Inside the Beltway: Kristin vs. Eliot

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New York City politics are baroque and entertaining, and offer evidence that voters are either very forgiving or have short memories. Step right up and witness disgraced former Congressman Anthony D. Weiner running for mayor, now joined by disgraced former governor and MSNBC host Eliot Spitzer, who pines to be city comptroller. Both men have taken vigorous steps to redeem themselves through political theater and bold talking points. Both have stalwart spouses.

Now along comes Kristin Davis, the platinum blond ex-madam and former gubernatorial and mayoral hopeful who once supplied escort girls to Mr. Spitzer, and served time for it. She’s also running for comptroller, and declared her candidacy on June 10, she says.

Oh, the irony.

Eliot Spitzer broke state and federal laws in his use of prostitutes and paid no penalty; I broke the law and paid my debt to society. There cannot be two standards of justice, one for the average citizen and another for the political and social elite” Miss Davis says.

She is a self-described small-government libertarian who proposes solving the city’s $2.2 billion deficit by legalizing and then taxing marijuana, and describes herself “as a former Wall Street hedge fund vice president who once ran the largest escort service in the country.” She also won the endorsement of local libertarians in her 2012 quest for mayor.

Qualifications, please?

“I have more financial management experience than either Eliot Spitzer or Scott Stringer,” she insists. Mr. Stringer is Manhattan Borough president and also in the race. “They are both career politicians looking to use the office of comptroller as a steppingstone to higher office.”

She is not keen on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s “nanny state” government, she says, and oppose the New York City Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policy meant to reduce the number of illegal firearms in the city. But there’s work ahead. Miss Davis must file at least 3,750 signatures to qualify for the ballot. She’s ready to rumble.

“I look forward to the debates where I have many questions for Eliot Spitzer,” she says.


He’s a wily showman. Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday he would not seek re-election, but left both press and public with a Lone Star-sized cliffhanger. Though he was surrounded by his wife and daughters, who wore campaign-appropriate red and white dresses, Mr. Perry did not reveal whether he planned a repeat run for the White House. Statisticians already have tabulated his spot in the political pantheon, however.

“He now lays claim to one of the longest gubernatorial tenures in the history of the country,” says Eric Ostermeier, director of the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog.

“The governor will end up in the No. 10 slot for all time, presuming he completes his term as expected on January 20th, 2015. At that point, Perry will have tallied 5,144 days in office. Fourteen years, one month,” Mr. Ostermeier notes.

Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad currently leads the tenure list with 6,754 days, or well over 18 years in office. Mr. Ostermeier advises that only “post-U.S. Constitutional gubernatorial tenures” were studied for the report.

Meanwhile, a recent Public Policy Polling survey of Texas voters finds evidence of Perry fatigue: If the presidential election were held today, 27 percent would vote for Sen. Ted Cruz while only 7 percent would opt for Mr. Perry at this point. Mr. Cruz is most chivalrous and canny, meanwhile.

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