised news conference on Wednesday morning, Mr. Bruno, the Senate majority leader who would become the lieutenant governor if Mr. Paterson replaces Mr. Spitzer, told reporters that he had not spoken with Mr. Spitzer or any of his top aides about the impending resignation.
“No one has contacted me officially,” he said. “We are following the reports as you are. But in the meantime, I am staying with our plan to pass a budget, talk to the speaker, and we’re going to go public in a real way on Monday.”
Mr. Bruno, a Republican who clashed frequently with Mr. Spitzer, said he was praying for the governor and his family and urged all New Yorkers to do so as well.
On Tuesday, Mr. Spitzer cut himself off from all but the most senior members of his staff. His lawyer, Michele Hirschman, was reaching out to federal prosecutors to try to strike a deal in hopes of avoiding charges.
Close aides to the governor suggested on Tuesday that the mood in the Spitzer home was tense, with the governor’s wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, recommending that he not step down, but they cautioned that the situation could change at any time.
The revelation of Mr. Spitzer’s involvement with the high-end prostitution ring gripped the nation, and more than 70 reporters and photographers clustered outside the governor’s Upper East Side high-rise on Tuesday, separated from the building by a metal barricade erected by the police.
Three helicopters whirred overhead as tourists atop passing double-decker buses snapped pictures of the scene.
Mr. Spitzer’s patronage of the prostitution agency, Emperor’s Club V.I.P., came to light after prosecutors charged four people with operating the service. They said the governor was intercepted on a federal wiretap arranging payments and an encounter with a prostitute in a Washington hotel room last month. The affidavit referred to a Client 9 and did not identify Mr. Spitzer by name, but law enforcement officials said that Client 9 was the governor.
Investigators reviewing the scope of Mr. Spitzer’s involvement with prostitutes said on Tuesday that just in the past year he had had more than a half-dozen meetings with them and had paid tens of thousands of dollars to the ring, one law enforcement official said.
A person with knowledge of the service’s operations said that Mr. Spitzer had begun meeting with the prostitutes of the Emperor’s Club about eight months ago and had had encounters in Dallas as well as Washington.
A law enforcement official said Mr. Spitzer also had an encounter with a prostitute in Florida. On some trips of several days’ duration, Mr. Spitzer scheduled more than one visit with a prostitute, this person said.
Destroyed by hubris and drowning in a tsunami of hypocrisy, the political career and power so craved by Eliot Spitzer slips away into the ether never to be seen again. Into the den of lions steps David Paterson, New York State’s Lieutenant Governor and the first African American and first blind man to hold that position.
On the eve of his inauguration as New York State’s 55th Governor, David Paterson should consider the blueprint of his tri-state neighbor, M. Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut.Mrs. Rell was the longtime and longsuffering sidekick to the corrupt Republican megalomaniac, John Rowland, a three term governor. He went to prison having taken kickbacks from contractors doing business with the state.
Mrs. Rell moved quickly and decisively to distance herself from the former governor by endorsing an ethics package of reforms that banned campaign contributions from lobbyists and provided public financing for campaigns.Paterson, if he is smart, will do the same.Governor Spitzer championed limited ethics reform legislation.The crisis will allow Patterson to go much further.
Mrs. Rell established her integrity from the jump, and she gave excellent inaugural and state of the state addresses that branded her as an honest leader worthy of the people’s trust. Moreover, she extended her hand to the other party in a gesture of bipartisanship that won kudos from all. Her approval ratings are the highest on record for a Connecticut governor and she was re-elected in 2006 by a landslide majority.
Paterson, a former State Senator for two decades and Minority Leader of the New York State Senate, is no lightweight.A scion of a political family, his father, Basil Paterson, was a former New York Secretary of State and his son’s predecessor in the New York State Senate. He is well qualified to assume power.Nevertheless, it won’t stop his successor as Lt. Governor, Republican Joe Bruno and a host of others: Mike Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, and Andrew Cuomo from trying to knock over a blind man and take his throne.
The Republicans smell blood and are in a feeding frenzy as they consume the carcass of Eliot Spitzer like Sharks on chum.Once he is completely devoured, they’ll start in on Patterson.If Paterson doesn’t move decisively to assert his power and control, he’ll meet the same fate.
One way he could stake out some independence is by abandoning his support of Hillary Clinton. Surely he understands that if he wishes to seek re-election, he must do so with the unanimous support of African Americans.One way to reach blackfolks is by cutting the Empress of Triangulation loose in favor of the man who will be King.
As of this posting, word still hadn’t come from the Governor about a decision regarding resignation. Paterson should use my favorite Jamie Foxx line in “RAY.” Responding to his angry mistress who demanded that he leave his wife for her, Ray says, “You knew what it was before you got into it.” If Paterson still don’t get the answer he wants to hear, he should do as Ray did when a promoter tried to short him on his money: come across the table and whoop dat azz.
Man up. Issue a statement calling for him to resign and take what’s yours. He was man enough to leave the state in your hands to do his ho in peace, why can’t he leave for good, now?
NEW YORK – New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer told senior members of his administration that he was involved in a prostitution ring.
The governor met with his senior aides earlier Monday afternoon after cancelling scheduled events for Monday. The governor may be linked to the prostitution ring through cell phone records, sources told WNBC.com.
Spitzer is expected to make an announcement Monday afternoon.
Spitzer, 48, is married and has three daughters.
Last week, federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed conspiracy charges against four people accusing them of running a prostitution ring that charged wealthy clients in Europe and the U.S. thousands of dollars for prostitutes.
The Web site of the Emperors Club VIP displays photographs of the prostitutes’ bodies, with their faces hidden, along with hourly rates depending on whether the prostitutes were rated with one diamond, the lowest ranking, or seven diamonds, the highest. The most highly ranked prostitutes cost $5,500 an hour, prosecutors said.
Spitzer has built his political legacy on rooting out corruption, including several headline-making battles with Wall Street while serving as attorney general. He stormed into the governor’s office in 2006 with a historic share of the vote, vowing to continue his no-nonsense approach to fixing one of the nation’s worst governments.
Time magazine had named him “Crusader of the Year” when he was attorney general and the tabloids proclaimed him “Eliot Ness.”
But his stint as governor has been marred by several problems, including an unpopular plan to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and a plot by his aides to smear Spitzer’s main Republican nemesis.
Spitzer had been expected to testify to the state Public Integrity Commission he had created to answer for his role in the scandal, in which his aides are accused of misusing state police to compile travel records to embarrass Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno.
ADDENDUM: The Governor made a statement a few moments ago in which he did not utter the magic words. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.”
“I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”
Before the night is over, New York State might have an African American Governor. Fox News is reporting that the Governor will submit his resignation to the New York State Assembly tonight.