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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Well May be it IS the year of the Black Man.....thanks to Eliot Spitzer....I'm just sayin'

No one can ever claim that this political season is not without drama, excitement or intrigue. At first glance, Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s current fall from grace may be a local story but his super delegate status (for Senator Clinton) will undoubtedly resonate on the national scene during this election cycle. Why does this level of stupidity continue to occur? The old adage-“power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” appears to be the best explanation. If you are not sure as to what I’m talking about-Spitzer was outed for being “client no.9” in a sting of an illegal prostitution operation. Prior to governing New York State, Spitzer’s role as attorney general enabled him to prosecute not only escort services but also White collar criminals under the guise of bringing back a high moral standard to the law and society. The irony is obvious but one man’s loss is another’s gain-enter Lt. Governor David Paterson. If Spitzer resigns, which cannot be confirmed at this juncture, Paterson would be next in-line, becoming New York’s first (as much as I detest Black “firsts” in the 21st century) African-American governor. Let’s take a look at an excerpt of the National Review’s take on this latest scandal:

Much of the public reaction to Empire State governor Eliot Spitzer’s alleged involvement with Emperors Club prostitutes has focused on rich irony. After all, in his previous role as New York’s attorney general, Spitzer had prosecuted upscale escort services, in addition to his higher-profile campaigns against Wall Street fraud and corruption. Spitzer cultivated an image of himself as a White Knight — a champion against vices both fiscal and physical. But a close look at his public record reveals a man who has become used to the abuse of power — comfortable with the idea of being a law unto himself. Those whom Eliot Spitzer has sought to ruin publicly to serve his political ends — and there are more than a few — doubtless see no irony, no incongruity, in his having allegedly broken the laws he swore to uphold.

As New York attorney general, Elliot Spitzer charted a course unprecedented in American history — stretching the bounds of ancient laws and the state-federal prosecutorial divide in his crusade against Wall Street. Spitzer flaunted the federal regulatory scheme vested in the Securities and Exchange Commission to prosecute investment firms and corporate executives after the dot-com stock-market bubble burst. Spitzer’s weapon of choice was New York’s 1921 Martin Act, which (under 1955 amendments) gave broad power to prosecute “any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud or for obtaining money or property by means of any false pretense, representation, or promise.”

The Martin Act was one of several state “Blue Sky” laws intended to prevent hucksters from selling fraudulent securities of phantom enterprises that consisted of nothing more than “the blue sky above.” The laws were passed before the federal government started regulating securities markets during the Great Depression, but often remained on the books. New York’s Martin Act largely lay dormant; before Spitzer, it was used mainly to go after Ponzi schemes and “boiler room” stock fraud operations.

Spitzer saw a ladder for his ambition in the open-ended law, which is particularly susceptible to prosecutorial abuse. Unlike the federal securities laws, the Martin Act has no requirement of an intent to defraud, no requirement that anyone relied on the alleged fraud, no requirement that anyone was injured by the fraud, and indeed no requirement that any securities transaction took place. The law affords the attorney general broad subpoena power and the capacity to apply enormous pressure on potential witnesses to “cooperate” while waiving their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

For more of the client no. 9 scandal, courtesy of the National Review, click on the link below:

Spitzer's Sins in the Spotlight

And then there's the New York Times:

Aides Say They Expect Spitzer to Resign

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