The WSJ Nails New York Governor Eliot Spitzer

When Eliot Spitzer as the New York Attorney General he was known as having weak legal cases when he went after companies, but that he uses the reputational damage that he can try inflicting on them to blackmail them into settling. The damage often seemed to occur from well timed and placed information leaks. Apparently, Spitzer was caught using the same tactic against one of his political opponents. Given this was Spitzer's standard tactic for years, the vast majority of the press coverage that Spitzer is getting is very disappointing.

The media are doing their best Claude Rains act over the revelation that the office of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer orchestrated a smear campaign against State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. But far from being a unique, out of character event, the episode is a classic example of the Spitzer political method: nasty and exaggerated accusations fed by selective, politically motivated news leaks. The difference is that this time his targets could fight back.

On Monday, the office of Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo released a 54-page report on Mr. Bruno's use of state helicopters, allegedly for personal political purposes. The investigation had been prompted by the Governor's office after Mr. Spitzer's communications aide and hatchet man, Darren Dopp, saw to it that allegations of impropriety against Mr. Bruno had found their way into the hands of gullible, pliant reporters. . . . .

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