Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wall Street Banksters Don't Want Eliot Spitzer Up Their Asses Again


Eliot Spitzer is feared and loathed by America's worst enemies

Monday evening, Ken took a long, insightful look at Eliot Spitzer's bid to become the third-ranking elected official in NYC. One of Ken's conclusions was that "Contrary to Speaker Quinn's impression, we may be dealing here with one of our more dangerously un-selfish public servants -- one who actually believes in public service. He did it in his first officeholding career, showing himself as NYS attorney general to have some strong beliefs about the public good, including holding powerful people to account for their misdeeds. It's the message he's trying to convey into all those microphones thrust in his face."

Personally, I like Spitzer a lot and would like to see him back in elected office. Ken reminds us that Spitzer "is not wildly popular among NYC Democratic officeholders or party functionaries" and that "Eliot's never really been a 'party guy.' Too independent... His short tenure [as governor] has been largely obscured by its spectacular crash-and-burn, but some of us remember how much ill will he created among people he needed to work with, like the leaders of the state legislature, who not only didn't like taking orders from the new governor but frequently had good reason to question his judgment, something the governor himself seemed seriously disinclined to do, ever."

And then there's Wall Street. The Elders of Wall Street hate his guts-- with a passion. Many people are aware it was Wall Street that made Spitzer's indiscretions public and got their worst enemy knocked off the playing field. They don't want him back. Yesterday, Michael Barbaro and David Chen of the NY Times put it a little differently: Spitzer Quickly Hits Establishment Headwind. "From corporate boardrooms to the headquarters of the city’s Democratic political campaigns," their article began, "phone lines lighted up and strategy sessions were organized on Monday with a single mission in mind: stopping Eliot Spitzer." His shrewd, last minute sneak attack took them by complete surprise and they are deathly afraid to see the TV-savvy and self-financed Spitzer handed a new megaphone.

Behind the scenes, they began to lay out a blueprint for undermining Mr. Spitzer’s bid for comptroller, the city’s third-highest elected office, and for propping up his lesser-known Democratic rival, Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president.

They quickly zeroed in on what they claimed were Mr. Spitzer’s vulnerabilities: an out-of-control ego; his lawbreaking patronization of prostitutes, which led to his resignation as governor in 2008; and his combative, go-it-alone style.

Strikingly, Democratic leaders drew parallels between Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Weiner, trying to lump them together as two wayward men obsessed with reclaiming power and unworthy of redemption, in a direct appeal to women voters who may decide the races.

“For me the question with both Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer is what have they been doing to earn this second chance?” asked Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker and a Democratic candidate for mayor. She said she had seen little that would “redeem themselves from their selfish behavior.”

Business leaders leapt into the ruckus, finding common cause with organized labor as they described Mr. Spitzer as ill-suited to the job of managing the city’s multibillion-dollar pension system and policing city spending.

Such a post, said Kathryn S. Wylde, the head of the New York City Partnership, made up mainly of real estate, Wall Street and insurance firms, requires intense collaboration and diplomacy with the mayor’s office, the business community and municipal labor unions.

“The tone of the Spitzer announcement and history suggest that’s not the way he would approach the job,” she said in an interview.

In the corridors of finance, executives made little secret of their dismay at the thought of Mr. Spitzer, an often zealous adversary of Wall Street, assuming a job with some authority over the industry. Robert T. Zito, the founder of a brand consulting firm and a former executive at the New York Stock Exchange, which was a relentless target of Mr. Spitzer’s ire over executive pay, put it bluntly: “I would love to see his opponent win.”

Those involved in and briefed about the strategy discussions raised the possibility of organizing a super PAC to counter Mr. Spitzer’s self-financed campaign.

Eyes turned to Mr. Spitzer’s most fervent critics on Wall Street, like the billionaire Kenneth G. Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot and a former director of the New York Stock Exchange, who had relished the governor’s downfall.

According to a person told of his plans, Mr. Langone was mulling independent campaign expenditures against Mr. Spitzer. Mr. Langone was traveling in Europe and an aide said he was unavailable to talk.

Mr. Spitzer, in an interview, appeared to have anticipated the attacks, especially from Wall Street, and sought to turn them to his advantage, by portraying himself as a warrior for regular people.

“When I was attorney general, I made some powerful enemies,” he said. “But I also made a lot of friends,” which he described as the “real people” he had fought for.

The fierce debate about how to deny Mr. Spitzer a place in city government unfolded as he hit the campaign trail for the first time in five years, displaying the kind of studied discipline that characterized his previous runs for office.

...It appeared that the muscle for the anti-Spitzer operation might emerge from the city’s labor unions, which view Mr. Stringer as a reliable ally, and are wary of the less predictable Mr. Spitzer, who has not hesitated to confront them in the past.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said all options-- including tapping its own campaign funds for television ads-- were under consideration. “We’re going to make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure Scott is the next comptroller,” he said. “Weiner has kind of been given a free pass.”

Even as they grudgingly acknowledged Mr. Spitzer’s technical credentials for the job of comptroller, the union leaders cast doubt on his motivation for seeking a return to public life.

“He is running to clear his name, to build a public persona again,” said Héctor J. Figueroa, president of 32BJ, the city union of janitors and doormen, which has endorsed Mr. Stringer. He called the comptroller’s office “the wrong position” for Mr. Spitzer.
I think it's exactly the right position and I'd love to see Spitzer win, do a great job and get back into position where he can once again do battle with the enemies of ordinary working families. If Wall Street criminal banksters and corrupt, grubby municipal union bosses agree he's terrible, he must be the greatest candidate to come on the scene ever! The corporately controlled media, of course, will do their worst.

It's so wonderful having Michael Smerconish hosting Hardball instead of that pathetic hack Chris Matthews. Last night Smerconish was advocating for legalizing prostitution. Interesting perspective-- and it's part of this post for a reason.

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