Morning Read: ‘I’ve Gotta Make Wonk Sexy’

(Photo: Newseum)

(Photo: Newseum)

Headline of the Day: “Humans unwelcome”

Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was thought to be avoiding on-the-ground campaign events, has in fact been quietly praying his way through city churches, asking congregants for forgiveness and support, the Daily News reports. Asked why the events, including at least three stops Sunday, were missing from his public schedule, Mr. Spitzer said he was trying to have “authentic” conversations with voters. “It’s impossible to do it when there’s a gaggle [of reporters], it loses authenticity.”

According to the Post‘s Fred Dicker, it’s lonely in Spitzer land. Apparently, “Nearly all of Eliot Spitzer’s once fiercely loyal aides have abandoned him as he seeks political redemption,” through his run for city comptroller, “key Democrats” told the paper. “Where are all of Eliot’s friends now?” asked one, adding, “Those who know him best have forsaken him the most.”

And over the weekend, Mr. Spitzer’s one-time prostitute Ashley Dupré landed on the front cover of the New York Post again. Like the last one, the Sunday story alleges Mr. Spitzer used government resources to facilitate his high-end call girl habit, traveling to Palm Beach in 2008 even after a big fund-raising event had been canceled. Mr. Spitzer’s campaign maintains that this was not the case and dismissed the story as “ancient history.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is reportedly facing another “serious leadership threat’’–this time from 30 Democratic assemblywomen fed up in the wake of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal. “Assembly insiders” tell the Post the women may be “looking to topple Silver next year,” with Assemblywoman Deborah Glick described as most likely to challenge Mr. Silver.

As he winds down his final months in office, Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s top aides are plotting their exit strategies, and Crain’s New York Business took a look at some of their post-administration plans. Among the tidbits: Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden are considering going into business together, forming their own urban-planning policy institute or global consulting firm.

Apparently fed up with his constant obstructionism, the Bloomberg administration has taken the rare step of suing City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu for rejecting two city contracts to operate homeless shelters, according to the Times. “It’s a joke,” mayoral spokesman Marc La Vorgna told the paper. “Sad part is this is taxpayer resources and dollars being completely wasted on naked political ambitions.”

And the moment the world has been waiting for. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg are set to face off later today in their long-awaited rafting head-to-head as part of Mr. Cuomo’s Adirondack Challenge. But the fun got underway this weekend, when Mr. Cuomo and his daughters raced a gaggle of legislators–and started a splash war as the race began. The Times Union has video here.

New York magazine looked at Mr. Spitzer’s opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and his path to victory, which involves his 19-month-old son, Max, and selling a policy wonk in a race against a celebrity candidate. “Everyone gravitates to the football star, right?” Mr. Stringer says at one point. “I’ve gotta make wonk sexy … I have no idea, but I gotta do it. I gotta show that I got the special sauce. I gotta show my special sauce!”

And in case you missed it, here’s the first Spitzer ad, which predicts, “the people of this city are about to welcome back an old friend.”

[youtube=] Morning Read: ‘I’ve Gotta Make Wonk Sexy’