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Eliot Spitzer

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Joe Bruno, Eliot Spitzer Ruin It for Everybody

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• One actual result of Troopergate (Brunogate? Spitzergate?): The State Ethics Commission passed a new rule preventing officials from using state aircraft unless the primary purpose of their trip is state business and requiring reimbursement for those parts that are not. [NYT]

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The Islamofascist Handbook

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• To aid in terrorism surveillance, the NYPD has released a jihadi version of The Preppy Handbook, detailing how average Muslim schlubs morph into Islamic terrorists. Grow a beard, renounce booze and broads, play paintball war games, dis the U.S. a lot — you know the drill. [NYDN]

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Bus Stop

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• Sure, the Feds promised Bloomberg $354 million for his traffic-reduction plan (if he can get the city and state to pass it), but that dough's mainly to put up new bus depots. Of the roughly $200 mil needed to charge drivers entering Manhattan, Uncle Sam's promised only $10 million. [NYT]

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Eliot Spitzer Comes Out of His Closet

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Our embattled governor took a Sunday trip to Watkins Glen — it's most of the way to Rochester, just west of Ithaca — to see the NASCAR races, and he ended up spending nearly nine hours at the track. Friends and foes alike were surprised to see him there, serving as grand marshal and seeming to enjoy himself immensely. As the Times puts it, it’s not exactly the sport of an "Upper East Sider with the Princeton and Harvard education and the reputation for a hyperkinetic braininess" (ed. note: wha?). But his NASCAR cred is real — he’s a longtime Jeff Gordon fan, knows the ins and outs of different national tracks, and can correctly use words like "restrictor plates" and "carburetor" (ed. note, again: wha?). As surprised as we city folk may be that our urbane gov might be riveted by stock cars, an upstate NASCAR fan raises an even better question: "What’s NASCAR doing putting a Democrat on TV?" Indeed. Next thing you know, there'll be Republicans on PBS. Spitzer in His Element at NASCAR Race[NYT] Related: NASCAR Guv [NYM]

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Spitzer Brings in PR-Fight Reinforcements

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Embroiled in a dogfight with Joe Bruno over what he knew and when he knew it, Governor Spitzer is ramping up his press offensive in Albany, hoping to turn the tide on a story that hasn't looked good and won't seem to end. Late last week, the State Democratic Party hired the PR firm that successfully fought to block the Starrett City sale earlier this year to handle Spitzer's wartime press against Bruno and his fellow Republicans in the State Senate. Jonathan Rosen, a principal of the firm, BerlinRosen, says he spoke with Spitzer chief of staff Richard Baum several times last week before accepting the gig. Now, though, he's raring to go. "The Senate investigative hearings are like the legislative equivalent of O.J. Simpson's hunt for the real killer," he told us, taking his new talking points out for a spin. "They're over the top, they're overplaying their hand badly, and it's going to backfire." His new client is sure hoping so. —Geoffrey Gray

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Std Clr of Clsg Dors, Pls

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• In the wake of the Great Subway Flood, city-council members are demanding that the MTA spend some $300 million to provide cell service on subway platforms — so that the transit agency can send riders jumbled, unintelligible text messages in the event of delays. [Metro NY]

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Sheriff Andy?

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• Andrew Cuomo, getting a feel for this whole crusading-A.G. thing, is asking the legislature to grant his office broad jurisdiction and subpoena powers. Our new awesome conspiracy theory: He gets the state GOP to empower him by promising them Spitzer's head — and then subpoenas Bruno! [NYS]

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And Spitzer Wonders, Still He Wonders, Who'll Drain the Rain

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It was a rough day for the MTA. And at a press conference this afternoon Eliot Spitzer revealed just how bad. The subway system is designed to drain up to an inch and a half of rainfall, he said; this storm inundated it with three inches in a frenzied hour. That made for what Spitzer said "is supposed to be a highly unusual event" — except for one thing: It's the third time this year that's happened. The puddling problem wasn't this morning's only calamity — MTA executive director Lee Sander later cited a downed tree near Stillwell Avenue and smoke in tunnels — but it was the most severe. At the governor's insistence, the MTA will take 30 days, or thereabouts, to research how it might bolster the drains. When it's announced, expect a round of wrangling among MTA leaders, state legislators, unions, and the rest. And perhaps buy yourself a kayak. —Alec Appelbaum

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Spitzer's Master Class: Steamrolling With Soul

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The Spitz used a speaking engagement last night at the Chautauqua Institution — a nonprofit, religious-tinged retreat in Western New York — to declaim on a topic that made Brunogate watchers prick up their ears: "The Need for Both Passion and Humility in Politics." The text of the speech then landed on the Huffington Post (where we especially dug the "I'm a fan of this blogger" tab next to Spitzer's name), where we encountered it. What did the erstwhile Steamroller have to say? Those expecting some sort of mea culpa get one, and those expecting lots of fancy equivocation got that, too — but first everyone sat through a monumental history lesson.

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Ba Ba Ba, Ba Barbaralee

Hollywood players like Ben Stiller, Toby Maguire, and Steven Spielberg can't figure out which Democrat to support for president, so they're donating to multiple ones. (Tom Hanks, Will Smith, and Jennifer Aniston, however, are firmly in Camp Obama.) Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel was passed over for appointment as executive director of New York State Council of the Arts, perhaps because she has donated money to Spitzer, who's now trying to look ethically pure. Gwen Stefani loves breast-feeding even though she's been getting bitten. Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz refused to be photographed with their KY Intimacy Kit swag bags at Lollapalooza because they were scared of Joe Simpson. Tracy Morgan wants to get his SCRAM ankle bracelet "blinged out" at Jacob the Jeweler.

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Death at NYU

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• The daughter of two prominent NYU professors was discovered dead in a university-owned apartment in Washington Square Village. If it's a homicide, expect it on Law & Order when the new season starts. [amNY]

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Follow the E-mail

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• The Post, in another damning Spitzer exclusive (it's almost as if someone well connected in Albany hated the governor!), claims the administration is hiding a trove of private scandal-related e-mails, which Attorney General Cuomo, lacking subpoena power, didn't get. [NYP]

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All the Governor's Men: Where Are They Now?

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Let's check up on the first crop of heads to have rolled out of Albany in the Spitzer scandal! When the news of the administration's vendetta against Joe Bruno broke, Spitzer quickly got rid of communications director Darren Dopp and state-police liaison William Howard, suspending Dopp and saying Howard would be "reassigned to a position outside of the governor's office." We'll take the second one first. Has Howard been reassigned? Well, yes, sort of. Turns out Howard was technically "on loan" to the administration to begin with. Today's Sun finds him comfortably spinning his wheels back at SUNY, where he enjoys a $175,900 salary as the director of something called the Center of Homeland Security Research, Training and Education. But things look bleaker for Dopp, who had no such sinecure to fall back on and has now retained a prominent lawyer. The Times, which is sympathetic to the ex-reporter and all but called him a fall guy in a recent profile, hands today's lede to Dopp's lawyer for a few choice words about Cuomo. The Post, however, begs to differ. The headline there is "Disgraced Spitzer Crony Lawyers Up." Odd: One would think the "Dopp wuz framed" narrative would appeal to them even more. Albany Poser: What Happened to Howard? [NYS] Suspended Spitzer Assistant Is Blameless, His Lawyer Says [NYT] Disgraced Spitzer Crony Lawyers Up [NYP]

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Eliot Spitzer Has Reached Acceptance

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• The Albany County D.A., P. David Soares, announced yesterday that he will review Cuomo's findings regarding use of state police by the governor's office. Spitzer, sounding more Zen by the minute: "I welcome it, I accept it." [amNY]

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All Eliot's Investigations

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Today's Times presents the worst-case scenario for our troubled governor: multiple, separate, concurrent, resource-draining, agenda-stalling investigations. After Attorney General Andrew Cuomo lit the fuse last week, who else may step up to take a crack at Spitzer — for what we must remind you, perhaps a bit defensively, was not a crime, not even a misdemeanor, but simply a kind of unpunishable unpleasantness — and how?

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What Can Brown Do for You?

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• Try following this: Spitzer's office said no to a Republican proposal to grant Andrew Cuomo special-prosecutor powers so that Cuomo could better stick it to Spitzer. Yeah. [NYDN]

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Eliot's Troubles: Don't Worry, Uncle Shelly Will Make It All Better

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The loop in which our governor found himself last week — caught out for unethical behavior in the name of restoring ethics — refuses to unfasten. From the Post today comes the word that Spitzer has been cleverly silencing his aides by designating them "special counsels," which means their communications are now privileged. (While his previous maneuvering smacked of Nixon, this one scans positively Clintonian.) And the state hasn't even really leaned into the guy yet: Today's Sun reports that the Inspector General's office has yet to use its subpoena power on the administration. Meantime, while the guv took to the Times op-ed page yesterday to apologize (so that's why he was accidentally dialing up Gail Collins), Shelly Silver has managed to recast himself as a kind but stern paternal figure. First the Assembly speaker defended Spitzer from angry journalists ("let's not get sidetracked by what is becoming a sideshow"); now he's dispensing tough-love advice through the Daily News. "It has been too much of a battle," Shelly complained to the tabloid before adding: "He'll be a better governor." Little Eliot, one hopes, has learned his lesson — which, judging from the congestion-pricing debacle and now this, is to remember who's his daddy. It's Time To Stop Fighting With All Guns Blazing, Eliot [NYDN] Inspector General Failed to Use Subpoena Power in Spitzer Probe [NYS]

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Privileged Spitzer

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• While A.G. Andrew Cuomo was investigating him, Eliot Spitzer gagged two aides by quickly designating them "special counsels" — which bestowed lawyer-client privilege on their internal chats. Clever, and ever so slightly nauseating. [NYP]

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A Money-er Honey?

CNBC "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo is jealous of co-worker Erin Burnett because Burnett is becoming more popular than she is. An upcoming book about Katie Couric claims she planned to leave NBC a year before she actually did and that the staff of 60 Minutes thinks she's a "lightweight." State Senator Carl Kruger is not a fan of fellow Democrat Eliot Spitzer. Jeremy Shockey took a bunch of Giants teammates to Scores. The woman who blogged about Keith Olbermann's bedside manners is no longer maintaining her blog. Naomi Watts finally gave birth. Nora Ephron has spent a lot of time giving her breasts a workout. Christie Brinkley is spending $10.9 million to buy the house in North Haven next door to the one where Peter Cook had an affair.

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