Questions for Spitzer
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Tomorrow night’s debate is the last chance that the Republican candidate, John Faso, and the press corps will have to challenge Attorney General Spitzer in the race for governor. Absent some tough questioning, Mr. Spitzer will coast to victory in a low turnout election by virtue of outspending his opponent five to one in a state where Democrats already have a nearly two to one advantage in party registration. Here are some questions that Mr. Faso and the members of the press corps participating in the debate could put to Mr. Spitzer in the interest of giving voters some information that goes beyond Mr. Spitzer’s gauzy campaign commercials.
General Spitzer, you promise to reform Albany. Yet you accepted private plane rides from a gambling figure who wants a lucrative state contract. How can you honestly assure other bidders for the contract that the private jet rides won’t get that gambling figure an inside track?
General, you have promised to spend an additional $4 billion and $6 billion a year on New York City public schools. That will prompt requests for billions in additional state aid for other poor school districts. From where, specifically, will this money come, given that you have promised not to raise taxes? Please do not cite any reports by Alan Hevesi, but give your own specifics.
Sir, you have said you want to raise the cap limiting the number of charter schools in the state. Will you promise right now that, in the process of lifting the cap, you won’t cave to the teachers’ union, which wants to force unions into charter schools by eliminating secret ballot elections in union organizing campaigns?
You have proposed to impose a five or ten cent a bottle tax on bottles of water and apple juice but dispute any suggestion that it’s a tax. Why doesn’t this count as a tax? What other revenue-increasing measures will you impose that do not fall under your definition of a tax?
Why do you think New Yorkers feel intimidated by you into not giving to your opponent?
Respected New Yorkers like John Whitehead have raised questions about your explosive temper and your tendency to hold a grudge. Why should New Yorkers think you have the temperament to be governor?
In the debate with Thomas Suozzi, you said you did not want to be president of the United States. Why not? Will you promise not to run for that office?