As New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer readies up to run as a Democrat for New York State Governor next year, the back-and-forth between his camp and that of Republican Governor George Pataki is heating up, the Associated Press reports.

GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik is the man picked by Pataki to do the job of stripping down Spitzer in the public's eye. In recent speeches and fundraising letters, Minarik has blasted Spitzer for killing jobs in the city due to his devastating probes of the financial services industry.

Spitzer, known for his Wall Street busting investigations, has extracted hefty multimillion-dollar fines from some of the biggest financial houses, mutual funds and insurance companies on Wall Street.

This has gained him a reputation of being a defender for the average Joe. Still, Minarik has told fellow Republicans that the most important task is "preventing Attorney General and Aspiring Governor Eliot Spitzer from moving into the Governor's mansion and destroying this state with his dangerous anti-business practices."

"Eliot Spitzer has been given a free ride by the liberal media in Manhattan," Minarik wrote in one fund-raising letter. "We will expose him for the job killer he is."

Numbers put out earlier this month by the Pataki-controlled state Labor Department don't confirm Minarik's claims. In 2004, the annual average number of jobs in the financial activities industry grew by 0.7% while it grew by 1% in the professional and business services sector. Last December, state Comptroller Alan Hevesi announced that Wall Street's year-end bonuses were up for a second straight year.

Daren Dopp, a Spitzer spokesman calls Minarik "the voice of failed leadership." "He is defending a party and administration that has been in charge for more than a decade and which has failed miserably to produce jobs or reform state government." Dopp further points out that Spitzer-led reform has increased profits, stock prices and employment at companies recently.

"Does Mr. Minarik believe that the attorney general should have allowed millions of Americans to be defrauded?" Dopp said. "What investigation would he have called off?"

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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