Eliot Spitzer’s Lust for Power


The lust for recognition and power has made Eliot Spitzer a loose cannon, and harming the economic future of the country. He has used his position to create publicity for himself by his aggressive public charges in the media. This in turn has created the publicity needed for his run for Governor.

The Wall Street Journal (on the free side) has an editorial by William J. Holstein, Editor in Chief of Chief Executive Magazine outlining the behavior and calling for his resignation.

When New York state’s Attorney General Eliot Spitzer started prosecuting excesses in the financial markets, he was tough-minded but fair. But over time, it has become less clear that he is pursuing justice.

His treatment of AIG’s Maurice R. Greenberg, coming on the heels of the forced ouster of Mr. Greenberg’s son, Jeffrey, from Marsh & McLennan, is a case in point. Once again, Mr. Spitzer has charged in and discovered a pattern of practices he doesn’t like. He is applying a new set of values to reinsurance practices that had been in place for years.

Although Mr. Greenberg was Chief Executive magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2003, we are not defending him. Rather we want to ask whether CEOs have a right to due process. Reflecting their dismay at the high-handed conduct of King George, the Founding Fathers created a judicial system with a stringent set of procedural safeguards to protect against overzealous or arbitrary prosecution. Yet in the atmosphere that Mr. Spitzer has helped create, the presumption is that CEOs are guilty–if Eliot Spitzer says they’re guilty.

That is scary enough, and he has used this practice to shake down many of the leading financial companies to fill New York States coffers.

But this is the scariest part:

So the New York attorney general both charges and convicts in the court of public opinion. This pattern of overcriminalization is of deep concern to many chief executives. The proper process is for judges or juries to convict defendants only after convincing themselves that a charge has been proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Too much publicity can be deemed prejudicial.

At the same time, Mr. Spitzer’s political ambitions are increasingly clear. He wants to use his record to become governor of New York. Mr. Spitzer’s campaign office even paid Google to link a search for “AIG” to a Web site promoting his campaign before it was quickly taken down. In the same television show where he discussed the AIG case, Mr. Spitzer said he was “very close” to presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and didn’t rule out a run for the vice presidency or presidency.

Taking out Google Ads for the term AIG to to promote your governors campaign. At this point, he has gone beyond the pale and shown that he is in it for the governors seat, not protecting the rights of the citizens of the state of New York.

I agree, it is time for Mr. Spitzer to go.

Hat Tip Instapundit

Posted April 19, 2005 by
Business, Politics | no comments

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