A number of politicians are calling for State Comptroller Alan Hevesi's resignation in the wake of the State Ethics Commission's report that asserted Hevesi lied about using a state driver for his wife's personal use. Naturally the Republicans are leading the chorus for resignation, but Attorney General and gubernatorial frontrunner Eliot Spitzer said he was evaluating whether to continue his support for Hevesi (who is running for re-election in less than two weeks). And if Spitzer rescinds his support, that could open the floodgates for other Democrats to do that same. State Democrats have been trying to figure out if they can remove him from the ballot, but to no avail.
Republican State Senate leader Joseph Bruno has asked for Hevesi's resignation, leading Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver to point out that Bruno supported former State Senator and bribery-taking Guy Velella for re-election. Yeah, but the Comptroller is supposed to watch dollars, Shelly. And Senator Hillary Clinton said that Hevesi was a friend of hers and has done a good job, but "he made a very serious mistake. There's a process that is going on right now that is established for dealing with this, and I don't have any role in it and I have no opinion about it." Governor Pataki does have the power to ask the Senate to remove Hevesi, but no word from him yet (he's probably waiting for Hevesi to resign first).
The Daily News is pissed because he "blew off" an appointment with its editorial board "with almost no warning." Hevesi's excuse was that he needs to prepare for his last-minute debate planned for tonight on NY1. The Politicker presented any interesting scenario:
One thing that should be noted amid the chorus of people calling for Alan Hevesi's resignation is the possibility that he could satisfy his loudest critics by resigning immediately, and still win re-election on November 7. Kind of like Brooklyn Assemblyman Roger Green did, but on a bigger scale.
If he did resign and were reelected, we think he might be replaced by a Democratic comptroller type - like City Comptroller William Thompson. But the State GOP now sees a chance for Chris Callaghan, who brought Drivergate to light, to win the election and is throwing resouces behind him.
And the driver lives on the Lower East Side!