Legal Issues

by Joseph Weisenthal

Filed Under:

New York Governor Finds Himself In An Unfamiliar Position

from the turning-the-tables dept

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Overcast, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 10:56pm

    Most of the laws we *need* are ones that would deal with keeping politicians in line.

    Too many laws on the public already. Control, Control, Control.

    I guess - you know a lot of people get nutty on stuff and try to be a crusader against the same skeletons they have in their own closet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    mark sandon, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 11:04pm


    spitzer is corrupt - she should do himself a favor and resign.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Mystified, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 5:32am


    Overcast is right - too many laws. It's a shame every little action has to have a law regarding it. If only people could understand right and wrong and always do the right thing.

    We would need far fewer laws if we could say "X is illegal" instead of of "X is illegal in situation A" in one law and then have to add 13 more laws stating "X is illegal in situation B ( C, D, E, F, ...)"

    For example - Driving while distracted is illegal. It doesn't matter if the distraction is a cell phone, your make-up or your breakfast. One law should cover it, not three.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 5:33am


    I'd be all for that except for the fact that if such a law were passed it would become too easy for candidate A to pay one of candidate B's underlings to intentionally do something scandalous to make B look bad. And we all know that the real victims of this would be the precious few honest politicians that are left

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Thomas, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 7:40am

    Re: Mystified

    The problem with "everyone knowing right and wrong" is that everyone has a different idea of what right and wrong are. Take any hot issue such as abortion. Whats right and whats wrong? Not so clear (maybe to some individuals but as a holistic society we're split). There aren't any honest politicians left. Its just rich(read powerful) people going through the motions of pretending to care so they can get elected and make themselves richer. Wake up, its a giant club and you're not a member.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Ann Nonymous, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 1:20pm


    Spitzer had such great promise when he was running! Everyone thought he would be so wonderful, that he would bring reform and smack Joe Bruno and his accomplices back into line. But he's just been screwing up on every little thing. I think much of the state is very disappointed in Spitzer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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