As Wall Street Journal blogger Nathan Koppel put it yesterday, the scandal engulfing New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s office probably has some in the mutual fund industry gleefully dancing in the aisles.
The governor’s aides turned to state police to gather negative information on Spitzer rival Joseph Bruno, majority leader of the state senate, specifically his use of state-owned transportation to attend GOP fundraisers, according to a report that New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo issued. In the past, Bruno has said he relies on state transportation because of death threats. Cuomo’s report concluded that while such usage isn’t illegal, excessive use of state-owned vehicles is questionable as it could be a misuse of taxpayers’ money. Cuomo’s report also stopped short of hitting ally Spitzer too hard, saying his aides’ conduct wasn’t “unlawful” but also questionable.
Reader comments to the blog were overwhelmingly critical of Spitzer. One poster calling themselves “Billary Clinton” said: “Guess the misuse of the tools of power tougher to get away with as governor than as prosecutor.”
Another reader, “Roger Daltry,” quipped: “Spitzer remains the biggest hypocrite in U.S. politics. New Yorkers who ignored his A.G. antics and destruction of constitutional rights should finally take notice that they elected a megalomaniac demagogue as their governor. Anyone who continues to do business in New York is an idiot.”
“Anonymous,” alluding to the minimum 30-day suspension without pay that Spitzer imposed on his press secretary Darren Dopp following the scandal, wrote: “Dopp was Spitzer’s main press hitman, leaking details of endless cases to the media that forced tons of innocent companies and individuals to settle meritless cases. It’s a real joy to see payback like this!”
As another poster, “Observer,” sees it, “Spitzer has done nothing in his seven months as governor except bully people. He used to get away with it as A.G. [but] he’s finding it tougher as governor to do it against people used to mud slinging and bare-knuckled brawls.”