Tuesday, May 31, 2011

11/03/2008 Spitzer's future suddenly clouded for double standard

www.chinaview.cn  2008-03-11 09:13:21

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (C) leaves after a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 14, 2007.
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (C) leaves after a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 14, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)Photo Gallery>>>

BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhuanet) -- New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's political future was clouded abruptly Monday with his admission that he had violated the trust of his family and the public in the wake of reports that a federal investigation had linked him to a prostitution ring, according to media reports Tuesday.

Spitzer, 48, who rose to prominence as a hard-charging attorney general was known for rooting out corruption within Wall Street and on the streets.

He made several high-profile prosecutions of Wall Street figures, extracting billions of dollars in fines from investment banks, mutual funds and brokerage houses.

He also made a name for himself by busting prostitution rings.

Taking office as governor Jan. 1, 2007, after a landslide victory, Spitzer declared: "We must transform our government so that it is as ethical and wise as all of New York."

The prostitution allegation was a surprise to Brooke Masters, author of the 2006 Spitzer biography "Spoiling for a Fight." She said she was "really surprised that [the scandal is] about personal ethics."

She said Spitzer's opponents on Wall Street accused him of a "holier-than-thou" attitude.

"He would say they had conflicts of interest while ignoring his own conflicts of interest. He certainly got a bit of criticism for having a bit of a double standard," she said.
"He would use his power of attorney general for what the business people thought was holding them hostage and giving them fines. They thought he was too virtuous."

Once seen as a rising star within the Democratic party, Spitzer had a rocky first year as governor. He was accused in July of using state police to keep tabs on a political rival, state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and was forced to drop a plan to issue driver's licenses to undocumented workers in November amid public outcry.

The driver's license plan briefly gained national attention when presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York appeared to endorse it, then backed away from it. Spitzer endorsed Clinton.

Spitzer considered himself an heir of reformers such as Theodore Roosevelt, whose portrait he kept in his office as attorney general, Masters wrote in her biography.

If Spitzer resigns, Lt. Gov. David Paterson would complete his term, in accordance with the New York state constitution.


Editor: An Lu

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