Spitzer to resign Monday night?

Multiple reports suggest that the New York governor is preparing to step down in the wake of news he may have been a client of a prostitution ring.

Published March 10, 2008 9:10PM (EDT)

Multiple outlets, including New York City's local CBS affiliate and Fox News, are reporting that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will resign his post Monday evening after reports surfaced that he may have been a client in a prostitution ring busted by federal investigators.

The Republican Governors Association had already called for Spitzer, a Democrat, to resign. In a statement, RGA executive director Nick Ayers said:

The Governor of New York should immediately resign from office and allow the people of New York to pursue honest leadership. Eliot Spitzer campaigned on ethics reform; unfortunately the Governor of New York has egregiously failed his constituents.

If Spitzer does step down, according to the New York state Constitution, Lt. Gov. David Paterson, a fellow Democrat, would be next in line for the governorship. If for some reason Paterson declines the job, Republican Joe Bruno, a staunch Spitzer opponent who's the majority leader in the state Senate and who has himself been the subject of federal investigators' interest recently, would take over.

A Spitzer resignation could also have some impact on the Democratic presidential race. Spitzer is a superdelegate and a supporter of Hillary Clinton's. Because Paterson is already a superdelegate (and also a Clinton supporter), the total number of superdelegates might just decrease by one, the blog DemConWatch notes.

CNN is now using some interesting, and potentially very significant, wording in its latest article on this story. The network reports that it has been told by two sources with knowledge of the investigation that Spitzer is "under investigation" for his alleged meeting with a prostitute.

Also, NY1, a television station in New York City, reports that the floor of the New York Stock Exchange erupted in cheers when the news broke. Spitzer made his reputation in part by actively going after elements within the financial sector during his time as New York's attorney general.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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