Former Governor David Paterson is providing cover for Eliot Spitzer in his bid for the Comptroller’s seat, saying Client 9 should be forgiven because prostitution is legal in some states and other countries … like France.
Pro tip: When you have to cite France for defense of your morals, you’re really digging out of a hole.
The question was: Do you think he deserves a second chance of some kind of political comeback?
Here is the full statement, via the Times Union:
“Here’s how I look at life: in some states prostitution is legal,” Paterson said. “In some countries it is. In France, apparently, you’re not married unless you’ve got somebody else. They do it a different way. But if you steal money anywhere — whether it’s Las Vegas, New York, or France — people hate you. So what I’m saying is, people’s personal issues have not thwarted the public from supporting you. This happened to Eliot Spitzer this year. For a while, Anthony Weiner was number one in the polls. So my view is people can have a second chance when their problems are personal.”
Does character matter anymore in a political candidate?
Watch video of the Paterson interview with New York Now (relevant portion at 2:22):
Of course, Paterson is not exactly opposed to extramarital sex in any manner, having admitted to several affairs. Two of his mistresses were on the state payroll at the time.
Again, minimizing Spitzer’s issues to the prostitution scandal alone is a disservice to New York City voters. His issues ran much deeper.
Here is a brief reminder of Spitzer’s resume:
- He blatantly lied about financing for both of his 1994 and 1998 attorney general campaigns. He justified skirting campaign finance law by simply saying, “the law is porous.” This is the equivalent of a bank robber justifying his crime by saying, “the security is porous.”
- He called a reporter from the New York Daily News, Michael Aronson, at his home, in an attempt to intimidate him into ceasing his critical coverage.
- He used the New York State Police force to spy on his political opponent (a man he had referred to as a “senile piece of s***”), then blocked the release of e-mails regarding the matter.
- He denied wearing calf-length black socks during sexual encounters with prostitutes, despite it being confirmed by three different and independent sources. Though I’m not sure which is the more egregious offense — the black socks, or the denial.
It’s not that Spitzer was a frequent patron of prostitutes (though it certainly should not be dismissed as Paterson has), it’s the overall disregard for how he wielded his power while in office.