A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Thursday, July 11, 2013

From The Archives: Governor Spitzer Now Playing Peter O'Toole In Choppergate by Richard Cooper

(Note this previously appeared on when Eliot Spitzer was still the Governor of Occupied New York.  He is currently seeking the Democrat nomination for Comptroller of the City of New York.  The Libertarian candidate for Comptroller is Hesham El-Meligy and the Libertarian candidate for mayor is Michael Sanchez 

"Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"  In the 1964 movie Becket, King Henry II of England as played by

Peter O'Toole implores his henchmen with these words.  Substitute Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno for

Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas รก Becket and the probable solution for the mystery hanging over New York's State Capitol in the Choppergate scandal appears.  We may never know if New York Governor Eliot Spitzer explicitly ordered his aides to smear Bruno  by manipulating the State Police and the news media.  He didn't have to spell  it out.  That is what makes a good henchman.   

Spitzer's aides obtained information under false pretenses from the State Police  on Senator Bruno's

travels in a state helicopter at taxpayer's expense.  Then they leaked this information to the news media to embarrass Bruno.  Both Team Spitzer and Bruno are in the wrong.  The manipulation of the State Police for political benefit is frightening.  Senator Bruno did official business for very little time per trip on these fundraising jaunts.


But it is not enough to question the use of taxpayer funds for political purposes as opposed to official business.  Libertarians like myself point out that so-called official business is political.  Why do Governor  Spitzer, let alone Senator Bruno or Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, have to travel outside Albany at taxpayer's expense?  Aren't the bill signings, facility opening ceremonies and "fact-finding" visits really just trips to promote themselves, their party, and state power in general? 

The distinction between official and political is false and artificial.  The official visits are largely propaganda exercises.  We see this readily enough in dictatorships, why not in democracies?

 To Libertarians, Spitzer, Bruno and Silver are the leaders of gangs engaged in legalized theft, corrupting the voters.  Their trips are part of the corruption.  The reform mask is stripped bare from the evil Sheriff of Albany as just another rascal.


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