Saturday, May 14, 2005

A.I.G. Exec Caves to Spitzer

The NY Times reports that Spitzer's media campaign against insurance giant AIG is working.

I don't have a problem with illegal business practices being prosecuted, but I do have aproblem with Spitzer trying companies in the media rather than the courts, so as to increase his political profile.

Also, isn't that the job of the SEC?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Eliot's Eminent Domain position attacked on his own website

The message boards on area buzzing with those criticizing Spitzer’s support for Bruce Ratner’s planned development that includes the new New Jersey Nets Arena. It is quite a sweetheart deal for Ratner (read about it here).

Here is Spitzer's statement on the project:
I'm all for the development in Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner's plan, it is a spectacular development, it needs to be built, it should be built quickly, it will revitalize a critically underused portion of Brooklyn, right now, it'll build housing, it will generate jobs, tax revenue. It is a spectacular project and I think we should move forward on it immediately.

One of the posts on his site sums up Spitzer’s support of corporate backroom dealings nicely:
It's interesting that Spitzer has come out against the West Side stadium and in favor of the Brooklyn arena/land grab. Both involve secret backroom deals and abuse of taxpayer money. The difference is that the Brooklyn arena is worse in a couple ways, since it involves the abuse of Eminent Domain. But the other political difference is that Cablevision has put in millions of corporate dollars to oppose the West Side stadium, and the opposition to the Brooklyn project is completely grass-roots. So I guess it's easier for Spitzer to take a moral stand when he can get corporate backing for it.
See the many, many criticism of Spitzer’s support of the Ratner project here.

Develop Don't Destroy the organization created by those who will be kicked out of their homes because of eminent domain has more good information.

Potential Gov Opponent takes on Spitzer

"You'll not create jobs by suing every employer out of the state of New York. Being a good governor is about more than reading e-mail and telling a staffer to go file a lawsuit."

The Times Union reports that possible 2006 Governor or Senate candidate Patrick Manning had some harsh words for Spitzer at speech he gave to the New York Young Republicans:
Assemblyman Patrick Manning, a Hudson Valley Republican considered a possible statewide candidate in 2006, on Wednesday accused Democratic gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer of trying to "sue his way" into the governor's office.
"You'll not create jobs by suing every employer out of the state of New York," Manning said during a speech in Manhattan to the New York Young Republicans. "Being a good governor is about more than reading e-mail and telling a staffer to go file a lawsuit."


But he had plenty of criticism for Spitzer, who, Manning said, had so far not revealed enough about his positions on issues like Medicaid and education reform and economic development.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

PCI's Csiszar Accuses Spitzer of 'Corporate Terrorism' and of Ignoring Own Conflicts

Insurance Journal reports that someone has decided to stand up to Spitzer's "McCarthy-like tactics":
Ernie Csiszar, president and chief executive officer of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said Spitzer is unfairly using the threat of jail and a "trial by media" against business executives and that Spitzer's avowed political ambitions taint his prosecutorial positions...

"Spitzer has discovered the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. It wasn't Saddam Hussein; it was Spitzer's corporate terrorism, the threat of an indictment, the threat of going to jail...

"If Spitzer is out to eradicate conflict of interest which he seems to be doing, he should look in his own mirror in the morning and question his own conflict of interest," Csiszar charged. "Here you have a prosecutor who has clearly expressed his lust for political power by declaring himself as a candidate for the governor of New York.

"There are some of us who think, not without good reason, who think that his ambitions go beyond that. The governor of New York historically has not been a bad place to begin a run for the presidency at some point down the road. I think that Spitzer is positioning himself for that. The reality of it is that in and of itself, in comparison to his prosecutorial position, truly creates a conflict of interest and what is the punishment for that?"

He added, "This smacks of McCarthyism, and I am sorry, that is not what America is all about."
It is about time someone fights back against Spitzer's smear machine rather then just settling out of fear.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Spitzer's Anti-Poor Stance on Mortgage Practices

Jay Bryant exposes the damage that Spitzer's war against sub-prime mortgage loans has done:
What these lenders do is make mortgage loans -- at relatively high interest -- to people who can't qualify for mortgages at lower rates. "The development of the sub-prime market has made mortgages (and home ownership) available to a segment of the population that otherwise would have been shut out of the market," says Wharton Professor and highly respected mortgage columnist Jack M. Guttentag...

Suppose then (and it is undoubtedly the case) that minority families are disproportionately represented among those unable to qualify for the "A" rating which is the standard for the best rates. They also want to own their own homes. But past credit problems, lack of assets, inability to make substantial down payments and other factors make them a greater risk. Without the sub-prime lending industry, they would be unable to get a mortgage, and forced to continue renting, with all that means for their inability to build equity and otherwise improve their financial situation. Remember, for many who have poor credit, or even no credit, the Federal government even considers the risk too high to guarantee the loan.
And then suggests how Spitzer could actually use his AG office for some good:
If Spitzer wanted to do some good in the process, he could use his office to increase awareness among consumers of the value of comparison shopping, in regard to mortgages or anything else, for that matter, and a healthy skepticism about sales offers that come in over the transom, particularly the virtual transom of email. That would be a consumerist act with significant benefits for the people he supposedly cares about.

The threat Spitzer represents is very real, but its victims are not the ones he pretends to threaten. If the bankers who got Spitzer's letters don't make money by sub-prime lending, you may be sure they will find another way to make it. But whether the low-income family trying to climb the ladder to prosperity through home ownership can find another way to make it -- that is a much less likely proposition.

Eliot "Soprano" Spitzer

As I start up this blog I will be posting some older content along with up to the minute news. Here is a great article titled "Wall Street Thug" from last December by Stephen W. Stanton of Tech Central Station.

Here is the money quote:
Tony Soprano is an unsavory character. He breaks the law. He lies. He intimidates. He makes his own rules, and he gets what he wants. And yet he remains a very popular guy.

Eliot Spitzer is also a popular guy, recently winning reelection as New York's attorney general in a landslide with 66% of the vote. In fact, it seems that Mr. Spitzer has a lot in common with Mr. Soprano. A recent issue of Forbes exposed the grittier details about this public official. Spitzer has broken the law. He may well have lied about his campaign finances. He is especially adept at intimidation. Here are a few of the specific charges mentioned in the article:

He violated ethics rules and the law by bullying defendants in a civil suit with threats of criminal charges.

Spitzer went on TV to smear the reputation of a company to damage its business and bully it into a settlement.

Spitzer filed civil suits against executives for engaging in business practices that are not even against the law.

He personally profited by the same business practices he now prosecutes.

Spitzer is no saint. He usually gets what he wants by intimidation and coercion. Not satisfied with his legal authority, he practices pseudo-law in the court of public opinion. He uses the media to extort settlements that he probably could not have achieved in a court of law.
This article is so good I've added it to the sidebar.

Possible Primary Opponent in the News

While with the exception of Senator Chuck, no one who might challenge Spitzer in the Democratic primary can generate the press that Spitzer does. That being said the New York Post does have an article about possible primary challenger to Spitzer: Tom Suozzi. Read it here.

Of course as the article notes: "other sources believe Suozzi, a lawyer and certified public accountant, is really interested in running for the soon-to-be vacant attorney general's job."

Spitzer in the News

The most destructive politician in America

On June 14th 2004 the National Review ran their cover article:
Meet Eliot Spitzer the most destructive politician in America.
by Ramesh Ponnuru

The entire article can be read here at AEI's Federalism Project.

This, in my mind, is the key passage:

Spitzer argues that his lawsuits and enforcement actions make markets more efficient and fair. He isn't hostile to free markets; he just recognizes that they require strong government. Moreover, he claims that he is making government work better: He takes action only when legislators have failed to. But it is unlikely that establishing cartels or suppressing voluntary transactions really strengthens markets. There is a deeper problem with Spitzer's style of regulation through litigation: When legislators "fail" to regulate guns, they may be choosing inaction over the alternatives. When Spitzer tries to override that decision, he exalts his own policy preferences above democratic procedures.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Welcome to Spitzer Watch

Eliot Spitzer is my Attorney General but he doesn't have my interests at heart.

Instead he has wasted state resources to advance his political career and to usurp the legislative process to create policy that would never be passed by normal legislative means. He accomplishes this by blackmailing companies and industries with the threat of lawsuits and by tactfully using the media to spread rumors that advance his agenda.

Now Eliot Spitzer is running for Governor without most potential voters knowing the truth of Attorney General Spitzer's hypocrisy.

This blog will be dedicated to exposing that hypocrisy.
Check back often.