During his tenure as New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer aggressively used his office to go after a range of industries that he deemed to be operating illegally or unethically. Wall Street firms were a favorite target of his, while others included the music and spyware industries. Of course , one sector that has historically trumped all others in terms of corruption and betrayal of the public trust is Spitzer's own, the public sector. Over the past week, his office has been engulfed in a major scandal, whereby it's been revealed that his operatives used state resources to go after Spitzer's political opponents. Like so many executives that have been dragged in front of a jury in recent years, Spitzer claims to have been ignorant of his underlings' activities. But this excuse has never gone over very well in court, and in fact a law was passed (Sarbanes-Oxley), designed specifically to upend this potential defense. It sort of makes you wonder whether we need a similar law for politicians, whereby every quarter they must declare full responsibility for the actions of their aides. It's a nice idea, but since it would require politicians to pass such a law, it's never going to happen.
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