Road to redemption? Eliot Spitzer runs again

The former governor's many enemies aren't losing any sleep over his campaign for city comptroller just yet, however.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 10, 2013 3:56PM
Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer is surrounded by media as he tries to collect signatures for his run for New York City Comptroller in New York, Monday, July 8, 2013 (© Seth Wenig/AP Photo)When Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign as New York's governor in 2008, his many enemies on Wall Street were overjoyed that a man who repeatedly lectured them on ethics was brought down for patronizing prostitutes. They probably aren't worrying too much about his attempted comeback -- at least not yet.

Spitzer stunned the New York political establishment recently when he announced plans to run for New York City Comptroller, basically the city's chief financial officer whose duties include managing the city's pension plans.  

According to media reports, Spitzer has visions of transforming the low-profile position into a bully pulpit to rail against the evils of corporate America. He appears to have been inspired by another improbable political quest -- the campaign for mayor of New York by disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner. 

One flaw in Spitzer's plan is that he didn't give himself much time to get on the ballot. 

According to The New York Times, he has until Thursday to collect 3,750 valid signatures supporting his candidacy. To call that a daunting task, even considering Spitzer's considerable net worth, would be an understatement.

"On Monday, the campaign posted an ad on Craigslist and other job sites, offering to pay canvassers $12 an hour, a standard rate," the paper says. "By Tuesday, the campaign was reportedly willing to pay $800 a day. On Wednesday night, the Spitzer campaign plans to hold a 'petitioning party' at a Manhattan restaurant."

If he manages to get on the ballot, New York's tabloids are sure not to allow readers to forget about Spitzer's misdeeds for one second. Former madam Kristin Davis, who supplied "companions" to the former governor, told CNBC that she would run against him. She is understandably bitter because she spent a year in jail while Spitzer was "punished" with a low-rated cable television show.

Spitzer is trying to convince New Yorkers that he is a changed man. During a recent appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," he welled up with tears, showing more emotion than he had ever previously allowed in public. Some New Yorkers appear to be willing to give him a second chance, while others haven't forgiven him for his misdeeds.

One heckler was quoted by The New York Post as saying: "You betrayed your constituents, your family and your wife. You betrayed everybody."

Some Spitzer detractors are noting that he is releasing a new book, "Protecting Capitalism: Case by Case," to coincide with the campaign. Whether the increased media attention will generate more sales is hard to say.

--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.

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Jul 11, 2013 12:21PM

Arrogant SOB's like Weiner, Sanford, and Spitzer have a lot of nerve running for office again.  Why are people in those districts so willing to re-elect lying cheaters?


Where's that Larry Craig guy who was getting it on with guys in the airport stalls?  Maybe we should elect him President.

Jul 11, 2013 12:50AM
why dont we have a new york political race between spitzer and weiner?
Jul 11, 2013 11:32AM
lying scumbag.  i see why new yorkers love him
Jul 13, 2013 12:33PM
Jul 10, 2013 6:15PM
Oh?  Will he be running as "Candidate No. 9" ?? 

Just kidding, Spitz.....You got my vote, as long
as you promise to manage your money better
than last time and go in only on 'discount' nights.

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