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Don’t Dis Spitzer’s Family

Or he gets spittin’ mad.

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Eliot Spitzer’s family is off-limits. Tom Suozzi has been critical of Spitzer’s position on the A.G.’s family trust, which gives money to cultural institutions and fellow Dems (Suozzi got a $10,000 check back in 2001). As A.G., Spitzer regulates charities, and Suozzi argues that Spitzer should recuse himself from the $25.9 million trust (which was fined $51,768 by the IRS for not giving enough money to charity in 2004). Spitzer claims trusts don’t fall under his watch. Look for Suozzi to push the issue at Tuesday night’s debate. But he might take warning from Spitzer’s last political foe, Dennis Vacco. In 1998, the then-A.G. incorrectly accused Spitzer’s 82-year-old dad, Bernard, a real-estate developer reportedly worth $500 million, of being improperly licensed. Spitzer, insiders remember, charged up to Vacco during a parade and, nose to nose, exclaimed, “You leave my father out of this!” Vacco fired a retort and then disappeared into his state car, but Spitzer got the last word in: “Keep the car clean.” A Spitzer spokesman confirms that words were exchanged but says it was too long ago to remember who said what.

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