Republicans to push for Spitzer impeachment

Gov. Spitzer has been linked to a high-end prostitution ring
March 11, 2008 4:28:54 PM PDT
A leader's Shakespearean fall from grace. Governor Eliot Spitzer -- once dubbed "Mr. Clean" -- is facing calls for his resignation or, even impeachment after being linked as a regular client of a high-class prostitution ring.A top Republican state lawmaker is threatening to push for impeachment proceedings against Gov. Eliot Spitzer if he doesn't resign in the next 48 hours because of a sex scandal.

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco says the state can't have the governor's prostitution scandal hanging over its head.

Tedisco would need support from the Democratic majority in the Assembly to get articles of impeachment to the floor.

While Spitzer and his family remained secluded in their Fifth Avenue apartment, insiders said the governor was still trying to decide how to proceed. Options included quitting as early as Tuesday afternoon, or waiting to use resignation as a bargaining chip with federal prosecutors to avoid indictment.

"I apologize today first, and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better," said Eliot Spitzer before the TV cameras Monday afternoon.

The man with dreams of becoming the nation's first Jewish president -- could be in his final hours as Governor of New York.

Several sources say they expect Governor Spitzer to resign, but he drew a clear line yesterday, trying, perhaps failing, to separate the private disaster from his public life.

"I have tried to uphold a vision of progressive politics that would rebuild New York and create opportunity for all. We sought to bring real change to New York and that will continue," the governor said yesterday.

The former prosecutor who once dubbed himself, "the sheriff of Wall Street," is accused of paying $5,500 for a prostitute travel from New York to the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

A "family man," Spitzer reportedly spent two hours with the prostitute, the day before Valentine's Day.

"I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family," Spitzer said during an afternoon news conference that lasted about a minute and during which he spoke but took no questions. "and that violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong."

Spitzer's wife stood at his side as her marriage became national news. After the speech, an expected trip to Albany, never materialized. The Spitzers returned to their home on the Upper East Side to face the future.

In Albany, the governor's critics spoke about resignation or possible impeachment -- and a family suffering.

"I feel very badly the governor's wife, for his children. The important thing, for the people of New York State is that people in office do the right thing," said Senate GOP leader Joseph Bruno.

"It's just been brought to my attention," said New York Senator Charles Schumer late Monday afternoon. "in a two-sentence notice on a Blackberry and I just don't know enough to say anything at all."

Democrats didn't know what to say. They were flummoxed by today's news. Sources for both parties agreed, Spitzer has got to go. One called a resignation "imminent."

A Spitzer resignation would make, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, the former state senator from Harlem, would be the state's first African-American governor.

"The discussion with Senator Paterson, I don't want to get into all of it...was about if a resignation took place, and he was to fill that position, which the Constitution states, would we give him the benefit of the doubt, and work with him and go forward? I said, 'absolutely, positively," NY Assembly Minority Leader, James Tedisco said.

Lt. Governor David Paterson, is said to have reached out to a bunch of politicians yesterday as the story was developing. He seems to have won the respect of both Republicans and Democrats, in the years since he's been at the state house.