Posts Tagged ‘Eliot Spitzer’
July 26th, 2013 at 12:59 pm
What If Spitzer Becomes NYC’s Comptroller?

Michael Warren of The Weekly Standard has some analysis of a big name running for a little known office that should gets lots of attention.

In the piece, Warren explains how Eliot Spitzer – disgraced former New York Governor and current candidate to become New York City’s Comptroller – would use the powers of the obscure financial office to foist a liberal political agenda onto corporations.

The key to the scheme is the $140 billion worth of public employee pension funds that Spitzer would be in charge of administering. If elected, Spitzer plans to use the money invested in private companies as leverage to demand corporate policy changes in-line with his political agenda.

Of course, that’s not what the job of the NYC Comptroller is designed to do.

“As Yale law professor Jonathan Macey says, the comptroller’s top duty is to get a good return on the city’s investment of its pension funds. ‘It’s a public trust,'” Macey tells Warren. “‘His fiduciary responsibility is to maximize the returns of the beneficiaries.'”

“But what Spitzer is proposing instead—in interviews, in articles, and in his new book, Protecting Capitalism Case by Case—is to use the power of public-employee pension funds to influence corporate policies. Ostensibly, he’d do that for the sake of the public good. What’s more likely to happen is that Spitzer will use the city’s power as shareholder to extract concessions from corporate America that further a populist liberal agenda.” (Emphasis added)

Along with Troy’s excellent column this week, this is yet another reason for New York voters to reject Eliot Spitzer’s political comeback bid.

November 12th, 2009 at 3:56 pm
Headline of the Day
Posted by Print

Spitzer to Lecture at Harvard Ethics Center

I’m not sure what’s more troubling, that Spitzer would agree to lecture on ethics, or that the Harvard Ethics Center would invite him to do so.

More from the Boston Globe:

Spitzer, a Harvard Law School alumnus, left office in March 2008 after it become public that he frequented an upscale prostitution service.

The madam who says she supplied Spitzer with high priced escorts for five years wrote a letter to the ethics center objecting to Spitzer’s speech because as New York attorney general he broke the same laws he enforced.

“I am greatly intrigued as to what Mr. Spitzer could contribute to an ethical discussion when as Chief Executive Law Enforcement Officer of NY he broke numerous laws for which he has yet to be punished,” the madam, Kristin Davis, wrote in the letter, which is posted on her website. “As Attorney General he went around arresting and making examples out of the same escort agencies he was frequenting.”

October 15th, 2009 at 4:18 pm
Spitz-ing in the Wind

Eliot Spitzer doesn’t know when to quit. Laboring on the sidelines of political combat, the former New York Governor is out today with a plan to destroy the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Why? Because the corporate executives in its ranks disagree with Spitzer’s views on deregulation, tax and fiscal policy, global warming and environmental enforcement, consumer protection, health care reform, and probably just about everything else.

Of course, it would be one thing if Spitzer was just vying for a hyperlink to The Huffington Post with a screed against Wall Street. Unfortunately, he’s a got a plan to silence corporate America’s voice in Washington. Spitzer’s litigation strategy runs like this. The members of the Chamber are corporations (usually) owned by the public. Some of the most influential public stockholders are state government pension funds controlled by a state’s comptroller. In an effort to get publicly owned companies “out of politics,” Spitzer advises that when a state comptroller concludes that “the Chamber of Commerce has a distorted view of both economic and political policy” the comptroller should demand that every company in which the pension fund owns stock drop its membership in the Chamber. And if the CEO doesn’t agree? Pressure the board to drop the Chamber membership.

Just one problem. With the economy in a recession, and state pension funds trying to deliver on outrageous union contracts, does Spitzer really believe that an elected official like a comptroller would “demand” a series of actions specifically designed to weaken a corporation’s ability to make money? Surely Spitzer realizes that the primary motivation for most of the Chamber of Commerce’s policy positions is a desire to increase profits, and thereby dividends? No doubt there is at least one state elected official willing to apply Spitzer’s litigation strategy to grab headlines and perhaps a higher political perch. As usual, though, the people worst effected by such a move would be the same folks for whom Spitzer claims he’s suing to empower.