October 19, 2007

Not Quite "Parsimonious" Use Of Taxpayer Dollars

"We are going to be parsimonious with every penny of the taxpayer dollars. Those who want to perpetuate a mythology to the contrary will have to create their own mythological world." Candidate Eliot Spitzer, 6/12/2006

Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer expects to spend up to $400,000 in state money to oppose a subpoena from the Senate's Republican majority looking into an alleged political plot, a Spitzer spokesman confirmed Thursday.

"The subpoena raises a lot of very important separation of power issues which both we and the Senate agree should be resolved in court," said Spitzer spokesman Jeffrey Gordon. "We have mutually agreed to a briefing schedule so that the matter can be resolved in an appropriate timeframe."

The spending was first reported Thursday by the New York Daily News.

The Republican-led Senate had previously announced that it planned to spend up to $500,000, also in state money, to hire a Washington public integrity attorney to press the case against the Spitzer administration.

Bruno has accused Spitzer staffers of using state police for political espionage to track his whereabouts in Manhattan on days he legally mixed meeting with lobbyists with Republican fundraisers.

A month later, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo found two Spitzer aides acted improperly, although no illegally, in planning to hurt Bruno by compiling the records and releasing them to a reporter who requested them. In September, Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares found no misconduct and no evidence of a plot to smear Bruno.

The state Public Integrity Commission and the Senate's investigations committee continue to investigate.

The conflict has ground Albany negotiations and legislative action to a halt since June, when talks on several major policy proposals fell through.

NY Newsday

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