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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Spitzergate Update: The Scandal Metastasizes...and the Media Yawns

As we have noted in our original story on the burgeoning scandal behind the corruption of the Governor Eliot Spitzer administration in New York, and the follow-up story, we see in this following story that the scandal is now reaching resignation levels. For those in the know, there are several points in a scandal that need to be reached for the scandal to become criminal. The first is the allegation. The second is the investigation. The third is the usual "We didn't do anything wrong" statement from someone in the midst of the scandal - in this case, Governor Spitzer himself (which is not good at all). The fourth occurs when people in the midst of the scandal start to resign. We are at that point now.

Spitzer Adviser Resigns Amid Threat Investigation

One of Gov. Eliot Spitzer's top advisers has resigned under pressure after allegedly threatening a Republican on the Public Service Commission.

Virtually since the day he took office, Spitzer has been criticized for his use of intimidation to achieve his goals. There are a slew of investigations going on into his aides' efforts to dig up dirt on his political nemesis, Senate Leader Joe Bruno.

Well, his administration is just 8 months old, but Spitzer on Friday purged another top-level aide who was under investigation.

This time it was Steven Mitnick, his energy advisor. The inspector general has been investigating complaints that he tried to intimidate Public Service Commission member Cheryl Buley after she complained that Mitnick threatened her job several times.

Buley said Mitnick was angry that she'd pushed for a probe into Con Ed's role in last summer's Queens blackout.

The move comes in wake of the so-called "troopergate" scandal, which has badly tarnished Spitzer's standing in Albany. Observers predicted the public won't react well.

"They may not know what the Public Service Commission is, but they'll read the papers and hear and smell sense there has been another flap involving the governor," political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.

The fifth step is when a grand jury is impaneled. If we get to that step, Spitzer is in deep doo-doo.

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