Governor Eliot Spitzer (NY) rose to power vowing to stamp out political corruption in the state of New York. He was swept into office in a record setting 2006 landslide election and took office on January 1, 2007. He built his political reputation on exposing government corruption and aggessively prosecuted corporations for shady practices while he was Attorney General.
Spitzer resigned early on Wednesday, after public demands for his resignation by citizens, democrats and state House and Senate Republicans, who threatened to start impeachment proceedings if Spitzer refused to resign. New Yorkers were shocked and saddened when law enforcement revealed that Spitzer was linked with an international prostitution ring investigation in Washington D.C.
Time Magazine had named him “Crusader of the Year,” and the media proclaimed him “Elliot Ness.” The Princeton and Harvard graduate was sometimes mentioned as a potential candidate for President.
“I’m deeply sorry I did not live up to what was expected of me,” Spitzer said in a brief statement to the media on Wednesday morning. “To every New Yorker and to all of those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize.”
Despite promises to clean up New York politics, Spitzer’s term as governor was marred with accusations of bullying, a plot to smear his main republican political nemesis and an unpopular proposal to grant illegal immigrants New York driver's licenses.
Cheers erupted on Wall Street, (where Spitzer had been known as the "Sheriff of Wall Street,") when the first details of the sex scandal were released by the media.
Spitzer announced at a Manhattan press conference, “Over the course of my public life, I’ve insisted, I think correctly, that people, regardless of their position or power take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself.”
Spitzer’s resignation goes into effect on Monday. Lieutenant Governor David Patterson will step into the Governor’s position for the remainder of Spitzer’s term.
While I agree that Spitzer needed to resign, I admire his refusal to give up public service. “As human beings, our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising every time we fall… as I leave public life, I will do first and foremost what is needed to heal myself and my family and then I will try once again, outside of politics, to serve the common good.” America needs individuals like Spitzer, who are not afraid to tackle corruption.
So, it's time to say goodbye to “Eliot the Enforcer.” He deserves the nation's respect for rooting out government corruption and tackling corporate abuse of stock holders and the public at large. I pray that he and his wife find peace, now that he has resigned.
Dear readers: please check out the comment section listed at the bottom of this post. We have received a thoughtful comment from a former employee of Gov. Spitzer.
Wall Street Journal Article, Videos and other links: http://online.wsj.com/public/us
The Politics of a Political Marriage: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23609209/
MSN Update on new Governor of NY: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23614736