- I find it more than just a little ironic that, as reported today by James Odato in the Albany Times Union, it was an inquiry by that paper into the use by Governor Spitzer of a state airplane to fly from Buffalo to Washington DC on February 13 that first brought the allegations of his starring role as Client 9 in his tryst that evening to light. It was, of course, the inquiries by that paper, however induced by Spitzer's office they may have been, into Senator Bruno's use of state helicopters for his personal political purposes that triggered the Troopergate affair which cost the governor political and personal capital that he could surely use today. Live by the sword, die by the sword, as they say.
It's well past noon as I write this; and that was the most recent rumored time that Spitzer was supposed to announce his resignation. Elizabeth Benjamin, writing on her Daily Politics blog, notes that talk has now turned from "if" the governor will resign to "when" that will occur. The NY Times also reports that the governor's aides expect him to resign.
Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson and his staff have begun laying the groundwork for him to take over as governor and are reaching out to members of the Legislature, the aides said.And meanwhile, more unseemly details continue to emerge. (And that face on Spitzer will, I'm sure, serve as a lasting legacy of the soon-to-be ex-governor.)
A word about Senator Bruno: at a time when few people would criticize him for gloating, he showed admirable class and restraint in his public pronouncement on the matter:
“I think it’s very, very unfortunate and I feel very badly for the governor’s wife, for his children....The important thing for the people of New York State is that people in office do the right thing.” [NY Times]This as opposed to the Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, who is already threatening Spitzer with impeachment "if he does not resign within the next 24 to 48 hours." Frankly, I find that rather unseemly and cruel. You don't have to like the governor, but I think that a little compassion is called for here, especially for his family....and particularly for his three teenage daughters. One can only imagine what they will have to go through in the days, months, and years to come. Whatsmore, one could easily argue that Rep. Tedisco is being highly hypocritical here since, while this scandal is (thus far) mostly a personal affair, the investigations surrounding Senator Bruno involve alleged abuses of his public office and taxpayer money.
The governor will resign....and if he doesn't, you can bet there will be calls from both sides of the aisle for him to do so. Some have mentioned the cases of David Vitter and Larry Craig, who have thus far survived their embarrassing sexual imbroglios. But Spitzer's sanctimonious crusade against corruption, combined with the fact that he likely violated federal law regarding transporting prostitutes across state lines, plus the arrogance that has burned bridges to Democrats and Republicans alike, would make it absolutely impossible for him to govern effectively. He has to go, and he will in very short order. (Reader Glimmerglass alertly noticed that Googling "New York State" returns a link to WWW.NY.GOV, with a sublink entitled Governor David Paterson.)