Former New York Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is now running for New York City Comptroller in the Democratic primary as he, like former and current mayoral candidate Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), strives to put a sex scandal behind him. But Spitzer arguably has a tougher case to answer, because his scandals involved financial manipulation–a fact directly relevant to the office he seeks.
In order to mask his prostitution expenses, Spitzer used secretive transfers of cash–which is what alerted authorities to his conduct. As recounted in Peter Elkind’s Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Spitzer attempted to wire money “where it’s not evident that it’s coming from me”–which was, Elkins notes, “against all sorts of banking regulations.” Eventually, his bank arranged a (legal) inter-bank transfer.
The Wall Street Journal has reprinted today the relevant portion of the federal complaint against “Client 9,” which recounts one such wire transfer. Setting aside all questions about Spitzer’s moral conduct, setting aside questions about personal forgiveness for public figures, Spitzer’s record of financial behavior alone should raise serious doubts about his ability to be trusted with oversight of New York City’s finances.