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Opinion: New Yorkers cast votes in the right direction

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Though the candidacies of Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner may have seemed like a joke just few short years ago, their candidacy for New York City public office was taken very seriously by both contenders.

Spitzer, a Democratic governor from New York, and Weiner, a Democratic congressman also from New York, both resigned from office in a state with a history of corruption and poor judgment within its Democratic party.

Weiner resigned in 2011, Spitzer in 2008.

Even after a prostitution scandal (Spitzer) and a sexting scandal (Weiner, with the irony lost on no one), both felt a need to attempt to get back into public office.

After resigning in 2008, Spitzer decided to run for the office of New York City’s new Comptroller. The Comptroller in New York is essentially the chief financial officer in the city with numerous  fiscal responsibilities. Before even having a chance in the election, Spitzer had to face off with Scott Stringer, another Democrat with a background as a Manhattan Borough President. Spitzer ended up losing the primary by a four percent margin, 52-48, to Stringer.

During much of the campaign, Spitzer’s wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, was conspicuously absent on the campaign trail. It’s not hard to guess why. Spitzer has taken responsibility for his actions and championed his time in office as productive. But it is hard to trust the ethical conduct and implications of Spitzer’s actions, not only with the prostitution scandal, but with his inability to answer questions about ethical issues in his election campaign this time around.

In July, Spitzer, along with other Comptroller candidates failed to file an ethics report, but the fact that this came in light of controversy still surrounding him makes his candidacy all the more iffy. A lawyer for his campaign said that Spitzer was “very busy” at the time and was unable to complete the ethics report at the time being. This comes after supposedly accepting responsibility for his mistakes.

As much as Spitzer’s campaign was taken seriously up until quite recently, Anthony Weiner’s run for New York City mayor became more of a joke.

Evidence surfaced in his recent election bid that Weiner had continued sexting women after claiming to be done, after claiming to be a changed individual who intended to be a family man. After Weiner had made some of these claims, it became apparent that Weiner had flat-out lied.

This sequence of events surely seems reprehensible, not necessarily because of the actions themselves, but because of the trust his family and constituents had in him He failed them. He would be failing his constituents if he had a chance at being the New York City mayor. Thankfully, that is not going to happen, as the distraught Weiner dropped out of the race with about 5 percent public support and rode away from the announcement with a prominent middle finger for his adoring media fans.

It is not necessarily that the actions are just inherently reprehensible, especially if they were isolated incidents without familial relationships and public office and responsibility involved. Ultimately, it is the fact that both individuals took part in shady behavior, lied to the people they represented, and failed to act in a responsible fashion while in office. They have to be held to a higher standard.

So good of the people of New York to shoot down Weiner’s chances, and for narrowly turning down Spitzer in the primary.

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