Eliot Spitzer was chomping at the bit for policy questions in Crown Heights this evening.
Arriving in a slight drizzle in the fading sun, Mr. Spitzer took photos–as per usual during his campaign stops–bent to the cobbled ground to speak with toddlers and bought a $2 pound of okra. But he looked the most comfortable and excited as he addressed policy-related questions from the public and press alike.
Client No. Nope
Huddled in the shade on the steps outside of City Hall today, an Avengers-esque group of Latino leaders gathered to claim their allegiances to city comptroller candidate Scott Stringer, and, more importantly, level an onslaught of verbal assaults against the other guy, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. began the proceedings.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
New York City voters who care about transit have two excellent choices on the ballot come November—but unfortunately, neither of them is running for mayor. Eliot Spitzer’s last-minute entry into the race upends Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s easy slide into the city comptroller’s office, and makes the choice for straphanger voters especially difficult.
On the one hand, Scott Stringer has demonstrated an understanding, almost uniquely among New York City politicians, of the tremendous and globally unprecedented costs that the city pays to build new transit infrastructure. While Christine Quinn looks at the high cost of digging subways and throws up her hands and suggests we paint bus lanes instead, Mr. Stringer seems to understand that these costs are not something we necessarily have to live with.
City comptroller John Liu, whose campaign finances are under federal investigation, apparently doesn’t quite get it. He admits that recent revelations about dubious record-keeping and shady fund-raising practices, along with the federal indictment of one of his fund-raisers, are “quite embarrassing.” No kidding. But investigators aren’t looking to embarrass the comptroller. They’re trying to enforce laws that Mr. Liu’s campaign may have skirted or violated. That should be more than merely “embarrassing.”
City Comptroller John Liu really had no choice. Faced with serious questions about his campaign fund-raising, Mr. Liu backtracked from his position that an inquiry could be handled in-house. Instead, under mounting public criticism, Mr. Liu asked former State Attorney General Robert Abrams to conduct an independent audit of his campaign’s books.
Good move. And good choice. Mr. Abrams, who served as A.G. from 1979 to 1993, has an impeccable reputation and would seem to have no ax to grind.
What remains uncertain, however, is whether Mr. Abrams will have the resources—in terms of a budget and personnel—to conduct a thorough investigation of Mr. Liu’s tangled campaign finances.