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Should Eliot Spitzer Be the City’s CFO?

July 8, 2013 Leave a comment
Spitzer resignation

Spitzer resignation

The Bible is clear about forgiveness. Ephesians 4:32 states, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” And there are many, many other passages that discuss forgiveness, redemption and absolution.

But how far does it go? The luv guv for NYC CFO?

Yesterday, Eliot Spitzer announced his plans to run for New York City comptroller–five years after resigning with his pants down as governor of New York amid a prostitution scandal. (Click here to watch his resignation.) In making his bid, Spitzer, 54, said, “I am hoping there will be forgiveness. I am asking for it.”

Should we forgive Spitzer?

Cover boy, Spitzer

Cover boy, Spitzer

Americans are generally quick to overlook the sins of politicians. If you have any doubt, take a look at this brief “hall of shame” of politicos who have bounced back:

tumblr_lwb0t2Skrw1qdh92xBill Clinton: Several years ago, a Siena College poll ranked Clinton the 13th most admired president of all time–ahead of Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson, both Bushes and even Barack Obama. This despite his 1998 impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice and the bald-faced lie about Monica Lewinsky, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

A teary Mark Sanford

A teary Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford: In 2009, Republican governor Sanford of South Carolina “disappeared” while directing his staff to say he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Instead he was using state travel funds to visit his mistress in Argentina. After a tearful admission and apology, he was censured and left office in disgrace–only to make a comeback this year. In May, he was re-elected to Congress. “I am one imperfect man saved by God’s grace,” he told supporters.

Anthony Weiner for Mayor PSA [NSFW]Anthony Weiner: In 2011 the N.Y. Congressman sent a photo of himself–in boxers with an obvious erection–to a 21-year-old woman via Twitter. After days of lies and denials, he finally confessed that this wasn’t the first time and resigned from office.  Now two years later Weiner has apparently overcome the scandal, and his surname, and climbed to the top of this year’s campaign for New York City mayor.

Weiner is very popular with African Americans–just like Clinton. A Marist survey shows that 66 percent of African-Americans think Weiner deserves a second chance, compared with 45 percent of whites. In another poll, Weiner leads the only African American candidate, Bill Thompson.

What about Spitzer? He told the New York Times that he would bring his aggressive, hard-driving energy to the role of New York’s chief financial officer and monitor the effectiveness of government agencies, like the department of education. Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 11.03.20 AM

The question is, can we afford to trust Client 9 when we have a perfectly good candidate, Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer? (Ironically, the Post reports that Spitzer and Stringer are also running against Kristin Davis, the madam who says she arranged Spitzer trysts!) Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 10.45.42 AM

Bill Clinton rehabilitated his legacy by way of the good, international work of his Clinton Foundation, and his wife hasn’t hurt his image. And Weiner came out strong on his “apology tour,” and his beautiful, brainy wife hasn’t hurt him either.

So far Spitzer hasn’t shown much remorse or humility, and it’s unclear if his wife is standing by his side. One thing is to forgive, another is to forget.

Who Is Erick Salgado–and Should He Be Mayor?

June 21, 2013 Leave a comment

11504_460995373980634_1570827946_nWhile the other six Democratic politiicians were going mano a mano at Wednesday’s mayoral debate on Hispanic issues at Hunter College, the only Latino candidate–who actually speaks Spanish without a grating Bloombito accent–nearly got lost in the shuffle. Erick Salgado, a minister of Puerto Rican descent, struggled to make his voice and views heard above the noisy confrontations over stop and frisk, the city budget and other issues.

But Salgado, 42, did make an impression for his humor. After several of the candidates thanked the moderator, NY1’s Juan Manuel Benitez, for teaching them Spanish–or asked for lessons–Salgado said in Spanish, “I am Hispanic, I speak Spanish and I don’t need Juan Manuel to teach me Spanish.”

Salgado, who received his doctorate in theology and has established churches in Red Hook and Bensonhurst Brooklyn, also distinguished himself from the other candidates. “I am going to be the first one to enter the room and the last one to leave it,” he said. “I’m going to be for the people, because I am the only candidate that is coming from the people.”

He also used humor to separate himself from Mayor Bloomberg. “Who is the mayor to tell me what I am going to drink?” he said about Bloomberg’s public health policies. “What is going to be next? The chicken wing? We love chicken wings.”

In 2003, Salgado, began a radio ministry known as Radio Cantico Nuevo, and grew it into one of the largest Spanish evangelical networks in the New York region. He lives in Staten Island with his wife and six children.

8ab2ee7f-1e5c-479f-b823-fc8c8438fef3_500In the mayoral mashup, he is considered a long shot. Salgado entered the race in April, later than other candidates outside of Anthony Weiner, has low name recognition and has raised only $206,000–compared to $7 million for Christine Quinn.

Still, he gets his points across. Commenting on immigration at a another mayoral forum at Hostos Community College, he slammed his fist onto the table then into the air, shouting, “I am going to fight for the Latinos to at least have the dignity to be identified in the City of New York.”

As the other candidates applauded, he added, smiling, “I’m sorry, I’m a preacher.”

You can stream Wednesday’s debate on NY1 or NY1 Noticias. Click here to learn more about Erick Salgado.