Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Paterson Probably More Liberal Than Spitzer

As the Eliot Spitzer Political Deathwatch continues, we can now take a look at his likely successor, David Paterson.

Quite frankly, while he's probably not a sadistic megalomaniac like Spitzer, some of his policies appear far more liberal than your average politician.
The man who could be governor, David Paterson, once sponsored highly controversial legislation in the state Senate requiring police to shoot to harm, not kill.

The current lieutenant governor, a Democrat from Harlem, also pushed a bill that would have allowed non-citizen residents to vote in local elections.
Granted, those two positions alone put his squarely in the Democrat mainstream. Most of the left hate the police and want to register anyone with a pulse to vote.
He has since disavowed the police bill and dropped his "active" support of the voting measure.

In 2006, as a state senator, Paterson backed the bill to severely limit the use of deadly force by police against crime suspects who threaten them.

The idea drew howls of outrage from police and even opposition from Paterson's running mate, Eliot Spitzer. Paterson ultimately withdrew the bill.

Overall, Paterson has chalked up a heavily liberal record during his more than two decades in state government.

Paterson supports gay marriage, legalized abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and rent control. He opposes the death penalty.
Sounds like boilerplate Democrat to me. Still, he's likely far preferable to Spitzer.
Whereas Spitzer sought to bring the Legislature to its knees, Paterson as governor would more likely try to kill it with kindness.

He's known not only for his smarts, but also humor and cordiality. Paterson in the past has acknowledged a problem of saying "no" at times, leaving some to wonder whether legislative leaders will steamroll over him.

"The jury is out whether or not he can pull a state together and make it work," said Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long, one of a chorus calling on Spitzer to resign in the wake of a prostitution scandal.

"I believe he can be a very serious captive of the [liberal] Working Families Party and the liberal Democrats of the Assembly," Long added.
Remarkably, Spitzer's wife supposedly wants him to stay and fight on. She must be shellshocked.
On Monday, a day after she learned that federal investigators had identified Governor Spitzer as a customer of a high-priced prostitution ring, Ms. Wall Spitzer urged her husband not to resign. And on Tuesday, she apparently hewed to that line.

People close to Mr. Spitzer said that when the news first broke, Ms. Wall Spitzer had emotionally pleaded with her husband not to give up the governorship.
If Spitzer is waiting on public opinion to turn in his favor, he'll be waiting a long time.
A poll released late Tuesday found that 70% of New Yorkers think Mr. Spitzer should resign, while 66% believe he should be impeached and removed from office if he doesn't. "It's a big thumbs down," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. "It points to just how politically untenable his position is right now."

Even if Mr. Spitzer resigns, 49% of New Yorkers said he should face criminal charges. The telephone poll conducted Tuesday surveyed 624 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
In other good news, the Eliot Mess could deal another blow to the sagging political fortunes of a woman who knows all about cheating husbands.
The Clinton-Spitzer relationship has been chilly for months, but the governor's sex scandal is drawing in the former first lady. Spitzer's alleged infidelity with a high-priced call girl is evoking comparisons to the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair, with cable networks rebroadcasting images from the 1990s imbroglio round-the-clock.

And that's put Clinton's campaign on the defensive at a time when it has been regaining its footing against Barack Obama. Asked if Spitzer's fall would hurt Clinton, her spokesman Howard Wolfson offered a two-word reply: "It doesn't."
Oh well.

Also reported today is Spitzer was on the public dime while traveling to and from his dates with prostitutes, though the FBI and IRS hasn't concluded whether he spent public funds on his hookers.
Although the cash used to pay for a $4,300 prostitute named "Kristen" apparently came from Spitzer's account, he used taxpayer dollars to fly to and from his illicit rendezvous.

Investigators are looking to see whether he used state money for the hotel rooms.

At the same time, state police launched an internal inquiry into whether there was a breach of protocol by Spitzer's trooper security detail during the liaisons, a source told the Daily News.

At least two troopers accompanied Spitzer and two aides when they flew from Binghamton to Washington on Feb. 13 - the eve of Valentine's Day - the day he hooked up with "Kristen" at the Mayflower Hotel.

Details of the expanding probe emerged as sources said Spitzer's lawyer Michele Hirshman and Assistant Manhattan U.S. Attorney Boyd Johnson were working on a deal that would let Spitzer avoid jail and face minor charges - if he agrees to leave office.

Without a deal, he could face serious charges of structuring bank withdrawals to avoid federal reporting requirements, and even money laundering.
Elsewhere, Michelle Malkin has the resignation countdown clock. Further reaction over at Memeorandum.

Update: Thanks to Hot Air for the link. Allahpundit notes this juicy nugget.
WASHINGTON - Gov. Eliot Spitzer himself sought to testify before a congressional subcommittee that hadn't invited him to appear - possibly to give him an excuse to be away from home and see a hooker, officials revealed yesterday.

When Spitzer did show up before the panel on Feb. 14, the day after he'd been with a prostitute, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama) said that the typically unflappable Spitzer "came unglued" under questioning during the hearing.

Bachus, a former prosecutor himself, added that Spitzer also seemed unprepared, making at least one statement that Bachus has since informed the committee was inaccurate.

Now, though, it all makes sense, Bachus said.

"I realize that he may have been a little sleep-deprived," Bachus said with a grin in an interview yesterday.

"When we haven't had a good night's sleep, we can all get a little cranky."
Update II: Thanks to Gateway Pundit for the link.

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