New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned from office on this date in 2008 after he was exposed as the regular client of a fancy prostitution ring. Spitzer, a child of wealth, had been elected New York Attorney General ten years earlier and made a reputation pursuing white collar crime, including cases of securities fraud, bank stock inflation, predatory lending, and excessive compensation. As governor, he had committed himself to legalizing same-sex marriages, to granting drivers’ licenses to undocumented immigrants, to imposing a new, ethical regimen on Albany government, and to environmental protection. He had a reputation for aggressive, even bullying leadership, but his bullying seemed to be on behalf of progressive causes, and his potential as a national political figure gratified many liberals. Since his fall from grace, Spitzer has been slowly rehabilitating his image, largely as a media commentator.
“From those to whom much is given, much is expected. . . . I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me.” —Eliot Spitzer