Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sued Again

Eliot Spitzer has been sued again. I'll let Will Wilson of AEI's AG Watch fill you in:
The Attorney General of the State of New York, whose New York Post name is “The Spitz,” has had another suit brought against him. General Spitzer, like worsening dyspepsia, has been festering against J & W Seligman since 2002. Seligman cooperated until Spitzer’s compliance demands became despotic; Spitzer’s requirements of Seligman amounted to, as the Wall Street Journal paraphrases the suit, “effectively turning over control of the negotiation of advisory fees to an outsider and subjecting the negotiation process to the oversight and control of Mr. Spitzer’s office in perpetuity.”

The sole issue of the complaint is Seligman’s advisory fee. But the suit’s descriptions of General Spitzer are redolent of vain timocrats and heavy-handed intimidators resurrected from Mausoleum Immemorial. By the text of the complaint, Mr. Spitzer breaches the Investment Company Act of 1940 and encroaches on the jurisdiction of the SEC; between the lines of the complaint, Mr. Spitzer breaks the propriety of decent governance and trespasses the ethical boundaries of power.

Lest hopes be raised that Spitzer’s inofficiousness is rare, today’s Journal also brings Hans Bader’s response [fourth letter from the top] to NAAG’s August 31 letter to the editor. For their part, NAAG co-chairs Tom Miller and Lawrence Wasden defend the evidence that cigarette consumption has decreased since the Master Settlement Agreement took effect—which would have resulted from any tax-driven price hike. As Bader rejoins, they miss the point: whatever has taken place since the MSA, the Agreement allies government to a segregated selection of businesses, specifically, Big Tobacco. Manufacturers not party to the MSA suffer the yoke of NAAG’s codified favoritism. If such rich-over-poor discrimination were enacted in the personal sphere—a civic-fisted “seat’s taken” to those without a gold-plated bus pass—one could imagine the outrage.

Nascent outrage dissipates because Spitzer and Co. attack citizens covertly and their ill-spent bravado spreads infectiously: brutish and unjust assaults on particular companies receive applause, while we the consumer pay dearly.
[WSJ links requiring subscription omitted.]


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliot Spitzer

9:10 PM  

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