N.Y. Republicans put heat on Spitzer

John O'Brien Mar. 11, 2008, 4:00pm


NEW YORK - Faced with a potentially career-ending prostitution scandal, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is being called on to resign by the state's Republican party.

New York GOP chairman Thomas Morello said Monday that Spitzer, a Democrat who previously served as the state's Attorney General, could not possibly put his entire focus on the issues facing the State. It was revealed Monday that Spitzer arranged to meet a prostitute in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.

"It is hard to see how Gov. Spitzer can hope to govern effectively while the political, governmental and legal consequences of his behavior swirl about him," Morello said. "New Yorkers are facing hard times. They need a Governor who is fully focused on serving their best interests.

"Gov. Spitzer should do the right thing, not only for himself and his family, but also for all the people of New York. He should resign immediately, so New York's government can effectively return to serving its citizens."

Spitzer stood firm Tuesday, remaining in office. He had held a short press conference Monday during which he refused to answer any questions.

"I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong," Spitzer said, according to The Associated Press. "I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.

"I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."

Spitzer is married with three children. He was elected Governor in 2006 after receiving 69 percent of the vote, and Andrew Cuomo took his spot in the Attorney General's office.

Spitzer was commonly seen as an activist attorney general, and was ranked the third-worst state attorney general in recent history by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in a report released last year. He held the office for eight years.

During his time as AG, Spitzer was known for his investigations into bid-rigging in the insurance industry. Marsh & McLennan settled the allegations for $850 million, and other companies followed suit.

Another Republican, Assemblyman James Tedisco, told the New York Times that he would kickstart the impeachment process if Spitzer does not resign soon.

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