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Citizens Union

Gotham Votes 2013

Gillibrand Doesn't Like Screw-Ups


U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made a surprise move yesterday when she endorsed Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for city comptroller over his better-known opponent Eliot Spitzer.

“Scott has been a tireless and dedicated public servant, and he has the temperament and judgment to be a first-rate fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers of New York City,” Gillibrand said in a press release.

Gillibrand has mostly kept her head above the fray when it comes to local politics, but she also has a history of calling for the resignation of those caught in scandals.

Perhaps the first example of this was on October 24, 2006, when she was a relatively unknown running against the long-term Republican incumbent John Sweeney in the 20th Congressional District.

At a campaign stop in rural Brunswick with then-Gov. Spitzer, she was asked about Alan Hevesi, the comptroller who was accused of using his staff for personal purposes and aiding a pay-to-play culture.

She responded crisply: “If I was in Alan’s position, I would resign.”

Spitzer was asked whether he would rescind his endorsement of Hevesi and he replied: “I will continue thinking about it."

In March 2008, when Spitzer was facing accusations he was a client of prostitutes while in office, Gillibrand was quick to call for his resignation.

She issued a statement saying: “This is very grave and sad news. My heart goes out to the governor’s family. If these serious allegations are true, the governor will have no choice but to resign.”

Spitzer, of course, did resign.



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