One of the things we find ourselves thinking about this morning is the decision of the voters to hire Alan Hevesi for a second term as comptroller. Mr. Hevesi had been engulfed by scandal in the closing days of the election as his Republican opponent, Christopher Callaghan, tried to make political hay out of Mr. Hevesi's use of a state-funded driver to chauffeur around his disabled wife. The charges created quite a hubbub, including in these columns, where we pointed up how this was just the latest in a string of ethical lapses on Mr. Hevesi's part and endorsed Mr. Callaghan. In conceding defeat Tuesday night, Mr. Callaghan said, "I cannot help but regard the decision of New York voters as odd," and 39% of New York voters would agree. Now that Mr. Hevesi has secured re-election, however, we're inclined to let the matter rest.
Impeachment in the wake of the kind of landslide that returned Mr. Hevesi to office would be, by our lights, a mistake. This is not a case of voters being ignorant of the wrongdoing of which he is accused. Mr. Hevesi himself owned up and apologized. This is a case in which voters knew full well the scale of Mr. Hevesi's scandal and decided that they could live with it. Call it an acquittal at the polls. To impeach Mr. Hevesi at this point would only subvert the democratic process, no matter how "odd" the result. Love him or hate him, Mr. Hevesi won, fair and square. The right message now for the Republicans is that they'll need to run a stronger candidate than Mr. Callaghan if they want to gain a mandate to oversee the management of the state pension funds and take on the other responsibilities of the office Mr. Hevesi holds.