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Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson, Charlie Rangel, Eric Massa -- what's in that famous N.Y. water anyway?

New York Democrat Eric Massa
New York is famous for its water. In fact, some people say that's why New York bagels are second to none.

Seriously.

But this is beginning to look like a sewer.

First,  Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned after it turned out he was Client No. 9 in prosecutors' attempts to break up a prostitution ring, a client who was wiring money to shell corporations to pay for his habit. Apparently he's bored to death as a real estate magnate -- "Politics gets my heart pounding faster than buying a building and raising rents," he told Time magazine -- and eying a comeback.. The New York Post responded to Spitzer's comeback hopes with this headline: "You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down."

Not to be outdone, Spitzer's successor, Gov. David Paterson, is now teetering on the edge of his own scandal involving his alleged attempts to pressure a woman seeking an injunction against an abusive boyfriend who happened to be one of the governor's top aides.

And let's not forget Charlie Rangel, the affable but ethics-challenged chairman of the Ways and Means Committee who forgot to mention on his House financial disclosure reports that he took corporate sponsorship for overseas trips.

Now comes word that Eric Massa, a first-term Upstate Democratic congressman, will not be seeking reelection. Massa says he is leaving Congress for health reasons. But turns out the congressman, who is married with two children, is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for making unwanted advances toward a junior male staffer.

In a bit of marvelous irony, Politico reported that on Massa's 50th birthday last September, his staff chipped in on a plaque for him engraved with a quote from Ronald Reagan: “You must have the courage to do what is morally right.”

All of this creates headaches for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Taking the reins in 2007, Pelosi promised to run the most ethical Congress in history. Now, as she struggles to keep Blue Dog Democrats on board for the healthcare bill and the Congressional Black Caucus on board for the $15-billion jobs bill, she must also grapple with the appearance of Democratic sleaziness -- just in time for the 2010 midterm elections.

Maybe a water purification program?

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.); credit: Associated Press

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Speaker Pelosi's House of cards is falling faster than You can count. Charles Rangel ethic charges, Massa hitting on young male staffers, Pete Stark spending one day as the chairman of Ways and Means committee. At this rate the Republicans may not have to wait till the November elections to have a majority in the house.
www.suckitupcybaby.com

Paterson should listen to many democrats whom are calling for his resignation.

For too long David Paterson has listened to unqualified, incompetent hacks - Dave Johnson, Harry Corbitt, Clemmie Harris, Michael Jones-Bey – this needs to stop now.

First, David Paterson engages in a GROSS ABUSE of office by engaging in obstruction of justice by intimidating a victim of domestic not to press charges, and then tries to up and make the incident just “go away”.

Now we have assertions from the Commission on Public Integrity that he violated to public officers law by taking gifts from lobbyists, and worse that he lied under oath about the matter – PERJURY.

Is David Paterson for real?

David Paterson needs to RESIGN.

GET HIM AND ALL HIS CRONIES OUT NOW.

It is not the water that has resulted in these political leaders downfall, it is their behavior.

It is not surprising to those who know David Paterson that he has self-destructed. It has been a known fact that David Paterson and his people are an unqualified, incompetent crew.

Paterson’s incompetence is evident in the “The Democratic Conference: Organizational and Operational Structure Report”, which indicates that Paterson’s Senate Minority office, headed by the highly inept Michael Jones-Bey - whom was more interested in partying and boozing than working - was completely dysfunctional. Not surprising Mr. Jones-Bey got promoted to head the Division of Minority & Women Owned Business Development (DMWBD) at New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation for his partying.

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM110_demreportfinal.html

What is much more disturbing to many than the incompetence indicated in the report, are the blatant transgressions of law David Paterson and his staff have engaged in - lying under oath/perjury, covering up a domestic violence assault, obstruction of justice, ethics violations.

David Paterson needs to RESIGN NOW and bring Dave Johnson, Mr. Jones-Bey, Clemmie Harris, Indira Noel, Gabrielle Turner with him. Get him and them off the public payroll now.

I am very offended that you are implicating NY water. NY water is among the best in the world.

David Paterson should listen to many democrats whom are calling for his resignation.

For too long David Paterson has listened to unqualified, incompetent hacks - Dave Johnson, Harry Corbitt, Clemmie Harris, Michael Jones-Bey – this needs to stop now.

First, David Paterson engages in a GROSS ABUSE of office by engaging in obstruction of justice by intimidating a victim of domestic not to press charges, and then tries to up and make the incident just “go away”.

Now we have assertions from the Commission on Public Integrity that he violated to public officers law by taking gifts from lobbyists, and worse that he lied under oath about the matter – PERJURY.

Is David Paterson for real?

David Paterson needs to RESIGN.

GET HIM AND ALL HIS CRONIES OUT NOW.

The Massa scandal is causing a panic in Washington. Once untouchable politicians are running scared. They have witnessed a few of their powerful cohorts thrown under the bus. The fear of being next is forcing them into a tight knit circle where they huddle together for protection. They are no different than circus animals that have to obey a ringmaster.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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