The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. He gets the award for the following.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Eliot Spitzer made his name as a corruption fighting attorney general who forced reforms on Wall Street. As governor, he promised to take that campaign to Albany and end the state government's reputation for political dysfunction.Sorry I don't buy Spitzer's ignorance of what his aides were doing. Politicians play dirty tricks on one another all the time, some would say what's the big deal. Well the New York Times ran it on their front page yesterday, they thought it was a big deal. Therefore so do I.
This week, though, it was Spitzer who was under fire for underhanded tactics.
His successor as state attorney general, fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo, issued a report Monday saying two of Spitzer's top aides were involved in a plot to smear the governor's political nemesis, Republican Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, by releasing records to the media on Bruno's use of state drivers and state aircraft for trips that included GOP fundraisers.
No one was accused of breaking the law, but the report found that policies designed to protect public officials' safety were broken for political gain.
Spitzer said he accepted the report but had been unaware of the operation. In response, he suspended one of the aides and reassigned the other.
''I apologize to Sen. Bruno, as I did earlier today,'' Spitzer told reporters Monday. ''I apologize to the people of the state of New York.''
The report found that longtime Spitzer spokesman Darren Dopp and the state's assistant deputy secretary for homeland security, William Howard, with the direct assistance of the acting state police superintendent, Preston Felton, conspired to release politically damaging information about Bruno's use of state transportation.
Dopp and Howard told Felton that records on Bruno's aircraft use were being sought in response to a reporter's state Freedom of Information Law request. But no reporter had requested the information, according to Cuomo's report.
If the Governor didn't know, Howard and Dopp were still his staff and ultimately their misdeeds are Spitzer's responsibility. For allowing his staff to abuse the powers of the New York State Governor's office, Governor Eliot Spitzer is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
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