Eliot Spitzer, the former governor with another lover, may be plotting a run for U.S. Senate or New York comptroller. The New York Post reported that sources near Spitzer said he is considering a shot at public office 18 months after he resigned the governorship following the news a sex scandal involving a prostitution ring. Spitzer, a Democrat, could challenge Sen. Kristen Gillibrand in the 2010 primary election or run for comptroller, which audits state government and handles its retirement system.
Should Spitzer run we already know what his policy agenda would look like because he's described it in his own hand. For more than a year Spitzer has been a Slate columnist writing about how to improve government. Here's what Spitzer could run on, from his own words.
- Aid to States The recession has put state governments in worse shape than they appear. The federal government should do two things to help them permanently: 1) restructure public pension liabilities from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans to "lower guarantees for new employees radically" and 2) "shift more funding of health care and education to the federal government."
- Break Up Banks Create a new era of "era of vibrant competition among multiple, smaller" banks so that none so essential to the entire [financial] structure that it is indispensable."
- Don't Empower the Fed The Federal Reserve shouldn't be given more power to regulate banks given its failure to properly regulate them before the financial crisis. "The United States should not lightly put our fate back in the hands of the very entity whose oversight of the economy and financial sector brought us into the abyss."
- Make Smart College Loans The way students pay for college is a mess because it requires paying a lot for tuition upfront or taking on huge debt to repay loans. Instead, students could "accept an obligation to pay a fixed percentage of their income for a specified period of time, regardless of the income level achieved."
- Limit CEO Pay Companies should hire independent consultants to address compensation, selected by a special committee that is independent of the CEO. Company shareholders should have binding power to vote on accepting or rejecting CEO's requests for compensation. "Force executives to appear in front of their employers and explain why they deserve the packages they are offered."
- Spend on Better Infrastructure The government should pay for the installation of "smart meters" that price electricity according to demand, limiting usage during peak hours, which would increase energy efficiency along with the construction of a new electrical grid. In health care, the government should condition state receipt of Medicaid bailout funding to creating electronic medical records. Internet infrastructure should be upgraded to increase service and access. Fund robotics teams at every school to make technology innovation a competition as "universal as football."
- Punish Gun Manufacturers Companies who sell weapons to convicted criminals could simply not have their products purchased by the government, which buys guns "by the crate." Using government's great presence in the gun market place could change matters without a new law. "If a manufacturer did not comply with any of the limitations, then it would be excluded from the list of companies with which the government would do business."