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Troopergate, New York-Style
By Michael Goodwin and Fred Siegel
Even by the scandal-pocked history of New York politics, Eliot Spitzer's fall from grace is extraordinary. A mere seven months into his term after a landslide victory, the Empire State's brash new governor is openly ridiculed as a liar and worse. An astonishing 80 percent of respondents tell pollsters they want the governor to testify under oath to prove his claim that he had nothing to do with "troopergate," a dirty-tricks plot to smear Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, a Republican rival.
His fellow Democratic pols are largely abandoning him. After two investigations found that his top aides used the state police for a political hit job, and with four more probes gearing up, one of which could bring indictments, Spitzer is suddenly a lonely man. As one prominent supporter put it, "nobody believes him when he says he didn't know." Left unsaid was the glee that many feel at Spitzer's comeuppance.