Do You Accept Eliot Spitzer's Apology?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Eliot Spitzer apologized in the New York Times Op-Ed page yesterday, "An Apology From Albany," for his administration's involvement in using state police to discredit Joe Bruno. Do you accept it? The New York Post's Fred Dicker and the Daily News' Liz Benjamin each weigh in and we take your calls.

Do You Accept Eliot Spitzer's Apology? Send us your comment below.


Liz Benjamin and Fred Dicker

Comments [32]

jim clawson from Brooklyn, NY 11218

Pardon my cynicism but "yes" I forgive the Gov. even though he probably knew that something was up. Sen. Bruno has been around for 30 + years, and while Republican George Pataki was in office Sen. Bruno enjoyed many perks. Of this I have no doubt- so much so he became, as all people who have unchecked power, very accustomed to it. In fact he probably thinks it is his right to jump on a plane any old time he pleases. This is the nature of power, and Gov. Spitzer's team was just getting a taste of it when they stepped on Joe's toes.
So the sparks are flying right now. I just hope that Gov. Spitzer can "connect" with common blokes like me and show some humility. Somehow he has got to do or say something that breaks through the pious noise Sen Bruno is making.
In short give the "new" Gov. a second chance and a Bronx cheer for the old timer- he's been around too long to be trusted much here.

Jul. 30 2007 08:55 PM
Mark Victor Smith from Astoria, Queens

I accept the Governor's apology, although I would like to have seen a statement that he did not know about (or did know about, or ordered, or in some way condoned without ordering) his aides' actions.

Meanwhile, Albany continues to stagnate; the fog of political obfuscation (thick) is generated primarily by two politicians -- Bruno (helicopters) and Silver (IWOGUMA ["I won't give up my automobile"]) -- but by others as well.

The only way to clean up Albany is to "throw the bums out" I hope someone very rich (Bloomberg?? He certainly has reason...) will spend a lot of it to run many perfectly legal ads criticizing these two and others like them, and call for big changes in the Albany legislature. This is one of the best cases justifying third-party political advertising, and this might just do a lot of good for New York.

Jul. 30 2007 03:14 PM
Susan from Brooklyn

I feel that the situation has been blown out of all proportion. This is just an example of of the kettle calling the pot black. Of politics as usual in Albany.
Why don't the politicians get on with the people's business.

Jul. 30 2007 12:34 PM
Rich from Manhattan

Leon has it right--see # 23
and, I think this will be a good learning experience for the new Governor and his aides...after the W administration, our sensitivity to abuse of power has been heightened and we are in a less forgiving state of mind but overreaches will happen, especially in a juiced up rookie group, and I have become a fan of overreaches after the under-reaches of the Clinton administration which became one of the greatest wasted opportunities we have ever seen...until the even more recent wasted opportunity to align with the global community against terror that the W and Cheney brainless un-trust brought us

Jul. 30 2007 12:02 PM
gregory from bronx

I don't understand one thing: why is everyone so surprised? The Daily News ran an article one or two years ago on all of the many ways all of our state politicos finagle funds and apply them to semi-legitimate purposes by taking advantage of loopholes in funding laws. The public has always shown an explicit disinterest in politians' morals and ethics until now; it should remain equally non-plussed regardless of whose ethics are being challenged now.

Jul. 30 2007 11:51 AM
Jamie from Manhattan

I accept it. How many times have we asked that our national government accept some responsibilty or admit to a mistake. Gov. Spitzer, even if he really didn't have any knowledge of the events, is at least trying to make amends for politicizing what should have been a legitimate concern.

I wish the white house would do at least this much.

Jul. 30 2007 11:50 AM
Joseph Spletzer from Glen Cove, NY

Yes I accept the governor's apology. The current affair is more of the same: fun and games between parties diverting attention and resources from the important issues. I could care less about an ethical qualm between rival parties at this point; I want to see progress made with the tax dollars New Yorkers are spending. If there is a transgression, as far as I am concerned it is minor. I'd like to see this can-do governor take his best shot at improving our state and society. This is the last chance either party will get from me for my vote.

Love your show Brian,

Joseph Spletzer

Jul. 30 2007 11:49 AM
Pamela from New York, NY

Yes, I accept his apology; this is much ado about nothing. We got much bigger fish to fry...

Jul. 30 2007 11:47 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I haven't decided yet; I still have some questions. Like: if the governor's office had to approve requests for helicopter use, why do they need the state police to investigate it rather than just checking their own records? Seems excessive. If approval is just a rubber stamp, *that's* something to look into, & change.

I'm also wondering how much state business it takes to make one of these trips legit. Is it like the old joke about asking "How's business?" being enough to make a lunch a "business lunch" & therefore tax deductible?

However, I was glad Spitzer actually said "We made mistakes" & not "Mistakes were made." If nothing else, that's refreshing. It's not enough, but it's worth remarking on.

Jul. 30 2007 11:46 AM
Leon from Park Slope

Overzealousness and administrative inexperience. Otherwise Gov. Spitzer and his merry minions deserve commendations for getting the goods on Air Bruno. Every time this indictment-bound politico takes a state chopper on personal business, he's chopping into state funds and taking the taxpayer for a ride. The prison searchlight belongs on Bruno, not Spitzer; let's not allow the Albany vet to get away.

Jul. 30 2007 11:45 AM
Michael from Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Yes I do. Let's put the focus where it really belongs: a weak, ambiguous set of rules regarding the use of state aircraft. Senator Bruno has probably abused that by doing a few minutes of "state government" business during trips to NYC where more time was spent on political business. Let's not waste more time on the peripheral matters of what Spitzer knew or didn't know. Tighten up the rules and make that all more transparent.

Jul. 30 2007 11:44 AM
JoAnne Lindsley from Montclair, NJ

Not my governor but if he were, YES.

I think this is more about who has the upper hand. Bruno using the (served up) opportunity to overblown media coverage and Gov. Spitzer moving too agressively to "clean-up" and rid himself of a road block.

Too much time on a not so important issue. If it were my state government I'd like to know if the vehicles were mis-used.

Jul. 30 2007 11:43 AM
chris from manhattan

What do you think Spitzer would have done had Wall St. written him an apology letter? ;-)

Jul. 30 2007 11:42 AM

Is it a coincedence that the law has remained vauge b/c the people who benefit/abuse it (the pols) are the very ones who are responsible for changing it?

Jul. 30 2007 11:40 AM
Victor from Brooklyn

This issue may be an important ethics issue, but it's masking the larger problem of extreme partisan political positions in NY state that is hindering progress. In the end, Spitzer and Bruno will look bad. They need to get beyond this and start finding new options for working together.

Jul. 30 2007 11:39 AM
Mike from Jersey City from Hoboken, NJ


The real question is whether you believe Governor Spitzer's apology, or whether he continues to lie about his involvement.

Jul. 30 2007 11:36 AM
Steven Clark from NYC

1. They need to change the rules.
2. Spitzer needs to be investigated, it was a non-apology apology. If "We" made mistakes, "We" need to accept the consequences.

Jul. 30 2007 11:35 AM
Hal from Crown Heights

The woman who operates the heliports benefits from more helicopter traffic.

Jul. 30 2007 11:34 AM

I accept the gov's apology, but I don't think he even really needed to! Anytime any elected official investigates potential violations by government agents/officials, I support them 100%. Keep on roll'n!!!

Jul. 30 2007 11:34 AM
George from Downtown Manhattan

I accept it. I also wish he would stop apologizing. Democrats should learn something from Bush.
If you dont admit your mistakes and just let things drag out the public forgets almost anything.

Bruno is corrupt anyway.

I dont agree this is the right way to run a democracy but the Democrats need to start fighting the Republicans on there own terms.

Jul. 30 2007 11:33 AM
TCR from New York City

I don't accept his apology, because I believe that he should be held responsible for any ethical lapse. Determining whether such a lapse has occurred is the job of the Ethics Commission, not Spitzer himself or the readers and editorial board of the New York Times.

I'm a Democrat and voted for Spitzer. He is now the Governor, however, not the Attorney General, and as such is not empowered to launch sting operations against public officials, even when those public officials have been as obstructive as Bruno.

Jul. 30 2007 11:29 AM
Lucas from NYU Law

Dicker is factually wrong about atty-client privilege. the atty must be the client's own atty. Working for the governor does not give the lawyer the atty-client privilege. The lawyer must be Spitzer's own lawyer, not just a lawyer for the state. the issue of executive privilege would depend on this state's rules of evidence... whether there is a recognized such privilege from giving evidence and if it exists would apply to all people in the branch that are part of the branch to the extent that a judge would allow. You would not need to be a lawyer, but the executive privilege would give way if the need for evidence outweighs the policy reasons for the exec

Jul. 30 2007 11:29 AM
Andrea from Brooklyn

Yes, I do. I am more concerned about what Bruno and the other state officials did and do and how/if they are spending/wasting our tax dollars. I think, we shouldn't spend all this time and money on debating and investigating this issue and concentrate on how to improve doing business and eliminate corruption in Albany instead.

Jul. 30 2007 11:17 AM
Roy Israel from Manhattan

Despite the Spitzer administration's malfeasance, we should keep things in perspective. Bruno is under Federal investigation, and his use of state aircraft seems to fall only within the letter of the admittedly vague law at best. Bruno's self-righteous posturing is truly a case of "the pot calling the kettle black."

Jul. 30 2007 11:14 AM
Dan Brinzac from NYC

The Governor had no choice but to apologize. While he claims the administration activity was not "illegal" I feel it was unethical. But then again was Bruno's use of State air transportation unethical, considering the coincidence between the fundraising activities and legitimate business at the destination. Maybe they should just drop the issue.

Jul. 30 2007 11:14 AM
gin from westchester

elliot probably knew, but lets dicuss joe bruno, what is he doing up there. drop the matter and look into the joe bruno aspect. he has been in albany way too long and this is just a diversion tactic of the majority. albany is not working and look how long joe bruno has been there. poor joe bruno is frustrated but what about everyone else in NYS.
Our taxes are so high and where is joe going since his district is Albany anyway..
Lets put the focus back on joe where it belongs, give elliot some time to get albany cleaned up

Jul. 30 2007 11:12 AM
Michael Winslow from Inwood

Spitzer's apology sucks.

So No I don't accept it.

I voted him and thought this guy had integrity.

He should be fully investigated and someone needs to get to the bottom of this.

Jul. 30 2007 11:10 AM
david from Manhattan

Why exactly is he apologizing?

If he believed that Bruno was misusing state transportation for GOP activities, why is it not appropriate to investigate that? And if so, who other than the state police would Spitzer use to investigate it?

Jul. 30 2007 11:09 AM
Robert from NYC

Big sigh! I'm sorry to say ES has disappointed me really badly. I personally don't care that of all people he had Bruno "watched"--the MOST sleazy of all NYS politicians. I'm sure there are lots of things to get him on. But Spitzer should have been more open it he knew he could prove something. That he couldn't he went the wrong way. He also has allowed Joe Bruno to continue his systematic disruption of government that he's been practicing for as long as he's been in a powerful position--and probably longer. The whole thing stinks.

Jul. 30 2007 10:50 AM
Sharish Zhemanaheaid from Queens

I'm sure that Spitzer would have accepted the apologies of everyone he decimated.

Jul. 30 2007 10:46 AM
chestine from NY

No he's now in my mind as sleazy a pol as there is. Very disappointed. But better to know now than later, if he has his eyes on the White House.

Jul. 30 2007 10:38 AM
aubrey w bonnett from new york

hell is the classic COVERUP....such as that which killed the Nixon and Johnosn Presidencies.....he comes on more like a RICH MONARCH than a coequal EXECUTIVE....his legilative agenda is now compromised...... local 1199 taught him some humility in the hospital closure issue.....

Jul. 30 2007 10:23 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.