Spitzer, a Democrat, met with voters in Union Square on Monday to launch his comeback attempt. Candidates for citywide offices like comptroller have to have 3,750 signatures from registered voters in their party by Thursday.
“The happiest years of my life professionally were as attorney general, as governor, as a prosecutor and I’d like to go back to public service,” he told CBS 2′s Weijia Jiang.
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[Ed.: This comment from a passerby sums it up well:] “This is about power. You just want power, man. If you want public service go volunteer somewhere!”
The happiest years of my life professionally were when I was making good money with an amazing pension plan, able to do my moral preening in public, get called “Honorable”, hang with other “public servants”, and had only to bamboozle low-information voters to reelect me every few years. Real work is for the little people, not the nobility.
Disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer has announced a surprise bid for New York City Comptroller, resulting in general merriment on Twitter and joy in the world of NYC tabloids (as well as more sober political analysis). In all seriousness, some of the prime memories to keep fresh about the 2008 scandal are: 1) Spitzer not only prosecuted those who engaged in the same behavior he was up to, but cynically led a public campaign for longer sentences for “johns”; 2) he engaged in the white-collar offense of structuring or “smurfing,” deliberately keeping financial transactions below a reportable threshold, after prosecuting others based on the same sorts of bank reports; 3) he then used expensive lawyers to beat the rap on both counts, even as smaller fry continue to be convicted for both; 4) from what I can tell – I invite correction if I’m wrong – he’s done approximately nothing in the years since to work toward relaxing or removing legal penalties for small-fry (or for that matter big-fish) johns and smurfers.
Laws are for the little people.
We like these definitions of “public service” and “public servant“:
A “public service” is a service that is provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing private provision of services, all paid for using money extracted by force from “taxpayers”. A “public servant” used to be a person who worked for the people, but today a “public servant” is a taxpayer who is a member of, or who works for, the political class (e.g., police who like to dress up like soldiers and shoot harmless dogs and who are very camera shy). Crony capitalists are also considered “public servants” because of their generous acceptance of taxpayer money. Noblesse oblige and all that. Successful business people owe a LOT to “public servants” who allowed and helped them “build that”.
Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.