Spitzer steamroller put on defensive
The firestorm over efforts by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's office to smear a political rival intensified yesterday when his Republican foe demanded a new investigation into the first-term Democratic governor who has referred to himself as a "steamroller."Puttig the bully on defensive will be interesting. It appears that Spitzer is hunkering down rather than opening up. That is a mistake politically and it may lead to charges of a cover up. Either way it has changed the focus of his administration to something other than his political agenda.
"I believe for the first time in the history of this state, an executive — the governor's office — has seen fit to abuse the power of that office to spy and track and attempt to really destroy what apparently the governor's office considers a political rival," said state Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, New York's highest-ranking Republican.
"If there are cover-ups, the public has a right to know what has been covered up," said Mr. Bruno, who insists Mr. Spitzer is trying to run off Republicans to give Democrats control of the state's considerable purse strings.
While the governor says he knew nothing about the scheme by his top aides to discredit Mr. Bruno, his successor, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo — a fellow Democrat — found otherwise.
On Monday, he released a report saying punitive action should be considered against Mr. Spitzer's office for using information from Mr. Bruno's own state police security detail to track his trips, including fundraisers, and implying in leaks to the press that he improperly used state police aircraft.