Pointless Eliot Spitzer Petition Challenge Called Off

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Photo: Andrew Burton/2013 Getty Images

While some city candidates are in danger of being knocked off the ballot for submitting erroneous petitions, Eliot Spitzer's extra 23,000 signatures make it pretty unlikely that he'll be disqualified, even if a few fake Derek Jeters pop up on the list. That didn't stop Republican strategist E. O'Brien Murray from filing a challenge last week, but now he tells the Post that he probably won't follow through with specific objections by midnight Tuesday. Murray isn't admitting that there's nothing wrong with the aspiring city comptroller's 27,000 petitions; he just can't afford the legal costs of a long (and likely fruitless) legal battle. “As of right now, we can’t continue the challenge,” says Murray. “Because people are afraid of retribution, Spitzer gets a free pass on this.”

Murray claims that those with the means to bankroll such a challenge have backed off because they're afraid of what Spitzer might do to them if he assumes the mighty position of city comptroller. However, in case there's anyone brave (and rich) enough to take up his crusade, Murray highlights some of Spitzer's weak spots in the Post. In addition to the allegations that Spitzer illegally paid canvassers per signature (which the campaign denies), the former governor's marital status could be more than tabloid fodder. Murray notes that despite recent reports that Spitzer has been living with his parents, his petitions say his residence is 985 Fifth Avenue, the home he shares with his wife.

Of course, any wealthy Spitzer foes could just donate to his opponent Scott Stringer. But why go for such a conventional attack when you can drag him into court and force him to explain that he's been caring for his elderly parents?