Eliot Spitzer: Candidate for Comptroller

Monday, July 08, 2013

Eliot Spitzer attends the Huffington Post 2010 'Game Changers' event at Skylight Studio on October 28, 2010 in New York City. (Neilson Barnard/Getty)

Former New York Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who resigned amid a prostitution scandal, has announced that he's entering the race for New York City comptroller. Our series of interviews with the candidates for the major offices continues with Spitzer, who discusses his late entrance into the race, and how he'd use the office if elected. Following the interview, we open the phones to get your thoughts on Spitzer's reentry into New York City politics. Join in here.


Eliot Spitzer

Comments [59]

thatgirl from manhattan

I don't think Spitzer's "sins" warranted his exit from office, but I've not doubt the hypocrites from the State Dem party showed him the door, much like they did Weiner. They should be worrying more about Shelly Silver and that silly gang in Albany--universally bottom-of-the-barrel individuals on the take; the Republicans would have eaten their own as readily, so this isn't a party thing--it's a matter of understanding the pulse of the electorate.

Given that, I think the best atonement Spitzer could offer those who supported him as AG and governor is to serve a public office, and serve effectively. While I appreciated Scott Stringer's work as Manhattan BP, Spitzer's financial accumen (and experience in knowing where the bodies are hidden) would be far superior; why Stringer would run for Comptroller is beyond me--unless someone's decided it's a stepping stone to running for Mayor (which it isn't/doesn't need to be).

The party somehow persuaded Stringer not to run for Mayor, most likely because they think Quinn's got it in the bag--how wrong they are! Quinn's finger wagging at Spitzer and Weiner this morning tells you all you need to know: she's getting poor advice about what it would take to stop people questioning her third term turncoat/slush fund/real estate courtesan issues.

Welcome back, Mr. Spitzer! Thanks, as always, for making it interesting--and for shaking up the sleepier end of the Dem primary!

Jul. 08 2013 06:17 PM
carrie from nyc

he is very smart and appears not to be afraid to take on the hard problems. I miss him on TV and I would like to see him come back into to politics. frankly I think he would be a great mayor or even better as US attorney general. go spritzer to

Jul. 08 2013 04:31 PM
Govy from NYC

how can one person have one standard of the laws apply to one group of the population and one standard to himself. Disgust is one word that comes to mind.
Hypocritical but You Get the Gov You Deserve.

Jul. 08 2013 03:34 PM
Arnold from Lower westside

First of all, Spitzer's prosecution of the financial services industry was a scratch on the surface with a very minimal penalty and lots of headlines and good publicity for him in to help his run for governor. I'm sure that the financial services industry was grateful to him, and expected plenty of favors from him once he became governor.
Second: I don't pass moral judgement on him for personal choice of his mode of relaxation.
Third: I haven't forgotten the real estate deal that he put together as Governor, for transforming a peaceful, pristine rural environment with a pure mountain stream and vacation homes into a bustling hotel,ski, and golfing resort on Beleayre Mountain, that would pollute nearby Pepacton Reservoir, putting another nail into the coffin of New York's unfiltered water supply that would further increase the City residents' water bills.

Jul. 08 2013 03:12 PM

The people in South Carolina certainly didn't care about honor or the truth when they elected their good ol'e Appalachian Trail hiker, Mark Sanford.

It's an example of the beliefs or lack their of, of the neighborhood. These people say one thing and do another. Remember, go to church and then go home and make moonshine.

Jul. 08 2013 01:19 PM
Roslyn from NYC DOE from Brooklyn

What are we saying to our NYC students? Their authorities and public officials are not accountable for their actions. And these students
see their family members struggling for employment.

Jul. 08 2013 12:06 PM
carl from queens

despite being qualified for the job, I would not vote for spritzer or weiner, because they have both shown to be mean spirited... right now they are playing nice... I wouldn't want to be a tenant in a two family house owned by them... their true character would re-emerge once they are in a position of power... has nothing to do with indiscretions.. I am voting for the person who is not only qualified, but has shown to have an understanding heart...

Jul. 08 2013 11:59 AM
Valerie from NYC

See link to US News and World Report opinion piece by Susan Milligan...Eliot Spitzer not only broke the public trust...he broke the law.

Jul. 08 2013 11:55 AM
Rebecca (Bronx, Long Beach, Native Manhattan)

When the Spitzer news broke in 2008, I felt like my heart had broken a bit. As a young activist working in public policy, I was a major supporter of his, I believed he was a great watchdog, a great advocate for the law, for NY, and for women, and given that illegal prostitution and sex trafficking are inextricably linked in NYC as everywhere else, an advocate for human rights. His actions and disassociation between his professional and personal life are, in my mind, particularly troublesome legally and psychologically. I don't believe all sex scandals are alike, nor do I believe they necessarily continuously relate to our communal need for adept leaders. But I don't know that I'd be able to vote for him for comptroller.

I'd give anything for a politician with some true humility. (A girl can dream.)

Jul. 08 2013 11:11 AM
Tish from NYC

There are repercussions for the things we do and the choices we make. To essentially say "oops, I'm sorry" doesn't change that. Spitzer not only knowingly broke the law (more than once), he abused it and as such, his public career should be over -- just as he would have had it for any of those he himself pursued and prosecuted.

As for Weiner, he also showed a stunning lack of judgment and I'd never vote for him (because he was a mediocre Congressman), but at least he didn't break the law.

Finally, Scott Stringer is a smart and deeply caring public servant who's been a superb Manhattan boro president. To pass him over for Spitzer reminds me of young women who ignore the nice guy for the charismatic loser "bad boy". But in this case, your vote just may make me pay the price.

Jul. 08 2013 11:10 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Nat from NYC,

Your comment demonstrates the difference between us.

You have compassion for terrorists.

I have compassion for their victims.

Jul. 08 2013 11:09 AM

Spitzer will be under so much scrutiny because of his past transgressions that we can be pretty well assured he'll be as upright as we want, but have learned not to expect, our politicians to be. Going forward, I'd be more suspicious of others, yet to be caught for who-knows-what, than him.

Jul. 08 2013 11:07 AM
Try to

[[Nat from NYC

Ethical lapses, yes. But how come no one's howling about the GOPs in Congress who have pursued their own perceived political interests by glueing up the works and making it impossible for the grown ups to govern -- which I consider treason. How come no one's calling for a war crimes trial against those who OK'd torture by the U.S. in the Bush Administration?
Jul. 08 2013 10:58 AM]]

...try to stay on topic. Just because none of us can hear the voices screaming in your head is not a reflection on the importance of the discussion we're actually having.

Jul. 08 2013 11:06 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

I also feel sad for Scott Stringer, who I certainly would have voted for. I'll wait for the campaign, but WNYC did a very interesting report this morning on Bloomberg's legacy for the city, including on the stadium in Brooklyn and how the jobs and affordable housing etc. have not been realized yet and how the Council rep was sidelined by Bloomberg.

So for Spitzer, I'd hope that he might be a good person to fight against these types of Bloombergian shenanigans. That is a reason I might vote for him.

Weiner? His answer on Brian's show about whether he had anything to regret, was sorry, had thought about what he did, etc. was so empty that he has never engaged in any introspection whatsoever. It's shocking that people would actually consider voting for that guy.

Jul. 08 2013 10:58 AM
Nat from NYC

Ethical lapses, yes. But how come no one's howling about the GOPs in Congress who have pursued their own perceived political interests by glueing up the works and making it impossible for the grown ups to govern -- which I consider treason. How come no one's calling for a war crimes trial against those who OK'd torture by the U.S. in the Bush Administration?

Jul. 08 2013 10:58 AM
Burtnor from Manhattan

Those quick to condemn Spitzer and call for "accountability" should get a little perspective. I wouldn't hazard a guess about the number of pols with extracurricular sexual adventures and personal/policy hypocrisy and, even as a strong feminist, can't imagine what any of that has to do with his crusading zeal and success against the REAL outrage of financial services and corporate theft, fraud, and criminality.

Who would I rather have guarding the money of taxpayers and pensioners? For my money, the very smart, courageous, accomplished Spitzer, hands down.

Jul. 08 2013 10:58 AM

[[Robert from NYC
I see all the hypocritical moralists are out today.
Jul. 08 2013 10:45 AM]]

Here's hoping they turn out on election day.

Jul. 08 2013 10:56 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Nobody should think that only men can be stupid.

Look at the girls who say they love the surviving Boston Marathon bomber.

Jul. 08 2013 10:54 AM

Spitzer should not be entrusted with money or the public's trust. Spitzer broke the law, betrayed his family and disgraced the governor's office. He has incredible nerve to ask us to give him another chance. He is a hypocrite.

Jul. 08 2013 10:53 AM

2013 - The year of the "reformed" politician.

Did he get his courage to run after he saw the response that Anthony Weiner is receiving.

Politicians seem to get away with more crap every year.

They should try getting a real that they had to apply for without family or political connections.

Jul. 08 2013 10:52 AM
Who is worse

Both are arrogant jerks. Spitzer is worse.

Weiner has some sort of mental illness or is deeply repressing something. Every picture I see of him, his jaw has a giant knot that looks like he's chewing a wad of tobacco. He's got some sort of compulsion but he committed no crime.

Spitzer is a criminal. A sex offender. A five year "time out" isn't enough of a penalty.

Jul. 08 2013 10:52 AM
Joe from nearby

If Sen. David Vitter & Cong. Mark Sanford can hold high office after what they did, then I say go for it.

And keep going after the Wall St gang that took him down...for doing the exact same thing they do all the time.

Jul. 08 2013 10:50 AM
Hypocritical Moralist from Becky

Go find your buddy "weiner" and open a bunny ranch in Atlantic City somewhere!

Jul. 08 2013 10:48 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner can use the Osgood Fielding III defense.

Well, nobody's perfect.

Jul. 08 2013 10:48 AM
The Truth from Becky

Exactly, 5 years since you "resigned" betrayed a trust in favor of your libido!

Jul. 08 2013 10:46 AM
Robert from NYC

I see all the hypocritical moralists are out today. Welcome back Mr. Spitzer and good luck!!!

Jul. 08 2013 10:45 AM
whoindatgarden from Brooklyn

wonder if Mr.Spitzer believes in forgiving people who have committed a crime just like he has been forgiven. Seems like there are two systems of forgiveness that are in play, one for the 1%'ers that mr.Spitzer is aprt of and then another for the rest.

Jul. 08 2013 10:43 AM
Teresa from UWS

ask where we can sign petition!

Jul. 08 2013 10:42 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

Let me get this straight: a guy who pays his hookers via wire -- as opposed to untraceable cash -- wants to be entrusted with billions of dollars of taxpayers' funds?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Eliot Spitzer in a nutshell: he's a very smart man, of that there can be no doubt -- but he's not nearly as smart as he thinks himself to be.

Jul. 08 2013 10:41 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

If Elliot Spitzer wants to "serve the people",

he should move to Nevada - home of the Bunny Ranch.

Jul. 08 2013 10:41 AM
fuva from harlemworld

We have a crisis of politician accountability. This is no time to be enabling pols caught with their pants down (not sexting, etc., but lying and transgressing.

Jul. 08 2013 10:39 AM
fuva from harlemworld

We have a crisis of politician accountability. This is no time to be enabling pols caught with their pants down (not sexting, etc., but lying and transgressing.

Jul. 08 2013 10:39 AM
A listener

[[Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I'm afraid that Elliot Spitzer will do the people of New York what he did to that hooker.
Jul. 08 2013 09:59 AM]]

What? Leave his socks on?

Jul. 08 2013 10:35 AM
sk Brooklyn from Brooklyn

Would Spitzer support legalizing prostitution? Has he donated any of his vast fortune to support groups whose sole purpose is to fight the female slave trade?

Jul. 08 2013 10:35 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I think that what we as voters strive to have are representatives and public servants of unimpeachable integrity - which may or may not be realistic - but we used to feel that way about Mr. Spitzer and lost faith.

Mr. Spitzer's record was one of which we New Yorkers were proud - until his fall from grace, as it were. How he can reassure us that his judgment has improved to such a degree that he can once again be trusted to perform his duties without succumbing to temptation, I don't know, but I am still wary.

On the other hand, if we had a contest between John Liu and Mr. Spitzer, I'd vote for Mr. Spitzer hands down. Everything is relative.

Jul. 08 2013 10:34 AM
antonio from baySide

hahaha, Sorry Martin, I am no fool. I know about his family etc. But it appears you have some problems interacting with folks on here... Fact remains he went after the power structure that almost brought down the economy....
happy trolling!

Jul. 08 2013 10:34 AM
Nat from NYC

Mr. Spitzer: Pledge to divest NYC pension funds from any Koch brothers' company and not invest in them in the future and I'll vote for you.

Jul. 08 2013 10:33 AM
Joe from Manhattan

Why does NYC get such good radio hosts and such sanctimonious, hypocritical, narcissistic politicians?

Jul. 08 2013 10:32 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

Spitzer's personal indiscretions are utterly immaterial. The personality defect that Spitzer manifests so blatantly, the one detailed by the late Hunter Thompson in his Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972, ie vainglory, is something that we suffer more than enough of from the political class. Let Spitzer be committed to a long and intensive course of psychiatric treatment, and let adults see to affairs of state, rather than being attended by these compulsive attention wh*res.

Eliot, go away already, and just stay away.

Jul. 08 2013 10:31 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Wow, Brian, excellent questions; the kind of journalism that keeps us coming back to WNYC, NPR.

This man -- whatever his intellect, wit, victories against Wall Street, etc. -- exemplifies rich kid impunity and entitlement.

And, more than wrong, wasn't what he did illegal?

Jul. 08 2013 10:31 AM
The Truth from Becky

NO, why "prostitution scandal" simple.

Jul. 08 2013 10:30 AM
Liar Liar

"violations of trust"?!?!?!?!?!?!


Jackass. Say the words.

I. Broke. The. Law.

Jul. 08 2013 10:29 AM

Can any mixologists come up with the recipe for what'd better be the summer cocktail of 2013:

the "Wiener Spritzer?" (I guess it would have to be on the rocks...)

Jul. 08 2013 10:28 AM
John A

I Am a little bit Puritanical, but am so also with finances. That was the most important aspect of him - so an ok from me.

Jul. 08 2013 10:27 AM

I say, "Bravo!"

It's about time someone started a national dialogue on the mysterious world of male sexuality.

Jul. 08 2013 10:26 AM
No thanks

[[Kristin Davis, the “Manhattan Madam” who was jailed for supplying call girls to former Governor Eliot Spitzer in his infamous, resignation-inducing prostitution scandal, says she’s going to challenge her former client in the comptroller’s race.]]

Jokes aside, I think after you do what SPitzer did, you just leave the public stage for good. The idea that he's so smart that government NEEDS him is a reflection of the mental illness that led to his problems in the first place.

Jul. 08 2013 10:26 AM

Yet another quitter.
He got out of the kitchen cause it got too hot
I'm not letting him back it. Why are there so few who will serve?

Jul. 08 2013 10:26 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

A definition of a Hypocrite.

Someone who hates Rich people,

but buys Lottery tickets.

Jul. 08 2013 10:21 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

@antonio from bayside-

LOL...have you been fooled.
Eliot Spitzer is just another little rich boy ... the son of a multi-millionaire and a Fith Avenue upbringing. (Look it up.) But, he's smart enough to know that rubes like you could be bought with the usual leftist "identity politics" talking points and masquerading as a hero of the working class.
"Live like a king, talk like a revolutionary."

Jul. 08 2013 10:17 AM
Lydia Lopez from Manhattan

NY votes in the politicians it deserves... Rangel, Silver, Kruger, Lopez, Smith (I can go on for pages) and now Weiner and Spitzer. It's a place where a reality TV mentality rules and notoriety for bad probably gets you more name recognition than good deeds and you get continuously voted back in on the Democratic party line (I am a D saying this). It's sad and won't seem to change anytime soon. I guess as a whole we just have an incredibly uninformed public here. We need some light shown on how the process works - and even term limits to constrain career politicians and their consolidation of power.

Jul. 08 2013 10:15 AM
ivan obregon

I don't care how people conduct their private lives as long as it doesn't willfully hurt others excessively, unconscientiously or non consensually and in the end a person's sexual peccadilloes or transgressions ( or sins, if experienced as such) are a matter for a couple to resolve privately even if they are public and even official figures, but you would think that someone's who's put their family through all this would stay away from the public arena and certainly the political one......Obviously, whatever drove him to ARREST PROSTITUTES and declaim the criticism then made about wasting taxpayer funds on criminalizing sex by invoking facile and simplistic definitions of morality, respect for the law and rationalizations on how prostitution criminalizes other activities or people never dies: the lust for power. It's not the sex that is scary but the level of hypocrisy.....

Jul. 08 2013 10:12 AM
Alan Ravage

In Macbeth, Shakespeare called it "summer-seeming lust." Macduff considers it a defect, but a minor one compared to the more insidious ones involving power and greed.

Jul. 08 2013 10:12 AM
antonio from baySide

Hear, hear Robert from RBC. For every Sanders, Spitzer, Warren, Kucinich etc. They're ten hacks like Bachman, Quinn, who are just for the ruling class....

Jul. 08 2013 10:06 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

".... and how he'd use the office if elected."

Duh, we all know he'd use it ... to return to his (slightly detoured) "steamroller" path to higher office and, eventually, the White House. We are currently in the midst of one mediocre "historic presidency" (still feeling good about yourselves, kiddies?) and Spitzer would give us another - the first admitted "john" in the White House.
President Number 9, anyone?

Jul. 08 2013 10:04 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I'm afraid that Elliot Spitzer will do the people of New York what he did to that hooker.

Jul. 08 2013 09:59 AM
gary from queens

I'm not a puritan by any means. Spitzer's crime for me was not paying for prostitution.

Rather, I do not trust people who betray the most important people in their lives. If he would do that with his wife and risk destroying his family, what would stop him from doing that to the electorate.

We trust politicians to follow the will of the voters, yet how can we trust a serial betrayer who was so self indulgent that he couldnt restrain his hedonistic urges long enough to consider the consequences.

And he wants us to trust him with billions of our taxpayer dollars?!

Jul. 08 2013 09:42 AM

@Robert from RBC

Spitzer did not simply commit a sin, he BROKE the law. No to Spitzer and No to Weiner. Both of them need to be defeated at the polls and then both of them need to go away and never be seen or heard from again.

Jul. 08 2013 09:41 AM
Francine from Brooklyn

I think Mr. Spitzer was the BEST Attorney General we had in NYC. His policies on housing were amazing, and he even helped a freind of mine directly over the phone taking her call personally to help her solve a lease dispute with her landlord. He would have made a GREAT Governor.

QUESTION: Please ask Mr. Sptizer if it is true that you discovered (just before the Governor campaign) that the MTA was maintaining 2 different accounting books - if so, what will do to get to the bottom of this as City Comptroller?

Jul. 08 2013 09:40 AM
Robert from RBC

YESSSSSSSSSS!!!! Welcome back Eliot Spitzer. We need people like you in politics. Your "sin" is nothing compared to the sins most politicians commit against us. I WANT ELIOT! I WANT ELIOT! Let all the hypocrites condemn you, it's their way to deflect their hypocrisy. We need people committed to the people not to their own monetary enrichment.

Jul. 08 2013 09:08 AM

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