Tuesday, March 11, 2008

NY Governor Eliot Spitzer linked to prostitution ring

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It was announced today that Governor Eliot Spitzer was caught arranging to meet with a prostitute in Washington last month.

We vowed to bring real change to New York and that will continue. Today, I want to briefly address a private matter. I have acted in a way that violated the obligations to my family and that violates my — or any — sense of right and wrong. I apologize first, and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better. I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good and doing what is best for the State of New York. But I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard that I expect of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family. I will not be taking questions. Thank you very much. I will report back to you in short order. Thank you very much. - Spitzer's statement from NYT
Should Spitzer resign he would lose his superdelegate status. Spitzer is in Clinton's corner on our endorsement list. He would be replaced by Lt. Governor David Paterson who is already a superdelegate and Clinton endorser. This may bring the total number of superdelegates back to 794 depending on how this plays out.

Paterson is currently an at-large member on the DNC roster of superdelegates. If he becomes Governor and gives up his DNC position the DNC will fill the vacancy with someone else and the number will continue to be 795. (Update: The DNC has confirmed that DNC members can also be replaced up to the beginning of the convention). If he holds his position with the DNC the number of superdelegates will go down to 794.

More on Paterson here:
David A Paterson was elected New York’s 74th Lieutenant Governor on November 7, 2006. As Lieutenant Governor, Paterson leads the administration’s charge in several critical areas. He focuses on stem cell research, alternative energy, reducing domestic violence, and increasing the role minority- and women-owned businesses play in New York State. Governor Spitzer chose Paterson to be his running mate because Paterson had a strong record of championing issues such as these for over the two decades he served in the New York State Senate. - NY.GOV


Update: The New York Times is reporting that Spitzer's Aides expect him to resign at some point.

Top aides to Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Tuesday morning that they expect the governor to resign his office, although the timing of the resignation remains uncertain.

After a report that Gov. Eliot Spitzer had patronized a prostitution ring, officials in Albany greeted the news with shock, and some on Wall Street, a frequent target of his investigations as attorney general, were unsympathetic.

Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson and his staff have begun laying the groundwork for him to take over as governor and are reaching out to members of the Legislature, the aides said.

18 comments:

Andrew said...

If the Lt. Gov. slot is vacant, how does it get filled again? Also, would the person who fills that slot necessarily become a NY superdelegate?

MKSinSA said...

No, if Spitzer + Paterson are already on Clinton's column that equals 2. If you subtract Spitzer, it's one. It would have been a different case if Paterson wasn't already in that column.

Oreo said...

Lt Governors aren't automatically superdelegates. Paterson is a member of the DNC and therefore has superdelegate status.

MKSinSA said...

Right, oreo,

But for some reason you have him on the list already and according to my math if you minus Paterson it's a minus one for Clinton (unless the new Lt. Gov. is somehow a newly-minted superD).

MKSinSA said...

Sorry, minus Spitzer it's a minus one for Clinton

Oreo said...

Right. Clinton loses one if he resigns.

If Paterson winds up being replaced on the DNC she could gain it back depending on who is chosen.

johncz said...

I think this NY Governor will resign with the next 2 weeks. I think Clinton lose one SD. My question is, what happens on May 1st, when NY is scheduled to select their 4 Add-on Delegates? Do they get to choose one extra? And can Clinton promote someone who would be favorable to her?

KCinDC said...

Johncz, what would lead you to think they'd get an extra add-on delegate? I don't think there's anything in the rules that would even vaguely hint at that.

Oreo said...

If Paterson stepped down from the DNC there would be a PLEO vacancy for the NY delegation. It would not be an add-on.

Andrew said...

My real question I guess was: How does NY State fill the vacancy at the Lt. Governor post? Do they have an election or is somebody appointed to that post?

KCinDC said...

Andrew, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the rest of the term.

Mithras said...

And the law on succession says that no election of a lt. governor shall take place other than at the same time as the election of a governor. So no one will take Paterson's place until 2010.

Cris said...

Interesting - I didn't expect this story to directly impact that nomination process.

My Obama Blog

Mogley said...

superdelegates superman dat h0.

Galois said...

As noted in the main post, it is not at all clear that Paterson would need to step down from the DNC should he become Governor. There are governors already serving on the DNC (Manchin, Sebelius, and Napolitano). The Call to Convention says that all DNC members are delegates and only then do we add delegate spots to provide for any Democratic governor not already provided for.

Suppose, though, that Paterson did resign his at-large seat with the DNC. (After all the other governors are serving on the DNC because the DGA gets three seats on the DNC and it might seem wrong for them to get more). New York doesn't get to fill that spot. The Call to Convention (IV)(c)(2)(b) says:

Members of the Democratic National Committee and unpledged add-on delegates selected pursuant to Article I.H. shall not be entitled to a replacement, nor shall the state be entitled to a replacement, except in the case of death of such delegates. In cases where a state’s DNC membership changes following the Secretary’s official confirmation, but prior to the commencement of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, acknowledgment by the Secretary of the certification of the new DNC member shall constitute verification of the corresponding change of unpledged delegates.

I don't think Paterson was considered a NY DNC member, but rather an at-large member. Certainly NY does not get to fill the spot.

Mark said...

If Spitzer steps down, Paterson may not attend the convention. If he does, Bruno would become acting Governor while Paterson is out of the state. Since I am not familiar with local New York issues, would this cause a problem?

Galois said...

Oops..I was slightly out of date. Minner and Kaine now serve instead of Sebelius and Napolitano.

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