We the People: The past is never past redeeming

The story of America is one filled with courage, vision and hope. Every chapter contains individual tales of redemption and rebirth. Former governor Eliot Spitzer – who is attempting to write his own redemption story with a campaign to become city comptroller — submitted 27,000 signatures to petition for a place on the ballot as the Democratic Party’s candidate.

The development shocked former frontrunner Scott Stringer because Spitzer now leads him in the polls. More than two thirds of Democrats said that he should be given a second chance.

Spitzer was a tough and successful attorney general. He never had the opportunity to make a mark as governor due to scandal and resignation. After the discovery that he was a regular customer for an exclusive call girl service, he left office. Five years later, he is trying to reenter politics and ask the people of New York for a second chance. Will his story have a happy ending? Time will tell.

The neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights will have many fewer happy endings. The NYPD and the Kings County district attorney’s office raided day spas in 12 locations in the neighborhoods.

The “spas” offered back massages and the investigation revealed violations and led to 19 arrests including some for prostitution. The investigation will continue to assure that prostitution and human trafficking are not tolerated in these residential neighborhoods.

District Attorney Charles Hynes assembled a task force to investigate the day spa proliferation in Brooklyn. The D.A. responded to requests for investigation from Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Community Board 10.

Mr. Gentile and former CB 10 chair Joanne Seminara were invited to and spoke at the public announcement hosted by Mr. Hynes. The complaints from the public were acted on by the community and elected officials while the local prosecutor and law enforcement responded superbly and promptly.

The action and vigilance of the community made possible the investigation which will protect the residential quality of life of our neighborhoods.

It is possible for elected officials to discharge their responsibilities well without fanfare. However the candidates for mayor have taken to attacking each other as the time to campaign wanes.

It would be better to let their public records speak for them instead of reaching into the mud. Council Speaker Christine Quinn, no stranger to slipping poll numbers, attacked two of her rivals during a television interview. She called candidate Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, desperate and said that former comptroller Bill Thompson was asleep on his watch during the CityTime recordkeeping scandal.

De Blasio was recently arrested at SUNY Downstate Hospital while protesting Downstate’s campaign to shutter Long Island College Hospital. Downstate is defying a court order and continuing to divert patients from the LICH emergency room.

It is hard to believe that LICH, a venerable institution that has served the health needs of north Brooklyn for years, has outlived its usefulness. Quinn should applaud de Blasio’s action even if it is motivated by his campaign and take responsibility for her own record.

Thompson served as comptroller during the CityTime project but the program which wasted $500 million was Mayor Bloomberg’s baby and Quinn and the City Council appropriated the money that was wasted.

Anthony Weiner is extremely successful at showing up at parades, parties and being photographed on bicycles but what did he ever accomplish for the people of New York in Congress?

Will his scandal and subsequent dishonesty to the people while he tried to cover it up be forgiven by voter? Time will tell.

Even politicians deserve a second chance but when given, their actions should dictate who voters select to serve the public.

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