Representative Peter King, a Republican, does not see any alternative to resignation for Eliot Spitzer.
“It has to be,” said King.
King said that Spitzer’s apparent participation in a prostitution ring was graver than having an affair or any other personal transgression because the governor’s inclusion could have helped fund organized crime and put the office of the governor at risk of blackmail. For those reasons and others, King said, Spitzer had to go. He also said he was confident that the climate in Albany would benefit under the leadership of David Paterson.
King said that he usually avoids judgmental accusations, but the case of Spitzer was different, he said, because he had never met anyone in politics as “self-righteous and unforgiving” as Spitzer.
“It’s hard to feel much sympathy for him under those circumstances,” King said.
King also emphasized the criminal aspect of Spitzer’s apparent inclusion in a prostitution ring.
“This is a prostitution ring,” he said. “This is not a question of having an affair or a personal weakness. Prostitution rings are invariably linked to organized crime. He knows that as a former prosecutor, as a former attorney general, as a governor. When you are dealing with a prostitution ring, you are giving money to organized crime to finance crime and everything that comes with that—shakedowns and everything else.”
King then said that the governor’s apparent decision to involve himself in such a ring put the entire state in jeopardy.
“Also a person of his prominence puts himself in a position of being blackmailed,” said King. “This is not having a girlfriend or a prostitute on a street corner. This is organized crime, and they have you. So he puts the entire state at risk by doing this.”
King said that while Spitzer would certainly be a dream target for Republicans in Albany now, it was in the interest of the state to move on under David Paterson, for whom he clearly had more respect.
“I guess what’s better politically is for this guy to hold on and destroy the state and bring state government to a halt, and Republicans can take some political advantage of that, but that’s not what I want,” said King. “I support him to go. The longer this goes on, the longer it makes everyone look bad. It’s probably even better for Republicans for him to go in the long run.”
David Paterson, King said, “is one of the most decent guys I have ever met in politics—an honorable guy, a solid guy.”
“Hopefully there will be a new climate in Albany and we won’t have this thing of trying to knock everybody off,” he said. “It has to be better under David Paterson. You are not going to be worried having state police following you around, everything being analyzed. That whole atmosphere of trying to get somebody, which just typified Spitzer and which is not going to typify David Paterson.”