Let the battles begin: in this corner, two State Senators, one from Queens, and one from the Bronx. In this corner, two District Attorneys, one from Queens and one from the Bronx. On the line: perhaps two political careers.
Hiram Monserrate came flip-flopping back to the Democrats last week. And it is a smart move, if you believe top people in the party. You see, he was facing serious political retribution if he did not. Moreover, powerful forces were aligning against him. But that may be nothing compared to what the Queens DA is preparing.
Monserrate has managed to place himself at the center of the biggest political story of the year, while caught up in scandal – he is charged with assaulting his girlfriend.
State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. seems to be the Teflon Senator. No matter what charges you throw at him, he bats them away, and always seems to have an answer. I think I have interviewed Espada a half a dozen times in the last few weeks, and I always walk away feeling like I just talked to someone who’s in a league with that of Bill Clinton when it comes to political doubletalk.
However, will he stay one-step ahead of the Bronx DA, who’s looking into whether the Bronx State Senator lives in the Bronx? Espada cleverly countered investigators by filing a complaint with the Inspector General alleging a politically motivated witch-hunt. Could you imagine, the Democrats targeting the turncoat who tried to steal away the State Senate from under their noses? Shocking.
We joked in the pages last week about the rehabilitation of the King of Albany Scandal, Elliot Spitzer. But he doesn’t seem to laughing. In fact, judging by what I saw last week, Spitzer is gearing up for a comeback. Oddly, I am told Spitzer does not like to be addressed as "Governor," as custom dictates. Must be bad memories.
He was interviewed by Fox Business Anchor Liz Claman before a group of business people and reporters, including yours truly. From what I saw, it appears to me that Spitzer is not terribly concerned that his past with a prostitute could disqualify a political future. After all, it was just sex, and this is New York, not North Carolina.
But when Claman asked about allegations of political dirty tricks, Spitzer erupted. He called them "a bald-faced lie" and repeatedly demanded that any such evidence be produced, immediately! Of course, there was no proof on hand, and Spitzer the prosecutor won the round.
But he did once again looked tightly wound, if not bullying. You’d think by now he’d learn to drop that persona, or at least hide it in public. Spitzer thinks he is the smartest boy in the room, and maybe he is, but he needs to stop acting that way.
And whatever you do, don’t call him Governor. Not yet.